I played Retro Game Challenge last year to prepare myself for playing NES Remix, which was originally a Wii U eShop exclusive, but then combined with its sequel in a physical release called NES Remix Pack. For those who don't know, the game's premise is simple, which is to provide bite-sized challenges from classic NES games, much like the ones that appeared in the WarioWare series, with some remixes thrown in to change things up.
Much as I love the old NES classics, I was a little wary of NES Remix since I already own and have played through the vast majority of the titles. I knew my enjoyment of the title would depend on the quality of the remixes and, sad to say, they were underwhelming on the whole. The majority of the remixes make minuscule tweaks to the gameplay, with variations such as zooming in on part of the screen, or zooming out, or changing the colors to make things harder to see. Most of the changes were, frankly, not much fun, and the majority of the game consists of excerpts from the original games rather than remixes anyway.
The selection of games here is okay, although the original Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda games clearly get a lot of the attention and have way more challenges than the other games (too many challenges for my taste, actually, since I've played and replayed them to death already). I was way too familiar with the games in this collection, and I could see how people who haven't played these games a ton already would get a lot more out of it. Still, it was fun to revisit games I haven't played in ages (including the woefully underrated Clu Clu Land), and pretty much all of them were enjoyable (except for Ice Climber, whose jumping mechanics are even worse than I remember). The presentation is simple and clean, although I do have to say the new music is generally bland and definitely pales in comparison to the fantastic remixes in Art Style: Pictobits. The selection of games in NES Remix 2 is generally much stronger since it features games that were a little later in NES's chronology, but I can't say I feel motivated to play through it any time soon.
I thought I would tack on my comments about Amiibo Tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits while I was at it. Amiibo Tap came out a couple years after NES Remix and has a similar concept. It's a free download and offers what are basically demo experiences of classic NES and SNES games in the form of various time-limited sections of the games, but the catch is that you have to unlock the demos with unique Amiibo. It used to take more effort to unlock all of the games, but with the release of Amiibo cards unlocking everything becomes much more trivial. The selection of games is definitely better than NES Remix, although, again, for uber Nintendo fans like me this was just a curiosity and not really worth spending any time with.
With the release of the NES Mini (aka Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition) last year, interest in classic Nintendo games is clearly a moneymaker. That release is still hard to find, but it makes sense it would be more of a draw than those Wii U titles (although NES Remix 1 and 2 were edited down and combined into the single 3DS title Ultimate NES Remix). Anyway, these games did remind me that I should go back and play through some of those old NES games that I haven't posted about yet. Eventually!