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Review: Nano Assault Neo (Wii U)

Thursday, January 24th, 2013 by

nano assault neo review
As one of few available offerings in Nintendo’s Wii U eShop, does Nano Assault Neo stand out as one of the better stick shooters around, or is it just a hurried cash-in on the eShop’s lack of other titles? Find out in our Nano Assault Neo review.

Every indie storefront deserves its own celebrated stick shooter; Xbox Live has Geometry Wars and the PSN has Super Stardust HD. The Wii U eShop has Nano Assault Neo, and while it’s not exactly up to the same standard as the other two, it does succeed in what it sets out to do: Make you dodge bullets and kick all manner of parasitic ass.

Visually, Nano Assault Neo looks great, both on your GamePad and on your TV. The way the stages rotate beneath your ship as you traverse and purge infected cells can be mind-bending at times. The music that pumps in the background as you blast your enemies away is exciting, too. Sadly, all this slick presentation serves as gift-wrap for a game that, at its core, is largely unimaginative.

nano assault screenshot

Stick shooters aren’t terribly deep to begin with, but Nano Assault Neo feels shallow even by established standards. Between the lackluster power-ups and the overarching sense of laziness in the game’s play modes and design, there’s not much to get excited about here. The game difficulty spikes in a few places, too, making the journey from beginning to end an inconsistent experience.

Despite all that, Nano Assault Neo is still solid in all the right places; it’s fun to play, simple to learn, and the controls are tight. What the game lacks in imagination, it makes up for with visual and musical prowess. Two player co-op is made a little more interesting by having the GamePad’s second screen, and you can completely switch the game over to the GamePad, which is handy for those times when someone wants to watch TV.

It would have been nice to see the GamePad’s touch screen implemented a little better, though. Aside from adjusting the position of your cannons, there’s not much else you can do with it. Some more stages would have been appreciated, too, as the game feels mighty short after you’ve finished blazing through it in just a couple hours.

With a little more beef and a little more innovation, Nano Assault Neo could have been something great. Instead, it’s something familiar with little to offer beyond the essentials. Still, Nano Assault Neo is sure to keep you entertained during its flashy tenure, however brief that may be.

3 stars

Nano Assault Neo is available for Wii U from the Nintendo eShop for $9.99

About the Author

Mark A. Brooks uses the A. initial in his name so as to seperate himself from the teeming legions of other Mark Brookses (there are at least 65,000 in the state of Michigan alone). Keep up with him on twitter, because why not. @unoriginalG

Mark A. Brooks has written 642 posts on Delta Attack

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