Over the past two years the Nintendo 3DS e-shop has quietly matured into a home for a number of high calibre games.
Sneaking in at the tail end of 2012 was Way Forward’s Mighty Switch Force, the tale of cyborg enforcer Patricia Wagon and her attempt to round-up some naughty escaped prisoners. The game’s challenging combination of action, puzzling and platforming made it an immediate hit and an early flag bearer for the console’s downloadable service. It also made waves due to its retro aesthetic and genuinely effective use of 3D.
Hopes for Mighty Switch Force 2 were high and it’s pleasing to say that Way Forward’s sequel retains the style, exuberance and energy of the original.
The core game-play is fundamentally the same but a number of new features make this a distinct and worthy follow up. This time round Patricia’s laser had been replaced with a water hose gun, its effect on enemies remains the same but it requires a little more nuance to control, the arc of the jet often needing the gentle touch.
The hose gun’s abilities are directly tied to the new environmental additions. The 3D block switching mechanic returns, but there are also new block types that can be burned or melted or, most impressively, used to direct your shots through a network of pipes.
These new features are interesting in themselves, but it’s when they are combined that Mighty Switch Force 2 comes into its own, creating an array of challenging and inventive scenarios that require a heady mix of dexterity and foresight.
Like its predecessor, Mighty Switch Force 2 is not a long game, but it still manages to provide variety. Some levels are linear action pieces, others focused around arena type exploration. But although short, replay value is assured. Each level has cruelly set par completion time that at first seems impossible, but with practice (and a good memory) can be overcome. There’s also a hard to find baby to rescue in each level, as you do.
Visually and aurally the game is top class. The sprite based visuals are gorgeous (again beautiful in 3D) and Jake Kaufman returns with another excellent score that shoves a rocket up the 16-bit era. There’s also some brief but delightful voice-work, with Patricia’s natty one-liners always providing a smile.
Mighty Switch Force 2 is more of the same to an extent but the new additions keep it fresh and it’s very well priced. I for one would be happy to see a new Mighty Switch Force release become an annual event.
We hate to ask, but...
Thumbsticks has a couple of goals. We want to write interesting articles and cover games that most outlets won't, and we want to give opportunities to new writers and new voices. And right now, with the current state of online publishing? It's tough to meet those goals! We hate to ask, but if you want us to continue writing what others won't, or to keep covering weird indie games, or to be able to give opportunities to new writers – and only if you can afford it – then please consider supporting us on Patreon.
Recommended for you
Latest from Thumbsticks
New PlayStation Store releases: October 25-29, 2021
This week's lineup of PlayStation Store releases includes Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and a remake of a classic GBA game.
New Nintendo Switch releases: October 25-29, 2021
Mario Party Superstars and Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water headline this week's lineup of new Nintendo Switch eShop releases.
New Xbox releases: October 25-29, 2021
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and Age of Empires IV headline this week's lineup of new Xbox Series X|S and Xbox...
Play three top Xbox games for free this weekend
Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members can play three more games for free for a limited time.
Graveyard Keeper gets new DLC in time for Halloween
The world's best resting place management sim, Graveyard Keeper, is getting new DLC just in time for the spooky season.
Xbox deals update: Save on Assassin’s Creed and DC games
This week's Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S deals include the Batman and Assassin's Creed franchises, plus savings on games...
New PlayStation Store releases: October 18-22, 2021
This week's lineup of PlayStation Store releases includes the long-awaited remaster of Toy Soldiers and House of Ashes.
New Xbox releases: October 18-22, 2021
House of Ashes – The Dark Pictures and My Friend Peppa Pig are among this week's new Xbox Series X|S...