N2O Nitrous Oxide

a game by Fox Interactive
Platforms: Playstation, PSX
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 1 vote
Rate this game:

Overview

It seems that shooters are starting to make a resurgence on the PSX and Fox Interactive is jumping into the mix with N2O Nitrous Oxide. The recent trend for shooters seems to be geared toward fast action and bright, colorful environments. Calling N2O fast paced would be a huge understatement and colors are used to the point that you may not be able to tell if you are looking at your hippie uncle's tie-dyed shirt or if you are watching the game.

N2O is the scientific compound that makes up Nitrous Oxide, or laughing gas. It turns out that you find yourself in the future and the galaxy is at war (this is why I keep eating at McDonalds...The future is always at war so I don't want to be around to see it). Anyway, the forces of evil have made new plans to invade the earth. It seems that by accelerating the subatomic particles around a tube-shaped circuit, they were able to create Super Warriors. Actually, they have created a race of mutated insects. Where does Nitrous Oxide fit in to all of this? It is a by-product that is emitted inside the tunnel and just happens to be what your ship uses for fuel. All of this is great but the bottom line is that it is up to you to blast your way through the tunnels, killing anything and everything that is brave enough to try to stop you. Sounds cool, doesn't it?

Gameplay

If I were to compare this game to one other game throughout history, it would have to be Tempest. The game has feel that is somewhat similar to this arcade classic but it does not look anything like it. If I were to pick a game on the PSX that this game most reminds me of, Nanotek Warrior comes to mind. If you have played either of these games, you will have something of an idea of what to expect.

The basic concept of this game is to fly your way through this breeding tunnel and kill as many of these mutated insects as you can while collecting weapons power-ups and coins. If you make it to the end of the tunnel, you may find yourself facing a boss of some sort. The tunnels vary from flat surfaces to twisting and turning shafts that will make even the strongest of stomachs churn. You will encounter a ton of different types of bugs and each has multiple scoring systems. This means that you will receive different amounts of points depending on when you kill the enemy. Great theory but in practice it is just not practical. Allow me to explain.

First off, this game races by so fast that your head will end up spinning. You are in a ship that blasts down these tubes at a breakneck pace. Sure, you do have brakes that you can use for a limited amount but usually by the time you think to use them, it is too late. Combine this speed with the fact that you have 360 degree mobility, which means that there really is not floor or ceiling, and all you can really do is shoot ahead and hope that you are clearing a nice path for yourself. What this does do is create one of the fastest paced environments in a game that I have ever played. I will have to give extra points for pulling this off.

What this speed also does is limit your ability to make decisions. I mean, I was ripping down this tube at eight zillion MPH and was expected to shoot things in a specific order or let certain enemies make it past me so when they come back, they are worth more points. I got news for you, it was all that I could do to just stay alive. There was no way in hell that I was going to be able to think about what I am shooting at and that if I let it go by and come back again, it will be worth more points. Sure...piece of cake. I just sat back and blasted at anything and everything. I guess the point is that they went to all of the trouble developing this elaborate point system but I think that most people will not be able to make conscious choices about what they shoot and when they shoot it and if you can, you have my admiration.

One thing about this game that was both good and bad was that it had help screens during the gameplay. Let's say that you start a new level and there is a different type of insect that you have not seen before. A help screen will pop up and give you the lowdown on this new foe, including the different scoring system that you can use on this enemy. I really thought this was a great idea. I no longer had to flip through the manual to try and figure out what each enemy was capable of. Instead, it presented the info to me before I faced the enemy. The bad part about this was the fact that I needed a help screen to play the game. Actually, that is not true. I did not need to pay attention to the help screen and you would do fine just blasting away (see last paragraph) but the point is that this is a shooter. How much help should you need? Shoot weapons...kill enemies...make it to the next level... There, that is what the manual and help for a good shooter should read like. N2O has so many different scenes and scenarios that trying to remember them all will make your head spin faster than the game itself.

