Review – Mighty Switch Force

Review Mighty Switch Force
Largely owing to the poor driving skills of law enforcement officials, the streets of the future will be overrun by blonde criminal vixens. As a ludicrously dressed officer of the law, your mission is to search out and apprehend these escapees with your trusty pistol and the ability to phase platform aiding blocks in-and-out of existence.

So not quite RoboCop, but it’ll do.

WayForward’s latest 2D offering is scaled toward creating a smaller series of incidents that fit a quick speedrun flavored agenda, which doesn’t leave nearly so much meat on the discussion bone but does make for a good and proper portable diversion. The objective of tracking down a set number of convicts per stage with the aid of a singular ability is certainly the developer’s most straightforward effort in recent memory, and creates a space where a more narrowly focused title can simply add to the layers of difficulty without losing cohesion along the way.

There isn’t as much space for the vibrant animations of BloodRayne: Betrayal or the long corridors of Aliens: Infestation, but there’s something familiar and quaint here to while away a few hours near a fireplace stoked by digital nostalgia.

While players will encounter a few types of monsters along the way, such critters are more filler than focus, easily dispatched and placed sparingly around stages to create short interruptions in the hurried search for fugitives. The focus is on the ability to switch blocks between a physical and ethereal state, gaining leverage to reach platforms where fugitives wait patiently to be apprehended – and they all must be caught in order to bring about the robotic suit that ushers players out of a stage to examine the time results.

Our protagonist is possessed of some fairly standard moves for a WayForward character, merely able to tap out shots from her pistol and perform a single jump. Manipulating blocks is again the name of the game, standing on one, and then jumping while triggering the switch that brings a higher one into physical existence before her feet hit it, and so on. As you might imagine, this lends WayForward plenty of opportunities to have players jumping across large expanses of the screen while switching blocks repeatedly to stick the landing.

The challenge primarily builds with cannon styled blocks, which will launch your character and any enemies that get into them in the direction their indicator arrow points toward. This naturally brings about plenty of puzzles that involve moving a certain enemy type to a new placement, and requires less quick thinking than quick fingers to switch to each new block in time to keep the momentum going. Often times, exploding enemies will need to be moved in this fashion to destroy rock-type blocks that can’t be switched on and off.

The game also adds colored blocks that can be stayed from switching by standing on a block of similar color – red and green – offering the player fresh diversion in the effort to create viable pathways before leaping into the fray.

Once again, the premise is very simple, although sometimes when I’m tired it’s incredible easy to kill myself repeatedly until the battery gives out. But there’s something very warming in WayForward’s handling of the small-scale familiar, finding plenty of means to increase the challenge during the game’s stages while also exploiting opportunities for their signature graphical charm to emerge – switching blocks to smash enemies into the screen never loses its charm, as a matter of fact.

That the long term value comes from grinding your completion time down from say, six minutes to one minute, probably ensures that the more sadistically inclined will be playing long after I’ve moved on to something else, but the quirky entry is a welcome addition to an eShop that is finally warranting some attention beyond virtual revisits.


Developer
WayForward Technologies

Publisher
WayForward Technologies

System
Nintendo 3DS (3DSWare)

Modes
Singleplayer

Release Date
December 22, 2011

Price
$5.99

*A copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review

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  • EdEN

    Great review! I’ll buy the game along with my first batch of eShop purchases in 2-3 months. Have to work on my backlog first!

    • http://www.gamesugar.net Jamie Love

      Have you grabbed any digital titles with club nintendo points yet?

      • EdEN

        Yep. All except for Majora’s Mask since I own it on N64 and the GC Zelda collection… And I’ll buy the 3DS remake in 2014 hehehe.