I honestly don’t need to talk much about the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES for short.) I mean, it is one of the most successful video game consoles of all time, it brought gaming out of the video game crash of 1983-1985, it has some of the most influential titles ever made, and you get the idea. If you don’t know the library of games for the console, then something is up, since they are some of the most iconic games to own. You have games like Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Mario Bros., Excitebike, Balloon Fight and Super Mario Brors. These are classic games that you should check out. There are multiple ways of obtaining these games, and they shouldn’t be too expensive. So, let’s do some experimenting here. Add a multitude of classic games from the NES, pour in some of that WarioWare mentality of fast-paced mini-games, and combine some old school video game difficulty in some of the mini-games. What you get is the Wii U downloadable exclusive, NES Remix. How about we just get on with the review and not waste time?
NES Remix, like I said above is a bunch of mini-challenges that are created using a dozen or more NES classics. At first, you will only have about six or so NES games that have challenges for you to try out, but as time goes on, you will unlock other NES games. Each game will have a set of challenges that relate to that game. Some games will have more challenges than others, there is a wide range in difficulty. The challenges go from collecting coins, to killing a certain number of enemies, to other quick little mini-game-style challenges.
The main set of challenging mini-games comes in the form of the Remix library. Instead of small changes, like single-screen challenges, they throw a massive wrench into the equation. For example, they make the area around the first lap in Excitebike pitch black, or have Link going through a level of the original Donkey Kong game. One of my favorites was playing through a level of Wrecking Crew, and seeing a level that actually scrolled left and right, which, normally, the game didn’t do. These are easily the highlights of the game, to see what kind of gimmick they will pull next.
Like I said, these challenges can range from easy to NES difficult. It will take a while if you are not used to games on the NES or having your butt handed to you by a game’s difficulty. There is this addictive nature to the difficulty where you just want to keep playing until you complete the challenge given to you. I wish all difficult games were like that instead of just being not fun to play due to how hard and soul-crushing the game can be.
If you haven’t played or noticed yet, you don’t have to buy the original NES games to play the mini-games or challenges in NES Remix. It was a breath of fresh air to not have to deal with all of the free-to-play and free-to-download games on consoles that require you to use micro-transaction purchases to experience the whole game.
The graphics are, um… well, retro and awesome. Some games might have better color palettes, but I always enjoy the look of a game from the 8-bit era. I really can’t hate on the look of the NES games, since that is what we were getting at that time. If they actually looked incredibly horrific, maybe I would have something to complain about, but I really don’t. The music from the games is catchy and memorable. The original music composed for the game is fine. The title menu theme is meant to be catchy, and I found myself humming some of the tunes of the NES games.
So, what is wrong with this retro gaming love note? I would say that if you haven’t played the original NES games, or haven’t played them in a long time, there is a slight learning curve with the controls. I would hate to admit how many times I got upset over how the controls for many games were. They had these physics that were unusual to me. They felt slippery and heavy. I don’t play a lot of these NES games since I grew up with the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 era of games. The controls grow on you though, and soon after, I was beating all the challenges from the Donkey Kong, Wrecking Crew, Donkey Kong Jr. NES games. As usual, some of these challenges are great while some are duds and can be a little too difficult. Like I said, in my opinion, the difficulty is addictive, and I played through a lot of the challenges again because I was enjoying myself.
NES Remix was a surprise to me. Is it my favorite game of the year? No, but it is one of my favorite downloadable games this year. You get a fun nostalgic trip by playing some of these games, the challenge is addicting, and it is just an enjoyable series of games. Heck, it makes me want to find some of these older games like Donkey Kong Jr and Wrecking Crew to play them on my Wii U. The game is $15, and I would highly recommend it if you want some WarioWare-style gaming and some good old fashion NES nostalgia. I know most gamers will probably wait to spend $15 for Dr. Luigi on the Wii U, but I would highly recommend getting both. Got $32 to spend on the Wii U’s VC? Use some of it to get NES Remix!
This game gets a 7 out of 10.