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 Post subject: Null Drifter (XBOX One - PlayStation 4 - Switch - PC)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 6:39 am 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 352
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
Looks like Eastasiasoft likes, and I mean REALLY likes to release trash shooters. For the disgrace of our consoles, this time is Null Drifter by (once again) Panda Indie Studio.

There's nothing wrong with your screen. The game looks this horrible.

Unlike Project Starship and Red Death, Null Drifter changes the vertical scrolling shooter for a more arena-like, twin stick shooting where you are pitted on a training simulation against the arcane beings from the mentioned games. The main feature of this game is the inclusion of the teleport, which can be used to both dodge unavoidable attacks (pulses) and ram through small enemies, acting like the Zero Teleport from Alien Soldier and the Warp of Solar Shifter EX at the same time. You can also change your vulcan-like weapon for a Shotgun which fires a rapid spread shot that becames extremely useful when you get Rate Ups to increase the Rate of Fire for any weapon.

While these features are quite good, its not excent of flaws. Starting off with the teleport-dash that requires to reload before doing it again. Anyone who played Alien Soldier will remember that frequent teleport dashing was a key factor on the boss battles in order to evade their attacks and avoiding damage. In Null Drifer, you can take a hit because the dash is reloading. A flaw like this one is the thin line between staying in the game and getting Game Over, something that Panda Indie Studio didn't understood.
Like Project Starship and Red Death, you only have one life, so if your hit points go down to zero, you'll be sent all the way back to the beginning.

If you need supplies I recommend you to download McCoy's Storehouse App.

There's a shop where you can get items and upgrade the reload time of the teleport along with increasing the fire rate of your weapons. The main upgrades can be carried on the next time you play the game (If you want to) 'cos there's temporary upgrades like increasing the coins value. The only inconvenient is that the store only appears when you die.

With a total of 17 achievements you expect some worthy challenges right? Guess what, this game is one of those pathetic Gamerscore / Trophy Milkers that will give you the 1,000 Gamerscore points with absurd ease. To put it simple the "Play the game 10 times" can be obtained by entering and exiting the game without shooting a single bullet. There's the usual kill 25, 75 and 200 enemies, pick 48 boosters, buy 10 upgrades, get 600 coins, pick 48 boosters, reach level 6, dash through an enemy, kill 5 bosses and unlocking 5 palettes (and the PS4 exclusive Pixel Master after unlocking everything). In total that's 5 bucks and 40 minutes of your life down the god-damned drain just for a cheap 1,000 Gamerscore points.

If you like the Virtual Boy, then this game is for you.

Graphically I can only describe it as empty and boring. This "Minimalistic" and "1-Bit" ideas had potential when its done right, Super Destronaut DX is a good example of how to make a retro-themed game, same goes for minimalism and the best example is Polychromatic, which despite being minimalistic is quite fun to play. Null Drifter is more of a product of laziness with these monochrome white sprites and backgrounds and not to mention those horrible chromatic effects and that headache inducing screen shaking when you're firing only results in eye injuring graphics.
Fortunately, you can toggle the "Chromatic Aberration" off in the options (along with some other useless effects like the screen shaking), and thank goodness the game designers grant us those options, because my eyes weren't feeling good even before start playing and I mean it.

UPDATE 01-25-2021: I've unlocked all the palettes.

You're given the option of selecting these "Default" Palettes:
Null_Drifter.pal: The basic black background and white sprites and text.
Old_OS.pal: Blue background with pink sprites and text.
Norway_Salmon.pal: Dark blue background with red sprites/text which looks like the Virtual Boy (and just as eye-harmful than such atrocity).

