Fun, fast, and exciting gameplay; Clever use of classic games; Remix stages feature very entertaining mixtures of characters and gameplay alterations
Not all games featured are winners; Some challenges boring or overly frustrating
NES Remix has further solidified my opinion that Nintendo needs to adopt some form of a metagame rewards system like on Sony and Microsoft’s consoles. I say this because Remix is basically a gauntlet of minigames revolving around the sorts of challenges players have come to expect on Xbox and PlayStation to unlock achievements and trophies. Rather than apply these challenges to existing titles, Nintendo has instead chosen to take 16 classic NES games, break them into pieces, and apply specialized rules and conditions that the player must adhere to in order to proceed. Fast, frantic, and fun, Remix is an interesting concept that satisfies an itch that most never knew they had.
The best comparison I can make to Remix‘s gameplay would be the WarioWare series of titles. Even more specifically, WarioWare character 9-Volt’s collections of Nintendo-themed microgames. In Remix, there’s no overarching narrative, just a menu featuring the various NES games available to play at a given time. Titles like Super Mario Bros., Excitebike, Balloon Fight, Donkey Kong, and many more are all present, but not in their entirety. Players are given chunks and parts of these games to complete, instead, and must follow a particular set of instructions therein. For example, in the Super Mario Bros. section, the player is asked to run through the entirety of stage 1-2… mirrored!
Whether an old master or a rookie, players will get a kick out of completing all these oddball challenges. For many, Remix is going to touch on some of the quirks that have embedded themselves in players’ own personal routines going through these classic titles over the years. Except now, instead of pulling off the infinite 1-up trick in Super Mario Bros. for fun, it’s to beat a stage! Remix scores players on a three star scale, with a shimmering rainbow outline awarded to those who achieve perfection in a particular stage. Accumulating these stars unlocks more games, while beating stages also bestows a currency called Bits, which in turn unlock stamps for use on the game’s Miiverse channel. The best part of Remix, though, has to be its titular remix stages, where elements of each game are altered or feature characters from entirely different titles. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Link in Donkey Kong!
Remix is a welcome reinterpretation of these classic NES games, and hopefully the start of more to come. There are a number of titles absent from the game (Metroid, Punch-Out!!) that I would love to see make an appearance in the future, not to mention iterations based on Nintendo’s other consoles. I love 8-bit, but it’s long past time that Nintendo started showing some 16 and 64-bit love to its fans. The only drawback here is that some of the challenges and games are less than spectacular. I was never a huge fan of NES Pinball and have found little reason to become a convert now. Everyone has their favorites and less-than favorites, so be prepared to slog through a title or two’s worth of stages that you might not love. Regardless, NES Remix is defined more by the sum of its parts than its individual pieces, so have no hesitation in jumping headfirst into this excellent retro experience.