NINTENDO DS REVIEW: NANOSTRAY

Good luck to all those looking for a copy of Nanostray. Due to Majesco's internal problems (Carl Yankowski CEO resigned recently due to lower than forecasted net revenues), it might be a hard game to find. Might I suggest looking hard for it though because it will be worth the trouble: Nanostray is a worthwhile shooter.

One of my contemporaries whom shall remain nameless was whining in his review that there wasn't any storyline in Nanostray. I'm not sure where he's been hiding out over the last 20 years but here's a little secret I'd like to share with him: It's a shooter!! There is NO story. You shoot things! DUH! Back to game school buddy.

Nanostray is first and foremost an old school space shooter. I was surprised to see that developer Shin'en left all of the action on the top screen, rather than allowing the game to vertically scroll much farther with both screens going simultaneously. Instead, the touch screen is completely dedicated to weapon selection and a useless radar while movement is mapped to the face buttons. The unintuitive usage of buttons and touch screen is Nanostrays achilles heel which some players will detest while others will get used to. I managed to get used to it simply by never looking at the radar. There is simply too much going on above on the top screen to screw around with keeping an eye on the bottom. Certain death will be the reward of the A.D.D. player who can't get his or her eyes to focus on the task at hand.

Certainly Nanostray won't win any awards for its depth nor its replay value. Depending on your twitch gaming skills, Nanostray might be over within a few hours. The three difficulty levels will provide a decent challenge by limiting your available lives, continues and how many direct hits you can withstand, but once you've blown past the game you've seen all Nanostray has to offer. If you're looking for more of an asskicking, then by all means check out the aptly titled "Challenge Mode". The multiplayer levels aren't fully realized (offering nothing more than a Challenge Score mode) and require that you upload one of four levels to your friends DS - certainly a bonus when you consider the chances of them finding a Nanostray cart too. You won't want to buy this for the multiplayer gaming as most gamers will get bored with it quickly.

The flashy graphics and rocking tunes will bring you right back to when shooters were king of the hill. If memories of Gradius or R-Type fill your heart with goodness, Nanostray will slap a smile on your face for a few hours. It's definitely a trip down memory lane, but I wouldn't pack an overnight bag. This trip is a short one.

Click For Media
System: DS
Dev: Shin'en
Pub: Majesco
Released: July 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review by StewXX
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
3.5
GRAPHICS
4.5
CONTROL
3.5
MUSIC/FX
4.5
VALUE
2.0