Unlike Sony and Microsoft, who rely heavily on hype and build up and anticipation of games and announcements and such, Nintendo has taken a different approach since the release of the Wii U, really, where they quietly put out pre-recorded Nintendo Direct videos early in the morning for us folks here on the West Coast. In these videos, they release new information about upcoming games, show new trailers and screen shots about future titles, and even, like with this last one, announce brand new games.
Not only did they announce a Zelda and Dynasty Warriors mash-up game coming out next year, tentatively titled Hyrule Warriors, but they also announced Dr. Luigi, which is strikingly similar to Dr. Mario, only with that Year of Luigi swagger we've experienced all year. On top of those announcements, however, was the big reveal of NES Remix, a downloadable title from the eShop for the Wii U, which features hundreds of levels from 16 different classic NES games, The game revolves around getting three stars each level (Angry Birds style) for completing the small and quick challenges on both original levels and remixed versions of the levels you know and love - and probably know backwards and forwards, to be honest.
The best thing about this announcement for a game no one had even heard of was at the moment they did announce it, they simultaneously made the game available to download from the eShop right to your Wii U. Boom, just like that. Hype and instant product within seconds. Because that's how Nintendo rolls.
Like I was describing before, this game is just a mash-up of different challenges set in place from 16 different NES classic titles. The more stars you collect (three per level is possible), the more challenges and different games you can unlock. Aside from the three stars, you can always get three rainbow stars, which indicates a perfect or flawless run for whatever challenge it is. Naturally, the first time I got the rainbow stars, I was hooked and now I don't want to settle for anything less than rainbow stars for each level.
Another cool thing Nintendo seems to be trying out are the stamps, which first really were shown off in Super Mario 3D World, where all the stamps you collect you basically have tied to your account forever, allowing you to use the stamps in any and all Miiverse messages. In NES Remix, you unlock stamps as well as you progress through the game, all of which are 8-bit sprites and looking fantastic, in my humble opinion.
Playing all the classic levels with specific, quick challenges is a lot of fun, and reminds me of a WarioWare game, only with familiar games and franchises pulled from. The Remixed levels, however, are total recreations of the traditional levels and games, built from the ground up and looking better than ever. Each one has a different kind of twist that makes it unique, and it makes you see and play the level in a way you never thought possible.
This game is like a hands-on museum for Nintendo's historic early franchises, and I'm excited to see where this might lead to. Will we see SNES Remix and N64 Remix games eventually? Because let's be real here - no matter how cool and fun this game is, the possibilities are endless and even more exciting than this first step.
Even if plans like that are in the pipeline, however, we'll never know about it. Until, you know, the morning of, of course.