By: Devonte Griffiths
Game: Mighty Switch Force! Collection Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows Rating: E for Everyone 10+ Price: $19.99
After years of being only available on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, the Mighty Switch Force! Collection is finally available on modern hardware for everyone to enjoy! The collection is a bit strange, but is a great burst of fun platforming action from the excellent developers at WayForward.
The Mighty Switch Force series has very simple plots. In Mighty Switch Force and its Hyper Drive Edition remake, you play as a police officer named Patricia Wagon (nicknamed Patty Wagon) who must capture a group of escaped convicts called the Hooligan Girls. Mighty Switch Force 2 switches the focus to firefighting, but ultimately has the same objective of rescuing people (just using a hose instead of a laser pistol).
Switching Things Up
The gameplay’s main mechanic is the ability to switch blocks between the foreground and background. It starts simple with using blocks to go to higher places and gradually gets more complex with launch blocks, cell blocks, and manipulating enemies to solve puzzles. The sequel Mighty Switch Force 2 takes the same concept and adds more types of blocks like mud blocks that need to be wet before switching and using your hose to put out tricky fires. Mighty Switch Hyper Drive Edition simply remixes the original levels of the first game and gives them different objectives to complete.
Mighty Switch Force! Academy stands out from the other titles because of its intense multiplayer focus. Instead of several segments that encompass a level, Academy instead displays the entire level on one screen, expecting the player to adjust accordingly. This is great when playing with friends since they can cover more space. However, when it’s played alone, Academy is a slog to get through with the player being hampered by a screen that is hard to focus on and doubles the workload.
Mighty Slick Presentation
The best part of these games is easily the audio-visual presentation. Mighty Switch Force! 1 and 2 utilize stylized sprites with simple and appealing character designs and environments. The levels are easy to understand with subtle early hints as to how the level’s puzzles must be solved. The other two games, Academy and Hyper Drive Edition, upgrade the pixels to hand-drawn art that works a lot better on a TV screen as opposed to the 3DS where the other games originated. The music in every game is composed by the legendary Jake Kaufman, who previously made
music for Shovel Knight and Crypt of the Necrodancer. The music is upbeat, catchy and helps the player lean into the absurdity of what happens throughout each game.
An Incomplete Collection
Though the collection contains four games, there are still a few choice titles that weren’t included. For some reason, Mighty Switch Force Hose It Down! has been omitted. There was also a missed opportunity to include the series’ predecessors, Mighty Flip Champs and Mighty Milky Way, especially since there is no way to legally purchase them now. The value of the collection as a whole is also reduced by the fact that Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition is simply a remaster of the original Mighty Switch Force game. Sadly, the collection doesn’t add any extras or new features to the originals, merely putting the four games in one convenient place.
Though the collection is a bit lacking, the games themselves are a great burst of fun. Each game is around three hours long with optional challenges to add a few more hours. Even for $20, the entire package’s value is questionable with essentially three very similar experiences and a wacky party game thrown in. Regardless of the value, the Mighty Switch Force! Collection should be played by anyone who enjoys cute, simplistic platformes.