'NES Remix 2' Brings Your 8-Bit Memories To Life In A Whole New Way

April 25, 2014

Nostalgia can be a tricky thing, especially when it comes to old video games. It can conjure up fond memories of truly bad games, just because those were the only ones you had to play at the time, and therefore they're near and dear to your heart. Nintendo is one company that has never been afraid to take advantage of the long-term dedication of their fans, and their most recent attempt to feed these nostalgia junkies was the release of NES Remix, a compilation title that boiled down classic Nintendo Entertainment System games to short mini-challenges, some of which where hybridized games, like Link starring in Donkey Kong. Well, the Big N has struck again with a follow up, the aptly named NES Remix 2, only a few short months after the original's release. The sequel brings more games, an assortment of fresh challenges, and a couple of new modes to help scratch Wii U owners' 8-bit itch.

Developer: Nintendo EAD Tokyo/insidezero
Publisher: Nintendo

NES Remix 2 is a collection of mini-games that use classic games that were originally released on the Nintendo Entertainment System as the basis for their challenges. Who better than Nintendo to head up that project that focuses on the games that made them a household name? The first NES Remix actually started as a side project for Nintendo's Koichi Hayashida, one of the talented members of the team that worked on Super Mario 3D Land. Hayashida set out on his own, and worked through creating the first 100 NES Remix games without anyone's assistance. Fortunately, the project garnered internal support at Nintendo, and eventually made it into the hands of nostalgic gamers.

The original NES Remix was met with praise from both critics and consumers, as it offered a new take on games that are deeply embedded into gaming culture. Instead of a straight collection of classic titles (which is essentially what Nintendo's Virtual Console offers), Remix cut up the games into short challenges, some of which only take a couple of seconds to complete. It had a very WarioWare feel to it, but instead of just one section of the game being inspired by classic games, everything in NES Remix was a classic game. Well, almost everything. As you progressed through the game, Remix levels would unlock and put a completely different spin on the games that were featured. For example, characters from one game would be thrust into another, or wildly unexpected things would happen in classic levels - the possibilities were endless, and it gave players something completely new to experience.

NES Remix 2 builds on that same foundation of gameplay by offering a new set of games to drive the challenges. This comes as a welcome update, as the one thing that really held NES Remix back was its limited library of games. Sure, it had some of the greats, with titles like The Legend of Zelda and Excitebike leading the pack. But, it also featured a handful of first wave NES games, some of which fall on the more obscure side of retro gaming, like Pinball, Urban Champion and Wrecking Crew. NES Remix 2 brings big names like Metroid, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Kirby's Adventure into the fold, giving players more of what they loved in the first game. As some added value, Remix 2 also comes with Super Luigi Bros., a re-imagining of Super Mario Bros., where you play as Luigi, and all the levels are reversed (right to left instead of left to right). Also, if you own both Remix games, another mode, Championship, is unlocked, and you can test your skills in three games against a ticking clock, à la the NES World Championships.

Like its predecessor, NES Remix 2 is only available on Nintendo's latest console, the Wii U. As a digital exclusive, you'll need to venture to the eShop to download the game for $14.99. It's home is actually quite fitting, since all of Nintendo's console since the NES have been built on a foundation established by games that are included in both of the NES Remix games.

Anyone who spent their childhood toiling away through the eight worlds of Super Mario Bros. 3, exploring the deepest caves on planet Zebes in Metroid, or figuring out Bald Bull's charge patterns in Punch-Out!! can appreciate just how great NES Remix 2 truly is. While it is essentially just more of the same from the original NES Remix release, that's okay, because this new batch of games keeps the twisted, retro challenges feeling fresh. The addition of the two extra modes, Super Luigi Bros. and Championship, brings a couple of additional, worthwhile incentives to pick up this title. Needless to say, fans of any of the games included that always thought, "wouldn't it be cool if…" should pick up NES Remix 2 and live out some of their strangest childhood fantasies while putting their NES skills to the test.