Just shy of a year since its original release on Nintendo 3DS’ eShop, Mighty Switch Force! arrives on the Wii U’s own digital storefront boasting a spritely paint job.
While Patricia and her outlaw pals run amok on new hardware, the aptly titled ‘Hyper Drive Edition‘ retains all the same old school hooks of its handheld counterpart with a few new bells and whistles.
Players control Patricia Wagon, a cybernetic police officer on the hunt for escaped convicts hiding in each of Mighty Switch Force’s 21 or so levels. Though her armour is weighty and her puny pee shooter barely makes a dent, it’s Patricia’s ability to switch platforms in and out of frame that’s her greatest asset.
Remember those revisable platforms from recent 3D Mario games? Mighty Switch Force is essentially that, but with a little more control and depth. Hit either shoulder button and blocks are crushed into view while another set is sent into the background.
It’s a simple and novel concept, introduced early on through basic platforming exercises to later lessons in tricking timing and level-sized puzzles. New blocks are introduced later on: some propelling whatever gets snagged in them in a certain direction and colour-coded blocks that can be locked into place whenever Patricia is stood on them.
Inventive ideas and challenges keep Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition exciting through its rather short-lived campaign but it’s the non-compulsory par times that will keep you replaying levels to beat the game’s best times.
There are no leaderboards to speak of which is a shame but there’s a sense of satisfaction from mastering Mighty Switch Force!’s fine-tuned mechanics. Fans of the original should be pleased to find Hyper versions of all 21 levels ramp up the challenge in remixed fashion.
It lacks the 3D element of its handheld counterpart but Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition‘s redrawn visuals and high definition quality looks stunning on a bigger display. To further compliment this, Jake Kaufman’s retro-themed soundtrack is an electronic pulse of chip-tune catchiness running through each stage.
The option to play the game entirely on the GamePad is a nice bonus (albeit minus to the second screen features) but hardly one that’s likely to entice players who’ve already invested in the 3DS version.
But for those who haven’t, there’s no eShop title I recommend as highly. It’s hardly a showcase title for the hardware’s capabilities but Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition is a solid platformer that blends new ideas with old-school vibes in equal measure.