(3DS eShop)

Nano Assault EX (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Nano Assault EX Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard


Shin'en is certainly no stranger to the shoot 'em up genre, having already had some solid success with its Iridion releases on Game Boy Advance and Nanostray titles on DS. For those who don't remember, it was just a little over a year ago when the developer released Nano Assault on Nintendo's 3DS system and showed just how amazing the visual experience could be when coupled with the 3D depth the system offered. This was followed by the equally impressive Nano Assault Neo for Wii U eShop, and now Shin'en is back and offering 3DS eShop fans an enhanced version of the original Nano Assault — this time with a host of new gameplay tweaks and new additions.

At its core, Nano Assault EX is still basically the same game you played at retail. You're still tasked with saving the world from the destructive Nano virus and to do so you'll have to not only collect strains of healthy DNA in each level, but also face off against a wealth of nasty and rather challenging boss fights. This is accomplished by piloting your ship around various planet surfaces and tunnels, blasting enemy virus strains that will be constantly attacking. You'll be able to not only manoeuvre your ship with the Circle Pad, but you'll also have the ability to fire in various directions and patterns using the face buttons. As this is an updated release, you'll also have the ability to use the Circle Pad Pro accessory for a full range of directional fire.

Story Mode is the meat of the package and allows you to play out the levels in order with a host of plot details being fed to you at various intervals. This is also the mode you'll need to beat in order to unlock individual levels to tackle for a high score in Arcade Mode, and to unlock the exciting Boss Rush Mode that pits you against a barrage of the game's bosses, one right after another. Shin'en has also chosen to add in a brand new Survivor Mode to test advanced shooter players, and online rankings to further sweeten the pot.

The play controls in Nano Assault were already solid, but the increased responsiveness and added ability to use the Circle Pad Pro give an even more well-rounded interface. All of the difficulty is still intact, and Survivor Mode adds another unique gameplay aspect that hardcore shmup fans will certainly appreciate. It's nice to see a developer go the extra distance and improve an already enjoyable and playable experience.

To label the visual presentation of Nano Assault EX as "impressive" would be a massive understatement. There's not a square inch of the game that doesn't show an attention to detail that provides a graphical "wow" factor. The sheer level of vibrancy and detail is stunning, but when you add in the depth of field the 3D effect brings to the table, it's impossible not to be impressed with what the developer has been able to accomplish with the system. Suffice it to say, if you like a lot of eye candy in your shmup, Nano Assault EX is your game.

When it comes to the audio package of its shooters, Shin'en doesn't mess around. Not only are you getting an absolutely massive and spacious musical presentation, you're also getting some incredible tunes to boot. It doesn't hurt that each track seems to perfectly fit the mood and setting of the area it's featured in. There's even the same great female-voiced dialogue that even further adds to the quality of the entire sound production.


Nano Assault EX basically offers up exactly what you'd expect from an eShop upgrade release — better controls, more options, and a brand new mode. And as if all of these bonuses weren't enough, Shin'en is also pricing the title at an extremely affordable £12.49/$14.99. Make no mistake, Nano Assault was already an amazing retail shmup — those of you who have picked it up already will know this — but for anyone who's been holding out on purchasing the title, the new upgrades and manageable price should give you all the incentive you need to finally give this impressive shoot 'em up a blast.

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User Comments (49)



BenAV said:

I downloaded it the other day but probably going to wait till after I get the CPP XL to play it.
Looking forward to it.



Spoony_Tech said:

@Corbie I've heard from a bunch of users that there was some frame rate drops. Nothing game breaking but did you experience any of these? I heard the retail version had no fr drops.



sr388survivor said:

@anyone who's played both: How is this game without the CCP? I really enjoy the Wii U version but I'm not sure how well it would work without a right stick... I enjoyed Super Stardust on PS3, but found the PSP version lacking.



hattrick said:

Can you use the touch screen for full range of shooting or do you have to use the face buttons or CP Pro?



Kyoto said:

Jupjup, awesome game! Survival mode is really addicting and everything looks so good



DarkCoolEdge said:

I'll probably get it in a few months. First I have to thin my backlog and play Luigi's Mansion 2 and Mirror of Fate.



PixelatedPixie said:

Here's the catch.

I want to play this game, but really don't see the appeal of playing it with the face buttons. I'm open to the idea that using the face buttons for directional shooting could work, but without a demo I simply can't be sure.

I have no doubt that I would really enjoy playing it with a CPP, but I refuse to buy any accessories for my current 3DS because I intend to upgrade as soon as a revised 3DS becomes available.

