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Sunday, 11 April 2010

A Good Walk Spoiled. Part 1 - Ups and Downs.

Sid Meier makes awesome games. Alpha Centauri, Pirates!, and of course the Civilization series are just some of the names that leap from the pages of gaming history. Pity I don't like any of them (well, I haven't actually tried Pirates! yet). I'm just not strategically minded. I always end up getting wiped out by my opponents in no time flat in strategy games. I don't get them at all. Sorry, Sid.

But there is one of Sid Meier's games that I do get... Sim Golf.

First things first... where to build this thing? Each locale offers different terrain challenges.

I love Sim Golf. It's like the Sunday afternoon of games... you can just potter about in it, having a nice relaxing time, adding a bunker here, taking away a water feature there. Sure, there's some micromanagement to be done... and I'm not that great at that. But I don't care. It's my ultimate chill-out game.

That said, I rarely finish anything I start on it. This doesn't matter... I really enjoy every game of it. But I thought I'd start up another new game and blog it, and see how that goes. Maybe I'll build a complete 18 hole course this time. Maybe it won't be very entertaining to read and I'll knock it on the head early on. Or, maybe, I might have a successful game and the blog posts will be fun too. That would be a result.

Doesn't that look like a lovely place for a golf course? Let's get cracking...

The scope for building courses is enormous. You can spend hours just on one hole. Will you make it a par three, four or five? How big will the green be? Will you have bunkers or water features? Or both? What kinds of trees will you have? And how will the terrain lie? Actually, the land-shaping tool is amazing. You can have all kinds of hilly layouts if you want. You can build up a massive elevated tee, and have a long downhill hole, or you can make the green difficult to reach on the top of a plateau. But you have to bear in mind that your patrons might get tired...

Micromanagement plays a big part in the game. You have to employ staff for various duties... gardeners to keep the courses free from weeds, marshalls to move along slow players, vendors to offer refreshments around the course. It's important to get the positioning of these right, not just for coverage but bearing in mind the layout of the course. Build holes that are too difficult, and there's not much the marshalls can do with everyone struggling. Build holes with too many undulations, and people will get knoackered, so although you'll make a killing with the refreshments, again, the marshalls will be unable to keep things moving.

Hole 1. A par 4, dogleg through the trees, with sand around the green. Nice start.

And then there's the "Sim" aspect of the game. For "Sim", read "Sims". Yes, the people on your courses are little Sims people, with their own strange sounding language and little emotion icons. Luckily, you don't always have to guess how they're feeling... handy speech bubbles will let you know if they like or dislike any particular hole, but will also let you in on little titbits from their personal lives. It's for your own benefit to try and encourage these to play out... it's also quite entertaining, and all you really have to do is keep them happy enough to keep coming back to the course.

You can probably tell I love this game... I've waffled on about it for ages without actually doing anything. So without further ado, hole number 1 is complete and open to the paying public...

Getting Wasted. Part 1 - We're Having a Party!

I'm starting a couple of new irregular features, to be updated when I feel like playing the games in question.

Getting Wasted will follow my attempts at playing an all-time classic RPG - Wasteland. I owned it on the Commodore 64 and got a little way into it, and really enjoyed it. But it ground to a halt for some reason that I can't remember. I've always really wanted to get back into it, but I haven't got the patience these days, even with an emulator, to figure out all that disk swapping and boot disk creating and what have you.

It all starts here...

Fortunately, I've got the PC version. I've had it for years, but haven't been able to play it because it's a DOS game and I can't do DOS. I know, I'm rubbish. I've tried and tried, and can't figure it out. And I know it's probably quite simple, but apparently so am I. Help is at hand, though, courtesy of a program I've discovered called D-Fend Reloaded. It's a front end for DOSBox from what I can gather, for people like me who can't even manage that program. And it works. Programs I haven't been able to use for over a decade are now up and running.

I have to say, compared to what I remember of the Commodore 64 version of Wasteland, the PC version is somewhat lacking charm. It's very generic looking, whereas the 64 version has more style. But that doesn't matter for this... I just want to be able to play the game.

I don't want anything to do with this lot. I'll have all their gear, though.

