Nano Assault Neo review

by Harry Hughes 16 Comments 9 Likes 10,359 Views 05/02/2013 Back to Wii U reviews Nano Assault Neo

A sharp, punchy must-buy for all E-Shop users!

After experiences with just one title, my faith has been restored in the E-Shop and its ability to produce quality downloads. That title is Nano Assault Neo.

I’m going to tell the truth: I approached Nintendo’s E-Shop with complete caution when the first downloadable titles became available for download. The reason for this is twofold: my experiences, like those of many others, with the original Wii’s download-service, were less than satisfying, and more threatening than this was the fact that still, few developers of full-scale retail titles have been able to utilise the GamePad’s unique capabilities. I will admit, I was scared there would be some gimmicky shockers among the list of downloads upon entry to the E-Shop.

After experiences with just one title, however, my faith has been restored in the E-Shop and its ability to produce quality downloads. That title is Neo Assault Nano, which has left nothing but a sweet taste in my mouth.

The premise behind this sharp, sci-fi shoot’em’up is simple: kill enough enemy bacteria to open up the exit of each level, and reach the exit before the world manages to blow up. These worlds come in the form of small, awkwardly-shaped 3D human cells, absolutely chockablock with sci-fi looking scenery, from microscopic boulders to majestically-swaying foliage. Move with the left stick, aim your fire with the right stick, and use the right trigger button to use power-ups.


It never ceases to amaze me that a game that mainly utilises just three buttons can be so enjoyable, and Nano Assault Neo is no exception. It is the simplicity of the controls that makes the game easy to pick up, and this accessibility – in addition to the sharp, punchy gameplay – is what makes this game fun. It is by all means an absolute joy to play.

At first, I must admit I was confused as to the exact goal of the game, with little documentation on the matter found in-game. It took some experimentation to discover the parameters of victory. However, from here, everything fell into place nicely.

The single-player/”story” mode is a challenge where players must complete clusters; a series of similarly-themed levels, without dying three times. Successfully achieving this unlocks a new cluster. It is a simple concept, yet one which challenges the player to develop a diverse skill-set and a comprehensive awareness of the behaviour of enemy bacteria. Though there’s only a handful of clusters, players will struggle to complete them all in quick succession, and the whole exercise could be considered a warm-up for the game’s main course: its survival mode.


This has players attempt to survive as long as they possibly can across as many levels as they can last. It challenges the player’s ability to maintain concentration over a long time, and pits them against other players around the world in a challenge to achieve the best score. Techniques for boosting score must be learned and used to good effect by players should they wish to hit a high position on the game’s leaderboard.

Such techniques, whose appearance is quite subtle, add a layer of depth to this title which otherwise would become stale quickly due to the fact there’s barely a dozen levels. This is not the case, however, and players who buy Nano Assault Neo will be rewarded with an immensely-fun, highly-replayable shoot’em’up.

This has all been said without mentioning the presentation, too! Rest assured, the visuals are incredibly crisp and sit very comfortably with the sci-fi nature of the title. The music, too, complements proceedings beautifully, and will have your toes tapping in turn with your fingers. It’s a little overwhelming how appropriate and enjoyable the presentation is, and must be experienced first-hand if you want to understand how joyful it really is.


Finally, a word on my major concern going into Nano Assault Neo: GamePad implementation. This title does not fall into the trap of using features for the sake of it. Implementation is limited to using the touch-screen to re-adjust the position of your ship’s turrets while your game is paused, or pressing a button to have the game display fully on your GamePad. Clean and appropriate, the GamePad implementation in this game should be considered by all developers hoping to produce software for the Wii U.

The Final Verdict

The fun-factor of this title is completely surprising at first. Simple gameplay is made fun through scoring competitions, eye-catching visuals and upbeat audio that will make you drum your fingers around your GamePad. Though simple to get the hang of, becoming an expert at Nano Assault Neo requires some serious dedication, and that’s what makes this title so fun.

In addition the content mentioned above, there’s a survival mode and a multiplayer mode. It is justified to conclude that the game is jam-packed when it comes to value. That value combines with all the elements that make this game fun to produce a must-have for any Wii U owner who plans to use the E-Shop.