It's a catch 22. I would buy this game in a heart beat if the system had a second circle pad, which it doesnt. There is an accessory that provides a second circle pad, but I don't see the point in buying accessories that won't be useable with revisions of the hardware. I'm open to the idea that the game could play well with just the face buttons, but without a demo I would hesitant to spend £12.49 to find out.

It's certainly a pickle.



Spoony_Tech said:

I just dl'ed this like an hour ago and really glad I did. This is an awesome game and not counting Kid Icarus I haven't played a shooter in a long time. I really like the feel for this game and the directional shooting is not a problem in the least.

@Five_seveN Thanks for all the help you are giving. I wanted this before hand but looks like you really want everyone to enjoy this as well!



Dpishere said:

Lately I have been having great fun with arcadic score based games and this looks like it is right up my alley. I do wonder how busy the screen gets since I am unable to play Geometry Wars properly because of that bothering my eyes. Too many colors flying off in all directions makes me lose focus of my character.



PixelatedPixie said:


Thanks for the feedback. It's much appreciated.

I'm still hesitant though. I remember people saying similar things about Uprising, that it worked well despite not having a second stick, and I'm sorry to report that I thought the controls in that game were terrible (both using the stylus and the face buttons).

I think I'll do a bit more research before I decide.

This game does sound cool though.



Karakato said:

@Dpishere I played both and I can tell you that Nano Assault EX is less hectic than Geometry Wars though it still offers a decent challenge IMO. I wasn't really bothered on how everything glowed in GW(though it has been a long time since I played that game), but Nano Assault is tamer in terms of color if that's what you want to hear.



luminalace said:

Does this game share some levels with the Wii U version or is it a totally different game?



bofis said:

So is this version better than the WiiU one? I had waited for an update to the original 3DS release because I wanted to be able to invert axis for controls, but now between WiiU and EX on 3DS, which would be the better version to play??



ouroborous said:

Hm, I LOVED the original version for 3DS but not sure if its really worth trading for this version. The idea of CPP control is very seductive though. Wonder if there's any real difference in graphics though (and sad that there's no new levels or bosses, instead we just get a survivor mode). Relatively cheap though, I actually only paid $13 for the actual cart but $15 for the download isn't too bad at all for a full retail game, which at the least is a sure bet and definitely a replayable sort of game. Nano Assault is a great game even if you aren't generally into shooters.



DreamOn said:

Nice review Corbie!!! It's a must own for any 3ds owner who ever liked a shooter! Great game, great developer. Just buy it.



Icefreak45 said:

Passed it up the first go round, but I'll most definitely be picking this one up soon



Imerion said:

Agreed! This is among the best on 3DS! Fantastic to finally be able to play it.



grumblegrumble said:

By no means would I download this, looks like it would be a pretty hefty download! Great review, tho. I don't need any more games to play at the moment, though. hehe



HawkeyeWii said:

Awesome! I'll have to get this! So is the Wiiware version a completely different game?



Henmii said:

This one also goes on my "to download someday" list! But I guess it's a gigantic file-size!



Dunban said:

The only thing, which holds me back is the price. 15€ is a bit too much.



ToxieDogg said:

I loved Nano Assault Neo on Wii U (the first one I'd played) but this just blows it away. More levels, better levels, more to do.....definitely amongst the best games on 3DS.



WinterWarm said:

This game is temporarily 10.00 USD, so if the $15.00 seemed like a bit too much.... WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE NOW?!



notchucknorris said:

what the heck is a SHUMP?

its called a "shooter". there are vertical shooters and horizontal shooters. really how lazy do you have to be that you cant just write Vertical Shooter, Scrolling Shooter, or even the full shoot em up..

are you renting your keyboard by the letter?
is there some space limitation?
are you afraid of wearing out you keyboard?

because saying SHUMP all the time make you sound like a total Poser.



Genesaur said:

I hadn't so much as thought of Nanostray since the early days of the DS. When I saw the screenshot of Nano Assault Neo on one of the developer interviews and looked up the game, I thought the premise sounded familiar. Not having played a single one in the series, I thought it best to give this one a shot. With this one downloaded, Summer Carnival '92 is no longer the only shoot-'em-up on my 3DS, and the prospect of making the handheld my go-to platform for the genre does excite me.



faint said:

@KeeperBvK Thanks for your timely correction. I wonder if I made this mistake typing from my phone of due to a long day at work? I will never know because it was over a year ago!!!!!! BTW I have been using shump for at least the last ten years.
Maybe this is your true calling? Going through necro threads and correcting others. Feel free to correct my angry grammar in 2015 mmmmmk

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