NES Remix (Wii U eShop) Review
It has been postulated that Nintendo does tend to have its head in the past just a little too often. Almost every game based on a now ‘classic games series’ appears to be littered with constant reminders of the past (homage if you will). Look to Super Mario 3D Land to see this in all its glory, both the obvious and the not-so-in-your-face approaches. NES Remix doesn’t help the cast, the title alone doesn’t hide the obvious nature of this product; this is fan service of the highest order and that is most definitely not a bad thing. If a company has a rich past and one the players still love with a fired up passion; then I see no harm in giving us exactly what we want and Nintendo deliver in a big way with this release.
Presented before you is a variety of Nintendo classic NES games spanning a huge range of titles that any Nintendo fan will have at the very least heard of, from Balloon Fight through to Zelda – you will have a nostalgia overload just on the title screen. If you’re expecting to be able to play these games in full then let me temper your expectations at little as this is not the point of the game, thus the remix part of the title. Each game is split up into mini games based off these titles each potentially only lasting a few seconds if done correctly. The goals start out simple such as ‘Get to the flag pole’ in Super Mario Bros. or ‘Do a jump’ in Excitebike but these are just the warm ups to the much more difficult challenges to come.
As you progress, more difficult challenges and additional games are unlocked. Eventually you start to unlock remix versions of games in which these titles are given challenge via more modernised visual effects, these are brilliant to see in action as it puts great new twists on how to perceive the gameplay. A great example is trying to play through the first level of Super Mario Bros. in silhouette; it is more difficult than it sounds.
Each event is given a star rating based on how quickly it can be completed, with a possible 3 stars to get on every challenge you will be kept entertained for hours trying to ace everything on offer. If you aren’t unlocking challenges, you will be receiving stamps to use on Miiverse posts something that Nintendo has become very fond of. As a whole, the entire gameplay flow is very natural and varied, the developers have done a wonderful job of finding new interesting ways manipulate the familiar into new and bold concepts. This is a brilliant example of how old titles can be given a new lease of life.
Presentation is done wonderfully as a whole, everything has that ‘Made by Nintendo’ crisp clean look that gives the overall feeling so much charm. Everything is snappy, non-distracting in the fashion that is the hallmark of quality to expect from a true first-party developed game. The retro games combined with the modern UI provides a great antithesis to the various elements, it looks modern while not distracting from the 8 bit simplistic nature of the original content. I don’t really need to mention the audio or visuals in the title from a technical degree, I’m not going to say a bad word against the NES titles as they don’t need to change in the slightest nor should they be touched. This just oozes Nintendo charm from every pore.
With this title having with no prior marketing, it is odd to see a title of this calibre get released with little fanfare, don’t let that put you off this title as potentially being a dud that was kept quiet for quality reasons – this game deserves your attention. While this could have happily been called “WarioWare NES remix” – the fact that it isn’t only serves as a good selling point. Short form content like this would normally suit a system like the 3DS better (and I do hope for an eventual release on the platform), but it is great to see it get a big screen debut even if it potentially won’t set the market a blaze with sales.
I would recommend this title to pretty much anyone really. It provides a challenge for almost any skill set you provide it while both appealing to new players a sampler of older titles they might have missed and want to purchase on the eShop. For the experienced players, this give you the opportunity to see these older games in a new light and to provide a different kind of challenge on titles that you know very well already. It’s cheap, varied and delivers the nostalgia trip you crave while having new twists on what you know, I could never fault a title like this as it is essentially a classic built on already classic titles and that’s rare at best.