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Nanostray 2!

Munich, Germany – September 1, 2006 – Shin’en Multimedia, a leading developer for the Nintendo handheld platforms today announces the development of “Nanostray 2” for the Nintendo DS system. Nanostray 2 is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Shoot’em up Nanostray which has been successfully released in America, Europe and Japan.  Nanostray 2 introduces many new features and elements which have never been used in its genre. This includes innovative touch screen features as well as exciting WiFi functions over the internet. More detailed information and first screenshots will be revealed within the next weeks on www.nanostray2.com

“Shin’en again raises the bar for high quality games with never-seen-before graphics, awesome audio and innovative gameplay on the Nintendo DS”, said Manfred Linzner, Project Manager at Shin’en.

For more information about Nanostray 2 and the technology of Shin’en Multimedia, please visit www.nanostray2.com and www.shinen.com

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And suddenly, this has become one of my newest most anticipated games.  Just fix up that weapon switching, please.

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Re: Nanostray 2!

My first thought when I read the subject line of this post:

OH.
MY.
GOD.

And that's NOT in a good way, either.

Angela wrote:

Just fix up that weapon switching, please.

...And then I read this and realized that, yes, it was a pretty good shooter, barring that weapon-switching  "Hey, we have a touch screen now so let's use it for some purpose without testing its ease of use or its functionality" system. The weapons were pretty cool, graphics were good, and I love shooters even though I stink at them. I'm not so sure about it's 3/4- view, though....that drove me crazy, like the Kirby 64 game, whatever it was called. Couldn't tell what was the background and what I could actually interact with. (And then of course there was Viewtiful Joe, where you COULD interact with the BG but only if you had a certain power. Yeesh.)

So yeah. If they fix the weapon switching, I'd give it a try. God, "innovative touch-screen features"....I fear what that means.

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Re: Nanostray 2!

Schala wrote:

...And then I read this and realized that, yes, it was a pretty good shooter, barring that weapon-switching  "Hey, we have a touch screen now so let's use it for some purpose without testing its ease of use or its functionality" system.

Yeah, I think the touch screen was a bane in some ways for developers in the early days of the DS.  Maybe it was pressure from Nintendo to have them include SOME sort of functionality to 'show off' the system's feature, or maybe Shin'en was just too ambitious with the idea, and ended up with form over process.

I've always felt confident that should Shin'en make another shooter after Iridion II and Nanostray, that they would get it totally right.  Here's hoping!

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Re: Nanostray 2!

They need to fix that control scheme.  The controls made the game more difficult than it needed to be.

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Re: Nanostray 2!

Angela wrote:

Maybe it was pressure from Nintendo to have them include SOME sort of functionality to 'show off' the system's feature,

Ah, I suppose there was some truth to this:

In a recent interview with C3, Project Manager Manfred Linzner revealed some new gameplay features for the title.

Nanostray 2 will leave behind the touch screen, weapon-switch controls from the first game and instead opt for a more traditional setup that uses the buttons and directional pad only. Linzner explains:

"The touch screen use in Nanostray was not our idea. We were forced to include it and never liked it. N2 is 100% funded by Shin'en and so we have this time full control."

http://www.gamesarefun.com/news.php?newsid=6818

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Re: Nanostray 2!

http://www.nanostray2.com at last has an update on the game.  I was praying like nuts that this badboy didn't eventually end up as vaporware. o_O

Majesco is once again publisher, and is set for an early 2008 release.  Three optional control schemes (left-hand touch, right-hand touch and classic control -- i.e. no touch at all.... huzzah!), 16 bosses, a hundred different enemies, and over 30 songs and 200 sound effects for the soundtrack.  Challenge Mode is back, and there's two player simultaneous play via local wireless.

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Re: Nanostray 2!

Yay!

Now you just have to remind us when pre-orders start, Angela.

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Re: Nanostray 2!

Angela wrote:

"The touch screen use in Nanostray was not our idea. We were forced to include it and never liked it. N2 is 100% funded by Shin'en and so we have this time full control."[/i]

http://www.gamesarefun.com/news.php?newsid=6818

*shades of GBA connectivity* *shudder*

Remember Nintendo: DS is doing great despite the touchscreen, not because of it.

This definitely sounds like an interesting prospect. The above is the reason I ultimately passed on the first game...I can tell you right away touchscreen is a terrible idea for any kind of shmup without even looking at the first game.

Last edited by GoldfishX (Oct 6, 2007)

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Re: Nanostray 2!

GoldfishX wrote:

The above is the reason I ultimately passed on the first game...I can tell you right away touchscreen is a terrible idea for any kind of shmup without even looking at the first game.

Er... The first one really only used the touch screen for menu navigation and weapon selection. If you didn't mind hitting its buttons with your thumb, it wasn't a particularly big problem. It's not like you navigated with the stylus or anything.

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Re: Nanostray 2!

Grabbed from the latest issue of Nintendo Power.  The moniker on the top makes one want to scream, "But when, dammit?!  When??!!"

March 11th is the tentative new date, by the way.

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Re: Nanostray 2!

Ahh, had to go ahead and pinch myself, as it just didn't seem like a reality.   But, it's finally here; my copy of Nanostray 2 has arrived in my twitchy, hot lil' mitts. 

And to be honest?.... I'm rather disappointed with it.

