NES Remix 2 (Wii U eShop) Review
It has only been 5 months since the release of the original NES Remix on the eShop and already we have been blessed by a sequel, I am a huge fan of the original (giving it 5 out of 5 here in the land of Vooks) so I was pumped to get a second round at what is a very cool idea. What we have here is more of the same – in a good way – but with a few slight differences that both add and detract from the overall product.
If you did not play the original the idea is simple. Take a selection of old Nintendo NES titles and build a variety of challenges on different sections of the games in a fashion similar to the WarioWare series but with 48,000 buckets of nostalgia thrown in for good measure.
The following games are included in this release are as follows. Dr. Mario, Ice Hockey, Kid Icarus, Kirby’s Adventure, Mario Open Golf, Metroid, Punch-Out!!, Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Wario’s Woods and finally Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. They are all still just snippets of the bigger original titles, all are replicated perfectly as one would expect of Nintendo making for a great experience out of the box (virtual eShop box). Not only that but there is the not so “entirely new” Super Luigi Bro’s game which is merely the original Super Mario Bro’s but mirrored horizontally to provide a bizarre yet somewhat familiar experience and is very much a welcome addition.
The formula is the same as the first time around, you are given a variety of challenges based on each games play style that you have to achieve in the quickest time possible. As you pass each challenge additional games are opened up and you are rewarded with various stickers for use in the Miiverse. It’s all very simple and very enjoyable, the pace of progress can be very rapid at times and the sense of reward is always high upon success. This is no different than the first title in any way, the only difference on show is the new games and a score multiplier that changes each day used to encourage the player to try various titles. Other than that it’s identical in it’s structure.
The difficulty has been increased somewhat as the challenges can demand greater feats of the player but part of this is the challenge and the rest is down to just how sloppy the controls are on some of these games. I didn’t realize just how sloppy the controls are on Kirby’s adventure until I was racing against a timer to simply get to the end of a simple level. It’s a great game but it really should not be pushed into a time bracket it does not appreciate. Other examples include Dr Mario that simply makes an already somewhat frustrating title just unbearable levels of pain, it works against the player as these tasks where already difficult enough without the added tasks. If you are not popping pill from Dr Mario the first time – now you will! Wario’s Woods is no better. These games were difficult enough to begin with, NES Remix makes you hate them with a passion all over again but in a somewhat love hate relationship kind of way. Every time you finish one of these excessive challenges it is a true victory.
And this is where I start to have issues, this idea was really fresh when it first came out, it still is fairly fresh to be fair. My problem is that this feels like such a quick attempt to get a sequel out that it hasn’t been as well tested and balanced. Most of these games don’t fit into the timed events as well as it did the first time around and the rest of the challenges can sometimes fall into some incredibly difficult situations well beyond some player skill sets. Beyond this however I don’t have any additional complains, while not as balanced the rest of the title is still as charming as ever.
The actual remix sections are still a joy to behold, seeing these old titles redone in ways that is only possible with modern hardware is one of those special moments that rarely turn up in games these days. While not always as hard as the actual games, just seeing the interesting visual twists will keep you hunting for these events.
The presentation remains unchanged and is still silky smooth and oozing what should be trademarked ‘Nintendo Ooze’, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. While it would have been nice to even have a different colour scheme for the menu’s that does not appear to be of high priority for the developers.
Ultimately you should be asking “Should I buy this?”. There are several sides to this answer. If you are new to this series then I would recommend you start of the original release, it has more games, is more balanced and is much friendlier to beginners as a whole. If you played the original and did not like it, this will not convince you as the differences are minor at best unless there is one specific title that you want to challenge. If you thought that the original was brilliant and you can’t get enough of it, then I would highly recommend this for you as it is a very solid follow up.
The idea is still brilliant and there is many hours of quality entertainment to be had, as the archive of games gets dug up I expect we will eventually see a Remix 3 and maybe even a SNES Remix provided we the users keep demanding titles like this. Ventures down memory lane can be fun an interesting and this series has yet to out live it’s welcome and I suspect it won’t for a long time yet.