Nanostray review part 2
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Although the graphics look nice and the game plays reasonably well, apart from the terrible touch screen controls, there's little in the way of originality in Nanostray. Don't expect many surprises, even if you've only played a handful of these games before. Because the game lets you continue from the last planet you reached, even if you die, the game can be completed easily even by less experienced players. This certainly is a blessing for anyone without super quick reflexes, but once the game is completed it's a pity there isn't more replay value. Upping the difficulty level simply reduces the number of lives or smart-bombs you are given rather than adding any new game-play elements. There's the "Arcade Mode" which simply lets you play any stage you cleared in adventure mode. Players who are motivated enough to play the levels through again, chasing high scores, will need to get to grips with the games "valour" system. This system rewards players for firing less, making it a difficult and frustrating balancing act between choosing to destroy enemies or leaving them to try and up your valour bonus.
Challenge mode is a little more interesting. In this mode, you have to complete a stage and achieve a target score, or complete it without losing a life or with certain weapons disabled. The challengers are pretty difficult but will please hardcore players more than the flawed scoring system.
Finally, there's also a simple two player mode. Here you can download Nanostray to your friends DS and compete in a two player score challenge. This is reasonably good fun and it is a shame there's no way to use two copies of the game to cut down on downloading times.
Because of several niggles, most notably the poor touch screen controls and a lack of originality, it's hard to recommend Nanostray as a full priced title. Did I enjoy playing through the games 8 stages? Yes, but not enough that I'd want to play through them again even in challenge mode. However, the game can be obtained for bargain bin prices now from several retailers, (less than £10/15 Euros or $15 if you shop around). At those prices, fans of the genre might well be tempted. Just remember that the game is likely to stray out of your DS cartridge slot rather quickly after the short and easy adventure mode is completed.
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