(Wii U eShop)

NES Remix (Wii U eShop)

Game Review

NES Remix Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Mixing it up

During what is likely to be the final Nintendo Direct of 2013, there were a few surprise game announcements. One of these was a bit more surprising than the rest, because it was available immediately after its announcement — NES Remix.

At first glance, NES Remix might just seem like a collection of NES games, but in truth it's more like a combination of WarioWare and Retro Game Challenge — there are no fully playable games here; instead, you are tasked with completing short, simple tasks in 16 different NES games within a set time limit, after which your performance is graded and you unlock further stages.

Shortly after starting and completing a fairly simple opening stage, you'll have seven game categories open to you: Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Mario Bros., Excitebike, Balloon Fight and Remix I. Each has its own set of levels which you have to work through — anywhere from around 15 to 25 each — which, naturally, get progressively harder.

Upon starting a level, you'll be presented with a certain objective, and then you've got a short period of time to complete it. Naturally, it's not as if each level only has one challenge, unless it's a very long one; most of them will have three or four in a row before you can move on.

The first few levels for each game are quite simple and give you a chance to (re)learn the game's mechanics, even going so far as to give you unlimited lives, but you'll quickly find yourself completing harder sets of challenges with a strict life limit, forcing a full level restart if you lose them all. Once you're past the first few levels, each game will start throwing you some interesting curve-balls — in one Super Mario Bros. level, for example, the whole game is mirrored so you move left, while in one of the Mario Bros. levels you control both player 1 and player 2 simultaneously.

For each level you complete, you'll get a rank, represented by a maximum of three stars. Collect enough of these and you'll unlock additional levels, as well as new games, each with yet another set of levels to beat. If you're super fast on a level, the stars you get will also be rainbow-coloured, adding some extra incentive to figure out the optimal strategy for every challenge. Completing levels will also earn you "bits" — essentially points by another name — which will unlock sprite-shaped stamps for you to use on the game's Miiverse community, a neat little extra.

While the game-specific challenges generally keep the same game mechanics and elements as the original games, the Remix category, which features levels based on all games, mixes things up a little with new features. One Excitebike-based stage, for example, has you driving in the dark with only part of the ground in front of you being visible. Elsewhere, a Super Mario Bros. level has you running through a level that has completely frozen over, making every single block slippery.

When you get even further, the Remix levels will even feature some "crossover" games, a Nintendo fan's dream come true — how about trying to beat the first level of Donkey Kong as Link, who can't jump? Or trying to play Pinball while the bottom half of the screen is filled with lava from Bowser's castle?

As you may expect, not much has changed about the audio and visuals of the individual games. Catchy 8-bit title screen and menu themes are about the only new things in the music department, and while the graphics have been polished very slightly (for example, sprites in Super Mario Bros. now all cast shadows) they're largely identical to the way they were over 25 years ago.

Conclusion

It would be simple to write off NES Remix as something only die-hard retro gamers would enjoy, but developer indies zero is really on to something here — the 200+ challenges are short enough to be interesting and fun to replay, but not long enough to outstay their welcome. The developer has even somehow managed to make challenges based on games like Urban Champion and Baseball fun to play, which is an achievement in itself. If you're the type who likes to relentlessly collect stuff, the stars and stamps will also keep you entertained for quite a while.

Perhaps if this becomes a success, we could see a sequel with more NES games, or even SNES games? One can only hope — but for the time being, this totally unexpected surprise ranks as one of the Wii U eShop's most engaging and downright enjoyable downloadable titles.

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User Comments (126)

Einherjar

#1

Einherjar said:

That game is SO much fun :D Its basicly a learning tool to get into these old classics and learn the ropes. And it has tons of replay value for score hunters.
It is really a brilliant idea. And if i may dream: How about a SNES remix ?

sleepinglion

#2

sleepinglion said:

@Einherjar Agreed! This game simply cries out for DLC or a flat-out sequel! An unexpected hoot that is worth the initially shocking price tag.

KongFu

#3

KongFu said:

Finally a worthy first party eshop release. Nintendo needs to play around more with it's own IPs. This is a step in the right direction.

