WayForward have proven they really are the way forward when it comes to 2D platforming with this spew of puzzle speed platforming, providing a fresh take on the genre. If you don’t mind the voice acting, the 2011 3DS eShop title Mighty Switch Force!, is a must-have title for platform fans new and old.
Innovation is at the heart of Mighty Switch Force!. The concept behind the game is as follows; we jump and shoot our way through 21 unique levels where the platforms ‘switch’ between the playing field and the background as we collect the five Hooligan Sisters – who seem to escape every time we see the level select screen… unless there are 105 Hooligan Sister, of course. The puzzle element comes in when you realise you’re going to fall to your spiky death should you “Switch it up!”. However this puzzling mechanic is taken deeper with the inclusion of red and blue blocks that – if we’re stood on – remain static during the switch, as well as numerous cannon-esque blocks that fire you in a certain direction. Don’t worry, there are solid platforms too, but these four switchable platforms lend the game a great elegance, as you dance your way through each stage, with a carefully planned swan song and jumps, shots, switches and standing.
Patricia Wagon (a play on Paddy Wagon, the nickname for a police van) is our protagonist. Now there’s one thing I wish I could switch off. Let’s just say, this game got the affectionate nickname Whiny Bitch Force very quickly. The voice-acting is annoying as hell, not necessarily due to the voice, I believe it fits, just the dialogue and how often we hear it repeated. The stereotypical dialogue and tones really lend Miss Wagon her Rule 34 presence online. Don’t image search for Patricia Wagon, like Lopunny you won’t find official artwork to illustrate your review with. Having said that, the 100% reward doesn’t help matters. Luckily, our ears are saved by the soundtrack. The glorious, wide-ranging soundtrack. I’d say go play this game for the soundtrack alone. The upbeat funky electro tunes give total immersion, landing you solidly in this world. And that’s what’s so great about this game. It’s become common for platforming games to be designed for shorter play sessions, and whilst that is still present here, Mighty Switch Force! actually wants you to keep playing!
Post-credits, the game really comes alive, as the speed element comes into focus. Pre-credits you’re faced with a mildly tedious puzzle platform game, however, with certain post-credit functionality, you’ll suddenly find yourself playing and replaying stages to beat the rather brash Par Times. You may find yourself in the predicament where you aren’t enjoying the game entirely before you beat it, but I would highly recommend tolerating the tense and frustrating antics, as it really does get a lot better.
Mighty Switch Force! is a brilliant platforming title for the 3DS that actually gets better the more you play it. If you’re looking for something new, WayForward certainly delivered with this title. If challenge and frustration is your thing, you’ll love this, even if the voice acting initially puts you off.
Did you play Mighty Switch Force! on 3DS, or have you bought the enhance Wii U version?