More classics are back to slake your retro gaming thirst!
I was very excited by the initial announcement of NES Remix, and doubly so by the announcement of NES Remix 2. The first game broke exciting new ground with Nintendo, who usually maintains a level of reserve with their classic franchises that often feels too safe. With the second entry in the series, the lineup of games doesn’t include painfully early NES games. Instead, some of the best first party games on the NES are available here, including Kirby’s Adventure, Punch-Out!!, and Super Mario Bros. 3.
The exact same formula as the first is on display here, giving players a handful of levels in a scrolling menu. Games take a while to unlock, which is a bit frustrating if you’re excited about one title in particular. Navigating menus and different challenges had some minor hiccups, with the music cutting out while the game loaded from one screen to another. The skipping music is the only way this minor annoyance is even noticeable, but in a game where a huge amount of your time is spent in menus, it breaks the flow.
But even with the menu navigation, the challenges are what are on grand display. As with the first game, the challenges are about as fun as the respective game they’ve borrowed their content from. This means the Super Mario Bros. 3 and Dr.Mario challenges are a delight, while Kid Icarus still suffers a bit. One interesting divergence from this is Zelda II, a game which is very difficult in its own right, but in the form of short challenges, the gameplay outshines any issues the original version of the game had.
The game also features longer form challenges, and some which have no time limits at all. This keeps things from feeling too fast, and lets players slow down and enjoy the experiences. On several of the Punch-Out!! challenges, players are tasked with going through an entire round, and some of the Dr.Mario levels entail simply playing an entire level of Dr.Mario with a specific goal in mind. This might simply be a byproduct of having better games in the roster, but regardless, it rounds out the shorter challenges with some sizable chunks of gameplay.
The remix stages, this time around, are less of a highlight when compared to the individual titles, mostly due to the quality of the latter. Most of the remix stages are still interesting, with the Dr.Mario and Kirby remixes being some of the highlights. Many of the remix stages are Mario heavy, probably due to the three different Mario games on offer. Fortunately the three (Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels) are so drastically different from one another that even mixing the various Mario games can lead to very interesting levels.
The new Championship Mode, available to players who own both NES Remix games, adds another fun way to play. Racing through three challenges in a row from three different games removes the downtime usually spent between levels puttering through the menus and adds an interesting endurance twist to the game. Can you handle five solid, breakneck minutes of gameplay with only vague goals? Who knows, but, if you’re like me, you’ll have a heck of a fun time finding out.
While there are a few less than stellar games among the mix of new titles, it’s hard not to recommend NES Remix 2. The few menu hiccups and mediocre games aside, it breathes new life into some of the most iconic NES titles of all time. Both hardened old-school gamers and neophyte youngsters should have a great time on the couch passing the controller around with this one.