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I often find that replaying certaing games from my childhood such as Super Mario Bros., DuckTales, Mega Man and The Legend of Zelda, don't just provide me with a fantastic feeling of nostalgia, but also remind me of my roots. They help me keep perspective of where I started as a gamer, and retain the appreciation for those games. Last year, Nintendo took that amazing classic library I fell in love with as a kid, and turned it into a gauntlet of challenges they called NES Remix. Then last month, Nintendo compiled the best games from both NES Remix 1 and 2, and made it into a portable package on the 3DS with Ultimate NES Remix, providing bite sized challenges through a collection of classic games that might make you look at them just a bit different than before.
Whilst the online features leave something to be desired, and the lack of complete games is a huge misstep, Ultimate NES Remix nonetheless offers up a fantastically addictive experience.
Ultimate NES Remix, or any title in the series for that matter, is not for everyone. Those looking for a story they'll remember years in the future, or a title that blows gamers' minds with innovative mechanics, will not find it here. However, if what you seek is a way to quickly enjoy cunning challenges melded from a simpler time on gaming will find it here in spades. Ultimate NES Remix offers hours of simple to learn, devilishly difficult to master challenges that have kept me busy for days on end, and I couldn't be happier with the end product.
Picking over Nintendo classics in microscopic detail is more compelling than you'd think, and watching cherished mascots let their hair down in the Remixes is brilliant fun. Not much here for returning customers, but newcomers will find it a perfect fit for gaming on the go.
Ultimate NES Remix is a nifty collection for the Nintendo 3DS. It isn't the full featured package of your dreams, but the games they have chosen are quite playable and make for a great way to spend your time. For the veteran of the Wii U games, this new collection might be not enough to warrant to a second go, but having these challenges on a portable system is certainly a nice thing. The online features of NES Remix 2 are also mostly here, though I do think that the leaderboards are what more direct than the random Miiverse posts. Those two things might give Ultimate the edge it needs to convince you.
Though comparable to time wasters on smartphones with its emphasis on quick bursts of play, Ultimate NES Remix is a good way to travel down memory lane and maybe even discover some 8-bit classics you never experienced.
While Ultimate NES Remix is technically a sound game, it comes across as a rather modest, slightly lazy port. You're only getting about two thirds of the original content from the original Wii U eShop releases, and what was arguably one of the most fun instances of Miiverse integration is completely absent. If you don't see yourself getting a Wii U in the near future and desperately want to see what the fuss is all about, this is still a good investment, but otherwise it's probably best to just pick up the original titles or wait for the combo pack.
Down to the 8-bit music and classic themes from each title, Ultimate NES Remix brings you back to the good old days (either in a good or bad way), its frantic mini games and love of Nintendo new and old absolutely being worth the blast from the past.
For non-Wii U owners who are unfamiliar with the NES era of games and want to take a step into the foray, this is a good starting point as it serves itself as a taster platter of Nintendo's golden IPs from the 1980s. However, the omission of more than half the games featured from the original two releases could have been sweetened if Nintendo had added to the experience, but it hasn't. Not only that, but some games could have gone a lot further to add more levels considering the vast amount of source material Nintendo has at its disposal. Just six levels from Dr. Mario or eight stages from Kid Icarus is not impressive. To add more mustard to the sugar, the experiences are over all too quickly, especially given that the game's short challenges have actually dumbed the difficulty down, which is saying a lot given the context of a game like Kid Icarus. Nintendo would have been better off renaming this 'The Best of NES Remix 1&2' - admittedly not the catchiest title but it is not misleading unlike the actual name of Ultimate NES Remix. It is almost surprising that it's not called 'NEW NES Remix.' Ultimately, with the lack of value in this full priced release, nobody could ever deem this the 'Ultimate' version of NES Remix.
Ultimate NES Remix brings brilliant pick-up-and-play action to the 3DS, blending heady NEStalgia with addictive remixed challenges. Sadly the ludicrously inflated price point, omitted content and lack of new features turns what should be an essential purchase into 'wait for a deal' wishlist filler.