I will say that they did do a great job with the different mutated bugs. You will find yourself fighting everything from a giant ladybug to ants, spiders, beetles and flies. These enemies were all pretty fresh looking and had their own special attacks. For example, the Black Widow spider would spin a web in the middle of the tunnel and you have to shoot out a piece of it and fly through the area that you opened up. This is the kind of thing you should expect to see from this game.

My only major gripe about the game was that the gameplay just really wore thin after about the first 10 levels or so. Beyond that, I just found my attention starting to drift from the game, which is never a good sign. Although it did get progressively harder, the game really did not change much. I never had that "can't wait to see the next level" mentality when I was playing. I knew that the next level would have me zooming down another tunnel shooting at some other giant insects. There was just nothing to look forward to. I guess, in defense of the game, that may have been intentional. The idea of old school shooters was to get the high score, not to progress levels. Unfortunately, this mentality usually does not work nowadays. I want some change and I want to be rewarded with new levels and something different. Come to think of it, I do not think that games even kept scores any longer.

Graphics

N2O has definitely got some good looking graphics. To be honest, they are the best part of the game. As is abundantly obvious from reading above, the game moves along at an incredible clip and never really suffers from any noticeable slow down. The colors are bright, vivid and just plain trippy. You will find yourself oohing and ahhhing throughout all of the different levels but unfortunately the only thing that is different between the levels is the colors and twists and turns. The enemies all looked cool and those spiders were pretty nasty (coming from a spider-hater).

Bottom Line

In the end, this game may not have the staying power to keep you playing. Like I said, after the first 10 levels or so, I found my thoughts drifting to something else. This game is fast paced and full of action and if you really enjoy shooters, you may like it a bit more than I did. Actually, I didn't not like the game, I just really was not able to get completely into it. I think the complex scoring rules and everything were a good idea but like I said, you really won't have much of an opportunity to take advantage of it because things just happen so damn fast. Overall, I suggest a weekend rental to see if the game is right for you.

Download N2O Nitrous Oxide

Playstation Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PSX Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Overview

It seems that shooters are starting to make a resurgence on the PSX and Fox Interactive is jumping into the mix with N2O Nitrous Oxide. The recent trend for shooters seems to be geared toward fast action and bright, colorful environments. Calling N2O fast paced would be a huge understatement and colors are used to the point that you may not be able to tell if you are looking at your hippie uncle's tie-dyed shirt or if you are watching the game.

N2O is the scientific compound that makes up Nitrous Oxide, or laughing gas. It turns out that you find yourself in the future and the galaxy is at war (this is why I keep eating at McDonalds...The future is always at war so I don't want to be around to see it). Anyway, the forces of evil have made new plans to invade the earth. It seems that by accelerating the subatomic particles around a tube-shaped circuit, they were able to create Super Warriors. Actually, they have created a race of mutated insects. Where does Nitrous Oxide fit in to all of this? It is a by-product that is emitted inside the tunnel and just happens to be what your ship uses for fuel. All of this is great but the bottom line is that it is up to you to blast your way through the tunnels, killing anything and everything that is brave enough to try to stop you. Sounds cool, doesn't it?

Gameplay

If I were to compare this game to one other game throughout history, it would have to be Tempest. The game has feel that is somewhat similar to this arcade classic but it does not look anything like it. If I were to pick a game on the PSX that this game most reminds me of, Nanotek Warrior comes to mind. If you have played either of these games, you will have something of an idea of what to expect.

The basic concept of this game is to fly your way through this breeding tunnel and kill as many of these mutated insects as you can while collecting weapons power-ups and coins. If you make it to the end of the tunnel, you may find yourself facing a boss of some sort. The tunnels vary from flat surfaces to twisting and turning shafts that will make even the strongest of stomachs churn. You will encounter a ton of different types of bugs and each has multiple scoring systems. This means that you will receive different amounts of points depending on when you kill the enemy. Great theory but in practice it is just not practical. Allow me to explain.

