October 05, 2007
You know, despite all our fancy graphics cards and online this and emergent gameplay that, there's still nothing that delivers instant, adrenaline-injecting action quite like a good sci-fi shooter. The controls are simple, the goals are instantly understandable - shoot EVERYTHING - and the threats to your life are so constant, so obvious, that there's no time to be bored. That's why we're excited about the remarkably good looking DS shooter, Nanostray 2.
There are two methods of control to choose from this time around: a touch screen mechanism in which you guide your ship with the stylus, and a "classic" alternative that uses the D-pad to move and buttons to laserblast every single thing you see until it disintegrates into its component atoms - just as nature intended.
There's a plot as well (complete with voiceover), involving your search for the planet where a Nano virus was spawned, but his is really about one ship singlehandedly taking out the Space Air Force of several entire planets - just so long as none of them turn around once you've passed them. Speaking of which, you won't always just scroll upward this time - some levels will send you sideways.
As before, you'll have a primary weapon and several secondary weapon types, powered by a rechargeable meter. We saw six, ranging from area-attack pulses to seeking lasers and shock mines. And the double-barreled primary weapon, at least, gives you the power to adjust your direction of fire on the fly. It started out shooting directly in front of our ship, but a quick press of the shoulder button sent one stream of glowing doom pointing straight up and the other straight down, and another tap pointed them both to the ship's rear.
With all this firepower, you might not think you need co-op play, but you've got it anyhow. Or, you could compete with your buddy instead. He deserves it for that commet about you actually wanting to play Barbie's Horse Adventure. Toss him into this malestrom this January and see how long he can survive the pressure.