PS great direct

Nintenjoe64

#4

Nintenjoe64 said:

I'm holding out for a SNES remix or a discount. I am too poor to fund these games at the moment :(
Need to hold on to my pennies for SMB3 :)

Einherjar

#5

Einherjar said:

@sleepinglion To be honest, i made much much worse purchases for roughly 10€. I dont mind paying that :)
ANd DLC would be really fitting. A pack with more games, more challenges whatever. The games structure perfectly compliments that.

MAB

#9

MAB said:

If it was 30 cents yes, but at $13 no... Seems like something that would make a killing on smartphones though ;)

Gerbwmu

#10

Gerbwmu said:

Was waiting for the review.....was hoping for a 7 so I could skip this and not feel like I was missing something........but a 9.....now I'm trying to talk myself into the mindset of $15 isn't that much.

idork99

#11

idork99 said:

I agree with @Einherjar in that this game looks like a training tool for old school NES games. Also, there's huge potential to leverage sales of the classics (this game is advertised next to the classics in the eShop). The concept seems like a brilliant idea but not for the asking price. Hopefully they offer this game at a discounted price soon. Otherwise, I'll pass.

Einherjar

#12

Einherjar said:

@MAB I dont think that you could master some of these challenges with touchscreen controlls.

Also, i have no clue what the problem with the pricing is. Everything with decent content under 15€ is fair game to me honestly. If retail games that last for 3-4 hours at a price of roughly 70€ are on the top sales spot, why is <15€ such a big problem ? And 30cents, really ? Ill never get that "i want everything for free" mentality. I guess its part of the generation smartphone :/

Specters

#13

Specters said:

Watched a couple Lets Plays and got too excited had to buy it. Definitely a great surprise on the Direct today (which was filled with an unusual amount of surprises). Already had a couple challenges that I was just about ready to throw the Gamepad at something cause I couldn't land that 'jump' quite right or couldn't get the rainbow stars. Also got to love those stamps. Wish they would allow them to be used in general chat as a semi-useful achievement.

DarkEdi

#14

DarkEdi said:

i want:
SNES remix
N64 remix
GC remix
Wii remix
Game & Watch remix
Virtual Boy remix
GB remix
GB Color remix
GBA remix
DS remix

Emblem

#15

Emblem said:

I almost got this last night but figured I should wait for a review since I currently have enough to play. I'll likely d/l after work now.

Reynoldszahl

#16

Reynoldszahl said:

Was sceptical but downloaded it because I liked the idea.
And I have to say: YEAHHH Hooraaay!
Great idea, great realisation. And even games that are not that good as a stand alone game shine with this style of gameplay.

Prof_Clayton

#19

Prof_Clayton said:

I'll consider this if it ever goes on sale; there's just too many good games revealed that I want to get!

Dinosaurs

#22

Dinosaurs said:

Nice work with the speedy review NL! Folks need to play this one. It's a really good time with nes games I would not have downloaded on Wii U (prefer them on the 3DS screen).

The bite sized and quick rounds are now an essential approach to these old titles i really think.

RJBurgess

#23

RJBurgess said:

Suddenly it makes sense why Nintendo have been releasing such weird titles like Urban Champion on the Virtual Console lately. All of these blackbox NES games are now included in this Remix, so if you enjoy playing them here, you can immediately go out and buy the full version! (Not sure if that's going to work in the case of Urban Champion, but whatever). It's a good business strategy.

Anyway, thanks for the swift review, guys. Keep up the good work! :-)

V8_Ninja

#24

V8_Ninja said:

Nice to see that the creators of Retro Game Challenge and Electroplankton are still alive and producing good games.

Trikeboy

#25

Trikeboy said:

This was a surprise game and it is so much fun. I hope this is the first in the series of Remix titles. It really reminds me of Wario Ware using NES games.

BF-Medic

#26

BF-Medic said:

What a fun game! Can't wait to get home and play some more today :)

Addictive gameplay and a great homage to these classics, for a decent price IMHO.

RaylaxStaff

#27

Raylax said:

Didn't indies zero do Final Fantasy Theatrhythm too? Love that game, so will be sure to pick this up whenever I finally get around to buying a Wii U.

scottsensei

#28

scottsensei said:

I think the price is more than right, considering your get the best parts of these games, the unlockable stamps, AND the remixes? The starting seven games alone would cost more than $15 and not all of them would be enjoyable the entire way through.

