Mr Driller: DrillLand (Mr Driller Encore)

Mr Driller Encore is the third in Namco’s series of more modern revivals on the Switch and it released yesterday!

So far I’ve been impressed by the remake treatment afforded to it this time. Where Katamari Damacy Encore was a bit of a letdown with its port to the Unity engine resulting in major input lag and longer load times than PS2(!), Mr Driller Encore is a proper port, complete with the original artwork presented in high resolution rather than the fake upscaled and sharpened present in many a modern remaster. Its developer means business going from their previous pedigree with old school ports.

Currently I’m really enjoying it. I’d only previously played Drill Land on a friend’s Japanese GameCube long ago, in multiplayer, and found it a blast. But playing the single player now is a treat, it feels like the true culmination of all the rulesets and ideas from the previous games, packaged in a more novel way (the lab mode in Mr Driller Ace on GBA is now a Tower of Duraga adventure, which is a better application of that game’s ideas).

On classic difficulty - which mirrors the GC original - it’s challenging in a fair way that encourages natural mastery through repeat playthroughs, even on Level 1, which could have delivered instant gratification and progression if it were to be made more contemporary.

Anyone else checking this out?

1 Like

I don’t know much at all about this series but I’m interested in it. I know a number of retro fanatics are high on the series. Would you say this is a good place to start if I value easy access/entry over tracking down originals to check it out?

Absolutely, DrillLand, despite its expanded rulesets, is the most friendly starting point.

The single player is split into five different theme park attractions, each with their own ruleset, but two of them play similar to traditional Mr Driller rules, and the other three are really good at helping you become a more rounded player since they test different things. To begin with all the attractions are set to Level 1 difficulty too, but they still offer a firm-but-fair challenge if you’re new or rusty like I was.

1 Like