So, why "We're Having a Party!"? This hasn't been much fun so far. Well, mighty oaks must start from little acorns, and before you can embark on the quest you must create your party of characters. I've always struggled with this... I've always had a hard time naming so much as a pet, and you don't want to know how long it took me to come up with my kids' names. So, naming fictional characters in a video RPG? Impossible.

Still, it was done, with the party leader being me, PaulEMoz. Strong as an ox (eh?), lucky and highly charismatic (who said games had to be like real life?), I was the perfect choice to lead this little band. Next up is YJ Malmsteen. I always put him in role playing games... named after Swedish guitar maestro Yngwie J. Malmsteen, I always figure you can't go wrong with a Viking by your side. Quick and agile, he'll hopefully be doing the sneaky work for me. My third character is Ed the Head. Strong, clever and lucky, he'll be patching up the gang if they get injured, and hopefully still slaughter enemies like the Iron Maiden mascot he loves. Yeah, I spelled it wrong.

And we're off. Let's see how long we last...

Aaaand finally, we have Kelly Bundy. Wasteland was something of a revolution to me, in that it was quite important to have a female character in your squad. And I thought it would be quite funny if the most intelligent member of the party was called Kelly Bundy. I always thought that girl had hidden depths. She's also a nurse (medic), which I like the idea of, and she's highly charismatic, so should be able to charm the socks off any would-be assailants.

And so, with that, we're all set. The party is formed, and out into the Wasteland we venture...

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Barbarian II (Psygnosis - Commodore Amiga)

Remember what I said yesterday? That Barbarian would be great if you could just run in there, hacking, chopping and leaping with a move of the joystick and the press of a fire button?

Scratch that. I was wrong.

You may well recall (you should, like I said it was only yesterday) that I quite enjoyed Hegor's adventures in Barbarian. The game wasn't without flaws, but it was quite interesting and had a nice graphic style, and I had a pretty good time with it. Seeing as I also own the sequel, I thought I'd dash the pair of them off, one after the other. And I was quite looking forward to seeing what improvements had been made in the sequel.

There are no improvements.

Yep, you keep looking the other way... I'll just nip down here...

In fact, the game seems to be a backward step in almost every way. The first problem lies with the control method. Now, I bemoaned the odd mouse-and-menu control method of the original, and wondered how much better it would be with joystick controls. Barbarian II uses joystick controls, but plays pretty horribly. It turns out that there are too many actions to comfortably fit within the constraints of the joystick and one fire button, making the game a bit confusing to play.

Also, many of the creatures attack you from positions that make them very difficult to hit, resulting in massive frustration as you take hit after hit. You'll also find yourself trying to escape, maybe up a flight of stairs, but being hit by some spitting creature and knocked, helplessly, all the way back to where it can get you more easily. Grrrrrrr!

Bit nippy in here. You'd think they'd turn the heating on.

Another problem lies with the game design. In an attempt to give the game added depth, it's been switched a little from the flick-screen original... it does stay flick-screen, but when wandering through the forests, you now have branching paths, being able to move up or down to take different routes. But this makes the game dull, like a slow-paced version of Robin of the Wood.

And finally, the game looks worse than the original. The background graphics of the forest are lovely, but the characters all look muddy and indistinct. And Hegor no longer looks like a barbarian... he looks more like a useless Viking, the one that the whole village laughs at.

I'm not sure what happened here... the ingredients were there from the original game to make something really good. It certainly hasn't panned out that way, though, and I don't expect to play this one again.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Barbarian (Psygnosis - Commodore Amiga)

The name "Barbarian" has quite a history in gaming... probably because there were two of them. I think that everyone remembers the Palace Software version... with its epic one-on-one sword combat and lopping-off-of-head coup-de-grace, it was the beat 'em up of choice for those that didn't like wearing coloured pyjamas. Then, of course, there was the sequel, which famously discarded the one-on-one aspect in favour of an adventure-type game, and Wolf from Gladiators. And Maria Whittaker.

If you had a 16-bit machine, though, there was another (although "lesser" machines did receive ports at a later date). Psygnosis had their own Barbarian game. You'd think that would be a bit confusing for the masses... surely it wouldn't have taken much effort to come up with an original name. Still, I guess they figured that if the name fit the game, that was all that mattered. And it's the Psygnosis game I'm looking at on the Amiga.

Eh? Wassat?

