At the time of the Nintendo GameCube, the video game industry was still highly segmented by country, so it was not always possible to know whether games developed in Japan would be marketed in other parts of the world. This has been the case since the early days of the Famicom and the NES, when only a small proportion of games released in Japan were released in the Pacific. Of course, some of these principles still apply today, but for the most part, the gaming scene has evolved to the point where many great games are coming out in all regions. Since no region ties into the current major consoles (including Switch), it’s pretty easy to buy games even if they’ve never been released here before.
That wasn’t the case in the GameCube era, and many great games were neglected for localization because, let’s face it, the system didn’t sell that well in any market. One of those victims was Mr. . DrillerLand, has appeared on the Japanese market, but nowhere else. Worse, in addition to the console’s regional slot, this game had an extra layer of security, which meant you needed a Japanese GameCube to download it. In other words, the vast majority of players outside of Japan have never had the chance to see what it’s all about. So far!
I haven’t played many Mr games in the last 20 years. Driller , and the ones I connected to (mostly DS and GBA games) were occasional gaming sessions at friends’ houses and other places. Although I’m a puzzle fan, the concept of the game never appealed to me for some reason. However, when it was revealed that M…. DrillLand came to the Switch eShop, I did some research and found out it was one of those popular GameCube games that never made it to our shores, and that piqued my interest. I didn’t know this process would excite me.
The game is organized like an amusement park with different attractions that you can visit. Each of them is actually a variation on the mechanics of the M. Driller puzzle, and as such, it’s a set of really great games that make the puzzle solving aspects of each side unique. The basic idea of M. Exercise is to drill from the top of the screen to the bottom of the well. That’s exactly what you’ll find on the World Drilling Tournament carousel. Here the screen scrolls down as you go deeper into the level, and you basically have a time limit that is marked by how much air you have left, and it keeps running out as you continue to dig. You have to be careful not to swallow the air capsules and break the X-block, or you’ll lose 20 or so air units.
As you break blocks around you, others fall into the gaps, and if you manage to line up four blocks of the same color, they all disappear. This of course gives you the ability to strategically break some blocks to align others, and form a sort of chain to eliminate multiple blocks at once. But you have to be especially careful with the blocks above your head, because you don’t want to get crushed and lose your life! Trust me, it can get complicated very quickly, which is why it’s a little harder than traditional Tetris puzzles. Since you want to avoid the dreaded brown X-blocks that deflate, keep an eye on their location, because they too can be eliminated by stacking at least four of them on top of each other.
In this particular game, you have to dig 500 yards to leave the stage. Fortunately, you can choose an easier difficulty level so your brain is ready for the real thing. In this particular attraction you can also choose from different characters, and some of them have special abilities for example. B. The ability to move faster or even skip two seats to get to the right places more easily.
As mentioned earlier, there are several attractions for the game, so I will go over the different attractions and gameplay modifications included in the game. The first one I actually played was called Druaga Hole, which I immediately recognized in the Druaga Tower series I played in the previous Namco Museum collections. Here the demon Druaga has created a labyrinth under the castle, and you must rescue the Kial priestess. Somewhere in one of the rooms (the playgrounds) is the key you need to open the door and defeat the evil master. There is no time limit in this puzzle game, but every time you practice, you lose 1 HP, so you have to look for potions to replenish your meter. If you get hit by a falling rock, you lose 20 HP, so be careful! In the RPG, you can also find drill stones that you can equip and use to increase your chances of survival, such as B. by changing all blocks from one color to another. There are also enemies scattered about what to send with your drill. I really liked this mode because it was a cross between traditional puzzle mechanics and an adventure game.
The next mode is Night House of Horrors, where you have to dig your way out of the horrors. You must harvest 20 vines from the estate’s spirits, which you must avoid unless you first spray them with holy water to loosen them up. The problem is that you can only hold one glass of water at a time. So you have to get it right when you use spectral powers! It is interesting to note that this mode does not allow a group of four or more blocks to disappear, so playing this mode requires a bit of brain rewiring. Spirits float around the screen, and if they are in a block, you must not destroy it unless you sprinkle it with holy water first. If you do this in advance, it will improve your health. I’m a big fan of horror movies/games, so I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this attraction and had a good time, even if it was a bit different from the usual game.
