Nano Assault EX Review: Beautiful 3D Shooter Action

Nano Assault EX Review: Beautiful 3D Shooter Action

Game Title: Nano Assault EX
Developer: Shin’en Multimedia
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: March 7, 2013
Purchase Price: $14.99 USD

Nano Assault is easily the best shooter on the Nintendo 3DS and one of the best overall games on the system. There is so much to like about the game including the levels, enemies and, of course, the boss battles. Additionally, it is one of the best looking 3DS games, and most importantly, it has some of the best gameplay including a fantastic scoring system that can keep players entertained for hours.

That’s the original Nano Assault, and now we have an improved version that just released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, Nano Assault EX. This version comes with a number of enhancements including a new mode, Survivor Mode. Additionally, it now supports the Circle Pad Pro which, for many, can increase the enjoyment of gameplay significantly. I’ve also noticed the improved graphics and gameplay, which even caught me off guard in a few instances.

For those who don’t know, Nano Assault is an action shooter that has players controlling a nanite ship as they make their way through a number of cell clusters while destroying a dangerous nanostray virus.

I gave the original Nano Assault great praise and now Nano Assault EX deserves even more.

One of the biggest and most notable features with Nano Assault EX is that it uses the Circle Pad Pro accessory. I love the game without dual analog control, but it improves the gameplay significantly when dealing with the “ground” missions. The aim and control creates for more natural gameplay than what was available by using the button controls. However, in each of the seven cell clusters is a different type of mission that has players “flying” through the level, instead of the typical ground missions. I would have guessed that I would enjoy the Circle Pad Pro just as much for those missions as I did with the ground missions, however, that was not the case.

I spent a great deal of time in the original title playing through those in-flight missions, which are the missions that led into the eventual boss battle. They were my favorite for challenging high scores on the online leaderboards. Since I played those the most in the original, I had to wonder if I was having an issue with change, because using the left stick to move the ship and the right stick to aim just didn’t come as naturally as I would have expected when using the Circle Pad Pro. It didn’t feel smooth nor give me precise enough control, so I immediately went back to the original controls which felt far more natural to me. Nano Assault was originally designed without the Circle Pad Pro, so the original controls handled perfectly fine. Because of that issue, I would use the Circle Pad Pro during the ground missions only and not use it during the in-flight missions. That worked perfectly for me!

The gameplay is just as fun and challenging as it was the first time around. I’ve even noticed a few differences that I never stumbled across during the original. First of all, I ran into an enemy and caught the side of a cliff during an aerial mission. This happened in areas that I know never happened in the original. Second, some of the missions felt more difficult this time around and provided for some tougher gameplay, even though the entirety of the game is rather easy to get through.

Nano Assault was great, but Nano Assault EX takes it another step forward and creates for an even more enjoyable gameplay experience. Every mission and boss battle is just as fun as it was the first time around. The same goes for the Boss Rush mode and now a new mode as well, Survival Mode, which can provide for even more hours of fantastic high score hunting gameplay. For players who may not get into the high score rush as much as others, it’s still a tremendously fun experience. However, for those who love to go after higher scores and battle their friends on the online leaderboards, Nano Assault EX features a perfect scoring system that can have players playing time and time again to obtain a high score. This game has one of my all-time favorite scoring systems and players can have so much fun replaying levels to achieve those higher scores.

Nano Assault EX is one of the best shooter experiences that is available on the 3DS. For those who own the original, it’s easily worth spending another $14.99 to experience the game once again along with its improvements. Additionally, the new Survivor Mode is almost worth the $14.99 by itself. Obviously, for those who haven’t played the original, they need to get this title immediately and start experiencing a beautiful looking 3D shooter on the Nintendo 3DS.

Score: 9.5/10


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