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First Impressions: Nano Assault

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Shin'en knows shmups

Shin'en is certainly no stranger to the shoot 'em up genre, having already developed games in the Iridion and Nanostray series for Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS respectively, but after taking a few years to work on other projects, many shooter fans were beginning to wonder if the developer would ever get back to its shmup roots. Thankfully, fans were given the answer they were hoping for this past April when the company announced Nano Assault, a brand new spin-off title of its popular Nanostray series.

While those releases were more traditional vertical shooters, Nano Assault mixes things up quite a bit. For starters, there are a host of different gameplay designs, depending on the specific level. Some levels are set up for you to guide your ship across the surface of a rounded organism, firing your cannon in four different directions using the four action buttons, whereas others task you with flying your ship into the screen using the Circle Pad to move your ship and its targeting reticle similar to that of Star Fox 64.

Your main goal in each level is to destroy the host of harmful organisms and collect DNA sequences that are strewn around each area. And for the flight levels, you're going to be dealing with the swirling waves of enemies, not to mention carefully navigating your ship through the many hazards and obstacles thrown your way.

As you progress through the levels, you unlock new and more powerful weapons, many of which can be particularly useful in tackling the game's myriad of difficult bosses. You'll also unlock new game modes as you complete levels that include Arcade mode, a nice quick way to play an individual level of your choosing, and a rather intense Boss Rush mode that pits you against a constant barrage of bosses that must be destroyed.

There are a few more goodies to be found in Nano Assault, but we'll save those for the upcoming review. Suffice it to say, you're going to get a lot of bang for your buck with this one, not to mention some of the most unbelievable 3D visuals and spatial surround sound available on the 3DS to date. If things looked and sounded this good in the first third of the game, it's fun to imagine what the rest of the experience holds.

Even though it's been almost four years since Nanostray 2 was released on Nintendo DS, it's quite clear that Shin'en hasn't lost its special touch when it comes to putting together an engaging and visually flashy shooter experience. Having only played the first ten of the game's 32 levels, there's plenty to look forward to when the game hits store shelves in North America on 22nd November.

We'd like to thank Reverb Communications and Majesco for sending over the preview build.

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User Comments (14)

Retro_on_theGo

#7

Retro_on_theGo said:

Yes! I love shmups so reading how high quality this one is I can't wait!
Will definitely be buying this on Black Friday. :)

WolfRamHeart

#9

WolfRamHeart said:

Thanks for the impressions Corbs. This game sounds great. I got my copy on order from Amazon. I can't wait to play it. :)

eviLaTtenDant

#10

eviLaTtenDant said:

Now that Shinobi is out this is the underdog game i'm looking forward the most.
The only thing that has me a tiny bit worried is with the sections where you have to fire four ways. Well, not really worried, but bear with me for a second here.
Whle i'm sure the level design will be tailor-made for that i can't help but think how cool it'd be to use a second analogue to at least shoot in eight directions in a retro styled shmup. But this isn't a criticism towards this game more like a tiny little dream. :)

Tails

#11

Tails said:

This will be a for sure pick up after I get Skyward sword. I Love it beautiful graphics intense gameplay and 32 levels?!. Shin'en Multimedia keep on cranking out those awesome games. :)

LEGEND_MARIOID

#12

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

I know Nanostray 1 and 2 were pretty decently rated but I couldn't get into them somewhat surprisingly. I'm still gonna monitor this though. Think I'll prob get it - but not 'day 1'

Samholy

#13

Samholy said:

i would like this one. i totally enjoyed starfox (even if i sold it already)
will it feature online stuff ?

bowkid50

#14

bowkid50 said:

to be honest this game will bomb.its coming out right between the super Mario land and Mario kart 8.November 22 is pretty close to early December.so im pretty sure people would just wait for Mario kart 8.but for 0 dollars its a must buy for me and i hope it doesn't end up how i just explained because this looks like a excellent game.

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