Nano Assault Neo Review
Nano Assault Neo is the most recent entry in the Shin’en library of virus-related ship shooters and is only available on the Nintendo Wii U. When compared to the other powerhouses in the genre like Super Stardust Delta and Geometry Wars, can Nano Assault Neo hold its own? Read on and find out!
Let’s check out what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Nano Assault Neo.
Twin stickin’ it to the man
Contrary to popular belief, there really isn’t much to the complexity of the game when you compare it to the difficulty of flying a real-life medical vessel and attacking various unwelcome viral threats inside someone’s abdomen. Nano Assault Neo largely simplifies the controls from the 3DS prequel and streamlines it down for a welcome bit of accessibility. The premise of the game is fairly simple: eliminate at least 90% of the viruses attacking a given cell, escape to the exit before time runs out, repeat for another two cells, then face off against the viral mastermind behind the outbreak (and continue this three more times before reaching the credits.) Control is largely done with the left analog stick for movement, the right one for aiming and firing, and the ZR button for launching whatever special weapon’s been picked up. Gone are the needs to cycle through multiple weapon types or a separate fire button after you’ve lined up your shots.
There’s a hidden feature accessible by tapping the touch screen on your controller that isn’t really mentioned during most of the game. This menu, in addition to pausing the game and letting you plan out your next course of attack, lets you reposition and angle your satellites for the most effectiveness, be it for concentrated fire on one target or spread out to hit multiple bogeys.
Completely and utterly gorgeous
Each cell and cluster has its own sort of character and style to it, simulating what it would look like if you were to combat cancer on a muscle cell then transition on over to murder some streptococcus wreaking havoc on someone’s intestinal tract. If the game were simply Super Mario Galaxy with a viral pandemic, then each little cell could be considered its own planet with its own tiny ecosystem. Every cell has its own distinct bit of landscaping to it, varying from wispy tree-like microfilaments to mountainous golgi bodies, in addition to the violent, often animal-like, mutations of the Nanostray virus.
If you’re as much a fan of explosions and bright lights as I am, Nano Assault Neo is your kind of game. The game assaults your senses with waves of bullets to dodge through while your own shots cascade in a euphoric cascade of vaccines-turned-bullets. There’s rarely a moment where you aren’t surrounded by profound color or shimmering explosions from the enemy viruses.
Nano Assault Neo feels like one of those games that just couldn’t have been done right on a Nintendo console before. Sure, it might have been attempted on the original Wii with one of those classic controllers and staring up at the TV the whole time, but wouldn’t you rather have the whole experience in your hands and feel like a tiny surgeon? That viewing window between your hands isn’t just some screen; it’s a sixty frame per second portal into someone’s chest cavity. You’re not blindly shooting bland geometrical shapes but rather viral infections and microorganisms that could kill a man if left unchecked.