Publisher: Majesco Sales
|FIMP: Nanostray [NDS]|
Seriously though, folks - it's NOT THAT HARD to glance really quickly at the touch pad to select weapons. After you learn where each button is, which is pretty easy, switching is a cinch. I don't know what all those reviewers are whining about, though I do agree that it's still a design flaw that we don't have the option to use the shoulder options to switch.
Other than that, gameplay is tried-and-true vertical shmup mayhem. The challenge is up there. I died how many times on default difficulty trying to beat the first stage I chose. And the weapons you use are just really great - the fact that you have all of them at your disposal immediately reminds me of the great Radiant Silvergun. A moment of silence to honor the great shmup.
Ok, so back to the 'stray. What I love about it, besides the weapons, is just the sheer mayhem - no, not as ridiculous as RSG or Ikaruga, or even Sokyougurentai. But pretty wild. There are plasma beams and bullets everywhere. Ships come out of nowhere to take you down. And the beautiful, BEAUTIFUL graphics make the entire package a rush.
But there is one pretty noticeable and awkward problem.
See, Nanostray isn't a 100% vertical, top-down shmup in the perspective sense. It's "tilted" down like Slipheed. Not a problem by itself. But, well... let me try to explain it with MS-Paint.
Here is what a normal vertical shmup's playing field is like:
Here is what Nanostray's "tilted" playing field is like:
Notice that in Nanostray, the closer your ship is to the top of the screen, the less horizontal movement it can offer. Not only does this look just plain weird when you've got an entire horizontal range to exploit on the DS screen that's NOT being used, it's also just limiting. Perhaps your movement rate scales WITH you, but it's still troubling when you look at it on the screen, thinking you have more space to move than you do. Invisible walls are NOT your friend.
If you can get past that, and the mandatory touch-screen weapon switching (it's NOT that bad), Nanostray so far is another great shmup that - while doesn't reach the lofty heights of Treasure's finest - should satisfy portable shmuppers. I can't wait to play more of it.
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