adamphilipps's Mighty Switch Force! (Nintendo 3DS eShop) review

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3DS E-shop finaly delivers

Developer Way Forward strikes again with its Mighty series, with their first title for the 3DS E Shop. Now if you're like me and bought the system at launch, you probably haven't visited the 3DS shop much unless you were picking up the ambassador games. Even if you did browse through a couple of pages on the shop, it might seem like Nintendo is just using it as a vehicle to sell its vintage software. However thanks to Mighty Switch Force and Pushamo the E-shop finally has some new must have games. If you take a close look at Mighty Switch Force, it’s a mighty fine game. Though the game present’s it’s self as an action shooter it’s really more of an action puzzle game, which is fine because the game handles both shooting, and puzzles well. The core idea of Switch Force is to jump, shoot, and switch your way through each level to capture all the runaway prisoners. The most unique ability in the game is that you can switch in or out different kinds of blocks with a press of a button. The game uses these features marvelously; to deliverer some great level designs. At first you start off by switching blocks in and out to use them as platforms to jump on. As the game evolves the ability is used for a ton of other things, like getting rid of enemy’s, blasting you across the stage, and solving puzzles that require precise timing. The game also does a really good job at teaching the player how the game works; it’s not going to give you anything to difficult out of the blue. It fully prepares you for the more difficult puzzles that you will see at the middle, and end of the game. It’s just a shame that the gun play in the game doesn’t evolve as well as it’s puzzles do. The game also uses 3D the right way, to improve its core mechanics, as you can see the blocks actually popping out right at you. The games production values are for the most part, top notch. All the sprites are well animated, the backgrounds look great and the OST is outstanding. Seriously I’d give the soundtrack a 9/10 by itself. But when you take a couple steps back from the game some of its issues begin to show.

The first big issue with the game is that it’s short, and not in a good way either. After I had beaten the 16 missions and gotten most of the par times, I thought “Ok you’ve got my full attention now game, let’s see what you’ve really got”, unfortunately the game had run out of steam at that point. Mighty Switch Force has a bit of an identity crisis, it’s caught somewhere between being like the other Mighty games, and games like megaman X, or Metroid, but It doesn’t have nearly enough levels as the former, and the levels don’t have any sufficient length like the latter. And it’s not just the number of levels that made the game feel short either, the game has nothing extra to collect or unlock outside of getting all the par times, and even if you get all of them, it only unlocks a new intro screen. Having collectable items and hidden content is crucial in games like these, to keep the player coming back after their first play through. What’s more is that the game seems to be ignoring its own cast of characters, it seems like it has some crazy fun story tell the player, but it never makes any effort to do so. Even a little comic book style intro to each level would have done wonders for this games presentation, as the cast seems very likable. Also the games entire presentation is a bit lacking. It seems like most of the games menus and extras (like the radar) were either put together at the last minute or don’t exist. It seems like after Way Forward understood and developed the core of the game and just didn’t bother to polish it up. Here’s hoping for a sequel, because I’d really like to see one.

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