By Eric Chetkauskas / September 9th, 2014
|Title||NES Remix 2
|Release Date||April 25, 2014|
|Age Rating||E for Everyone|
A while back, I reviewed NES Remix for the Wii U. To follow up, I’m here now to review its sequel, NES Remix 2. My initial assessment of the first game was that the level of difficulty and enjoyment depended on your experience with the specific games within. Does the second game follow the same formula? How does the player’s experience differ? And what changes have been made to keep things interesting? These are all questions you ask yourself when playing a sequel, and these are the questions I’m trying to answer.
For each classic game found within NES Remix 2, there is a bunch of stages with challenges you have to complete, and you earn stars based on the speed at which you complete them, and new stages can be unlocked after earning enough stars. Challenges range from collecting coins, to completing an area. Aside from the stages based on a specific game, there also Remix stages that give you tasks to complete under unusual conditions. These can be a simple as altering the graphics to reduce visibility or something more complicated (and honestly, more interesting) like mixing up the characters and their games, such as having Toad from Super Mario Bros. 2 trying to kill Octoroks in Zelda II.
The stages I found difficult in the first NES Remix were the ones based on obscure NES games I had never played or even seen before. In NES Remix 2, the obscure games are gone – save for Wario’s Woods, which was easy enough to learn with some practice. Most of the games featured this time around are true classics. However, some of them have a reputation for being insanely hard. After struggling through so many stages for my first review, I cringed at the list of games featured in NES Remix 2. Games like Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels and Kid Icarus are notorious for their difficulty. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the stages were presented in a different way. Sure, you still have to collect enough trinkets or kill a certain number of enemies before time expires, but the game seemed to take pity on you and not always put you in the most difficult spots to work with. Oh, there are still a few stages that drive you crazy with frustration, but, thankfully, they are much fewer and farther between this time around. Plus, a few stages removed the lives counter, and, instead, went for a timer that continually counted down, thus giving you essentially an unlimited number of tries to complete the challenge. Ultimately, I found myself replaying the levels over and over not just to get a better time, but because they were fun.
There is a good mix of games featured in NES Remix 2. With platformers like Kirby’s Adventure, and three different Super Mario Bros. games (SMB2, SMB3 and The Lost Levels), action-based games like Metroid and Zelda II, the puzzle games Dr. Mario and Wario’s Woods, and Punch-Out!! representing the sports genre, fans of classic games can easily find something to enjoy. While you may not have played all of them, you would certainly be familiar with their gameplay.
But that’s not all that the game has to offer. Included with NES Remix 2, is Super Luigi Bros., a reversed-world version of Super Mario Bros where you play a mirrored version of the levels from right-to-left as Luigi. That’s tricky enough as it is, but this Luigi isn’t just a palette-swap — this is the Luigi from The Lost Levels. He jumps higher and farther than Mario, which can really screw up the timing you’ve learned through decades of playing the original. While this new twist can add a challenge that some players will enjoy, personally I found the need to re-learn how to play SMB to be a tedious task not really worth my time. I can make it to world 8-2 (with warps) so I consider that to be an accomplishment.
If you own both NES Remix and NES Remix 2, you unlock a special bonus mode known as Championship Mode. In Championship Mode, you are tasked with completing three timed challenges. After your score is tallied, you can post it to MiiVerse and see your ranking among other players. These challenges never change, so, if you care enough about online leaderboards, you can practice and try for a top score, or you can just get bored of it quickly and move on, like I did.
Aside from the different games, new mode and slight change to the difficulty, everything else in NES Remix 2 is just like its predecessor. The visual layout, the basic background music and the ability to post to MiiVerse and view posts for each stage are all still the same. The basic gameplay is easy enough to learn on its own, but this makes it simple for those who have played the first to pick up the second with no problems.
The way NES Remix 2 is set up makes it perfect for both casual play and serious gaming. You can spend just a few minutes working through a couple screens, or you can sit down and play for hours. Off-TV play via the GamePad was crucial to my experience as it allowed me to play while situated in a position where I didn’t feel like turning on my TV. It took me about two to three weeks of casual playing to clear most of the stages. If you haven’t played either NES Remix title and you’re looking to see which one you should start with, you really can’t go wrong with either. Each is easily worth its $14.99 price tag, and, if you have the money, both are a good investment, as well. Overall, NES Remix 2 was just as enjoyable as its predecessor, and brought more classic NES nostalgia to the Wii U. I would really love to see this series continue, either using more diverse NES games, incorporating third-party games or moving the series to focus on other consoles. I’m sure I’m not the only one curious to see what they could do with an SNES Remix.
Review Copy provided by reviewer
NES Remix 2NintendoReviewWii U