Review: N2O: Nitrous Oxide (1998)

Publisher: Fox Interactive

Developer: Gremlin Interactive

Release Date: June 30, 1998

Gameplay: Similar to other tunnel shooters such as Tempest, The game involves you going down various tunnels, shooting various enemies (which range from beetles, scorpions, spiders, ants, etc.) in your path along with using various power-ups (which you can activate by pressing Circle), while collecting “E” coins, which can additionally be used to buy firewalls (which you can activate by pressing Square) or give you bonus points at the end of a level, and mushrooms which, if you collect five, can give you access to a bonus level in addition to giving you a shield.  You can also play with a friend in a co-op two player mode. The game, even at 30 levels, does get a bit repetitive however, especially if you’re playing alone. I give the gameplay a 8/10.

Graphics: The graphics are very colorful and vibrant, with each tunnel having its own unique look, keeping the game from looking visually redundant, and the ships and enemies look pretty good too. The game also runs at a smooth 60 FPS, which is a plus. I give the graphics a 8/10.

Music and Sounds: The music was done by The Crystal Method (their involvement was heavily promoted in the marketing). Most of their music in this game comes from their debut album Vegas, and it suits the game very well. The sound in the game itself, on the other hand, is nothing special; not much else to say about it. I give the music and sounds a 7/10.

Controls: The game controls are responsive and work fine, not much else to say here either. I give the controls a 7/10.

Replay Value: Even though it may leave you coming back for more – either to beat your high score or play co-op with a friend – there’s nothing in the way of unlockables or rewards. I give the replay value a 5/10.

Final Thoughts: While, as I said before, it gets a bit repetitive after a while, N2O: Nitrous Oxide is a great and underrated shoot em’ up for the PS1, with colorful graphics, great gameplay and a fitting Crystal Method soundtrack.

Overall: 8/10

Buy or Skip?: Buy.

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