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Nano Assault Neo (Nintendo Wii U) Review
Posted by Mark Salmela on 11.28.2012



Title: Nano Assault Neo
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Shiníen
Genre: Twin-stick shooter
Players: 1 - 2
Rated: E for Everyone


Shiníen has quietly become one of Nintendoís best second party developers. Nintendo doesnít own the company, but Shiníen has been producing content exclusively for Nintendo for quite a while now, and their games have only been getting better over the years. Last year Shiníen released Nano Assault, a downloadable title on the 3DS shop, and while it was well received I didnít hear anyone talking about it. Well Shiníen is back with a new HD sequel for Nintendoís new HD console and is looking to make a bigger splash.



Nano Assault Neo is a bullet-hell twin-stick shooter through and through. While Geometry Wars should get the credit for kick-starting the genre, Nano Assault Neo borrows much more from Super Stardust than it does Geometry Wars. Similar to Super Stardust, in Nano Assault Neo there are no actual edges on the map. Each level takes place on a 3 dimensional cell, similar to how each level in Super Stardust took place on a 3 dimensional planet (sphere). You control your ship using the left analog stick, and aim and fire using the right analog stick.

Nano Assault Neo is comprised of 4 clusters. Each cluster is a mini-campaign consisting of 3 normal levels, a bonus level at the half-way point, and a boss encounter at the end. Every level takes place on a different cell, with radically different designs that range from standard ovals to confusing contortions which will challenge gamers to explore every nook and cranny of each level. The levels are varied enough that the game doesnít feel overly repetitive; although itís unlikely youíll play through the entire game in one sitting. Arcade shooters like these are best handled in smaller doses, which are complimented by the mini-campaign structure of Nano Assault Neo. Expect to beat Nano Assault Neo in around 2 hours, but like any good twin-stick shooter thereís a lot of replayability and youíll likely want to replay each level multiple times to truly master them.

There is an impressive amount of content here for a downloadable launch title. Nano Assault Neo can be played entirely on the Wii U Gamepad, or it can be played on your TV with the smaller screen on the Gamepad becoming a map. You can also play Nano Assault Neo co-operatively with another player locally, although the second player is forced to play with a Wiimote/Nun Chuck, Classic Controller, or Wii U Pro Controller on the TV while the first player plays exclusively on the Gamepad. Itís not ideal, but it does work and it is appreciated. Not enough games offer local co-op these days. Online co-op would have been appreciated.



In addition to the standard campaigns, upon completing Nano Assault Neo youíll unlock a survivor mode and an arcade mode. Arcade mode is a fun alternative to the standard campaign, and survival mode will kick your ass. Nano Assault Neo is not an easy game to begin with, and will provide a difficult challenge to even the most hardcore of gamers on the more difficult settings. When you add up the 12 normal levels, 4 bonus levels, 4 boss battles, survival mode, arcade mode, and local co-op Nano Assault Neo is quite the attractive package for $10.



Pros

- The graphics look great in full HD, and the game runs silky smooth.
- There is a lot of variety in the levels, the colors, and the enemies.
- This is the best twin-stick shooter to come out in years.
- Thereís a lot of content packed in for a $10 downloadable launch title.
- This game is a blast to play, both alone or with a friend.
- Nano Assault Neo will provide gamers with a serious challenge on the more difficult settings.
- The in-game store for purchasing upgrades provides a good incentive to keep playing.
- Multiple types of alternate weapons add variety to the shooting.


Cons

- The enemy bullets arenít distinct enough on the screen. Itís easy to accidentally get hit and lose a life because you didnít see the bullet on-screen.
- The camera can get awkward at times while trying to get a good view of the action.



The 411


You know, Iím not quite sure you can sustain life on liquid hot magma, but Iím not a scientist.


Nano Assault Neo is a fantastic launch title for the Nintendo Wii U. For $10 you get the best arcade top-down, twin-stick shooter released in years. While there was a new Super Stardust released on PS Vita this year, there hasnít really been a high quality twin-stick shooter released on consoles this year. Nano Assault Neo may have borrowed heavily from Super Stardust, but itís an extremely fun game that has a surprising amount of content. The only real complaints I have on the game is how enemy bullets can blend into the background causing cheap deaths, and the occasional awkward camera angle. Otherwise this is a great experience. If youíre looking for a fun experience on the Wii U that can be enjoyed in small doses, look no further. Nano Assault Neo should be the first purchase you make on the Wii Uís eShop.





Graphics9.0With a silky smooth frame rate and slick HD graphics, this game looks gorgeous.411 Elite Award
Gameplay9.0This is twin-stick shooting at its finest. Too bad the camera isn't always in the ideal position. 
Sound8.0A surprisingly rocking soundtrack from Shin'en. It won't win any awards, but the beats are catchy and enjoyable. 
Lasting Appeal7.5You could play through the entire game in about 2 hours and be done with it, but arcade games like this have incredible replayability. 
Fun Factor 9.0It may not reinvent the wheel and it may not be the best twin-stick shooter ever, but this is definitely right up there amongst the best. 
Overall9.0   [  Amazing ]  legend





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