Opening Thoughts – When I first saw Nano Assault Neo for the Wii U I was happy to see a twin stick shooter come out for the Wii U and show the system some love. I am a huge fan of twin stick shooters and I felt that I would be the best candidate to review this gorgeous game! Also having a Wii U, something most of our writers don’t have, also helped.
Gameplay – Once you turn on Nano Assault Neo you are greeted with a menu, but no back story as to what I am and what I am fighting for. This kind of threw me off and I had to go look it up because I did not want to feel like a pilot without a cause. Those of you who don’t know, you are a ship trying to stop the deadly Nanostray virus from spreading in the nano cosmos. That was about it for the story, I was kind of bothered that the game didn’t explain this to me and if it had, then I missed it.
Nano Assault Neo is one of the most gorgeous games I have seen on the Wii U to date. There are four levels with 4 missions each giving you a total of 16 missions with a boss at the end of every level. The cells that are known as missions are beautiful looking and traversing a level is a lot of fun. As you move around the cell they turn and twist to keep your ship in view reminding me of Super Mario Galaxy. You will be doing a lot of moving around while running from enemies that are trying to take you out, the normal formula for a shoot ‘em up. The one issue I had with this is that if there is an enemy on the side of a cell that you can’t see as you move around you may drive right into him and take a hit, that one really frustrated me. But other than that I really could not find many flaws in the game, it is a smooth operator and has a lot of replay value if you are a score chaser like me!
During the game you will be picking up a lot of points to spend in the upgrade section at the end of every level where you can buy satellite ships, ship upgrades, and special weapons. You will also pick up Letters that spell out bonus, once you do that at the end of the current level you go into a tunnel-like level collecting points while the ship moves faster and faster, you want to collect as much as you can without hitting any obstacles. These points will add to your final total for the level where you can compare your score with your friends score and worldwide scores with the online leader boards.
The controls are your normal twin stick shooter type, the left analog control your ship, the right analog controls which direction you are shooting. The ZR button shoots any specials you pick up along the way. The Game pad can be used to play the game so essentially you do not need a television to play. During the game you can adjust the position of your satellite ships around your ship and the direction in which they shoot. The controls are pretty simplistic and easy to pick up, mastering the game and getting bigger scores is what will keep you coming back for more!
Graphics – One word for this game is Gorgeous! I know I can’t stop saying it, but really, this game is excellent looking. The enemies that you come across can be very outrageous looking and the fuzz/spikes on one of the enemies in particular looks great! Shin’en Multimedia nailed the graphics with this game. I did not find any stutter or hesitation while playing and it runs quite smooth at 60 frames per second.
Audio – The soundtrack is excellent also, it is quite upbeat and sort-of techno like. It keeps you coming back for more and it tickles my ear drums. When I first started the game up I left it on the title screen for a few minutes while searching Facebook and I did not get sick of the music one bit. I may actually look for the sound track for this game because I enjoyed it that much.
Multi–Player/Co-op – There is no online Multi-player in this game but there is couch co-op. If you have someone home that would like to play, you can play on the game pad while the other player plays on the T.V. The game will also display a live camera feed of what is going on with the game pad player next to your ship. That is an awesome idea and it is just showing the innovation that we have yet to see with the Wii U.
Final Thoughts – I had a lot of fun with Nano Assault Neo and I would love to see another game by Shin’en Multimedia but with a bit of different weapon types added to the ship and more levels. The score chasing can really suck you in and keep you hooked. The only bad things I can say about the game is some of the level design can be a pain to navigate though and it can turn into bullet hell really quick. Other than that I think it is a great game and well worth the price! It is a must buy for any twin stick shooter fan.
Developer: Shin’en Multimedia
Release Date: 11/18/2012 U.S. 11/30/2012 EU
Platforms: Wii U Digital: Yes
Game Cost: $9.99/€9.99/£8.99
Players: 1-2 Co-op Online: Leader Boards Only
Online Pass: No ESRB Rating: E, Mild Fantasy Violence
Obtained: Shin’en Multimedia supplied a review copy