Sadly, a rather major flaw in Drifting Lands' level design really brings down a game that is mostly well crafted. Looting has all the well-thought out tropes that similar games have in spades. It's just a shame that each level is essentially a miniature horde mode rather than featuring proper level design, and that the number of levels could have been cut drastically to make for a more coherent experience. These hang-ups sadly prevent me from recommending Drifting Lands for diehard fans of the genre, but it's otherwise an alright effort.
The ships themselves and all of the skills used look great, just try not to lose track of yourself among the chaos that is sure to ensue.
Drifting Lands is an entertaining take on the "shmup" genre that adds roguelike elements to spice up the old formula. Backgrounds can be confusing and enemy scaling can feel a bit brutal at times. All in all, however, this is an excellent take on a classic genre.
Before playing Drifting Lands, it didn't occur to me that adding role-playing game mechanics into a shoot ‘em up was something that I needed in my life, but after playing the game, I can't put it down. The narrative is lacking and serves as a launching point for the missions, but the gameplay is king in Drifting Lands. The visuals are crisp and sharp, and the backgrounds have some great looking effects, such as flying through a lightning storm complete with devastating tornadoes. The soundtrack is comprised of hard rocking beats, but levels tend to be on the shorter side, so it doesn't feel like the repeating tracks overstay their welcome. There are no multiplayer options, but some levels do feature an online leaderboard, which is a nice touch.
Should you buy this game? If you are a fan of the shmup genre, then yes you should. Drifting Lands is a solid shmup that belongs in the collection of any fan of the genre. A few odd design choices and a distractingly bad story hold it back from being excellent, but it is a fun game in spite of it. Just be aware that if you're looking for a danmaku, you might be left a little wanting. If you've never tried a shmup before, this is still a good purchase, though you might want to start on Easy to make the game ease up on the perma-loss aspect. The game does have a demo, so if you're sitting on the fence, download that and see for yourself. Now if you'll parden me, I need to get back to looking for a straight laser drop.
Drifting Lands is a Shmup that leverages Action-RPG systems to give it style all its own. While customizing your ships to find that perfect balance of abilities and equipment is engrossing, a repetitive mission structure and paper-thin plot line that may
Drifting Lands takes two fantastic genres and marries the best aspects of them together with flair, creating an original and massively addictive experience that deserves to be on your radar.
Who knew that a shmup built with action RPG elements would be the best thing since sliced bread?
Drifting Lands is rare as a game these days in that it is actually fun and the hours slip by while grinding for better gear. Yes, considering this is a shoot 'em up, the gear aspect is the best part of it. While there are some repetitive issues that start to show themselves hours into the game, the entire package is so coherent as to be recommended. Fans of either shmups or RPGs will find a lot to their liking here, and the rare fan of both is highly encouraged to check it out.
Drifting Lands kept its promise of being enjoyable while combining 2D horizontal shmup with ARPG elements. If you are up to some challenging shoot'em'up action-RPG with swarms of enemies, then buckle your starship's seat belt up!
Drifting Lands should be on the radar for any shmup fan, with the addition of the action RPG elements it adds great replay value and pull in non shmup fans. The grind for loot will grab you and you'll want to spend hours getting your ship calibrated to the way you play. I'm not sure if I can look at shmup games the same way again after Drifting Lands.
Drifting Lands combines some really great genres into its own thing that works really well. Alkemi does this in an all-around clean and crisp presentation. The game embodies the “one more level” mentality as you try to make another run in an attempt to get better loot to outfit yourself for higher difficulties. This is a game you shouldn’t miss.
In short, we can say that the title partially met our expectations, giving us pleasant surprises, but also features that we may not have enjoyed 100%. Of course we are trying to create a new experience and try to assimilate different genres and partly to succeed, giving us an engaging, well-drilled and challenging gameplay. It may be a bit 'perhaps the repetition that in the long run turns into monotony. In short, a title we recommend, especially for not very high price.
Review in Italian | Read full review
There ain't nothing wrong with a little shmup and grind…or is there? Alkemi is a small french independent studio focused on creating original and polished games with a tendency to mix genres in unexpected ways. The main goal of the team : creating medium sized games with high production value, appealing to hardcore players but not exclusively.
A capable RPG sitting atop a lackluster shmup, Drifting Lands is much more focused on the looting and upgrading than it is on sidescrolling shmup action. Fans of ARPGs who enjoy the sidescrolling shooter format might enjoy this one, but it’s a tough sell for purists who want a more varied shooter.
Overall it is a very interesting game with some engaging and deep mechanics. I am not sure of the longevity of the game as I feel it might get a bit samey for some on later levels.
One minute I was steamrolling my way through levels on the first try with a few boss-type exceptions that required a bit more effort, and then an annoying earlier boss was suddenly doubled up and the entire screen was awash in bullets that most of my paltry skills were helpless to do anything about. The few that helped had cooldown timers that ensured that I was stuck without them for the majority of the fight on each of my ~30-40 attempts, each preceded by the same 5-minute level.
While it does fail to provide compelling levels, Drifting Lands makes up for it with an interesting loot system that provides choice rather than limits the player actions.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Drifting Lands is something of a guilty pleasure. It has the major issue of the core gameplay being nothing more than competent when compared to other games of its kind. Thankfully though the RPG and loot systems that surround this component are all great and make Drifting Lands a worthwhile purchase for people that enjoy this sort of game.