Ultimate NES Remix is a series of minigame challenges pulled from classic NES titles for the 3DS. You are tasked with playing through small sections taken from classic NES games one at a time or with multiple different ones in rapid succession. The games play just like their NES source games, but are timed and put into specific sections and circumstances. Maybe you’re trying to stomp on so many goombas in Super Mario Bros or kill so many octorocks in The Legend of Zelda. There are a variety of challenges for each game, and a variety of games to play from. Completing a challenge will net you 1-3 stars, depending on your performance. You may even get a rainbow star ranking if you do exceptionally well. Your best star counts for each challenge accumulate into a total. Hitting benchmarks of stars will unlock new games and challenges, as well as remix challenges and bonus challenges.
The remix challenges take the games and mix up levels, mechanics, or even multiple games into totally new and unique challenges for you. The bonus challenges are similar, just more difficult. You can record your best times to compete with other players on your friend list or on online leaderboards. There are also daily challenges to do the same thing but on a daily basis instead of all time. Getting enough stars will also unlock Ultimate Famicom Remix mode, which is more or less the same game with the Famicom versions of the titles rather than the NES versions. There’s also Speed Super Mario Bros, which is a completely sped up version of the classic NES game Super Mario Bros. Plus there’s a championship mode which has you competing in three NES challenges in a row to get the highest score based on performance and time. All scores can be used to compete online or with friends.
I actually found myself enjoying this game a lot more than I thought I would. It’s a fun and addicting series of challenging minigames, but they’re a great way to put a new spin on reusing Nintendo’s classic NES games yet again. It works well as a game on the go. You can pick it up, try a few short challenges, and put it down easily. Or you might get addicted and binge play it alongside doing other things. I also like how it works on multiple levels. For people that aren’t that aware of NES games, this is a cool way to introduce them to some classics and parts of what the games entail, almost like a demo. And then if they like them they can go buy the games from the 3DS eshop. Smart marketing there. It also works well for intermediate players like myself that might know some of the games and be good at a few but aren’t necessarily that good at them all. It helps hone your skills and trains you at these games you might not have been as good at in the past. It also works for the diehard veterans as they can compete for times online and work towards all those rainbow ratings. Plus the extra Famicom mode is an interesting comparison piece for NES to Famicom differences as while adding some more replayability. Ultimate NES Remix was a real surprise, but it does lack in some departments.
It’s annoying that they try to make you think 3 stars is the max rating but then have the rainbow border rating on top of it without indication until you accidentally get one. That maybe could’ve just been a four or five star system instead. Switching between the different games can be difficult to adjust to as each one controls a bit differently. Some of the challenges are super easy while others are very difficult, and only so many will be fun for you due to the variety. Also, you might like some of the games featured and not others. There are a lot of good ones I thought, but I wasn’t a fan of a few of them. It’s also not like it has EVERY challenge from the first and second NES Remix, which sort of defeats the ultimate part of the title. Competing for scores is okay, but it’s not really multiplayer at all. There’s also the simple fact that this is just another way to promote Nintendo’s NES games AGAIN rather than make something truly new. Ultimate Famicom Remix feels like a lazy way to make you play basically the same thing twice. I think the overall biggest flaw is just the nature of the beast. None of these are full games. These are all challenges. Even Speed Super Mario Bros is built to push you in a way the game was never intended. You’re not following a story or overall goal here. It’s just a distraction of mini challenges. That can’t be helped, but it’s worth noting because it probably won’t have a lasting connection like most of the games these challenges are pulled from.
Overall, Ultimate NES Remix is a lot of fun. It’s a cool and interesting way to present Nintendo’s NES classics to a wide variety of people. It’s great for playing in short bursts on the go as well as in long sessions elsewhere. It’s pretty fun and addicting. I’d say it’s worth about 20 bucks. It’s a fun little experience, but it’s just not one you’ll be talking about years from now like all the games it features. How cool would it be to get a game that had all of those full games on it though, huh? I’m lookin’ at you, Nintendo. Get on it.