Remember how we were begging for Team Ladybug's gorgeous-looking shmup Drainus to make its way to Switch? Well, it looks like someone was listening! PLAYISM is bringing the 2D side-scrolling shooter to the eShop on 2nd February.
The port was announced a few months ago, but publisher PLAYISM only revealed the game's release date today. The stunning visuals should be no surprise to anyone who's played a Team Ladybug game — this is the team behind Touhou Luna Nights and Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth, two pixel art games that look breathtaking in motion.
Drainus is no different, though it's not strictly pixel art, instead using some pseudo-3D sprites to create an incredibly detailed and unique look. Important for a shmup, a genre that's full of chaotic effects and incredible enemy designs. Just look!
The game's unique formula, though, is the ship's ability to drain energy, which you can use to customise your ship and also unleash more powerful attacks. There are three difficulty modes, and Team Ladybug has marketed the game as a shmup "that can be enjoyed by players of all levels".
We've got some more information on this incredible shmup below, as well as our own thoughts when we tried the game out on Steam last year:
A Modern Evolution of 2D Shooters Made for All Gamers
DRAINUS is the first original IP created by Team Ladybug, the developers behind Touhou Luna Nights (the Touhou Project derivative work with over 300,000 copies sold) and Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth (Derivative work of highly popular Record of Lodoss War franchise).
Players take control of “DRAINUS”, a fighter jet with a unique ability to absorb energy. Any energy-based enemy fire can be absorbed and unleashed back the other way. Alternatively, stored energy can also be used to customize and enhance features of the DRAINUS. Team Ladybug’s aim with DRAINUS was to create a shooting game that can be enjoyed by players of all levels.
The game comes with three difficulty settings, “Easy” and “Normal” for beginners and casual players, as well as “Hard” for the seasoned veterans of the genre. Upon completing the first playthrough, players will also unlock two additional modes geared towards competitive play.
In May 2022, the PC version released on Steam without any prior announcements to highly positive feedback from the gaming community for its overall excellence and quality. It is our absolute pleasure to now be able to bring that experience to the Nintendo Switch community on February 2, 2023.
Take control of the "DRAINUS", a ship that can absorb energy attacks, to take down countless enemy ships zipping through space. Energy absorbed can be used to enhance the ship's functions, such as adding new weapons.
The Planet Halpax, located in the far reaches of space, is suffering from the oppressive rule of the Kharlal Empire. One of the slaves residing there is battling an illness known as "Planetary Compatibility Disorder", he must return home to the far-away planet of Earth to be cured. His daughter Irina, also a slave, is both devastated by her father's illness and helpless to do anything about it.
At that moment, a humanoid named Ghenie, who looks strangely like a frog, appears before Irina and says "I have come from 30 years in the future. A galactic war is about to break out, in which more than 5,000 planets will be annihilated by the Kharlal Empire. I have come to this time period to stop that war and the oppressive rule of the Kharlal Empire. I need your help.".
“Why me? What can I do?”, Irina had no idea what was going on, but her father's illness was worsening by the minute. With no time to hesitate and nowhere else to turn, she takes Gehnie's green hand and sets off, beginning her journey to reach her distant home planet while taking the Kharlal Empire down once and for all.
■ Game Features
The most distinctive feature of this game is the “reflector”, a function of DRAINUS that allows the ship to absorb energy-based enemy fire over a period of time while activated, before letting you unleash it all back in a devastating counterattack.
Absorbed energy is also stored in a tank, which can be used to customize and enhance various functions of DRAINUS.