Also have to say that the achievement system is devilish. Every other game is "just a couple more stars to the next remix" or "just a few more points to the next stamp". Easy to lose a couple hours in this game.

DStroke

#29

DStroke said:

Surely the price of €14.99 is maybe ok, but I would possibly play it for 10 minutes and play another day, cause it's just a highscore challenge for now and then, nothing more and for that price I think New Super Luigi U delivers better experience. I also didn't play the originals that much exept Super Mario Bros. , but I could be totally wrong looking at the 9/10.

AJWolfTill

#30

AJWolfTill said:

This is an awesome idea, I'll keep an open mind about it and add it to my watch list!
I can't help but feel that Gameboy remix on 3ds would be a more likely venture than SNES Remix.

jordanmarsden

#31

jordanmarsden said:

I'm not overly hyped about this game, but I may still give it a go after the vast amount of praise it has received from the gaming press.

sinalefa

#32

sinalefa said:

I got this one yesterday as soon as I came home. Any person who is into retro games or who grew with these NES games should get it, regardless of the price. A ton of content, a ton of fun.

Interesting that indies zero made it. I loved Theatrhythm. I would love to read an Iwata Asks about it.

MAB

#33

MAB said:

Nah! that $13 would be best spent on Streets of Rage and Shinobi tomorrow ;)

Monkeh

#36

Monkeh said:

It seems like a fun little game, but actually just being a compilation of NES games (and therefore basically a NES game itself) it should really only cost €5,-.. And that's actually pushing it, since Nintendo has already overpriced all their VC games. :P

rjejr

#37

rjejr said:

I'm putting this down as another baffling decision by Nintendo. Why put this on the Wii U w/ it's simplistic graphics and limited time period gameplay? Wouldn't this be perfect on the take anywhere SD screen 3DS? I'ld rather the Wii U got a game like Kirby Triple Deluxe w/ its 4 player fight mode. If I want a "taste" of these games I'll go back and play Brawl.

BakaKnight

#38

BakaKnight said:

Looked interesting since the begin, but I already planned for these holidays more gaming than the time I actually have XD
I'll pass for now, but totally keep an eye on it, could be a nice purchase in future :)

ikki5

#39

ikki5 said:

This actually makes me happy. I am glad Payday is today. i gotta spend $25 at least today for Wii Sports club for Golf and then this. Plus Castle storm coming next week I'll be excited about :D

I also wonder about what awesome stuff with come today in NA (if anything as all)

SetupDisk

#40

SetupDisk said:

@rjejr
I love my 3DS but this is much better on the big screen. It's not like it's a game you can play just in short periods as it's so engaging. Also without spoiling anything some of the remix would be impossible to play on a small screen.

TreesenHauser

#41

TreesenHauser said:

Great review! I just about agree with everything you said here. I'm having a blast unlocking levels and stamps in this game.

SetupDisk

#42

SetupDisk said:

Also I want to to see if anyone who actually got and played the game is complaining about the price. Most of the comments complaining about price still show the posters have no idea what it is.

TreesenHauser

#43

TreesenHauser said:

@SetupDisk The price was more than I expected it to be, but in the end I thought it was a fair price for this game. With all the content that's involved here I think it's a great deal actually!

archlord

#44

archlord said:

Seriously thought this game wouldn't be this good. I was way wrong. This is one game I'll definitely have no problems buying DLC if and when it's available.
Thanks for the nice surprise, Nintendo.

ikki5

#47

ikki5 said:

LOL, I just went to the IGN youtube page for the gameplay video of this and there are a lot of people raging so bad. lol

Nico07

#49

Nico07 said:

@Einherjar I agree, I had some credit and picked this up yesterday on a whim. It's a great learning tool that in many many short bursts teaches you either how to perform certain moves or lets you brag on Miiverse and prove your mad skillz. I'm surprised how much fun I'm having with this game and am glad I picked it up. I'm even brushing up on my DK skills, though I already had them in Mario. Highly recommended.

