Wii U games NES Remix and NES Remix 2 are getting a combined physical release as the NES Remix Pack, Nintendo has announced.
NES Remix - Nintendo's recent madcap rearranging of its classic games in an exciting new package - was quite the nostalgia-tinged offering on Wii U, but it led many Nintendo fans to wonder why such a seemingly simple affair wasn't also on the 3DS. According to series director Koichi Hayashida, it's because the handheld simply wasn't powerful enough.
Nintendo has announced a quick-fire follow-up to last year's NES Remix, with a sequel coming to the Wii U eShop on April 25th.
NES Remix 2 culls its mini-games from later NES games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Kirby's Adventure and Metroid. It also features a full original game, Super Luigi Bros., in which the famous sibling tackles levels from the original Super Mario Bros. running from right to left, armed with his longer jump.
Simon Parkin enjoyed the original NES Remix when he reviewed it for us way back in January, though he did have some reservations. "There is an inevitable sense of repetition, perhaps because the original games themselves were, behind the artwork, less distinct than they first appeared," he wrote as he worked his way to a 7/10. "As with many reconstituted products, NES Remix is immediately delicious, but inspires an obsession that it can't sustain for long."
More than any other video game publisher, Nintendo understands the power and value of its own heritage. Amongst its rivals, rumours of careless curation abound: Sega has reportedly lost the source code to its much-lauded Sega Saturn RPG Panzer Dragoon Saga, while OutRun Online Arcade has slipped from Xbox Live's servers, never to return.
Nintendo's vaults, by contrast, are carefully maintained and, it has to be said, regularly plundered. As such, the audience for repackaged, digitally enhanced versions of its early titles diminishes by the year. Most people looking to relive the formative video games of their childhood will have done so by now, perhaps many times over. Meanwhile, new recruits to the cause probably see few reasons to return to rudimentary games on whose foundations so many of Nintendo's current titles riff and build. Once you've touched the farthest reaches of the Super Mario Galaxy, backed by an orchestra, is there really any reason to return to the greys and pips of Super Mario Land?
NES Remix is a canny use of Nintendo's earliest assets, then. Despite appearances, it's not a game that particularly trades on nostalgia. Most of the potential audience won't have played the original NES games that it draws upon for its vignettes and trials, all of which appeared prior to 1990. Even if they had, none of these games are playable in their entirety. The most you get is a single Super Mario Bros. stage here or an Excitebike race there - and even these are usually mirrored, subverted or altered in some irreverent way. Everything has been pulled apart, poked and prodded into new shapes. There's something of the brevity and impudence of WarioWare here - one stage even has you race against the clock to simply pick up Link's master sword in The Legend of Zelda, a challenge that appeared in this exact form in the first WarioWare - although the structure and delivery is a little more pedestrian.