Showing off the Link in Donkey Kong stage gave the impression that the entire remix side of Famicom Remix would be exactly that. So I was a bit disappointed when I found out in fact they were not. Thankfully, playing that stage in particular made it obvious that some of those mixing ideas would not work. The driving in the dark Excite Bike stage was more fun than waddling Link around the Donkey Kong stage. Granted, beating the Link in Donkey Kong stage was more satisfying. The problem was they took away the sword… but that would have completely broken the game. Not having the ability to just whack the barrels is what makes them dangerous.
The “Luigi” stages were interesting as hell, though. Going through World 1-2 of Super Mario Bros. backwards was intense. The stage is only second to 1-1 in Number-of-Times-Played for any Mario player but, all that experience meant little when the goal was simply changed to play it right to left instead. It was so weird and confusing. They could charge five hundred yen to play Super Mario Bros. backwards and I would happily pay up.
The littlest changes to the games were the most interesting. Mario Bros. upside down. Climbing down Donkey Kong stages. Slowed down Balloon Fight. No-Sword boss fights in The Legend of Zelda. Not playing Ice Climbers at all.[ref]Tee-hee.[/ref] These challenges worked due to the familiarity from piror experience or that gained through the individual game levels.
Collecting 44 super mushrooms at various points in the original Super Mario Bros. as a final challenge sounds like a cheap way out but worked so well. Every single stage prior was training gaming muscles. Now do this and mess up five times max. It made me hate Hammer Bros. all the more. And also realize how precise the physics are. Bounce that mushroom at the wrong point and it will go one way instead of the other[ref](So what?)[/ref].
Unlocking the Remix and Bonus stages through beating the others made sure these skills were acquired. Thankfully they all unlock without collecting three stars in each previous stage, otherwise the game would have been far too frustrating. It did make for some hearty cursing, but completing it was one of the greater gaming satisfactions I have felt in some time.