By Shahrin Chowdhury (Sahat),OnRPG Journalist
Nintendo is really missing out on not making a Pokemon mmorpg game. If they don't act soon, the pet -based-fighting-game market will go to Nanovor. Not that I'm not perfectly happy with it. This game is amazingly addictive after the first few hours of playing. Although the market for the game is for young boys, it still holds value for older players due to its strategically complex gameplay and the age old fun of collecting items and creatures.
What is a Nanovor?
Well it is pretty much what it sounds like, a tiny viral like creature that lives in electronics and around technology. They come in three different species or factions, a variety of forms and have personalities to match. Their looks range from the adorably cute to the acutely insane.
Hexites are the fast hitting, moderately damaging, and extremely sneaky type. They also have some of the most awkward looking creatures, prime example : The Battle Kraken.
If a four-legged squid isn't awkward looking enough, its attack consists of launching itself at opponent and strangling it with its tentacles. Hexites pride themselves in hitting first with their extreme speeds and leaving a lasting impression on their opponents. Their attacks range from deleting overrides to amassing dangerously high amounts of energy for heavily damaging attacks.
Slow, bulky, and insanely powerful are the perfect words to describe Magnamods. They require little to no thinking to use. Just send them in and let them bash away at the opposing nanovor till it becomes goo. Prime example of a magnamod: Tank Walker.
His name pretty much sums it all up. He is a walking tank that will absorb anything and everything thrown in his path. His attacks are just straight forward tackling for heavy damage. At least one magnamod is recommended in every team just because of how hard they hit. They don't require much strategy to use and their simplicity is their selling point. Why make a complex plan when a few simple tackles will settle the job?
Velocitrons get the best of all three worlds; they are fast, their attacks hurt in more ways then one, and they don't look overly bulky or just plain strange. Prime example of a velocitron would be one of my favorites: the Megadoom.
Look at this guy; he just exerts an aura of awesomeness that cannot be matched by others. He's cool, he's intelligent, and he knows how to tear you limb from limb with those laser sharp arms of his. Now if that wasn't enough, his attacks also contain surprises ranging from crippling the opposing nanovor to trapping him in the battlefield unable to switch out. Velocitrons do more indirect, status affecting damage with their attacks than they do direct damage. Instead of blasting away at the enemy, they will cripple their speed, strength, and make their armor completely useless, truly a faction for those who want to make their opponents cry in frustration.
No game is complete without an interesting and intricate battle system and Nanovor is no exception. The game starts off by letting the players choose how many swarm points they're playing for, probably 1000 because the other options are not in just yet. Swarm points restrict how many nanovors each player can have in their team or swarm. Stronger nanovors cost more swarm points, weaker ones cost less.
After choosing the swarm points and nanovors accordingly, the battle begins. Both players send out their nanovors and let them duke it out until one of them is squished, decimated, incinerated, etc etc. You get the idea. Whoever loses all of their nanovors, concedes the battle to the other and the winner gets ranking points called NMP. Overly simple and not interesting or intricate at all, right?
Wrong. Sure the basic point of the game is to take out all the nanvors of the other guy but there's more to the fighting than just bashing each other's guts out with magnamods. At the end of each attack, players can switch out the active nanovor for another one with different abilities, which may change the tides of battles completely. This switching is called a Swap. To counter this, many nanovors, most notably velocitrons, have attacks that stop nanovors from swapping. Hence, the Swap Block. Megadoom mentioned above has a very powerful swap block ability as does the Battle Kraken to a lesser extent. Certain magnamods also strut swap block attacks.
Swap blocks are not the only stunts pulled in the game. Many low level nanovors have attacks called a Spike Attack. The Spike Attacks are kind of like power-ups to a few high level nanovors. Spike Attacks can do everything from double damage, to boosting speed and strength, and swap blocking the enemy. They don't go and disappitate when you use another attack that does not need a spike.