Nico07

#50

Nico07 said:

@Kirk It would and wouldn't work on mobile in my opinion. Where it would not work is in performing precision moves on a touch screen. Perhaps if Nintendo remade it with swipe moves, but then what's the point?

GamecubeMan

#51

GamecubeMan said:

This is a really cool concept and a really bold move on Nintendo's part. I will be sure to pick this one up!

Kirk

#52

Kirk said:

@Nico07

That was me being sarcastic suggesting it looks very much like the typical type game you'd find on a modern smartphone or tablet (ignoring the actual control input for a second).

Not saying it looks bad but is def looks quickly thrown together and a bit "filler" like many mobile Apps, regardless of how solid the gameplay actually is (I'm sure it's actually a lot of old school fun to be honest).

It def wouldn't work as is on an actual mobile device like a smartphone or tablet though, because it requires precise d-pad and button control most of the time, but it would work 100% perfectly on a 3DS/2DS which is what I've previously suggested it would be great on.

I'd ideally like to see this game for a slightly cheaper price and with some kind of cross-play option so that you could play it on either the Wii U or 3DS/2DS as and when you choose.

SNES4Life

#53

SNES4Life said:

Picking this up today!!! This sounds and looks like a ton of fun. Plus for you club Nintendo members looking for those extra coins should note this scores you an extra 50 coins!

jjmesa16

#55

jjmesa16 said:

I will definitely get this game eventually but I still can't get past the $15 Nintendo is asking for it. I'll be waiting for a discount.

Darknyht

#57

Darknyht said:

Picked it up last night and I have enjoyed it. Not a fan of a large number of the games in it, but love it for the remixes on Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong, Jr.

I was sad to realize however, just exactly how bad my Super Mario Bros. skills have degraded.

Marshi

#58

Marshi said:

Hmmm I feel like a grumpy old man,it looks like im the only one who didnt reckon much to this. If it was n64 or even snes remix then id be excited. But im just sick to the back teeth of mario donkey kong and excite bike etc!
Then again if these challenges are as addictive as people say I may have to swallow my pride and give them a bash.

I was just hoping for something brand new you know?

bizcuthammer

#59

bizcuthammer said:

I hope Ninty makes more of these. Maybe NES Remix 2 with stuff from Metroid, Punch-Out!!, Super Mario Bros 2, Zelda II, Kid Icarus, StarTropics, etc. Even better in my opinion would be an SNES or N64 Remix game. I'd love to do crazy challenges like this in games like Super Metroid, Link to the Past, Mario 64, and Super Smash Bros!

Zach777

#62

Zach777 said:

This. Game. Is. Incredible.

Why did it take so long for a company to figure this out?

Reynoldszahl

#63

Reynoldszahl said:

@rjejr Your tears won´t dry right? This game has Hd elements in it. So please before forming your oppinion you should get some info on the game first.

luminalace

#64

luminalace said:

Really fun game and $13 in Australia is a decent price for it which makes it more surprising that it costs $15 in the U.S. Usually a U.S price point of $15 would mean a $20 price here!

rjejr

#67

rjejr said:

@Reynoldszahl - "So please before forming your oppinion you should get some info on the game first."

I watched the video and read the review. Did Nintendo put out a demo for me to try? If not, then that's all I have to base my opinion on. Unless you think i need to spend $15 to buy the game first in order to decide if I want to buy it?

Nareva

#68

Nareva said:

I'm really enjoying this so far. The stamps, like in SM3DW, are actually a really fun collectible. Making ridiculous Miiverse posts with them is pretty entertaining.

lckulczak

#70

lckulczak said:

Also, it'd be awesome if this game promoted a combined discount for the games the NES Remix includes. Like $20 for all 16 games.

Reynoldszahl

#71

Reynoldszahl said:

@rjejr Ok you informed yourself and I couldn´t achieve stopping you from lamenting from something of a great height.
But I will pray for you ;)

MisterWhippy

#72

MisterWhippy said:

Great review.I bought it and am delighted with it :) First impressions are that it is true to the spirit of the original Wario Wares and all the better for it,

suburban_sensei

#75

suburban_sensei said:

Great review. I have $5 in my eShop wallet, so I think I will add another $10 and try this puppy out. As a gamer who grew up on the NES and SNES this looks down my alley. Just have to be patient and wait for Sunday when I get home from the in-laws.

james_squared

#76

james_squared said:

It's been fun so far. I've done the Mario Bros. challenges already as that's one of my favourite NES games. I actually didn't know I could knock out the green and red fireballs.

jayclayx

#77

jayclayx said:

if other companies like sony get free services like home (virtual avatar 3d world) plus free arcade games inside home why in the hell we should pay for this retro trainer?!!