Psygnosis' Barbarian is an adventure-type game. You take control of Hegor the Barbarian, who must travel through a hostile land of dungeons and traps in order to confront and defeat his evil brother, Necron the Sorceror. And not only are there traps to be sprung or overcome, but also (naturally) hordes of Necron's minions to be dispatched.

Sounds straightforward, and all too easy for someone as mighty as Hegor the Barbarian. Unfortunately, he's been hamstrung by a strange and unwieldy control system. It would have been great if Hegor could have just run in there, muscles glistening, hacking, chopping and leaping with the movement of the joystick and the press of the fire button. Instead, he's controlled via a mouse-driven menu.

Hmmm. This looks too straightforward. I wouldn't trust that rock as far as I could throw it...

This seems really odd, and it feels a bit weird, too. The weirdest part is that Hegor will keep walking unless you tell him to do something different, no matter what. That wall that's blocking his way? He's under the impression that if he walks into it enough times, it'll get out of his way.

It's also quite difficult, especially with a twenty-odd year old mouse that's not as responsive as it once was. That said, the icons are laid out in such a way that you never normally want one that is too far away from the last one you used. And to be fair, you can string together a quite impressive and fluid sequence of moves, once you get used to it.

If he had a heart, he'd just let me have that bow up there...

And once you know what you need to do... there's some trial and error to be found in Barbarian. Sometimes, the way forward is obvious... just walk or run along the screen and hack the creature that's in your way to death. It usually just takes one blow. But there are other times when you'll be strolling along, golden locks flowing in the breeze, and a spiked trap will drop on your head and kill you, seemingly without warning. It's somewhat irritating, as there don't appear to be any clues as to the presence of some of the traps.

It's a curious game, is Psygnosis' Barbarian, and one that's nowhere near as immediate or satisfying as the Palace game. It's quite slow, and when you're playing as a barbarian the last thing you want is to be ponderous. Still, it does have its charm, and I found myself plodding on and coming back to it, just to see if I could get a few screens further. Not what I'd call a classic, but enjoyable enough.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Gravitron 2 (PC)

If you thought my games shelves were a bit of a disgrace, with unplayed game after unplayed game, then you should see my Steam list. The amount of times that I've bought a game, particularly when it's on a Special Offer, and then not played it is ridiculous. So I thought I'd tap into that reserve today, and I picked Gravitron 2.

I pretty much knew what Gravitron 2 was about before I played it... I knew it was like Thrust. And Thrust is a game that I have really enjoyed over the years, although I've never been all that good at it.

All of that applies to Gravitron 2.

Look! Little people. Now, how do I get to them in one piece?

If you don't know what Thrust is about (or Gravitar, the arcade game from which it no doubt sprang), then read on. The game is set in space, and you have to navigate your craft down to a planet's surface and blast a reactor, which will trigger a world-destroyng explosion (meaning you have to get back into orbit, sharpish). Of course, it's never as easy it sounds. These planets are extremely well-armed, with turrets firing at you in defence of their world. As an extra line of defence, the further you travel into the game, the more inaccessible the reactors become, with tight caverns needing to be negotiated before you can get to the reactor. It's an intense test of nerves, reflexes and skill.

Gravitron 2 gives you all of that, plus a few extras. For instance, there are now people to be rescued from around the reactor. I'm not sure whether they're scientists or colonists, or what. But they're there, and you can land and pick them up. There are also extra defences, such as laser barriers that switch on and off and serve to make life even more difficult. Aesthetically, the game ladles on the pretties, ensuring that although it's still a simple-looking game, it doesn't appear stuck in the Eighties.

I think we all know what happened here...

I did explain that I was never very good at Thrust, and it therefore follows that I'm not very good at Gravitron 2, even though it's a more forgiving game (you can take a number of hits per ship, whereas in Thrust, well, you can't). That being the case, there may be even more to the game later on that I haven't been able to discover. Even so, I can state categorically that Gravitron 2 is a very good Thrust game indeed. Thrust cost £1.99 about 25 years ago... Gravitron 2 costs £2.99 today, via Steam, I'd say that was more than fair.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

FIGHT! Commodore 64 vs. ZX Spectrum. Number 2: Uridium

After yesterday's less than successful effort, I felt like I wanted to play Uridium properly. And then I realised it was the ideal candidate for the next episode of FIGHT! This is particularly true when you compare them on the main platform-specific websites... on Lemon64, the Commodore 64 version (which is the original) only averages a user rating of 7.79, and doesn't manage to crack the top 100, whereas on World of Spectrum, their version does hit the top 100 and averages a user rating of 8.49. Intriguing. So who's right?