Played a few extensive rounds through Adventure Mode.   Shmup fans will immediately note that Shin'en is clearly riffing off a number of past shooters.  You've got the obstacle surroundings of R-Type, bullet-hell waves like Ikaruga, and Options-style weaponry like Gradius.  While it sounds great on paper, the execution comes off as a bit mish-mash messy.  First, the obstacles surrounding your playing field are frustratingly cramped; when you mix this with the bouts of bullet hell -- and the fact that enemies can now come at you from all sides (quite quickly and unexpectedly, I might add) -- you're going to get quite a few cheap, unnecessary deaths.  At least, I sure did.   

They've rectified the problem of touch screen weapon switching - by taking out the ability to switch weapons all together.  Now, you predetermine your weapon before a stage begins, so you can't switch on-the-fly like the first game.   In its place, they've implemented the Satellite System, which are basically Option-like helpers a la Gradius. With three satellites allowed at a time, it's neat that you have complete reign as to how the firing trajectory will be set up, before the stage begins.  You'll generally want to keep a front, middle and back position to have a better fighting chance at those all-sides enemies, but it's pretty cool being able to set up three satellites all in the front for a nice, widespread shot.  That said, I do prefer the variety of instant weapon-choosing of the first over the more pre-emptive strategic structure of this one.

The graphics are an unsurprising feast for the eyes, but somehow less slick looking than the first game.  Where the first game had this incredible 3D engine running both environments and objects alike, N2 relies on a mostly static 2D background which doesn't come off as immersive-looking.  The enemy design and animated movements, on the other hand, are top-notch, and there's good variety all around.

To speak of the optional new touch-screen controls, where you control the ship by dragging the stylus over your ship to maneuver (and shoot with the d-pad), well.... it's not so great, because your hand tends to hinder your viewing area of the screen.  Not cool when dozens upon dozens of bullets are coming your way, and you can't react and pinpoint the stylus in time to dodge.  Stick with the traditional d-pad/face buttons set up, you'll be far better off.

Maybe I need a little more time to warm up to it, but upon first glance, Nanostray 2 isn't quite the revolutionary DS shooter I was hoping it would be.  In fact, I would currently place it below the original Nanostray.  At least the first had its own identity, with a number of definable features that made it stand out from other shooters.  N2 feels kind of substandard in its attempt to mimic the best elements from other series, and at the same time, they've taken out key gameplay features from the first, like the smart bomb and the 'coin magnet' feature.  The first also felt more tactile as far as movement and hit collision goes, no doubt due to the more freeing level design and weapon selection.

Last edited by Angela (Mar 21, 2008)

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Re: Nanostray 2!

Angela wrote:

Ahh, had to go ahead and pinch myself, as it just didn't seem like a reality.   But, it's finally here; my copy of Nanostray 2 has arrived in my twitchy, hot lil' mitts. 

And to be honest?.... I'm rather disappointed with it.

Sorry to hear sad  I never played Nanostray but the bits I saw of it looked sorta neat.

On a related note, has anyone played Gradius Generation (GBA)?  I've heard good things but I'm a bit sceptical as it isn't 'real' Gradius (though, I guess GV wasn't, and it ended up being better, haha.)

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Re: Nanostray 2!

I'd be more willing to try out and stick with Nanostray 2 based solely on the fact that you don't have to use the touch screen to change weapons. That was such an awful, awful design decision.

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Zane wrote:

I'd be more willing to try out and stick with Nanostray 2 based solely on the fact that you don't have to use the touch screen to change weapons. That was such an awful, awful design decision.

I'm actually looking into tracking down Danshaku, which is the Japanese version of the first Nanostray.  Apparently, they implemented the option to switch weapons via a button, in addition to the touch screen element:

http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.ph … d7a58cf116

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Re: Nanostray 2!

Angela wrote:
Zane wrote:

I'd be more willing to try out and stick with Nanostray 2 based solely on the fact that you don't have to use the touch screen to change weapons. That was such an awful, awful design decision.

I'm actually looking into tracking down Danshaku, which is the Japanese version of the first Nanostray.  Apparently, they implemented the option to switch weapons via a button, in addition to the touch screen element:

http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.ph … d7a58cf116

That would be excellent. Good luck on your hunt for it. wink

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Re: Nanostray 2!

csK wrote:

On a related note, has anyone played Gradius Generation (GBA)?  I've heard good things but I'm a bit sceptical as it isn't 'real' Gradius (though, I guess GV wasn't, and it ended up being better, haha.)

I have it (it's called Gradius Galaxies in the U.S.), but it's nothing special.  It's very average and not terribly interesting.  I wouldn't recommend it.

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Re: Nanostray 2!

Zane wrote:

That would be excellent. Good luck on your hunt for it. ;)

Well, I finally tracked down a copy of Danshaku.  I gave playthroughs on all difficulty levels, and it's pretty much what I expected: same exact game, with (generally) improved controls.  The fact that they remapped the button configuration so that "Y" is your primary weapon and "B" is your special (as opposed to the original's awkward "A" and "B" setup) is a godsend in itself, but I'm not terribly crazy that they chose to place the weapon swap button as "X." It would've been far more natural to have it placed on "L", which isn't even being used anyway - or, even better, have both the "L" and "R" designated for back and forth switching between weapons, and have the "X" as the coin magnet.  Having only one button to cycle through four weapons is a bit cumbersome, because you either have to 1) Take your eyes off the top screen to see which weapon you're looking to select or 2) Commit the weapon's list order to memory so that you can count off how many times you have to press X to get to the weapon you want.  Either way, it's still an annoyance when you have to do it in a pinch.

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