A long time ago I played a lot of Raptor; call of shadows on an old computer, it was one of the first games I played, When I saw nanostray for 10 Euro it appealed to me and it did not let me down
The story is pretty easy and slightly typical you are a lost fighter pilot who tries his best to fight the nanostray virus, a virus wich infects machines and biological matter, there are some pretty diverse levels on different environments and very little repetition in the levels except for the waves of enemies which may be a bit predictable, levels usually lead up to a big boss battle at the end.
the game gets you an overhead perspective on a small fighter ship whit 5 diffident weapons all which have their perks, you can use a special burst of any of the five weapons but this will cost you energy which you replenish trough the collection of tokens you get upon destruction of complete waves of enemies, big enemies also drop coins which add to your score, upon defeating the last level in the story you are given a code which you can check online to see how well you did compared to others, There are also several challenges in which you can for instance play a level without auto fire or get a certain number of points or higher to unlock extras such as concept art.
The weapon switching is a bit weird however and you should not use your stylus, pretty much you should play it holding the DS like a controller and using your right thumb, which you use to fire, to switch weapons.
One of the biggest things about this game is the soundtrack, there is some pretty good music in there which fits the themes of the levels.
This game is a good buy for the Nintendo DS if you enjoyed games like Raptor and Island hopper.
Some games appeal to us not on any sort of intellectual level whatsoever, rather they appeal to us on a more basic level. These games have little depth beyond big guns, big explosions, and big numbers of big baddies. Nanostray is one of these games.
In my opinion, a pure action shooter type game only really needs to meet a handful of gameplay criteria to be fun - however, these criteria need to be met to a very high standard to make the game worthwhile and worth purchasing. Nanostray excels in these basic criteria - the gameplay is smooth and fluid, and the action is relentless. There are several different weapons available, each with a super-powerful secondary option, which allows for variation whilst carving your path of destruction across space. A personal favourite of mine involves zapping enemies down with a big bolt of lightning - although there is also the option of guided missiles, which are especially handy when the enemies are coming so thick and fast you can't keep track of them!
The actual story/campaign in Nanostray only has eight (yes, eight) levels, and can easily be completed within an hour. This means that it's almost more like a tutorial, rather than being the 'bulk' of the game - the main meat of this game lies really lies within two other modes, Arcade and Challenge. Arcade allows you to replay the 8 levels at will (once unlocked) so you can beat your high scores. Yes, this is rather old school - but it's also deceptively appealing! The Challenge mode is rather predictable, with a series of 'Challenges' such as 'Get a high score above x' and 'Complete this level without dying'. It's fun to do the odd Challenge ever now and then, although for me the button-bashing high score beating fun of Arcade mode has given me the most enjoyment.
There's also a head-to-head multiplayer mode that I have yet to try. It looks pretty funky though, with collectable power ups that hinder the progress of your opponent - I guess kind of like a shoot-em-up version of Mario Kart.
The graphics on Nanostray are just right. The view is top down, and the game essentially works in two dimensions. However, the environments you fly over are three dimensional - this gives a pleasing sense of scale and speed as you soar over the varying futuristic factories and spaceships. Most important in this type of game however is the fireworks - seeing as 99.99% of the time you will be blasting things and making them blow up, it's kind of crucial that explosions and lasers looks suitably impressive. Thankfully they do, lending a certain aesthetic satisfation to the experience.
The sound is fairly average. The sound effects are reasonably well done, and provide a fairly satisfying reward each time you blow something up. The music is pretty much as you would expect from this sort of game, although nothing special.
Overall, Nanostray is as good as a pure action retro space blow-em-up is really going to get. It's never going to be as intellectually stimulating as a good puzzler, or as deep as say Zelda. It is, however, great as a quick adrenaline rush. Especially if you like blowing things up.
Slowly awakening from a blast to the side of your ship, your memory is jumbled and you can't remember what just happened or what you're doing in this sector. Instinctively, you check your console; a destination is still plugged in. You must take action; the enemy is starting to swarm. Nanostray is an intense, pulse-pounding 3D Shooter designed exclusively for the Nintendo DS. Supporting touch screen input, network play and dual screen support, Nanostray's arsenal of weapons, non-stop action and beautifully designed environments make this game one of the most exciting and innovative 3D shooters ever.