I'm very familiar with the Commodore 64 version. Programmed by Andrew Braybrook, one of the 64's premier coders, at the height of his powers, it's a slick arcade shoot 'em up that requires quick reflexes and a fast trigger finger. It's incredibly polished and a lot of fun, and I spent hours and hours with it in my younger days.

Five-to-one problem... need fast trigger finger to deal with!

For the uninitiated, Uridium is a two-way horizontally scrolling arcade shooter, which sees you piloting a spacecraft against fifteen massive enemy Dreadnaughts. Each of these must be destroyed, but it's not as simple as just flying up there and blowing them out of space... they'll send waves of fighter ships at you. They also have proximity mines on board, which are released if you fly over or even near their ports. And finally, just getting from beginning to end can be very difficult... the Dreadnaughts are littered with structures, which prove deadly if crashed into. And you do have to get from beginning to end... you have to land on the runway before you can destroy the Dreadnaught.

Sneaky... I fly down this narrow track and they swoop in behind me. Clever...

Slipping back into the pilot's seat of the C64's Manta felt very comfortable. It's a pretty fly ride, nice and responsive, able to accelerate quickly although braking is sluggish, capable of flipping in a 180 degree manoeuvre, and also of flipping onto its side, which is handy as there are some tight gaps to squeeze through. It also pumps out a more-than-passable amount of bullets, and even though enemy attack waves number no more than five or six, they're accurate, so you need those bullets to take out as many as possible as quickly as possible.

Mine! Mine! Hey, if you want it that much, you can have it!

The 64 version is a glorious arcade blast. Always was, and probably always will be. It's not perfect... the gameplay is by its very nature repetitive, but the different dreadnaught layouts help to make up for that, as you're always on edge, wondering where the next tiny gap or obtrusive structure will be. It's a bit of a pain having to wait around by the runway for the Land Now signal (if you get there too early... there's a very real danger that you'll be blown to bits before then. There's a sequel, though... Uridium+. And that game rectifies the Land Now issue, moving it one step closer to perfection.

The red square is a mine port... they're really fast, so I'd get out of there!

What of the Spectrum version, then? Is it better than the Commodore game? Is it even as good? My honest opinion is... no, it's not as good. It is a fine game, though, and a great acheivement for the Spectrum. The Dreadnaught layouts are different, which I appreciated as it effectively makes it another game to learn. Attack patterns are similar though, although the game is even more unforgiving and difficult. The Manta controls well, but the game is let down slightly by the scrolling, which although not exactly jerky, tended to give me a headache after any reasonable length of time.

Those enemy ships on the runway are sitting docks... blast them while you can!

There are a couple of things missing from the Speccy version, too... neither of which is gamebreaking, but worth a mention. When you end a level, you play a brief bonus game on the Commodore 64 to determine your bonus. That's gone on the Spectrum. Also gone is the cool fly-by at the end of the level, where the dreadnaught boils away and you get the chance to blast some of the ground features youDmay have missed before you landed. Like I said, not gamebreakers, but just little touches that add to the overall experience.

One down, fourteen to go. Spectrum owners are unlikely to have seen this bit.

I'm not entirely sure why the Spectrum version is rated that much more highly on the internet than the 64 version. When you play them back-to-back, Braybrook's original is clearly superior. Maybe it's because there aren't many great arcade shoot 'em ups on the Spectrum, whereas the 64 did them really well? I'm not sure, I can't vouch for that having not played many Spectrum games. What's clear is that both platforms had a really good game in Uridium, so everybody wins in that respect. As for this comparison:

RESULT: Commodore wins!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Commodore 64 (iPhone/iPod Touch)

I've been a fan of the Commodore 64 for nearly twenty-five years now. The original machine is best, of course, but I welcome any new opportunity to play its games on new platforms. Emulation has seen old computers raise their heads all over the place... not just on the humble PC, but for years and years now they've been running on systems from handhelds up to the Nintendo Wii. Now, it's running on the iPhone... sort of.

