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N2O: Nitrous Oxide
for Sony PlayStation

reviewed by Donald Melanson

Myself being a huge shooter fan, any game that is compared to Tempest and Stun Runner is sure too get my attention, and that was the case with Fox Interactive's N2O: Nitrous Oxide. N2O is a trippy, psychedelic shooter that, at it's core, is basically still Tempest, not that there's anything wrong with that.

N2O: Nitrous OxideThere is not much of a story to N2O, but the real goal of the game is, of course, the high score. Players travel through tunnels advancing to the next tunnel after all the generic bug-like robot thingies from outer space have been eliminated, occasionally finding themselves in a stunning bonus stage. The game progressively gets faster the farther you get which makes for some very intense gameplay. Some will find this to be a welcome throwback to the era of games like Tempest while others might find it somewhat repetitive after they get past the audio/visual feast.

And quite the feast it is. The graphics are very impressive and can only be described as very trippy (the screen-shots really don't do the game justice). The soundtrack is provided by The Crystal Method and includes a number of tracks from their "Vegas" album along with some remixes. All of which fit very well in the game and work equally well in your stereo.

The control is a little more complex than most shooters with every button on the PlayStation's controller being used, and while N2O works perfectly fine with a regular controller, using the analog dual-shock controller adds quite a bit to the game. The two- player mode (which I wasn't able to test) allows to people to work cooperatively in either full-screen or split-screen mode.

Everything basically comes down to the gamer's idea of what a great game is. There's no complicated moves to learn in N2O, no cinema scenes between levels, and could be viewed as very repetitive. However, it's got near perfect gameplay, harkens back to some of the classics and you can save your high-scores on a memory card. If the latter is more attractive to you than the former then this game is for you.

m i n d j a c k

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