The Nintendo 3DS started out with only a handful of games, and it was the reason the price dropped on the system, but, early in its life, it got something called the Nintendo eShop, and it started mostly empty, but has since gotten great original games, such as Sakura Samurai, Pushmo, and Dillon’s Rolling Western.
One of those games released was Mighty Switch Force!, a puzzle-platformer/shooter that is the third in the “Mighty” series developed by WayForward.
The game’s story is a simple one, you control police officer Patricia, who has to capture escaped convicts, that for some reason, managed to be more agile than her and managed to hide themselves on hard to reach spots.
The graphics are simple, but manage to capture the futuristic look that MSF seems to be reaching for, odd looking buildings in the background, and for some reason, it’s always dark, it’s a nitpick, but I would have liked to see the environments vary a bit, as most of them have basically the same aesthetic, and it’s always night for some reason.
The sprite based characters though, are well animated, from Patricia herself, to even the convicts, who always looked bored for some reason, the enemies, and the cool looking robot that always picks you up after you finish an “Incident” (basically the stage), every character pops out nicely making a nice contrast with the backgrounds, specially with the 3D on, even if it’s only more of visual eye candy than anything.
The music is, dare I say? “funky fresh” as I can’t really describe it, it’s not the most amazing music ever, but boy, some of the tracks will be stuck on your head for a bit.
The level design is where you’ll find the fun, WayForward sure knows how to design varied stages and how to add depth to the simple gameplay that it contains, and speaking of the gameplay, as I said, it’s simple, you can jump, and shoot, or jump and shoot at the same time, but there is one extra, which is the ability to push in blocks from the background and vice versa, but it’s not as simple as that, as some blocks move to the background as well, some will stay if you stand on them, and others will act as cannons that will shoot you to other areas on the level, depending of your use of the ability, this same ability can be both helpful, and harmful, as you can kill enemies by pushing the blocks in and making them crash on the screen, which always results on them “breaking the screen” but, the same can happen to you if you aren’t careful, as you have 3 hearts, and if you lose all 3 whether to spikes, enemies, or being crushed, you will have to restart the level, your main objective while avoiding these obstacles, is to collect the 5 convicts and then escape the level on your awesome mecha.
Now, my only real complain is that the game is on the short side, (it is a downloadable game after all) but WayForward went the whole mile and in May, released FREE DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT, that gives us 5 extra, more difficult levels, helping add to the length of the game, even if by a while longer.
This game is one of the jewels of indie gaming, and at $5.99 on the Nintendo 3-Shop, is a bargain over what you get, including the Bonus levels, and if you are getting a WiiU, you are in luck, because an HD remastering with redrawn graphics is coming to its e-Shop.
With that in mind, I rate this game a 4 out of 5, this is a fun ride all the way through, but that ride may just end abruptly if you are a good player, but don’t let that keep you away, it’s a must buy if you want an e-Shop game that deserves some of that precious space in your SD card.