There’s no doubt that the Nintendo Entertainment System (or Famicom) will probably go down in history as the home gaming console that really made gaming the medium that its become, and there’s no doubt that Nintendo also does a really good job at patting themselves on the back. NES Remix is a game that literally appeared on the Wii U’s eShop out of nowhere, and while it’s a fun walk down memory line, it’s not quite worth the price of admission.
What Is It?
NES Remix is just as the title states. It’s a bunch of Nintendo games that builds off each other’s existence to form a package of modded microgames.
Ever wonder what it’s like if you could use Link instead of Jumpman in the original Donkey Kong? What about Excitebike on ice? It all seems crazy, but this is the basic concept of NES Remix. It’s a bunch of Nintendo classics with a bunch of different ideas.
At first, the content starts off a little dry. You only have access to games like the original Mario Bros. arcade game, Super Mario Bros., Excitebike, and Donkey Kong — just to name a few, and the games require players to do simple mundane tasks like touch the flagpole in Super Mario Bros., or pop a wheelie for 10 seconds in Excitebike. Each level or task you play can be anywhere from two seconds or even a minute, based on what it is you have to do.
The game grades you based on deaths and how long it takes you to accomplish each task using a three-star system. On top of that, the more you play, the more you’ll have access to.
Why Should I Care?
It’s when you unlock these games that makes NES Remix far more interesting. That bit about using Link instead of Jumpman in Donkey Kong? Yep, you can do it, except you can’t jump, so it increases the challenge. Then there are levels of Super Mario Bros. where you have to beat entire stages by only running and never turning back, forcing players to time their jumps accordingly. There’s also levels a little more involved, like having to burn bushes to find secret passages in The Legend of Zelda’s overworld.
The joy in NES Remix is the fun you’ll have with these little bundles of simple gameplay. Of course, as simple as they are, they aren’t exactly the most easy to execute.
The one area that’s really hindered my enjoyment of the game is its lack of responsive controls. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten spoiled with the ingenuity in platformers like Rayman Legends or Super Mario 3D World, but there’s really no reason for Mario (or whomever you’re using) to not be able to favor right when holding right during a jump. There are even issues where your character won’t move at all, and that gets incredibly annoying when playing games like the aforementioned Super Mario Bros. and other games like Ice Climber.
At first I thought these were battery issues, but after trying the game out on a friend’s Wii U, I experienced the same problems.
Is It Worth My Time And Money?
NES Remix isn’t without its moments of fun, but it also isn’t without its moments of excruciating displeasure with the unresponsive controls. Throw in the fact that some of the classic games in the package (Baseball, Pinball, Clu Clu Land) aren’t that great to begin with, and you have a game that is hardly worth $15, even if they do release a patch to fix the control issues.
The good ideas were there, and the game is fun, but it’s hard to recommend at full price. The game’s lack of multiplayer or online leaderboards really makes you wonder what the development team was thinking. $15 just for this? Just #becauseitsNintendo? Not a good enough reason.
You’re really better off playing mods on Newgrounds.