Release Date: November 18th, 2012
Platform(s): Wii U e-Shop
Rating: E for Everyone[/show_hide]
German developer Shin’en has always been known to push their limitations with their downloadable offerings on Nintendo’s hardware. From the gorgeous futuristic racer, “Fast,” to their unique puzzle game, “Art of Balance,” Shin’en manages to impress gamers every time with how great their games look and play. Their latest offering is no exception to that trend.
In Nano Assault Neo, you control a spaceship, which is used to defeat the oncoming enemies. Unfortunately, there is no story present in Nano Assault Neo. However, the lack of story is acceptable because it gives players the opportunity to jump straight into the action. Nano Assault Neo’s campaign is broken down into four parts called “cell clusters”. Each cell cluster contains three levels and a boss. Levels are simple and reflect many wave based games. Just take down all the enemies within the level and your done. If you manage to collect the bonus letters in the levels, you’ll open up an extra stage in a tunnel that’s sole purpose is rack up as many points as you can till you take damage.
Throughout the levels there are additional pickups that overall add to your total score. It’s important to rack up a lot of points for high score because at the end of each level you can purchase extra lives and secondary weapons based on your performance from previous levels. When you have defeated a boss from a cell cluster, you will unlock the next cell cluster revealing a new set of levels. Once you’ve cleared all four cell clusters, you will then unlock a survivor mode. This mode gives you just one life instead of the casual three from the campaign mode. To get pass survivor mode, you will have to clear all four cell clusters in random order. This will take even the best of players a while to complete.
Completing in-game missions will also serve as achievements. While these missions don’t unlock any further content, besides the additional levels in campaign, they will appear next to your username on the leaderboards. In arcade mode, you can play any of the levels you have previously cleared individually.
The co-op is also a mode that does justice to the game, especially If you’re having trouble clearing the campaign. One player uses the Wii U gamepad to control their ship while the other has the option of using either the Wii Remote and Nunchuck, the Classic controller or the Wii U Pro controller. Instead of split screen co-op, the game takes advantage of the Wii U hardware allowing one person to use the TV and the other the gamepad. It’s great to experience co-op while not having to share the screen, unfortunately the mode is stumped without an online co-op feature.
Nano Assault Neo has great controls. The gamepad’s analog sticks are used to move the ship. The left stick maneuvers your ship while the right stick is used to shoot. If you pick up a special item you use the right shoulder button to activate it. It’s all simple and a key item to what Nintendo promotes as, a family console, yet the game feels focused on a more hardcore gamer. That’s exactly what makes Nano Assualt Neo more fun, it’s a title for anyone to enjoy.
My biggest complaint for Nano Assault Neo isn’t the content itself but the amount of it. While each of the games cell cluster levels look great and are a blast to explore, it’s a shame there isn’t more of it. Online leaderboards are included so there is a reason to replay the game for some players, but for those who don’t care about that will however find little replay value.
The music is just as delightful as the visuals. The electronic soundtrack sounds great and enhances the experience of blasting away enemies. The visuals really push the hardware of the Wii U and can easily be a milestone for what the system is capable of. Rich in the HD format, Nano Assault Neo is highly detailed and will take your breath away after each level. The game is also gorgeous on the gamepad, where the audio is as superior to it’s television counterpart.