| paleface [sys=DS; cat=Shooter_Vert; loc=NA] |
|This is a game about a very tiny runaway dog.|
Well no, it isn't, though you might think so from the title! Naw, it's another down-angled vertical shooter from Shin'en, those crazy German developers what did the Iridion games (see entry 133) for GBA. They managed to pump quite impressive graphics and sound out of that ol' machine, and they do even better on the DS: Nanostray is a treat for the eyes and ears, at least as much as can be had from the DS's tiny screen and speakers.
I don't like the gameplay, though. For one thing, I just don't like the angled view for vertical shooters (the camera is shifted down a bit so you're looking from above and behind your ship, as in Iridion and, for instance, Raystorm): it makes it hard to line up shots, and it wastes the upper sides of the screen.
I also don't like all the obstacles: big pipes jutting out into the screen and so forth. But especially irritating is the way in which the game sends big, tough ships tearing across the screen at you like giant battering rams. It likes to do this with bosses, too, and those guys take up most of the screen space. Bleh!
Oh, yeah, and to make their compulsory use of the touch screen, they put weapon switching on the lower screen, so to switch weapons, you have to touch the appropriate part of the lower screen with your thumb. Uh, that doesn't work so good for me. I also don't like having to look down there to see the state of my energy meter.
Oh, that's right, the energy meter. You have your normal shot, and then another button will fire your alternate weapon, which drains your power meter. Run out of meter and you can't fire the alt weapon until you get more energy--you can get energy by picking up blue coins dropped after you kill a wave of baddies, for instance. But with all the big rammers the game throws at you, you're basically forced to burn a lot of the meter taking them out before they ram you.