You'll later unlock more palettes as you keep on playing the game:
Terminal.pal: Green sprites/text with a black background.
Terminal_V2.pal: Reddish-orange sprites/text with a black background (another Virtual Boy-esque atrocity).
Chicken_Nugget.pal: Red sprites/text with a yellow background (If you go blind, don't blame me, blame Eastasiasoft).
Crispy_Bacon.pal: Yellow sprites/text in a red background.
Pastel.pal: Pink sprites/text with light purple background, even Barbie and Ken would vomit at it.
Negative.pal: Black sprites/text in a white background like an early Game Boy emulator.
Hulky.pal: Green sprites/text in a dark maroon background.
Pants.pal: Pale yellow sprites/text in a dark blue background.
Interactive_Boy.pal: Black sprites/text with a bright greyish green background like the Gameboy's screen. The least harmful of all.
Sea_Food.pal: Bright green sprites/text in a darkish blue-gray background.
Ocean.pal: Regular blue sprites/text in a quite dark blue background. Perfect for the "Blue Monday".
Reddy.pal: Red with a almost black purple screen. Pure Virtual Boy Nauseam more than Norway_Salmon and Terminal_V2. If you can play the game more than 15 minutes without a headache, then you're lucky.
Aphatetic_Meal.pal: Skin colored sprites/text with a dark blue background. Quite an unusal combination.
Pants_V2.pal: Strong yellow sprites/text in a dark purple-blue background.
Cold.pal: Pastel blue sprites/text in a sky blue background.
Chilly.pal: Dark orange-red sprites/text in an almost black blue background. Looks like a darker version of Terminal_V2.
Sporty.pal: Yellow sprites/text with a bright purple background.
Purple_Monster.pal: Cream sprites/text with a liliac background.
Seaweed.pal: Greenish yellow sprites/text in a blue background.
VGA_Punch.pal: Purple sprites/text with a bright pastel blue background. Pain for your eyes.
VGA_Kick.pal: Red sprites/text in a bright pastel blue background. Eye torture.
Fire_Underwater.pal: Another red sprites/text with a dark blue background just like Norway_Salmon. This is what you can call "Virtual Boy Light". Looks like this game has a screwed up Virtual Boy fetish 'cos this is the 5th Virtual Boy-esque palette.
Old_OS_V2.pal: Cream sprites/text with a normal blue background. Slightly tolerable for the eyes.
Sun_Core.pal: Yellow sprites/text in an Orange background.
Passiony.pal: Pink sprites/text with purple background. Passion is right since this is "The Passion of the Eyes" 'cos all these palettes are the scourging and via crucis for your poor, suffering eyes.
Cold_V2.pal: Almost pastel blue sprites/text with a pastel blue color. Unless you want to play a shmup where you can't almost see what's going on due to the use of almost identical colors, this palette is for you.
Aphantasia.pal: Pastel blue sprites/text with a gray background. Euthanasia for your eyes.
Pepperoni.pal: Red sprites/text in a dark red background. It's like playing Virtual Boy while having a Red-out.
Rainy.pal: Blue sprites/text with a dark blue background, similar to Ocean.

Being part of the Project Starship saga, the game involves ships against demons and monsters that look like eyes. As the game starting message throws a link to the saga saying "Welcome to the simulation, Sophie Jefferson" or John Johnson. Sofie and John are the characters of Project Starship X. It also reveals the full names of Garret and Gwen: Garret Zeppola and Gwen Rossi (Any similarities with a certain Metal Slug character are coincidentional). I don't know too much of Project Starship's lore, but i guess this is more of a Gaiden or spin-off in-between Project Starship and Project Starship X since this is the first time Sophie and John are mentioned.

The music is just a failure, as we've got this boring, calmed chillout-ambient paced that contrasts a lot with the shooting action (if we can call this game like that) and rather than motivate you to keep on playing, it causes the opposite effect: Stop playing the game. Unless you like slow paced ambient, better open the MP3 app in your cellphone and play the music you have on it.

- First time in the series where the concept of Money and Shops are used.
- First time where the teleport-dash is introduced. It was later used in Project Starship X.

Playing Null Drifter is the videogame equivalent of putting Tabasco Sauce in your eyes.

To put it simple, I'd rather play with a Magnavox Odyssey than this, this game can't be considered neither minimalist or retro. Null Drifter is not just another trash shooter. Its another addition to the ever-growing list of Gamerscore Milkers waiting for a sucker who gaves them their hard-earned cash. It's like "Dude, do you have 5 bucks to burn?". Just stay away of this game and y'know, better stay away of everything related to Project Starship for your sake and the sake of your eyes and wallet.

Better invite an umbrella drink to your girlfriend in a beach bar with those 5 bucks, you can order a pizza for your family or friends. Just do something more useful with those 5 dollars than buying this atrocity of a shmup. Simply, giving your $5 to Eastasiasoft and Panda Indie Studio will only encourage them to bring another trash shooter to dishonor the console and PC library.

TO EASTASIASOFT: Dudes, please stop distributing anything related with Panda Indie Studio, they will tarnish your name with bad games, With this one are already three bad shooters. Just don't bother releasing Project Starship X. Is just not worthy (Unless you want to become the new LJN).

Fan of Transformers, Shmups and Anime-styled Girls. You're teamed up with the right pilot!
Bringing you shmup reviews with humorous criticism.

STG Wikias: Thunder Force Wiki - Wikiheart Exelica - Ginga Force Wiki

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