Written By: E. Thomas
- Publisher: Majesco
- Developer: Shin'En
- Rating: E for Everyone
- Genre: Shooting (Shmup)
- Players: 1
- Other Info: 2D and 3D Modes Available
Shooting game fans will instantly recognize the name Shin'en. This
is the developer behind Iridion 3D and Iridion 2, along with the legendary Nano Stray series for Nintendo DS. Now Shin'en
Multimedia has returned with a dazzling new 3D shooter built exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS.
The story of Nano Assault is taken right from the pages of classic
science fiction. The Nano Stray virus is threatening humanity. The virus was first introduced in the Nano Stray series for
Nintendo DS. In order to combat the deadly virus, scientists shrink a powerful fighter, called a Nanite, to microscopic
levels. You might recognize this plot if you have ever seen the movie Fantastic Voyage. It's a clever gimmick that sets
the stage for a visually stunning and highly unique shooting game.
Just the Facts:
The Story Mode of Nano Assault contains 32 levels. Each level can be replayed after completion
with new challenges. The game also features Arcade Mission Mode and the insanely challenging Boss Rush Mode. Players can even
post their status to the Online Leader boards. And if all that content isn't enough for you there is even a "Nanopedia,"
which is a catalog of all the enemies you will face in Nano Assault. You can unlock new entries in the Nanopedia by completing
parts of the game. You can also complete challenges to earn "Nano Coins" which you can use to purchase new entries
in the Nanopedia.
Controls for Nano Assault are easy and intuitive. Your ship is controlled with the 3DS Circle
Pad, and you fire your weapons using the 4 face buttons. The L-Trigger will change the spread of your weapon and the R-Trigger
will fire your secondary weapons.
The game is played in a top down perspective. Structures rotate
beneath your ship as you travel, which reminds me of Super Mario Galaxy. Occasionally the perspective will switch to a behind
the ship view. Players fly down tunnels in a mode that is slightly reminiscent of the game Iridion 3D. It's a nice touch and
a tip of the hat to long time fans of Shin'en. It's obvious this company cares about their legacy and is building on what
they have learned in their many years as a developer.
A Visual Odyssey:
Right away you will notice the amazingly detailed graphics. This game is beautiful
and visually stunning. Graphics are bright and colorful and lighting effects are almost hypnotic. This highly ambitious title
shows tremendous attention to detail, which truly adds to the sense of wonder and awe. Captivating visuals truly enhance the
The 3D Mode visuals are outstanding. More
importantly gameplay is fast and steady while using 3D mode, with only the slightest hint of slow down during truly intense
battles. If you're a 3DS owner looking for a game to show off the 3D features of the system look no further. This game is
a showpiece title for 3DS fans everywhere, and it's one of the best looking 3D games currently available for the system.
The Audio Features of this game perfectly compliment the amazing visuals and the blistering
gameplay. The soundtrack is one of the best I've heard in a portable shooting game. You will definitely want to play this
game using your favorite pair of headphones. The music tracks are a real treat and they can be unlocked by completing levels
in the game.
Pros and Cons:
Now that I have told you about all the pros, let's address
some of the cons. Enemies have a somewhat annoying tendency to spawn just below your ship while your playing the game. If
you're careful about your movements it's not much of a problem, but when things get intense, as they often do in this game,
you'll find yourself getting hit by an occasionally cheap death from below.
also found that the tunnel levels were best played in 3D. The 3D mode actually makes it easier to judge the position of enemies,
objects, and enemy fire. This particular issue will only be a problem for those who cannot use the 3D mode. The game is still
completely playable in 2D mode, it's just a little easier in 3D.
The level of difficulty is also something that should be mentioned. While we do not see difficulty as a drawback
(quite the contrary for a title like this), it's still something that novice gamers should know about before they purchase
this game. However don't be turned off by the challenge, as it's both rewarding and fun.
The Final Word:
Nano Assault is a unique take on the shooter genre. The game
is full of thumb blistering shooting game action, complete with amazing visuals, an outstanding soundtrack and superb 3D effects.
However be warned, the level of difficulty in this game is not for the feint of heart. This is a classic one hit kill game.
Luckily, the difficulty shouldn't be enough to put you off the game. In fact it's quite the opposite, the challenge is quite
compelling, and it keeps you coming back to the game again and again. Levels are fairly short and the game will auto save
at the end of each level, which makes things a lot easier on the novice gamer. Long time shooter fans will appreciate the
challenge, which newcomers will still be able to enjoy and complete the game with a little effort and dedication.
Nano Assault is a worthy successor to the Shin'en legacy.
- Gameplay: 8
- Graphics: 9
- Audio: 9
- Replay Value: 8
Final Review Score: 8.8/10
About The Author: E.Thomas is our resident shooting
game fanatic. He truly believes that playing shooting games will help us all prepare for an inevitable alien invasion.
He can usually be found wandering the streets of Hollywood, CA extolling the virtues of video games.