The program is set out in a cute way, with a Commodore 64 in the middle, tape deck at the top left, cup of coffee and computer mags at the top right, joystick at the bottom right and games at the bottom left. This is purely cosmetic... after a little while, a power button pops up for you to start the program. Once you do, it displays your list of games, plus options at the bottom.

Watch you don't spill that...

Games... it appears that someone has managed to officially license some Commodore 64 games for sale on the App Store. They get around the usual restrictions by offering them through an in-emulator store. It works perfectly well, although there's not a lot of games available just yet. Most of the games are from Hewson (not a bad thing), with a few First Star, Task Set and Mastertronic games also available. Oh, and Wizball.

You don't need to head in that direction immediately, because they do throw some free games at you for starters. At first, I thought that the eight Commodore games they give you were your lot... not bad, as the classic International Soccer and Basketball are among them, as well as Jupiter Lander and Jack Attack. But then I noticed there were others in the store for free, and all I had to do was download them. And there are some bona fide classics in there... Bruce Lee for one, Samurai Warrior (Usagi Yojimbo) for another. There are a couple of Jeff Minter games (Hover Bovver and Attack of the Mutant Camels), which is good to see. There's also Laser Squad, which would seem to be an awesome addition... although I can't figure out the controls for that one at all.

That's what you get for trying to be sneaky!

The controls... that's where the whole package lives or dies, really. And although I don't want to say that this dies, it's certainly a bit peaky.

The level of control you get depends on the type of game you're playing. The first game I played was Bruce Lee, or B. Lee as it's actually called here... I guess your character could be Bernard Lee, or maybe Brett Lee, but that's a bit less glamorous in a kung-fu game. I didn't play this much at the time, and never really knew what I was supposed to do. My mate Reedy played it loads though, and loved it. Actually, I remember now that we had some good laughs with the two player game. He might not have been so keen on this one... it's pretty tricky to do what you want. The problem mainly comes from the "joystick"... the length of travel is too long, making movements imprecise. In B. Lee, that means The Green Yamo keeps kicking me to Kingdom Come. Not great.

Games can be played in Landscape mode, which is probably a bit easier.

Next up was Usagi Yojimbo. I loved this game back in the day. Loved it. In fact, I might do an Unsung Classic on it. For a samurai game, and therefore a beat 'em up, it's quite laid back. As a result, it actually works pretty well on this app. Everything came flooding back straight away, and I didn't have any control issues at all. This could eat up some time.

Finally, in order to test the shop and the joystick's true limits, I downloaded Uridium. Uridium was possibly the best arcade shooter on the 64. Fast and frantic, it requires quick reflexes and a quicker trigger finger. Which means that on the iPhone or iPod, you're dead in no time flat. You just don't have the level of control that you need over your ship. Shame... this would have been an awesome game for the bus.

And this is full screen mode. Now, where's the "accurate controls" mode?

At the end of the day, recommending this Commodore 64 app is difficult. After all, the C64 has been emulated on countless handhelds, to better effect. But this does have some nice features... one of which is the way it automatically saves your game when you exit and gives you the option of resuming where you left off next time you load the game. It's a nice idea, but the controls still need some tweaking. That said, it's free (not sure if that's permanent or not), and as Usagi Yojimbo is also free and is awesome and playable here, it's worth getting just for that. Anything else you happen to like is just a bonus.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Unsung Classics. Number 9: Ristar (Sega Megadrive)

Ristar is a game that seems to have been very highly regarded in general, but its release came toward the back end of the Mega Drive's cycle, and so it probably wasn't seen or played by as many people as it deserved to be. Of course, in this day and age gamers are given second or even third chances, with emulation and retro compilations being the order of the day. Ristar is on the Sega Mega Drive Collection, and also the Wii Virtual Console (at least, I think it is), so there's plenty of opportunity for it to get a good playing. Here's why you should jump at the chance.

Sega, of course, had already created one of the all-time classic mascot characters in Sonic the Hedgehog, and he/it had a range of games, all wildly successful. It's almost a shame that Sonic was so successful in a way, because Ristar could have been a great mascot character, and as far as the game goes, I prefer it to Sonic.

You are, naturally, Ristar, and you live in a world of platforms, which is handy when it comes to making a game. An evil space pirate has captured your father and is using mind control to enslave the planets in your galaxy. It's left to you to rescue your dad, and stop the evil Kaiser Greedy (for that is the space pirate's name).

