Big Bang Mini (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 08.05.2009

Review for Big Bang Mini on Nintendo DS

The small team at Arkedo Studio has already lit up the gaming world with its highly addictive DS title 'Nervous Brickdown' and now it is back ready to rock the dual-screen system once more with its take on the shooter genre with 'Big Bang Mini'. But with Shin'en Multimedia already taking the DS shmup crown not only by default, but by delivering one of the best space shooters of all-time, can the French team out-do its German counterparts with its innovative take on the theme?

The general theme of any shooter is predominantly 'fire as many bullets as you can whilst dodging hordes of enemies'. You only have to look at some of the recent greats on the DS, such as Ketsui, Bangai-o and Nanostray 2 to see that the more manic proceedings are, generally the more fun the game ends up being thanks to the adrenaline rush players get. For Big Bang Mini, though, French outfit Arkedo Studio has decided to mix things up slightly, choosing to force gamers into bringing a modicum of thought to the table. How has it achieved such a feat, though? Well, with a simple flick of the stylus on the touch-screen your tiny space-craft shoots out a firework that flies into the air and explodes. Should it strike an enemy then great, you will have moved one step closer to despatching the threat. However, should the firework miss completely, it will merely blow-up, shooting a gorgeous array of colours around the screen, yet also breaking into deadly, flaming pieces that start to rapidly fall back in a downwards motion...right towards you!

Therefore, in many cases, not only are players desperately moving their craft around the touch-screen, using complete stylus control, they are additionally having to keep a close check of exactly what the outfall is from their mistimed attacks. Of course, it must also be remembered that any time the stylus is being used to fire off shots it means that your ship is momentarily left stationary and defenceless...

Screenshot for Big Bang Mini on Nintendo DS

Thankfully Arkedo is not entirely evil and throws the player the odd bone from time-to-time in the form of ship upgrades, some of which are simply temporary, others permanent. For instance, quite early on players will be granted the everlasting use of homing missiles (which, whilst seemingly very useful, actually impact less than normal shots) and other certain stages there are one-time deals, such as a swirling vortex that can be administered by moving the stylus round and round on the touch-screen quickly, resulting in all enemy fire being sucked away into the ether. These all prove to be vital additions to your arsenal when attempting to collect the necessary amount of stars dropped by the plethora of unusual enemies found across each stage.

With nine gorgeous, highly stylised worlds, each of which containing ten levels, numerous multiplayer and miscellaneous options on offer, as well as an enthralling online mode that will keep gamers constantly battling for the highest scores worldwide, Big Bang Mini would have been a superb addition to anyone's collection at full price, but the fact that it can be snapped up for £19.99 or less makes it an essential purchase for high-action shmup fans everywhere. Arkedo had a smash hit with Nervous Brickdown, lent a helping hand to Mekensleep for its Soul Bubbles project and has now delivered its best effort yet in Big Bang Mini. It may not quite squeeze out Nanostray 2 as the best shooter on DS so far, but it comes a very close second.

Screenshot for Big Bang Mini on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Arkedo may only be a small studio, but it is clearly packed with some of the best talent in the Industry, showing that Nervous Brickdown certainly was not a fluke. Big Bang Mini takes the shooter formula, shakes it around and serves up a definitely triple-A piece of gaming goodness that will test gamers to the maximum.






First Person Shooter



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (1 Votes)

European release date TBA   North America release date TBA   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date TBA   


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