Drindy Adventure is an obvious Indiana Jones riff. You play the role of Drindy James and you have to explore the ruins to find ten golden statues, then go to the exit at 500 meters distance. As you can imagine, there is no shortage of traps and dangers, including woodpeckers, fire, and (you guessed it) rocks that will cost you your life. As with the previous attraction, connecting four blocks of the same color does not make them disappear. While I enjoyed my time with her, I felt a little less confused than some of the others, which probably explains why I played the attraction the least.
In Starstorm you’ll have to reach 500 meters (astral) again to complete the mission. This time there are question marks that can help or hinder your progress. Usually something good happens, so it’s worth tweaking them if you can. This game is basically like the standard mode, but you have the element of chance that really adds to the experience. I really enjoyed playing this mode because it seems a little easier than some of the other modes, so try this one if you find some of the other rides a little too difficult.
Since this is just a port of the Japanese game GameCube, you can’t expect much in the way of improved graphics. Overall, the game looks the same except for the HD graphics and widescreen support. There are animated voice-overs, but the audio is in Japanese. All subtitles, instructions, etc. are in English, so it’s not hard to find your way around tourist and other sites. The game is quite pretty with bright colors, but nothing that will impress you.
As far as presentation goes, the real star is the game’s soundtrack. Wow. I am completely blown away by the fantastic tunes that play in each of the attractions and throughout the game. The music is very upbeat and really reminds me of the glory days of Dreamcast games. Each attraction has a soundtrack to match, and not bad at all. I especially love the crazy music that accompanies the World Drill Tour, with Japanese songs. It almost reminds me of Disneyland’s Little World, and while I don’t understand what the lyrics are about, it’s pretty catchy and really warms the soul. I would almost buy this game for the soundtrack!
There are two multiplayer modes, both of which only work in offline mode. The first allows two to four players to roll to the 500-yard mark. The screen is divided into two parts, so that each of you has your own playing field. Along the way there are blocks with question marks, which are usually harmful to the enemies, for example in B. Turn a pile of blocks into X blocks and more. It can get pretty intense among friends! The other mode is Battle, and here two to four players compete for a medal. The first player to score three points wins. They all share the same screen, and the Joy-Con starts vibrating when you approach one of the medals. If anyone finds it, the puzzle screen resets and everyone starts over. I found this mode pretty boring after a few games, but the multiplayer racing mode is a lot of fun. A few more multiplayer games would be nice, but I mostly play solo, so I had no problem with that.
If you’re one of the few people I know who were able to play this game on the GameCube, you’ll have the same experience as in the Switch version, and it doesn’t seem like any new attractions have been added. Anyway, for the 99.9% of people who haven’t had the pleasure of discovering this wonderful puzzle game, do yourself a favor and get it from the eshop at the next opportunity. It’s very addictive, and while it can be a little tricky for beginners if you stick with it, I think you’ll get it in no time. The basic puzzle mechanics are solid and fun, and there are enough differences between the rides to really offer something for everyone. I had a lot of fun playing Mr… DrillLand on the Switch, and it’s one of the few games I actually play in portable mode on the TV because I can easily do a trick before I go to bed. Fans of the series already know it’s a must, but if you’re at all curious about a new puzzle game, this one gets my approval.
M. Overview of drilling exercises
- Charts – 7/10
- Sound – 10/10
- Gameplay – 8.5/10
- Late Call – 8/10
Final thoughts : GRAND
Mr. DrillLand took a long time to reach us, but now that he’s here, puzzle fans have reason to celebrate. With multiple game modes, you can play Mr. Experience exercises like never before! The soundtrack is absolutely remarkable and fans of sparkling Japanese music will be in heaven. The lack of online multiplayer and rankings hinders the replay value a bit, but that shouldn’t stop you from grumbling in the online shop.
Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published in various media. He is currently an editor and contributor to Age of Games.
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