Nareva

#78

Nareva said:

@jayclayx Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't online play cost something on PS3 and PS4? So not exactly free services then.

Edit: Upon further inspection, I see Home is free. If the price makes you unhappy, I suggest you skip it.

unrandomsam

#80

unrandomsam said:

The NES is pretty awful and it always has been. (Sprite flicker is the sign of a poor product.)

No way I will get this on Wii U ever as long as I live maybe on 3ds.

Ryno

#81

Ryno said:

@unrandomsam: lol

As a huge retro fan I have no interest in this mini game collection. I would rather spend my time playing all of the actuall great games that the NES had. But hey, it looks like some people dig it so that's cool too.

Xiao_Pai

#82

Xiao_Pai said:

Might get this soon...looks fun, just saw the Super Mario Bros. portion in that trailer....disappearing levels, wat? xD

darthllama

#84

darthllama said:

I felt $15 was too much for this which it honestly is compared to the pricing of various downloadable titles across platforms. Regardless though its quite a fun game that mixes Warioware with a whole lot of nostalgia. It is well done, though some more challenges would of been nice as they don't take too long to get through.

Gerbwmu

#85

Gerbwmu said:

So I reminded myself that $15 is less then I make in an hour and about the same as a movie....after rationalizing the cost I downloaded this and it is a great old but new game. I love these games and I'm having a blast trying to complete the mini challenges.....although my lack of current NES skills have frustrated me and now I need to play more 8 bit as practice to compete with the Miiverse crowd. It really is well worth the money if you love the early NES era. Probably too expensive if you are indifferent. I would agree with the 9 but I could easily see this as a 6 if you aren't into the old games.

DerpSandwich

#88

DerpSandwich said:

I'm not an old school gamer, and that price is completely absurd, but I'm happy for the people that will enjoy this. It's the sort of creativity Nintendo needs more of right now.

ricklongo

#89

ricklongo said:

This is a great idea, but the price point seems unnecessarily steep. If it's ever discounted, I'll likely jump right at it.

Dogpigfish

#90

Dogpigfish said:

I like it, but it needs to be more focused on the remix levels, less of the traditional stuff.

MeWario

#91

MeWario said:

It's nice to know there are still some surprises left in the video game industry. I certainly didn't see this coming! :)

DavidH

#92

DavidH said:

I thought I read somewhere this had online leaderboards, is that the case?

JustinH

#95

JustinH said:

This game is so awesome. This just makes me mad that we won't get the Retro Game Challenge sequels. These guys are so on their game.

@DavidHolliss No, you can post your scores to Miiverse and that shows up on other people's screens when they go to the stage. It's a nice system but by no means a comprehensive leaderboard.

cyberman67

#97

cyberman67 said:

What was old is new again - and in what funny ways! I love it, when companies like Nintendo respect their heritage but don't take it too serious. A SNES Version would be a nice follow-up, he, Big N?

Doma

#99

Doma said:

"What was old is new again"

Nintendo's business plan, summed up.

JaxonH

#101

JaxonH said:

Gotta love the price on this. $15 for all the best moments of 8-bit Nintendo gaming seems like such a better deal than $5 for just one NES game.

Megajack

#103

Megajack said:

I want to get this, but I'm a bit worried I will complete it too fast and not want to replay it...

Smug43

#106

Smug43 said:

people complaining about the $15 price tag should realize this is as good if not better than a full fledged wario ware'sque game.. retail would be $29-$35... BUY THE DAMN GAME ALREADY!!! It's FANTASTIC!!!!

