What is it with Koji Igarashi's obsession with blood? He's the producer of the Konami team responsible for the Castlevania series which deals with vampires. And vampires suck....blood. Nano Breaker also deals with bloods. Lots of it. In fact it's everywhere and it's really thick. Looks like red glue. While the presence of blood in a videogame can get the adolescents in the audience primed and pumped for an allout visceral assault, Nano Breaker doesn't offer much more play value than watching a ton of the red gooey stuff squirt all over the screen. The environments are flaccid, the gameplay tepid and the overall product is just plain limp.

Near the end of the PSone's lifespan there was a glut of "me too" 3D action games that played the same, looked the same and sounded the same. We are now experiencing the same phenomena on the PS2 and Xbox although the visuals have improved. Nana Breaker is one such title. In fact I'd dare say that it's truly a PSone title in PS2 clothing. The drab level design and lack of any cool visual stimulation in the backgrounds almost screams "1st generation game" while all of the upgrade options at your disposal are just time wasters. All of the upgrading that the game affords you is useless busy work as you will make out just fine with the stock weapons and attacks you get from the start.

One little nugget that needs to be mentioned is the sadistic save feature. Nano Breaker is a tough game and a save system that locks you into the short hairs of health you had when you saved and throws them back in your face upon a reload from that point, is just plain mean and ornery. Restarting with a sliver of health is completely useless when it took everything I had plus a magnum full of luck to arrive there in the first place. Now I get to play for 3 seconds over and over and over again, while desperately trying to claw my out of the predicament I'm in because I'm surrounded by enemies.

If you are like me, you expect more from Konami and you certainly expect more from the team that cranks out quality Castlevania titles. Nano Breaker has no personality at all, not even accidentally. It's a button mashers paradise but they didn't even manage to get that right due to the awkward camera controls. You'll be constantly fighting for a decent viewpoint while mashing and it just doesn't satisfy on any level. The bosses are the one highpoint in the game but the lack of originality in their design also adds to the "been there, done that" atmosphere that permeates the entire experience.

The winter months often sparkle with that shiny nugget of digital gold that developers release into the ether like buried treasure. Unfortunately this is cubic zirconia. If you're curious, rent it, but if you've made it this far and you're still curious, then spend the money on reading comprehension classes because vital pertinent information just ain't getting through to you buddy.

Preview by Chris

Fans of action games may just want to watch for this one. NanoBreaker has just been announced by Konami and heading to your PS2. No-NanoBreaker is not some new martial arts move that could cause intense pain. Although it sure sounds painful, it's actually the newest game from the same person responsible for last 2 Castlevania games. Koji Igarashi the producers of the above mentioned titles. This one sounds great for a story line. In the future nanotechnology has started to take over control on a quest of it's own. Seeking out new plans that no one ever dared to think of during the research phase of development. The goal is simple take over every human's blood stream one by one. Creating a new creation of an unstoppable army based on it's own creation and intent on mass destruction! Man this sound good it also sounds like we're screwed as far as the story goes or are we?

There has to be a way to stop this new evil threat Right? Of course there is, it would not be much of a game or a storyline with out a hero. Of course the hero is not you're average guy wearing tights. Instead it's a new breed of cyborg that has a special weapon in its control. The Plasma Blade weapon! A weapon that can shift into any shape and change at will. Of course the main focus will be on this new weapon and creating some killer combo moves during the battle against these new Nano creations.

Right now that's as much info as we know about the story and the main theme. The game will feature a story mode and a time attack mode as well. We expect Konami will release more details and are sure to include some new modes of game play as well. Early reports are saying the game will focus on the new weapon and the different weapons it can form. Since pictures can speak louder than words take a look. More news on this interesting new action game as soon as we get it folks!


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System: PS2
Pub: Konami
Released: Feb 2005
Review by StewXX