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[Nintendo Switch] DRAINUS Review

[Nintendo Switch] DRAINUS Review
  • On February 2, 2023

DRAINUS from Team Ladybug, PLAYISM, and WSS Playground is a fast-paced, action-packed shoot ‘em up worth checking out on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our DRAINUS review!


DRAINUS from Team Ladybug, PLAYISM, and WSS Playground is a fast-paced, action-packed shoot ‘em up worth checking out on Nintendo Switch. The game offers three difficulty settings right from the start so that gamers of all skill levels can have a chance to take this one for a spin: Easy, Normal, and Hard. The Easy difficulty setting is a great option for beginners that are new to the genre. Normal offers the standard experience and is a good option for those of you that have some prior experience with the shoot ‘em up genre. As for Hard, it’s reserved for experts that have plenty of experience with shoot ‘em ups since the game will throw everything but the kitchen sink at you. And to help you a bit, the game also offers the stealth bumper option. What this does is prevent your ship from colliding into walls, but it will prevent you from gliding through walls after taking damage. This does not prevent your ship from being damaged when colliding with enemies.

DRAINUS Review - 1

You’ll get to pilot the titular spaceship, which comes equipped with a special piece of equipment known as the Reflector. What this does is allow you to absorb incoming energy attacks and absorb them so that you can then fire them back at enemies to deal considerable damage. On top of that, part of the energy that is absorbed is stored in tanks, which can then be used to boost the Drainus so that you can overcome some of the trickier segments in the game – more on this in a bit.


To control the Drainus, you’ll be using the left analog stick or the D-Pad to pilot it as you shoot with the B button. Missiles are also mapped to the B button, which is helpful for boosting your overall attack power. You can press and hold down the A button to absorb enemy attacks by way of the aforementioned Reflector gameplay mechanic… as long as you have enough energy in the guard bar. The Reflector allows you to absorb any energy-based attack, from smaller bullets to larger beams, but it won’t absorb physical attacks, which have a red hue around them.

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Going back to the energy tanks, these can be spent in the settings menu, which you access by pressing the + button. While at the settings menu, you can go into the Enhance Functions section to boost the Drainus. You can boost a 5-way shot, get a very useful wide shot, activate a mighty laser beam, go for a wide-range mine, get an extremely useful homing missile, grab a rear shot so that you can attack enemies that are attacking from behind the Drainus, and even increase the ship’s attack power and the rate at which you collect energy with the Reflector! As expected, those two are going to be the more expensive ones in the lot, but investing your energy tanks in them will definitely be worth it.

DRAINUS Review - 4

To balance things out, the game offers a set number of slots for you to use to equip the different functions you unlock and enhance based on your preference and gameplay style. You won’t have all slots available right from the start to prevent you from having an overpowered ship right away. Being able to upgrade your ship’s functions and equip them on the fly makes for a very interesting experience since it allows you to improve and adapt your gameplay strategy as you go so that you can always be ready to take on any challenge. These extra functions aren’t activated right away. To activate them, you must first defeat enemies to hope they drop a power-up module that activates each slot in quick succession.


DRAINUS is an outstanding shoot ‘em up on Nintendo Switch. It features a very fun gameplay loop as you make the most of the Reflector, your starting weapons and abilities, and the many upgrades that you can unlock and equip for the titular Drainus as you mix and match to find the right combination to get the job done. Being able to upgrade and switch your loadout on the fly makes for a very satisfying experience. And once you complete the game, you’ll get to do it all over again in a New Game+ type option that adds extra story segments and new upgrades to unlock and equip. DRAINUS is out on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 asking price, and it’s one that shoot ‘em up fans need to add to their collection right now!

DRAINUS Review - 3

This DRAINUS review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by PLAYISM.

Review Overview

An excellent 21st century shoot 'em up