Review by pikachupwnage

"Switch it up!"

Wayforward is well known among patrons of the dsi shop for its bizarre, unique, 2D platformers that usually star a female as the main character, have gorgeous 2D sprites, and fantastic often-innovative gameplay. Among there creations are the critically acclaimed Shantae risky's revenge, which is often hailed as the best game on the dsi shop. They are also known for the “mighty” series which Currently has 3 games. Mighty flip champs and mighty Milky Way. The third game in the series the recently released Mighty Switch Force has moved the series from the dsi shop to the Eshop. Is it worth your time and money? Read on and find out.

The story like with most Wayforward games is weird. It is your job as Officer Patricia Wagon (who appears to be a cyborg but actually is just wearing a suit of armor) to round up all five of the escaped hooligan sisters and take them to the extraction robot to send them back to Prison. They aren't all that eager to go back to the slammer though so they will hide in strategic locations in each level to make life as difficult for you as possible. Of course once you capture them they escape almost instantly so you can catch them again in the next level making you wonder why Patricia hasn't given up trying to keep those five in prison, turned in her badge and instead gotten a normal job that doesn't involve robots, living bombs, and getting killed by being smashed against a screen.

The five hooligan sisters look more like 5 harmless and attractive blonde girls on their way to the beach then hardened criminals (or would if it wasn't for the handcuffs and iron balls chained to their legs) as they are in slightly risque outfits that I know would not be worn in a real prison. And when you approach them they will just be sitting around yanking at their chains or chewing bubble gum. They do not resist arrest though that's probably because you have a gun.

To clear a level or “incident” as they are called in this game you must find all 5 of the hooligan sisters. Like I said earlier in the review they hide in strategic locations throughout the level but that's not all. Various enemies will attempt to stop you though you do have a gun with limitless ammo so blast your enemies into dust. Occasionally you need to use enemies to your advantage such as shooting an exploding enemy to destroy a wall. You will see a lot of those guys and some clever puzzles involving them will pop up in some levels. Enemies however are not the main threat. Blocks are. Yes you heard right I said blocks are the real threat and that's where the “switch” part of Mighty switch force comes in to play.

These blocks are integral to the gameplay of mighty switch. By pressing the A button the blocks in the foreground move to the background and vice versa. The most basic block the yellow one has no special functions (besides comically shoving poor Patricia into the screen, killing her and cracking the screen) if you move it into the spot you are standing in) and merely functions as a platform. You will find other types of blocks such as a purple one that functions as a cannon. These blocks are used in very clever ways and require you to don that dusty old thinking cap that probably hasn't been used for years.

Each level times you. If you beat a level within a set “par time” then you are awarded a blue star. These par times can occasionally be overly hard to defeat though with even 1 mistake often dooming you to fail. Sadly despite encouraging speed runs this game also has no leaderboards, which is a missed opportunity.

The controls work perfectly even when shooting switching and jumping in rapid succession. You use the A button to switch, B to jump and Y to shoot.

As for the visuals Wayforward uses their incredible talent with sprites once again to make a highly polished and gorgeous game. The Characters and enemies alike are animated to perfection and backgrounds are fantastic and detailed. And everything looks even better in 3D

The 3D effect in this game is beautiful and easy on the easy on the eyes. It also works well with the switching of the blocks as things like Patricia getting slammed into the screen by a block looks like it really happened in 3D. It adds a sense of depth that is amazing and goes surprisingly well with this 2D game.

The audio is upbeat and techno and goes very well with the visuals, theme and gameplay. Various audio snippets such as Patricia saying her catchphrase “switch it up” add charm to the game and the sound effects are wonderful.

All is not wonderful with this game as it has little lasting appeal because there is little reason to replay it once you beat the par times. It only takes 3-6 hours to hundred percent complete the game making the seven dollar (plus tax) price tag seem a little steep. However it is well worth it.

Scores

Story 10/10
Gameplay/controls 9/10
Visuals 10/10
3D 9/10
Audio 10/10
Value 8/10
Lasting appeal 6/10

Overall 8.8/10

Pros

A simple and bizarre story that doesn't get in the way of the juicey run and gun puzzle platforming action.
Great platforming that provides a good challenge
Gorgeous hand drawn sprites are a delight to see.
Beautiful 3D that's easy on the eyes
Upbeat techno music is great ear candy and goes well with the futuristic visuals and theme.
The story, audio, gameplay, 3D and visuals work together perfectly to create a great atmosphere and an enjoyable game

Cons

No online leaderboards is a missed opportunity
Getting a 100% completion will take only 3-6 hours depending on skill level.
The par times can sometimes be overly difficult to beat

Conclusion

Mighty switch force is a bizarre and fantastic game that has visuals, story, gameplay, audio and 3D that work together nearly perfectly to create a game with great atmosphere that is a blast to play. Lack of lasting appeal and a few minor flaws hold it back from perfection but it is still a must own game. Wayforward gas delivered yet another fantastic game.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/25/12, Updated 01/27/12

Game Release: Mighty Switch Force! (US, 12/22/11)


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