Throughout its (so far) short life, the Wii U eShop has been a great place to pick up some fantastic games for relatively cheap. One of the better games available for the service is NES Remix (check out our review here), a game that breathed new life into old NES games by focusing on the best parts of each game and infusing them with modern challenges. Well, it must have done very well, because just a few months later, the sequel has landed – and it’s bigger and better than ever.
One of my major complaints with the original NES Remix was that some (if not most of) the games selected for the compilation were at best boring and at worst tear-inducingly frustrating (I’m looking at you, Ice Climber). Thankfully, in NES Remix 2, this problem is mostly rectified thanks to a veritable who’s who of NES classics. Games like Metroid, Kirby’s Adventure, Kid Icarus, Zelda II and, of course, Super Mario Bros. 3, help make this game more consistently fun than its predecessor. It’s not all perfect though, as some duds *cough* Wario’s Woods *cough* still ended up finding their way among the greats.
Oddly enough, this presents a new and unexpected problem. While around 10 remixes per game works fine for arcade classics like Donkey Kong, having only that many levels to play through for games like Metroid and Zelda II feels like a lot was left on the table. In fact, NES Remix 2 only features 12 games instead of the original’s 16. But like the classic adage says, it’s quality over quantity, which NES Remix 2 definitely has over the first.
Actually, the game even features two more “out of the way” remixes to cover. The first is a mode called Super Luigi Bros. (wasn’t last year the Year of Luigi?). In this mode, you simply have to play the original Super Mario Bros….as Luigi… while the levels run right to left. This simple change in direction actually made the game, which I’ve finished over 100 times, feel fresh and new and even (gasp) challenging. The other mode is a new take on Nintendo World Championships (you know, that game that usually sells for $20,000 on eBay?). Here you have three rapid-fire challenges in Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3 and Dr. Mario. Once you’re done you can upload your score for the world to see.
One thing that the original NES Remix did well was its use of Miiverse. While it may not seem like much, being able to see people’s comments and completion times actually helped you in your own performance. NES Remix 2 takes this a step further by automatically recording your run at that level. So if you’re having trouble with a particular challenge, you can view the videos of several players and use their strategies to set your own high score.
On the presentation front, NES Remix 2 benefits mostly from its games being later NES titles (let’s face it, Kirby’s Adventure looks a million times better than Ice Climber). Other than that, though, it’s pretty much copy/pasted from the original game. The in-game soundtrack also hasn’t received much of an update, and as such I don’t have much more to say than what I mentioned in my original review.
While I originally lamented that the original NES Remix was overpriced at $14.99, I feel as if NES Remix 2 fits that price just right. It’s just simply a better, more complete game than its predecessor. The inclusion of extra Miiverse functionality and the extra modes go a long way to help too. Oh, and Stamps make a return for all those completionists out there, giving you another reason to go for those high scores.
If you haven’t yet picked up either NES Remix title, I strongly suggest skipping the first and going straight for the good stuff. NES Remix 2 is simply a more complete experience that will last you longer and give you more fun playing than its predecessor. Overall, though, I can say I love the idea behind the Remix series and hope it isn’t too long before we see games like SNES Remix, GBA Remix, and N64 Remix. (Virtual Boy Remix? Not so much.)
This review is based on NES Remix 2 for the Wii U eShop. This game was provided to 3GEM by the publisher.