Published on January 21st, 2015 | by Don Parsons1
Ultimate NES Remix Review
Summary: The return of some timeless classics at slightly too high a price
Some of my fondest gaming memories are from the 8-bit era. I still remember waking up on Saturday, watching morning cartoons, and then after a brief break of playing outside, sitting down to run through Super Mario Bros. as efficiently as I could. NES games, as simple as they are, have always been about replayability. Good, classic games are built on a foundation of having the consumer play the game over and over to finally complete them. A 30 minute game to complete once, might take hours upon hours to finally complete that first time.
Nintendo has taken this foundation and shaken it up a little. Ultimate NES Remix takes snippets of classic games us older gamers remember and love, and gives players a specific goal, sometimes with a twist.
The bulk of the game is the remix stages. Remix I and II are the modes with twisted rules. Finishing a lap in Excitebike in the dark with a headlight view, playing a stage of SMB3 where you have to ignore a clone in front of you and behind you was confusing, and playing a stage of SMB1 where Mario just doesn’t stop running are all fun variants of memorably stages. Doing better gets you more stars, three being the max, which unlock more stages and games. Every five stars unlocks a new Remix stage, which I found to be my favorite pieces of Ultimate NES Remix.
The individual games are just fun clips, each game having a variety of tidbits to play through. Some games, like Donkey Kong, I loved more than others but only had 7 stages to master. Which I did. Like Championship Mode, there are rankings to view so you can compete with friends if you have any playing.
Two extra modes are also included, Speed Mario Bro. and Championship Mode. I didn’t care for the former, which is essentially Super Mario Bros. on crack. Because I feel the controls on the 3DS don’t emulate that of the NES very well (even for Virtual console games), holding B and jumping with A always feels awkward to me and there is no way to change it. Also, the D-pad nor the analog stick feel good on older games. So speeding a game up I am familiar with and hampered by controls I don’t like equals a disappointing experience.
Championship Mode is slightly more fun, and I spent several times trying to best my score and move up on the leaderboards. Leg one is collecting 50 coins in Super Mario Bros., leg 2 is collecting 25 coins in Super Mario Bros. 3, and leg 3 is scoring as many points in Dr. Mario with your remaining time. Of course there are rankings, but sadly none of my friends had played so I could only see how I stacked up against the world players. Competing with friends would make this mode a little more enjoyable, it just wasn’t something I personally got to experience.
There’s a lot of content to be played in Ultimate NES Remix, and the gameplay is suitable for a handheld being as I could play a few games as a break between Pokemon or Animal Crossing sessions. The price tag of $30 feels a hair steep, but still acceptable for what you get. If it drops to $20, it becomes a great deal that I would recommend every 3DS owner buy.