Nanostray 2 Hands-On
We crash and burn our way through this sequel to the DS's shoot-'em-up.
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The original Nanostray was a straight-ahead 3D shoot-'em-up that was light on story but big on weapons and some interesting visual design. Now Majesco and developer Shin'en are bringing the sequel to a DS near you with some twists to the standard shoot-'em-up formula that look to make the sequel an even more enjoyable experience than the original. We recently had a chance to check out Nanostray 2 during a meeting with Majesco reps to see how the game is coming along.
While the original game only featured vertically scrolling levels, Nanostray 2 will have both vertical and side-scrolling sections. We got a chance to play a portion of one of the side-scrolling missions that, in typical shooter fashion, started out with a relatively wide-open area. Then it progressed into tight, mazelike corridors we had to wind our ship through, all the while blasting enemies, dodging their attacks, and looking out for such sinister obstacles as pipes bursting forth with nasty green gas. If you fill up the new nanogauge meter, you can also earn multiplier bonuses as you make your way through the levels.
Unlike the original game, Nanostray 2 will have a storyline, complete with attractive cutscenes and voice acting. These are all found in the game's adventure mode, which will explore the mysteries behind the Nanostray virus. In arcade mode, players can replay any of the levels featured in the adventure mode at any time. Challenge mode will offer four sets of eight challenges: Completing a set will unlock new levels in simulator mode, which will give you the opportunity to play through entirely new levels. Nanostray 2's multiplayer will feature both cooperative and competitive play. Cooperative play will support multicard play, while dueling will support either single or multicard setups.
Before a level begins in Nanostray, you'll be able to choose your control style. The game will feature three control setups: classic (for those who don't want to use touch-screen controls) and left- or right-handed touch control. In addition to your standard blaster, you'll be able to choose from your ship's secondary weapon (controlled with the B button). These can include a heat-seeking missile, a radeon (a close range weapon), and a weapon that shoots in different directions. You can also place your weapons on your ship before a mission begins and change their positions (front, middle, or rear) on the fly by pushing the shoulder buttons as you fly through a mission. It's quickly apparent that switching your weapon position to the ideal position is very important when completing a level because enemies and obstacles will often appear at strange angles.
With 100 different enemy types, 16 bosses to destroy, and the ability to upload your high scores to the game's Web site using the DS's Wi-Fi capabilities, Nanostray 2 will certainly give fans of shoot-'em-ups plenty to do when it's released early next year. Stay tuned for more on the game in the near future.