NES Remix Review

Nostalgia sampler platter.

NES Remix is the video game equivalent of a family vacation photo album. If you went on the trip, the snapshots in the album might bring memories of happy times flooding back. But if those photos don't represent a cherished part of your past, they probably won't have any effect on you. NES Remix serves up a bunch of bite-size moments from Nintendo Entertainment System games, and if you played and loved those games when you were younger, those positive associations can make playing these nuggets a warm, fuzzy experience. But if you don't bring that nostalgic context to NES Remix yourself, playing the game will feel like looking at a stranger's cherished family photos.

The Legend of Zelda is an enduring classic, one of the greatest and most important games of all time. In NES Remix, you relive many iconic moments from it. Your first task is simply to walk into the cave on the screen where the game begins and collect the sword from the old man who tells you that it's dangerous to go alone. Grab the sword and the objective is done; you're then whisked off to a screen infested with octoroks that you must slay. Then you restore your health at a rejuvenating pool, buy an item from a merchant, and enter a dungeon. If your memory can fill in the gaps in the experience, it can stir up some feelings of what it was like to embark on the game's heroic quest for the first time. But on their own, these objectives aren't interesting, and the disjointed way in which they're cut out of the full game and presented without context means that anyone who hasn't already played The Legend of Zelda won't come away with any understanding of what makes this game so extraordinary.

Even though he was originally known as Jumpman when Donkey Kong was released, Mario wasn't nearly as good at jumping then as he is now.

The same can be said of NES Remix's handling of Super Mario Bros. For lifelong fans like me, stomping a goomba on World 1-1 is enough to fill my heart with nostalgic warmth. But it's only because I have memories of many happy childhood hours spent running and leaping through the game's eight worlds that such moments have this effect on me. Because I didn't play Clu Clu Land as a kid, I didn't feel drawn to the snippets of it that are included in NES Remix. And in the case of Ice Climbers, a game I enjoyed as a child, playing it here was frustrating; as an indiscriminating youngster, it never occurred to me how much of that game's difficulty results from your character's strange, irritating jumping arc.

Turns out Pinball on the NES wasn't a great game.

In addition to gameplay challenges that are lifted right out of classic and not-so-classic NES games, there are "remix" stages that change things up in some way. A few are endless runner-style stages that have Mario running automatically through stages from Super Mario Bros, and your only focus is making sure he leaps over hazards and avoids enemies. Some are stages from Donkey Kong, but they replace Mario with Link, who cannot jump, which makes avoiding barrels and rescuing Pauline much more difficult. But most of the remix stages aren't all that clever. One has you playing Mario Bros. upside down. Others shroud stages from Donkey Kong or Donkey Kong Jr. in darkness, an interesting visual twist that doesn't actually make playing through those levels much more difficult.

At $15, NES Remix is a pricey piece of packaged nostalgia. For me, playing through these mini-challenges and unlocking new stages and new games was an enjoyable whirlwind tour of some of my fondest gaming memories. But then again, I've been on this vacation before.

The Good
Can conjure a warm feeling of nostalgia
The Bad
Not a good game on its own terms
6
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Carolyn has an enduring love for the Nintendo Entertainment System, but even she knows that certain Nintendo-made games for it, like Urban Champion, were pretty terrible.

Discussion

32 comments
couly
couly

It probably would have gotten a better score if Pinball included a lesbian love story.

uglypinkmoose
uglypinkmoose

hmm.... I wouldn't mind owning it if it came out on disk


Somehow it's hard for me to just skip something like this though 

MariJoe007
MariJoe007

It was a 6 rating, but you have to add some nostalgia points, maybe 2 or 3?  My eyes would light up if I played this with all it's NES epicness.

hellcat29er
hellcat29er

I disagree...it's not just simple nostalgia, it's gaming history.  When I was around 13, my step dad bought a ton of atari games and let me play his atari.  I had never played an atari, we didn't have one growing up since my mom and dad didn't make a lot of money and weren't into games.  So, I grew up in the Nintendo era, and I did have that when it came out along with Mario Bros, Duck Hunt, Zelda and WWF Wrestling, my first games.  So when I was 13 and got to play the atari, I was excited and I played it for hours.  The only other time I had played an atari was at my cousins house in NY when visiting on vacation.  I think parents who grew up playing these games may actually buy this for their children to get to know the Nintendo games they played growing up, much like my step dad did with me with his atari.  And yes, we can download emulators for free and use any controller we want.  I'm sure some nostalgia types will also buy this as well.  I think $15.00 is reasonable for the package though.  The only real issue I have with this, is that it's not complete games, just tweaked stages.  

hystavito
hystavito

I am not too keen on this, but I will probably end up buying it just for something else to play on my WiiU.

billlabowski
billlabowski

I can load up emulators for free using any kind of controller I want on PC. Why the hell would someone buy this?