By Harry Hughes

Nano Assault Neo

Got Right
  • + Fast, furious and fun gameplay
  • + Crisp sci-fi visuals
  • + Terrific upbeat audio
Got Wrong
  • - Aim of the game is initially unclear
Platform: WiiU
Similar to: Nano Assault (3DS)
 
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Nano Assault Neo review Comments

  • Harry 77599 XP 05/02/2013
    Any of you checked this out yet? It's so much fun!
  • Foetoid 14505 XP 05/02/2013
    Yeah its awesome. I was on top of the leaderboards for my miiverse friends for a while, scoring over 1mil per level.
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  • KieranT878 7990 XP 05/02/2013
    First game for my Wii U from the eshop. Its great.
  • 1wiierdguy 8389 XP 05/02/2013
    I agree its awesome. Bring on the 3ds version I say.
  • Gryllis 342436 XP 06/02/2013
    A game worth playing on Wii U [MOG]
  • Olly 32817 XP 06/02/2013
    I thought it was rubbish to be honest. It closely resembles Super Stardust HD which is far superior to this drivel.
    4/10 from me at the most.
  • Harry 77599 XP 06/02/2013
    Are you high? :P
  • Olly 32817 XP 06/02/2013
    Seriously? nah I just didn't like the game. It just feels like a quick cash grab filling a space on the estore until better stuff comes along. It's a badly designed game, the difficulty is all over the place, the enemy designs are poor the graphics while pretty can become too much with effects filling the screen making you lose track of your ship. It closely resembles Super Stardust HD but seriously lacks in comparison. A complete waste of cash imo, has avoid written all over it. Read Eurogamers review here, absolutely spot on www.eurogamer.net/...
    I'm amazed you gave it a 9/10 i'd have to reverse your question and ask "Are you high?", way, WAY too generous
  • Harry 77599 XP 07/02/2013
    It's a badly designed game? How so? Its simplicity makes it easy and enjoyable to pick up. I'm not sure how enemy designs are poor? They're varied and their attack patterns show a progression in challenge.

    I'm also not sure how the difficulty is over the place? The first world was very doable, the second was a struggle. The third world felt very difficult and the last one too was harder still.

    I agree, the lens flares in particular can distort what are otherwise beautiful worlds, but I only recall having a problem with the lens flare in one or two particular levels.

    I also do not agree with the "complete waste of case" remark -- I paid barely $10 for this and have got more hours out of it than many retail releases that sell for $70+. This is the perfect downloadable title in my eyes.

    Regardless, a review is just an opinion, and you're welcome to yours that this game is a waste of money. Having said that, Eurogamer's review is the only negative review on Metacritic. There are MANY 70s, a few that gave the same score as me, and even one that scored higher.

    All I'm trying to say is that I'm not the only reviewer who thought this was a very worthy purchase. And looking at general reception among gamers, I can tell that dismissing this game has not been a common move. :)
  • Olly 32817 XP 07/02/2013
    I'm not very good at explaining myself. I find on a whole the game to be badly designed due to all the negatives I see in it. I found the difficulty to be all over the place being easy one moment and very hard another there's no natural progression. The enemy designs left a lot to be desired for me as did the whole world designs I guess they served their purpose but it isn't very fun or interesting to look at. It's a waste of cash for obviously people who are tired of these twin stick shooters and people like me who see it for what it is a quick cash grab before the store becomes more populated with better stuff. Had this of come out in say 12 to 18 months I don't think people would have given it a second look. I purchased this and barely made an hour out of it, it's a drab, boring twin stick shooter clone and one that extremely lacks in comparison to its rivals. I respect your review and i'm expressing my opinion on it. No offense intended what so ever!
  • Harry 77599 XP 07/02/2013
    Oh, I'm not offended. My original comment (the "are you high" line) was more comic than serious, but your follow up response made it clear are opinions on this title differ greatly -- I just wanted to explain that, in my eyes (and others'), it was a worthy 9/10, and not just a nice score slapped on for no apparent reason.

    As far as twin-stick shooters go, I have barely played any -- most of my space schmup experience has been on PC. Even if I had, though, I try my best to judge each game on its own merits before comparing to industry-counterparts. And the fact is, there was something special about this title's presentation and simplicity that had me longing to play some more. :)
  • 1wiierdguy 8389 XP 07/02/2013 +2
    OMG! WTF am I reading? Did you two just exchange differing opinions calmly and maturely? This is the Internet god damn it! There's no place for that here. You have to insult each other, TYPE IN CAPITALS, accuse the other of not being a "real" gamer, belittle the others taste in games and challenge the others worth as a human being. ;)
  • Harry 77599 XP 07/02/2013
    oh geez man, that is too funny, you made my night. :D
  • Olly 32817 XP 08/02/2013 +1
    It just takes two mature people. I never troll but i can come across quite hard hitting with my comments causing some to react badly. Its why i come back here, there are some good people around here, hard to come by on the net.
  • Olly 32817 XP 08/02/2013
    Yeah i knew the high comment was in jest Harry :) i have to write the i don't mean to offend comment though as i'm so used to people jumping on the 'your a fanboy/hater' bandwagon.
  • Harry 77599 XP 08/02/2013
    seen it all before mate, I understand. I also get that we are likely going to have differing opinions on different software, and I think that we can discuss and analyse our different opinions is a wonderful thing. :)
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