Sunday, January 22, 2017

Nano Breaker for PS2 (2005)

Original ad published in the April 2005 edition of EGM (no. 190)

Press to view or download image in higher resolution.

A sea of red for a Castlevania clone 

The early to mid-2000s saw a new concept of video game previously controversial that now became commonplace. About this time we saw extremely violent games that reveled in their obscene depiction of human death, such as Manhunt, Hitman, Postal and of course The Grand Theft Auto series. This was a strong departure from the survival horror and fighting games games of yesteryear. Violence was now a complete game experience, not a highlight point or a cheap gimmick. Nano Breaker falls somewhere in this mix.

Some have called this game the Metal Gear Rising of the PS2 era. You know this kind of game. Kill thousands of no-name enemies and advance to the next section by button-mashing to oblivion. That's it. Here, presentation is above-avarege and the graphics are drenched in absurd amounts of gore and syrupy- red blood. 

Konami's offering did have some pedigree. It was produced by Koji Igarashi, of Castlevania fame. In fact, it used the exact same engine of Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, a solid game in its own right. But today, Nano Breaker has been relegated to a mere footnote in video game history. It was just too repetitive and too gimmicky. Unlike those other extremely violent games I mentioned above, Nano offered little in the way of story or deep level design. Lots of sites have called it "the most violent game you have never played".

Now the publicity used to promote the game is nothing less than superb. All that violence is correctly portrayed with a deep red textured background. The main protagonist standout at the left of the page with a strong white and grey cast. This makes for a very simple chromatic presentation that mixes quite well: white, red and black with a just tones of blue. Classy. 

The right-hand side of the page features some nice gameplay screens and the lower part of the page is limited to the blurb. Notice the font type the designers selected for both the main title of the game and the promotional text. Very distinctive. A wise choice. Other nice details are the faces and characters that occupy the negative space of the ad. The higher part of the page has some faces of relevant characters in the game, while the very lower part of the page is reserved to the enemies. This all ads for a very interesting 3-D effect that pops out from the printed page. Great advertising for an average game.

Nano Breaker for PS2 print ad copy

They may have an army, they may have an arsenal...
You have the ultimate weapon.

Nano Breaker

  • From the producer of the renowned Castlevania series.
  • Shape-shifting plasma blade offers a myriad of different attacks, including slicing, grabbing and smashing enemies.
  • Acquire special skills for even more devastating assaults.
  • Multiple game modes, including story, splatter and movie.

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