Notebook Wars 3
Notebook Wars 3 is a commendable shoot-em-up experience from Francisco Ferreres and Coolbuddy Games. Although it's unremarkably similar to the previous titles in the series, NW3 still adds a few interesting elements that make it a total blast to play for at least half an hour. Featuring the original hand-drawn art, a survival mode and a plethora of new-fangled enemies, weapons, and add-ons, this is the biggest and most action-packed Notebook Wars yet! Gliding across grid paper and launching radioactive sausages from your colourful flying fort has never been so fun!
But before you get to launching those sausages, you'll need to visit the Hangar, purchase some weapons, and customize your ship. You earn money by shooting down enemies and collecting the spoils. Other more elusive pickups include health kits, screen-clearing bombs that annihilate every enemy in sight, and the ultra-rare gold bullions. Bullions are ridiculously difficult to obtain and you could go for hours without finding enough bullions to buy anything decent. Up to two add-ons can be applied to each ship, but they cannot be removed or sold. As far as gameplay goes, what really drives the player is the huge variety of ships and weapons available for purchase. You'll definitely want to see what each weapon does at first, but once you see them demonstrated by your foes, you may decide that saving money for the more powerful guns is a better option.
Sadly, both the graphics and the gameplay have barely changed from its predecessors. NW3 suffers from a glaring lack of interesting bosses and creative stage design. The overall slowness of each level might hinder people from finishing the game; once you played about four levels, you've pretty much seen it all. Although there is a "Frenetic Mode" that supposedly makes the game more difficult, it actually plays at a decent speed with the exact same enemy patterns. After switching to Frenetic once, the sluggish Normal Mode is almost unbearable. A monotonous soundtrack does not compliment this at all, and it seriously grates on your ears within a few minutes of playing. Those boring blips and beeps that are used for sound effects forced me to hit Mute more than once.
In the end, Notebook Wars 3 is not without its flaws, and what it really lacks is something that marks it as different, something that makes it stand out from the rest of the shoot-em-ups out there. It's a fun game, but it just missed the mark from being truly great.