Grrrrr! I'll thwottwe you, you wascawwy wabbit!

Ristar is a funny and cute looking character, albeit an angry-looking one. But given the quest at hand, he's not very well-armed. All you can do is jump (and not very high at that, and there are no double-jumps here), and grab. The grab is your offensive move... you grab your enemy and then slam into it and bounce it into oblivion. It looks funny, because it looks like you're throttling the life out of the enemy creatures! Larger enemies take a few hits, though. You also have other moves, depending on your environment... for instance, in the second world you can swim, and whilst underwater you can swim faster instead of jumping. Or there may be rungs or ladders which you can climb up or swing across.

Unlike Sonic, this game is played at a pretty sedate pace, which means you've got more time to explore the levels and take things in. This is good, because there are plenty of bonuses to be found, in the form of treasure chests. Break one open and you'll receive a reward... usually a unit of health, but sometimes it'll be a crystal which gives points, or sometimes a full health top-up. Sometimes you'll see a chest, but figuring out how to get it is difficult. I like that... it means you go out of your way to find it out, and see more of the level. And there's no time constraint of any kind, so you can potter about at your leisure.

Look at the size of that fella! Wonder if he'd taste good with tartare sauce?

At times, you will encounter a crank. No, not a madman... a lever or handle, suspended above the ground. If you jump and grab on to this, you'll start to swing around. Hold on for a while, because once you're swinging fast enough, when you let go you'll go zooming into the air, invincible to everything in your path. Usually there's some kind of bonus to be found when doing this... sometimes treasure, sometimes a large "height bonus" (lots of points). It's just something else to keep you interested.

Ristar is a heck of a lot of fun. It's a pretty chilled-out game, not too difficult but quite long and still enough of a challenge to keep it from getting boring. It also looks lovely, with a great art style complementing the action. It's a real shame that it didn't get the attention it deserved at the time... put that right now, while you still can.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Nanostray 2 (Nintendo DS)

I'm not usually all that keen on playing sequels before I've played the original... I like to have that comparison to draw on. But I saw Nanostray 2 for less than a fiver, and figured it would be rude to leave it sitting there. Besides, I do like a good shoot 'em up, and there aren't many that I know of on the DS, so it had to be worth a blast.

Nanostray 2 seems to combine elements from Gradius V and R-Type Final. Wait a minute... what? That must make this the most awesome shoot 'em up ever! Well, just hold your horses there while I expand on things a bit.

There's not much that'll stand up to a two-pronged lightning attack.

The game has a fairly substantial menu, but the areas you'll find of most interest are Adventure mode and Arcade mode. Adventure sees you attempting to play right the way through the game from the beginning. You get five ships to see you through, although more can be picked up through the game, if you're lucky. You also get two continues, should those ships not prove to be enough.

As you might expect from a modern shooter, Nanostray 2 features a narrative, and you as the heroic pilot. You have to pick your way through fairly cramped levels, avoiding and blasting waves of small craft, before tackling a boss at the end of the level. Shooting entire waves of enemies releases coins to pick up, some of which will give you orbs that float around your ship and fire when you do. These orbs can be repositioned around your ship for strategic purposees, which comes in handy at various points throughout levels. You also have a secondary weapon which is more powerful, but is also limited in use. Probably best to keep it for the bosses, then.

No, that's not my score. Maybe if you knock a zero off the end.

The Arcade mode functions a bit more like a Score Attack, with you selecting a level and then going on to score as highly as possible on it. Sadly, you can only pick levels that you've unlocked in the Adventure mode... and as that is pretty difficult, you might not be using the Arcade mode much, at least for a while. That said, the Adventure mode is nicely structured, in that once you've got past the first level you've got a choice of two for your next, so this branching pathway enables you to do the unlocking a bit more quickly, if you're any good at the game.

I'm not, so I haven't unlocked much yet. I imagine that one of the reasons there aren't many games like this on the DS is because they don't control well with the D-pad. Nanostray 2 certainly isn't unplayable, just... challenging. It's quite good fun despite the D-pad thing, it looks nice, and it's certainly not a walk in the park. It's not really suitable for short games, at least not in Adventure mode, and long games give me cramp, but despite all this, Nanostray 2 is a decent addition to the collection.