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One of Nintendo’s surprises last Christmas was the announcement of NES Remix and then it came out the next day after the Nintendo Direct. NES Remix is a downloadable eShop game that takes some of your favorite and “not so favorite” NES classics and reduce them to quick mini-games along with adding some twists to the gameplay. You would think a whole bunch of NES games are playable in this package, but turns out it is only limited to first-party titles and they also have to be released on the Wii U Virtual Console. This unique take on the NES era is a solid homage with it’s hits and misses.
Then there’s the remix levels, the main attraction of this game. These stages spice up the gameplay of the NES games in a variety of games. Most of the twists are hit and miss such as limiting the player’s visibility, making certain enemies bigger, or disabling a certain ability, but other twists are pretty crazy. Yes, you can play as Link in a Donkey Kong level, hence the picture above, and since Link can’t jump in his own game, he can’t in Donkey Kong as well, which makes navigation a bit more harder than you think. Another clever trick the developers used in some of the remix levels is zooming out the gameplay screen to have multiple screens of the same thing going on. It will be trippy at first glance, but you’ll get used it playing a few more times. Those who love nostalgia will dig some remixes of the classic games, but as mentioned already, not all of them are home runs.
One of other major gripes with NES Remix is the unlocking structure. Not all of the games that are in this package are playable out of the gate and some points, becomes a grind to unlock what’s next such as remix stages or games you’re not thrilled about playing. The Legend of Zelda is one of those games that have to be unlocked, which is a shame, but at least some of the hits like Super Mario Bros. and Balloon Fight are available right away. Speaking of the game roster, not all of them are classics personally as some of the games have not aged well and too frustrating to play through. Ice Climber and Mario Bros’ frustrating platforming mechanics for example are a pain to deal with when trying to achieve certain challenges. Clu Clu Land has abysmal controls and it is also a pretty bad game as well. Other games such as Urban Champion, Donkey Kong 3, Baseball, and Tennis got the short end of the stick with not a lot of challenges, but it is probably for the best since they’re not good games either.
Most of the NES games did get minor graphical filters specifically in the remix stages. Backgrounds in certain Mario stages have different colors like the image above, but for the most part nothing significant was changed to the classics. The games run smoothly for the most part as well, but it isn't tough considering they are NES games. Stamps that used for Miiverse can be unlocked by playing through the game normally, similar to what Super Mario 3D World had. The only new music tracks in NES Remix are in the title screen, which I really like, and the menu itself.