The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Just five months after the original NES Remix hit the Wii U eShop, a sequel has arrived with a new selection of classics to mix up. The format is identical to its predecessor, tasking players with completing bite-sized portions of Nintendo titles in an effort to earn stars and unlock new challenges. While it’s put together the same as the original, a significant benefit to NES Remix 2 is the vastly superior selection of games.
Instead of forgettable titles like Wrecking Crew, Clu Clu Land, and Ice Climbers, this sequel features classics like Super Mario Bros. 3, Metroid, and Punch-Out. You won’t find many real stinkers in the bunch, but Wario’s Woods is mediocre and Kid Icarus has not aged gracefully.
Even though the challenge format is identical to the previous game, the vastly improved source material makes for a better overall experience. It still features objectives like “collect X coins,” “Get to the door without taking damage,” and “Defeat X enemies,” but taking on Metroids is more fun than fighting some dumb wrench from Wrecking Crew.
NES Remix 2 has appeal on several levels. For younger gamers who aren’t familiar with these classics (but have surely heard of them), it’s an interesting highlight reel of bosses, stages, and gameplay mechanics. If you grew up playing these games, it can be a breezy, fun playthrough that brings back some good memories. Earning three stars on every level is also difficult (especially on notoriously hard games like Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels), so tackling that feat is no easy challenge.
In addition to the standard challenges, another option allows you to play a version of the original Super Mario Bros. It's called Super Luigi Bros., and it tasks the green plumber with going through the original game in a sort of mirror mode. Moving from right to left is absolutely jarring for anyone who spent significant time with the original game, and one of my co-workers even claimed that it made his eyes hurt to watch it.
I enjoyed my time with NES Remix 2, but it’s ultimately a shallow experience. Nostalgia and challenge are all well and good, but the game doesn’t bring anything to the table that makes it more than a novelty experience. A stellar selection of games makes it a better download than the original, but you’re be better off replaying these classics in their true forms rather than experiencing them in tiny snippets.