Jock_Nerd
Jock_Nerd

I hope NES Remix is the beginning of many remixes from Nintendo (SNES, N64, etc.). For it's price and value, I give NES Remix an 8.25/10. Fun stuff. 

thom_maytees
thom_maytees

I feel that the game should receive a higher score and is more than just simple nostalgia.

jrobitaille23
jrobitaille23

what a shit review. This dude keeps saying unless you played the originals you probably won't like it as it doesn't do well as a standalone game. Guy, you do realize that anyone buying this game will be someone who is seeking nostalgia right? I mean, is that not painfully obvious? And then to say $15 is expensive. Yeah, not so much unless you live under a rock. It's actually a quarter of the price for other 1st party games.

 I swear some reviewers give outlying scores for the sake of being different. And on sites like this that hates Nintendo they can do it without worrying about pissing off fans. But still, at least try to be objective

Fartman7998
Fartman7998

This game was a good idea, but even I in all my skeptical disagreement-ism, I have to say I'm disappointed by Nintendo's attempt as well. 

daveg1
daveg1

what a crock of crap..

theJBlounge
theJBlounge

Yeaaa my Wii U is going to continue to collect dust lol

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

For $15 there is no excuse for the full versions of these games to not be included.

desert_thief
desert_thief

I have bought this and I have liked it very much. The levels at the beginning is a bit easy, but once you get further in progress, it will be challenging. Even Nintendo is doing a Miiverse contest for this game, which add a lot of replay value.

Ultra_Taco
Ultra_Taco

Good review. I usually disagree with Carolyn on reviews, but not this time. After watching the trailer, it looked really disappointing, especially considering the price.

jon_bone
jon_bone

Something tells me this is better than a 6.

Marz10
Marz10

Looks okay, but I'd prefer the whole games be rebuilt with fancy updates, like Mario All Stars.

Nev3rtime
Nev3rtime

@billlabowski This is very different to simply playing the originals. It's mini challenges based around the games and 'remixed' experiences. If I was to criticise it it would be because the remixes aren't as varied or as imaginative as they should be.

Plus not everyone is ok with intellectual property thief. 

StHapns247
StHapns247

@jrobitaille23  1) This reviewer is named Carolyn and is a woman and 2) Anyone may be looking for this game and to assume that everyone who is considering buying it is doing so out of nostalgia would make her alienate an entire portion of gamers, thus being terrible at her job. These reviews are for everyone, not just a niche of the gaming population.

Just because you can't read and think you know what everyone is thinking doesn't make you right, in fact it makes you ignorant and doesn't contribute anything meaningful to any discussion.

Blastman6
Blastman6

@jrobitaille23 These are the same people who panned DuckTales: Remastered and Sonic Lost World. What did you expect!?

drekula2
drekula2

@jrobitaille23 


And those $60 games are new games which usually offer over 10 to 20 hours of new content.  Does this game even offer a fourth of that?

SecularSage
SecularSage

@OHGFawx What, you don't think they're worth $5 apiece? Nintendo sure does.


/In this day and age of Steam sales, Humble Bundles and Playstation Plus, only Nintendo can hang on to nearly 30-year-old software and insist it's still worth more than 99 cents per download.

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

@jon_bone Something tells me it's nothing terrible, but nothing special either.

vault-boy
vault-boy

@jon_bone Unless its you playing it your opinion is bad and you should feel bad.

Stormtamer
Stormtamer

@Marz10 Imagine Mario All Stars re-released with NSMB graphics. Squee!

hussam403
hussam403

As much as I hate Caro and his reviews, your right.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@jrobitaille23 

Well, you can rant all you like, but the review isn't changing because you complained, and there will still be people who think that milking nostalgia is bad.

NES Remix More Info

  • First Released
    • Wii U
    Select parts from 16 classic NES games have been remixed with new challenges.
    7
    Average User RatingOut of 7 User Ratings
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    Developed by:
    Indies Zero
    Published by:
    Nintendo
    Genres:
    Miscellaneous
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Everyone
    All Platforms
    Mild Fantasy Violence