Now in my time, I have played a lot of side-scrolling games, starting from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) all the way to the glorious Sega Genesis and despite my enjoyment of those titles they never felt complete to me, they never felt like they were what the genre could be and what Drifting Lands accomplishes.
Humble in their beginnings they created one of the first genres of game where you have a ship of some kind that you got to blast through hordes of enemies that generally spew in from the right side of the screen. All the while you are madly dodging lasers, bullets, bombs, explosions, and everything else that is trying to kill you from giant space worms to other alien ships.
Drifting Lands takes from its predecessors in the basics where you got the ship, its bullet hell in dodging and fighting. But that is where the comparisons end, they have added level selection, they have added in stage difficulties, they even added a currency system, and what I most absolutely love. They added the ability to buy and build a variety of ships from parts you scavenge from destroyed enemy ships.
However, this also presents a problem because with multiple ships to own, build and customize with a variety of weapons there is a downside to it all. That being you can lose your ship and all the rare parts you get while you play through stages. At this junction breaks my heart, because I got a really amazing rare item that boosted my ship’s stats through the roof, but upon fighting an enemy boss my ship was destroyed and I lost that part never to see it again.
Now, to this extent, they have given the option to go classic mode where you will lose your equipment as I have. Never to be able to get it back again and you got to grind all over again for hours and hours on end if you hope to find it again OR you can do a safe mode in which items will only break and you can repair them in the marketplace.
My only wish is that I would like an option to change between the two game modes while in the game but, that is not doable. So if you want to play it safe you got to make that choice very early on at the start of the game or else you may run the risk of losing your really good stuff.
Drifting Lands is one of the best side-scrolling action games I have ever played with its very in-depth customization features, toppled with its beautiful scenery and exciting soundtrack. It stands out to me as one of the best if not to date the greatest side-scrolling title to date.
The only thing I wish they did better was changing the game mode option freely because I deeply regret being blown up, I lost a really awesome Guardians of the Galaxy Easter egg which was an old cassette.
If you are a fan of the classic side-scrolling genre and have always wanted more from it, but also sticking strongly to its roots then look no further, Drifting Lands is the game for you. I’ve enjoyed it for countless hours. Also, the man in charge of the market looks suspiciously like Anthony Bourdain
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