First off, this game races by so fast that your head will end up spinning. You are in a ship that blasts down these tubes at a breakneck pace. Sure, you do have brakes that you can use for a limited amount but usually by the time you think to use them, it is too late. Combine this speed with the fact that you have 360 degree mobility, which means that there really is not floor or ceiling, and all you can really do is shoot ahead and hope that you are clearing a nice path for yourself. What this does do is create one of the fastest paced environments in a game that I have ever played. I will have to give extra points for pulling this off.

What this speed also does is limit your ability to make decisions. I mean, I was ripping down this tube at eight zillion MPH and was expected to shoot things in a specific order or let certain enemies make it past me so when they come back, they are worth more points. I got news for you, it was all that I could do to just stay alive. There was no way in hell that I was going to be able to think about what I am shooting at and that if I let it go by and come back again, it will be worth more points. Sure...piece of cake. I just sat back and blasted at anything and everything. I guess the point is that they went to all of the trouble developing this elaborate point system but I think that most people will not be able to make conscious choices about what they shoot and when they shoot it and if you can, you have my admiration.

One thing about this game that was both good and bad was that it had help screens during the gameplay. Let's say that you start a new level and there is a different type of insect that you have not seen before. A help screen will pop up and give you the lowdown on this new foe, including the different scoring system that you can use on this enemy. I really thought this was a great idea. I no longer had to flip through the manual to try and figure out what each enemy was capable of. Instead, it presented the info to me before I faced the enemy. The bad part about this was the fact that I needed a help screen to play the game. Actually, that is not true. I did not need to pay attention to the help screen and you would do fine just blasting away (see last paragraph) but the point is that this is a shooter. How much help should you need? Shoot weapons...kill enemies...make it to the next level... There, that is what the manual and help for a good shooter should read like. N2O has so many different scenes and scenarios that trying to remember them all will make your head spin faster than the game itself.

I will say that they did do a great job with the different mutated bugs. You will find yourself fighting everything from a giant ladybug to ants, spiders, beetles and flies. These enemies were all pretty fresh looking and had their own special attacks. For example, the Black Widow spider would spin a web in the middle of the tunnel and you have to shoot out a piece of it and fly through the area that you opened up. This is the kind of thing you should expect to see from this game.

My only major gripe about the game was that the gameplay just really wore thin after about the first 10 levels or so. Beyond that, I just found my attention starting to drift from the game, which is never a good sign. Although it did get progressively harder, the game really did not change much. I never had that "can't wait to see the next level" mentality when I was playing. I knew that the next level would have me zooming down another tunnel shooting at some other giant insects. There was just nothing to look forward to. I guess, in defense of the game, that may have been intentional. The idea of old school shooters was to get the high score, not to progress levels. Unfortunately, this mentality usually does not work nowadays. I want some change and I want to be rewarded with new levels and something different. Come to think of it, I do not think that games even kept scores any longer.

Graphics

N2O has definitely got some good looking graphics. To be honest, they are the best part of the game. As is abundantly obvious from reading above, the game moves along at an incredible clip and never really suffers from any noticeable slow down. The colors are bright, vivid and just plain trippy. You will find yourself oohing and ahhhing throughout all of the different levels but unfortunately the only thing that is different between the levels is the colors and twists and turns. The enemies all looked cool and those spiders were pretty nasty (coming from a spider-hater).

Bottom Line

In the end, this game may not have the staying power to keep you playing. Like I said, after the first 10 levels or so, I found my thoughts drifting to something else. This game is fast paced and full of action and if you really enjoy shooters, you may like it a bit more than I did. Actually, I didn't not like the game, I just really was not able to get completely into it. I think the complex scoring rules and everything were a good idea but like I said, you really won't have much of an opportunity to take advantage of it because things just happen so damn fast. Overall, I suggest a weekend rental to see if the game is right for you.

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