Henmii

#107

Henmii said:

This catched my eye on the e-shop today! It basically sounds like a Warioware game, without the wackiness. Sounds like a fun hommage to the nes games! 10 Euro is a bit steep, but I may try it someday!

dadajo

#108

dadajo said:

Now if only we had snes remix... If I had a update ahead of time I would of saved up to buy this but now that Christmas shopping is over I'm basically broke for right now. Hopefully I can get a eshop card this Christmas? It looks awesome.

WaxxyOne

#109

WaxxyOne said:

I want to love this, I really do. I grabbed it immediately after the Nintendo Direct was over and enjoyed it for a couple hours. Then I started unlocking the crappy games. Golf, Pinball, Clu-Clu Land, Ice Climbers, etc. Playing those games is more like a chore than an enjoyable experience, and it really mars the whole experience for me. I would have loved to see more of the fan favorites from the NES era, such as Metroid, Punch-Out or Dr. Mario. The games included are all from fairly early in the system's life, and maybe that was intentional, but it means they had to reach pretty deeply into the grab bag of crap for some of the titles on display.

I hope this will be enough of a success for Nintendo that they will consider expanding it or put out a sequel with some of the better titles (or maybe the SNES version that everyone seems to want) because this idea has a lot of promise. It's just the execution that is somewhat flawed.

WaxxyOne

#110

WaxxyOne said:

@Henmii Oh don't worry, the wackiness is intact. It might not feature half-naked dudes showing off their chest hair and you don't have to pick anyone's nose, but some of the remixes are really bizarre, like the Mario Bros. level where the whole screen zooms way out, or an Excitebike track where everything is green and the screen periodically "pings" as if someone is scanning using SONAR. The qualify of this is really mixed for me. On the one hand I love the silhouette levels which remind me of Donkey Kong Country Returns and add a little challenge without taking you completely out of the zone. I also love the few cross-over challenges I've unlocked so far, but a lot of the "remixes" are just the normal game with funky graphic and sound overlays and don't really do much more than annoy you while you play.

IceClimbers

#111

IceClimbers said:

I'd love to see DLC for this. Games like Kid Icarus, Metroid, Mega Man, or maybe even Summer Carnival '92 RECCA, Ninja Gaiden, Contra, and Castlevania.

gage_wolf

#113

gage_wolf said:

Picked this up last night. I ran through a bunch of challenges with friends taking turns. One of them was not a gamer at all. Watching her learn the basic mechanics of Super Mario Bros. in these bite sized challenges was pretty fascinating. As a gamer of 20+ years I think it's easy to lose perspective on just how brilliant and challenging these old simple games were at the time of release, and amazingly still are today. As a party game NES Remix is a blast, but it really shines as an introduction to learning how video games work. As far as price goes... My friends and I had a couple hours of really engaging interactive fun and probably didn't get through half the challenges, meaning there will be more fun to be had again soon. Considering the price of a movie ticket is about $13 bucks, I'd say it's worth the money.

wombatkidd

#116

wombatkidd said:

To people complaining bout the price (which from the looks of it are the same people who complain about the price point of every single release no matter what price it actually is): it's time yet gain to explain the concept of the "free market".

You see, Nintendo has every right to charge whatever they want to for any game they release. If you think it costs too much, don't buy it. If enough people don't buy it, the price will drop. If people do buy it the price won't drop and you just miss out. Whining about it not costing a dollar on the internet is jus t childish.

Boman

#118

Boman said:

YES! finally a release I really want.
I like playing in short bursts, and absolutely love warioware, retro game challenge and retro games in general.
My only complaint is that I would have prefered this to be on the 3DS.

Luigi21

#122

Luigi21 said:

@Nintenjoe64 Same here. It looks great, but we're on a budget since my wife isn't bringing home any dough. She needs to make that cash so I can finance my gamer tendencies!

Kreegs07

#123

Kreegs07 said:

Anyone else have a really noticeable delay between the buttons and the response on the tv?

piojito_O

#126

piojito_O said:

I passed on G&W FOR THIS?!

Okay..It had its charms but "9/10 *" is reeeaally pushing it.
I trusted you fools! D;

Most definitely Not worth the price tag.

UPDATE:

After going back to it and focusing on trying to beat other people's (miiverse) scores, I actually kinda got into it.

Third time around I was bored again. ._.

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