Nano Assault (Hands-On) (Nintendo 3DS) Preview

By Adam Riley 05.03.2012 10

Review for Nano Assault (Hands-On) on Nintendo 3DS

Most people will have fallen head over heels for the masters of gaming finery, Shin’en Multimedia, due to the German outfit’s penchant for squeezing the most out of the low-spec hardware it works on, namely WiiWare in recent years. However, true fans of the company will have been following its shooter exploits since the days of technical marvel that was Iridion 3D on the Game Boy Advance, its amazing sequel, and the two stunning Nanostray titles on Nintendo DS. Whilst publisher Majesco has been sitting on the Iridion name for too long, leaving it far too dormant, at least the Nano games are being kept alive. Although Nano Assault is not exactly the out-and-out Nanostray 3 people were looking for, this Nintendo 3DS retail debut from Shin’en definitely looks to satiate those looking for some frenetic space-bound shooting action.

The basic premise of Nano Assault is to control a microscopic Nanite space craft and navigate through treacherous locations within an actual virus in the hope of preventing the spread of the deadly Nanostray bug that may otherwise contaminate an entire civilisation and wipe it out completely. Cue fast-paced, highly intense shmup action, the likes of which were last seen in games such as Treasure’s Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Skies on Wii, Big Bang Mini on Nintendo DS from Arkedo, and even Shin’en Multimedia’s very own Nanostray 2, also on DS. Nano Assault not only delivers crazily fast gameplay, where twitch mechanics come into play to avoid the onslaught of microbiological beasts trying to down the Nanite ship, but packs a mighty punch in terms of overall visual prominence. Twisting, turning, enemy-filled stages await, all at an eye-blisteringly swift pace and with stunning 3D depth that is all the more apparent when levels change from the free-roaming, infection-seeking stages to the downright muscle seizing tension of into-the-screen, break-neck speed action.

Fight off viruses, dodge through obstacle after infected obstacle tunnels, face off against some devastatingly tough bosses that launch wave after wave of shots in your direction, analyse cell clusters, and destroy the core virus to eventually save the world. There are various weapons at your disposal in Nano Assault as well, with special beams that seek nearby enemies, blasting them to smithereens before shooting off to break down others in a chain until its charge disperses completely, as well as useful bombs that explode and emit an impressive array of projectiles. Concerned that this all sounds too overwhelming for the mere casual gamer? Well, fear not, since Nano Assault employs a clever auto-adjust difficulty setting, which reduces the test slightly to suit any gamer's level accordingly.

Screenshot for Nano Assault (Hands-On) on Nintendo 3DS

Nano Assault would not be a true Shin’en Multimedia game if it did not include a plethora of extra options to complement the main Story Mode. Thankfully, the team has poured its heart into Nano Assault, and on top of the thirty-two main cell stages, facing off against ten extremely tortuous bosses, there is an Arcade Mode where single cell levels can be played through once more in order to beat specific set targets (do not lose a life, do not use the secondary weapon, reach a certain score, and so on), with the chance to update your online ranking, as well as gain Nano Coins for use when buying in-game goodies later on.

These extras that can be bought include a selection of eleven tunes from the game that can be played in the Jukebox, each track costing different amounts of Nano Coins dependent on how far into the game it is from (general Play Coins can be converted, thankfully, for those struggling to beat challenges elsewhere). Anyone that has played a previous Shin’en game will be fully aware of the company’s prowess in the audio field, so grabbing enough coinage to unlock all the music, hooking up the 3DS to an external sound system with strong bass, and cranking up the volume to attain the optimum atmosphere in order to truly appreciate the intricacies of the futuristic soundtrack on offer, is a must. Additionally, there is the Nanopedia, which is an encyclopaedia of the creatures faced during the Story Mode, fully viewable and rotatable in 3D at leisure. A great little effect is how the tilt function of the 3DS can be used to view the critters from various angles. As if all of the above was not enough, however, a Boss Rush is available for hardcode gamers to add even more longevity to what is already a sturdy product.

Screenshot for Nano Assault (Hands-On) on Nintendo 3DS

Final Thoughts

Those waiting for Nanostray 3 specifically may wonder if this will indeed fill the gap, and the good news is that this early preview build that Cubed3 was given access to manages to tick all the appropriate boxes. US readers will have been able to pick this up since the end of last year, but the rest of the world is due to get Nano Assault in the not too distant future, with a Japanese release planned as well. Fans of high-paced, twitch-reaction space shooter action should definitely keep a close eye out for Shin’en Multimedia’s latest masterpiece.

Also known as

Nanostray 3


Shin'en Multimedia







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date None   


mike (guest) 05.03.2012#1

"US readers will have been able to pick this up since the end of last year"

Im not great with english but I believe you have an error in that line.

Gamers over in America will have indeed been able to pick Nano Assault up, though, since it was released there on 1st December.

Have any readers already tried this? I can't wait to get my hands on the final European build of the game.

Nanostray 2 and Iridion II are still two of my favourite shooters Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses
erc (guest) 05.03.2012#3

I've played it. It's super fun...takes some getting used to. Only thing I could say that I wish was included was some sort of "horde" mode in it. The story is forgettable. Purpose is minimal. Shooting is incredible. Once the game is done, only reason to keep playin is to try to get higher scores/faster times but they are always the same length and always the same difficulty.

When you do get it, mess with the sensitivity options. There are some rear view shooting sequences that the controls will feel too slow...just an FYI.

Okay, will do Smilie Are you thinking it could be a case of Nanostray, where the first DS game was good, but the sequel came on in leaps and bounds?

I heard Majesco dropped the price from its original $29.99 to $19.99 - is that right?

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I wonder if the slow down has been fixed, I heard it dropped from 60FPS to 30 or somthing along those lines when you fired bullets?

Monkey D Super (guest) 06.03.2012#6

Does anyone know if they fixed that game-breaking bug or whatever it was?

Could have done with the CP Pro.

Our member of the week

Say guys, has this come out in Europe already? I saw some PAL copies of it on sale on ebay, but most websites seem to say that it hasn't come out yet (or maybe these italian guys are advertising PAL copies when actually they're US copies).

I really want to know because I don't want to miss out on it.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Short answer, Rudy: Not out in Europe yet.

Europe and Japan are still waiting for the release of Nano Assault. Although the game will be hitting these territories a few months later than North America, it will include a new control option.Shin’en has told Nintendo Everything that the European/Japanese versions will contain an “Invert Y Axis” option. This was apparently a much requested feature in the North American edition.Nano Assault goes on sale in Japan on April 19. A European release date has yet to be announced.

Our member of the week

Just as I thought. Thanks Smilie.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

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