After a successful first NES Remix, Nintendo is back for another round of nostalgia in NES Remix 2 with its quirky WarioWare style mini-games – it’s all in the thumbs and not to be missed.
NES Remix 2 offers a smaller variety of games compared to the first, but its 12 titles are firm favourites for retro junkies and are great fun for both adult newcomers and children. For those unfamiliar with the remix set up, players will find a compilation of mini-games from various NES titles, such as Super Mario Bros. 2, Dr. Mario and Kirby’s Adventure, and will then have to complete the required task – no matter how far-fetched – in the quickest time possible. Up to three stars are rewarded in mini-games which unlock new games, as well as star bits for Miiverse stamps. Plus, if you’ve got the skills, rainbow stars can also be obtained for those with lightning fast thumbs.
Similar to the first, NES Remix 2 is diverse in its levels and a true pleasure to play. And while the first was grounded in a mixture of skill and luck, the second remix focuses purely on skill. Some levels require memorisation and numerous attempts, where a short jump onto a platform is quickly followed by a long jump onto another, in order to skim past the Goombas, Cheep Cheeps or Paratroopas, while other levels call for players to force-feed Kirby 20 eggs until King Dedede decides bombs will provide a cleaner pink puffball kill.
Less bizarre and straight-forward mini-games also make an appearance, but are no less frantic and amusing. Mini-games in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link focus on boss battles the most, where defeating Volvagia, Horsehead and Iron Knuckle is the key to winning back the Triforce. The greatest moments in NES Remix 2 tend to lie here, especially when you’ve just beaten Horsehead in 3.5 seconds and rainbow stars dance in front of your eyes. But then a Miiverse post appears from another user. And they’ve beaten Horsehead in just over two seconds.
Pride shattered, head hung low, you pick up your preferred controller and nerd rage until you either beat the Miiverse user or give up. And just to rub salt into the wound, videos now appear alongside Miiverse posts, adding to both the poster’s bragging rights and your rising envy. However, videos are a great addition for those who want to grab a few tips to improve their score, while encouraging community growth.
Though NES Remix 2 is a joyous sequel, there are a few flaws to note. A struggle to play, Wario’s Woods is certainly the weakest of the pack. While Metroid, Kirby’s Adventures and Punch-Out!! have relatively easy introductions, Wario’s Woods is a little hard to swallow and becomes convoluted rather quickly.
Due to the frantic nature of the game, it’s easy to forget which button does what, as well as where you can climb, stack and slide bombs over to monsters. But even after learning the controls, the mini-games lack real zest and are instead covered in a heavy blanket of dark brooding clouds. Elsewhere in the sequel, occasional drops in frame rate can occur and some mini-games, particularly coin collecting with Mario, can become a little monotonous.
A fantastic addition to the second remix title is Super Luigi Bros, which can be played backwards. Walking from right to left, you can team up with a friend in local co-op or strike out in solo, defeating those worlds one by one. And as an homage to the Year of Luigi, much like in Super Mario 3D World, tiny Luigis pop up randomly within mini-games, a perfect touch from Nintendo.
With the wonderful music, NES Remix 2 is a gem for Nintendo fans of all ages. Its design is simple yet invigorating and the perfect avenue to dip into and rediscover those childhood memories.