This game got released only yesterday and since I had nothing else to do today, I could spend a lot of time with Nintendo's latest experiment. In a way, NES Remix is a bit like WarioWare, but instead of playing microgames, you are challenged to complete short sections of early NES games. Defeat a number of enemies, reach the goal within the time limit, prevail under special conditions and so on and so forth. The tasks usually range between 10-60 seconds. Your performance is graded based on completion time, with one to three stars being awarded which in turn unlock more challenges; an excellent effort gives you rainbow stars for bragging rights. Additionally, playing anything (even failing) fills up your Bits meter which allows you to unlock a total of 100 stamps that you can attach to your Miiverse posts.
NES Remix costs €10 in Europe while Nintendo of America continues with its antics to mimic third party publishers, so they charge 50% more for the same thing. Since most people around here don't know much about anything that happened before PlayStation, I'll give a rundown of the included games, with the amount of challenges in brackets. What all games have in common is that controls and physics feel outdated, but everything is playable after a short time of adjusting to the limitations.
1. Donkey Kong (7): True to the NES version, only three levels instead of the arcade original's four come to use.
2. Donkey Kong Jr. (7): Mario is an evil jackass, so he needs to die.
3. Mario Bros. (10): Mario's debut as a plumber.
4. Pinball (6): One table that is only two screens big, laughable ball physics and a weird Arkanoid variant.
5. Golf (7): Classic three-click-golf that doesn't tell you where you can expect the ball to land.
6. Clu Clu Land (8): I had not played this game before. Controls annoyed me at first, but it's actually decent.
7. Excitebike (10): A sidescrolling racer. Unfortunately, only one of its five tracks is used for NES Remix.
8. Balloon Fight (13): Battle stages, endless flight, bonus stage. It's all there.
9. Ice Climber (10): Let me reiterate that anyone who asks for a return of this IP is a complete moron.
10. Wrecking Crew (11): A puzzle game that gets old fast.
11. Super Mario Bros. (23): Much more sophisticated than the above games, hence more challenges.
12. The Legend of Zelda (17): Relive the defining moments of the golden cartridge.
There are also two Remix categories (25 challenges each) that use different graphics and effects, and at times combine several games for a single challenge. Lastly, there's a Bonus category (25) which tosses in another four NES titles for brief appearances: Urban Champion, Tennis, Baseball and Donkey Kong 3. So that's a total of over 200 challenges in 16 games and it will take some time to complete them all with rainbow stars. Around 15 hours. There's no bonus material which is a missed opportunity, because a little bit of background information to every game wouldn't have hurt.
Graphics and Sound: Old School.
Final Score: 7.0/10
NES Remix is a great idea and has potential for sequels, especially if Nintendo can get third parties on board too. Mixing in titles like Mega Man, Contra and Castlevania for a latter half NES collection sounds enticing. As for this game, once everything is done, there is no reason to go back, unless you really care to improve your records. Hardly any of the included games hold much value nowadays and the ones that do (SMB and TLoZ) are so butchered that you will want to play their actual versions. This was probably Nintendo's idea with NES Remix, because there's a link to the eShop within the game.