NES Remix 2 Review | Refined Nostalgia

NES Remix 2 is back with even more nostalgia and game combining challenges. Can it live up to the memories?

The concept of NES Remix is simple: play through a random selection of challenges based on classic NES games. The games all play like you remember but this time there are little objectives to complete in each stage. The first NES Remix laid all the ground work but NES Remix 2 has refined the formula down to almost a science.

And while there are way fewer terrible games in 2, there is still Wario’s Woods.
And while there are way fewer terrible games in 2, there is still Wario’s Woods. (Not pictured: the terribly annoying Wario’s Woods)

The collection of games is much better this time but what makes it even better are the stages themselves. Before there would be at least three stages that acted as tutorials and it was a chore just to get to play the actual stages that mixed things up. Now everything is much better thought out. There are fewer stages per game overall but the ones that are there are much more fun and imaginative than before and the entire game is better paced because of these changes.

Even better is that the stages this time take you through the entire game and usually end with the final boss encounter. In this way it is like a little video game museum. Don’t want to spend hours upon hours struggling through Zelda 2? Just play through these 10 stages and you’ll get the gist. Or find out that maybe you’d like to play the full game.

Each stage offers the player a challenge related to the selected game. Most involve doing something specific such as clearing an iconic area or fighting a boss. They are pretty quick, ranging from 20 seconds to at the most a few minutes.

Performance in the stages is rated out of three stars and earning more stars unlocks different games to play and more remix stages.

NES Remix 2 (2)

The remix stages are the true highlight here. Placing Samus in Super Mario Bros. or Toad in Zelda 2 makes for some interesting stages. These are a lot of fun but I can’t help but feel like there could have been more of them. For every great idea for a stage there are five remix stages that are just pretty good.

Combining the games for the remix challenges is much more common here and some are delightful (world 1-1 of Mario done in Mario 3? Yes please!). Still, a more comprehensive combination of some of the games would have been nice. Granted that goes against what NES Remix is: a collection of quick nostalgic challenges rather than a more traditional game.

NES Remix 2 would work every well as a clever advertisement for these games if it only let you play a little bit more of them. It would have been smart to include the first level or so of each game to better entice people to purchase the full games on virtual console.

NES Remix 2_06

This time there is a bonus in the form of Super Luigi Bros. that is the entirety of the original Super Mario Bros. only it is horizontally flipped. Luigi is such a rebel.

There are a good amount of games to play through here but don’t expect too much. It’s not like NES Remix 2 is overflowing with content but if you want to get rainbow three star ratings on all the stages then you will be playing for quite some time. Just unlocking and playing most of the stages will take around 7 hours, depending on your previous experience with these titles.

If you played the first NES Remix and were unimpressed, this one probably won’t change your mind. However, if you thought it was a great idea that lacked proper execution, you’ll be pleased to see that enough has changed for the better.

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