Review by KoolKirby
"It's a nice little treasure for the Nintendo DS, I just wish it had some more levels."
Nanostray seemed as if it came out of no where. It's a rare find mind you; you might have better luck finding it on eBay or something. But once you get it, you'll be glad you put in the effort. Nanostray might have a short adventure mode, but it will probably take a lot longer, as you will die a lot in the beginning, until you start to memorize patterns, and with Arcade, Challenge, and Multiplayer modes. Still, for those who don't like doing extras in games, you may find yourselves done with this game much to quickly, and some may not even like the style of this game to begin with.
By far, one of the best looking games I've seen on the Nintendo DS. All of the backgrounds look great, the enemies look great, the explosions and bullets look great, and the bosses look great, and it's all 3D, in a 2D style game. I think it proves that the DS is capable of some really amazing stuff, especially some of the fly by ship cut scenes. Some of the worlds can get to be repetitive however; sometimes there is not enough variety in the background to make it interesting. Still, that doesn't stop the game from looking phenomenal. Hats off to Nanostray's graphics.
Game play: 8/10
The game is very fast paced and addictive. You have the choice between four types of weapons, each with a special power as well, adding a lot of strategy into the game, especially during boss battles. It feels a lot like Ikaruga to be honest, except you can take a few shots in this game before dying, and you don't switch between colors. Each level will probably take you 3 minutes, but if it's your first time playing, you'll probably have to restart the levels often, because you'll die before beating it. The bosses are also really cool, very good looking, and have cool attack patterns that take a bit of getting used to. Challenge mode is really fun (and of course, challenging), where you go through several different challenges, like completing certain levels with one life, or getting a specific score. And multiplayer is basically co-op, and whoever gets the most points wins. Some great stuff.
Nothing spectacular, decent music, cool yet arcade-y sounding effects. Everything sounds different, the explosions are decent. I thought the music didn't vary enough between stages, almost as if you were listening to the same stuff over and over though. In fact, with so few levels, and the simplicity of the game, I think it's fair to expect very high quality sound effects and graphics (graphics in which this game definitely delivers). I'm sure this game probably had a tight budget, but I don't see how it would cost too much to hire a single person to come up with 10 or so musical scores, which is pretty much all this game has. The music they do have in there is fitting I must say, just really bland I guess is what I'm trying to say.
The story is pretty much non-existent, there's one in the instruction manual, saying that you need to battle forces on some planets, but really, this isn't about a story anyway. They could have put a bit of effort into it though, it is kind of weird going through stage upon stage, with no real given reason. It's not that hard to come up with more then a paragraph about your games story, it doesn't take much planning, it costs next to nothing for even just one person in their free time to think of a short but simple story, so I give them a low score simply for lack of effort.
This game is very good, and will last fans of the genre a good long time. And the graphics are simply amazing. It's a shame this game is so hard to find, still, it's worth finding, because it is a great gem for your DS. Be warned though, this game may not appeal to the casual gamer, as it is very reminiscent of old school style gaming, it does not have the greatest production quality, and there is not much of a multiplayer mode. Also this game may not last everyone as long as it could, some people may simply play adventure mode and be done with the game completely.
Buy or Rent: Buy
you probably won't be able to rent this game, and 29.99 is not such a steep price, if you're a fan of this kind of game, buy it, if not, maybe read a few more reviews to help you on your decision.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/05/05, Updated 10/13/05
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