Spikes and swaps are nice but it would be pretty bland if that was all the surprises in the game. There are certain attacks called Overrides which can grant certain abilities or boost others to extreme ends. Spike Attacks are classified as Overrides but unlike other Overrides, they disappear after a Spike enhanced attack is used. Most Overrides last throughout the entire game unless they are replaced by a different one or deleted by abilities of the opponent nanovor. A certain Override to note is Dodge. Dodge is extremely powerful in that it can nullify all damage and turn the entire game on its head. Dodge has a pretty decent chance of occurring too, when I used it, it would work almost 3 times a game. If not more.
How do I evolve my Pok- err Nanovor?
There is a little trick to evolving nanovor. First you need Ems or Energy Modulators, little capsule thingies with different colored liquids in them. When you have the right ones, head over to the evolution lab, drag the nanovor that meets the requirements to evolve over to the nanovor that you want it to (hint, it looks like a silhouette of the one you want) and you get to play a little (and at times, quite annoying) matching game. Depending on what you want to evolve into what, you will get a different number of EMs and place holders to put the EMs in. Drag and drop them in a certain order and flip the switch, if you are right, a blue stream will go mix the fluids and inject them into the nanovor to make it evolve, if you are wrong, the EM capsules burst and you get to try again. You do not lose any from being wrong; you only lose them when you actually evolve the critter. There is a little circle with lights on the right side to show you how you are doing, if the light is green it means that one of the EMs were in the right place, if it is wrong, then it is in the wrong place. It is a pretty fun minigame if you enjoy such games but if you are evolving into a complex nanovor and there are multiples of the same EM then it gets quite frustrating.
How do I trade?
This was kind of annoying to figure out at first. To trade with other people, you have to friend them and make sure they are in your friend manager tab. Drag their name and icon into the trade tab and a new minigame-like thing begins. Now the thing with trading is, unlike traditional games where both players choose what they want, only the person who initiated the trade can choose what they want and what they want to give. Both players can view each other's nanovors and EMs but only the initial trade starter can choose who and what they are going to trade. Of course both of the players must confirm for the trade to be completed. There is a little chat bar in the bottom right hand corner for trade disputes and haggling.
How do I actually acquire nanovor?
Well assuming you want more nanovor than the first 6 the game gives, you also get 400 nanocash, the currency of Nanovor, to head out to the store and buy new nanovors and/or EMs. There are packs to buy, the first booster pack contains 1 nanovor and 4 EMs. Something in there is rare, it may be a nanovor or it may be an EM. The second pack contains 7 EMs, one of them is rare. The third contains 7 nanovors, one of which is rare. I personally recommend the booster pack or the EM pack as most of the powerful nanovors can be created from the first 6 nanovors the game originally gives.
The only way to get more nanocash currently is to wait till Tuesday and hope that you get chosen by the GMs to get cash.
Writer's Awesome Opinion (WAO)
I think Nanovor is a great game. Initially I was not into it much and thought it was pretty confusing and a tad boring. But I sucked up and gave it the time and determination and coffee that it deserves only to find out that it is indeed an awesome game. It took a bit experimenting and digging around Google to find any information on it but I did come across this site : http://hanoverhigh.com/nanolog/browse.php which contained information on every single nanovor released from their origins, their strengths and weaknesses, and even how to strategically employ them in the battlefield. I checked it often and noticed that there were evolutionary combinations on the website as well. The site helps aLOT. It's also where I got the pictures.
What was really unique about the game (aside from the game itself, because it's already unique on its own already) was the user interface the game used. It was very polished, very futuristic. Did not seem like I was actually playing on my computer, more like I was playing on a handheld device, a futuristic GameBoy if you will. That being said, there were times when the interface would glitch up. Certain screens would get pulled into the battle scenes and stay there, stuck, until I either forfeited the battle or just restarted the game.
While I am on the interface, the other feature that impressed me a ton were the animations. Unlike other pet-based-games (you know what they are) the animations in Nanovor were fluid and beautiful. Sure it may have been turn based but it sure did not feel that way. The nanovors would dance around the screen when they were not issuing attacks or do some other movement that would catch my eye. The attack animations were really fancy especially the killing blows. I was not kidding when I said that nanovors would get incinerated, some finishing blows did just that. Others would slice the nanovor's head off or blow them completely off the screen. All in all, I loved the little buggers dying, as sick as it may sound. It was pretty refreshing, much more than just seeing them faint.