Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition (Wii U eShop) Review

Review for Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

WayForward Technologies is known by many as the 'Shantae' company, but has delivered so much amazing content across numerous platforms over the years that it is difficult to keep up with the team's vast output. Recently, though, it brought out a series of titles under the 'Mighty' umbrella, starting with Mighty Flip Champs, then Mighty Milky Way, and eventually Mighty Switch Force. Now that last title has been revamped for release on the Wii U eShop under the name of Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition. Prepare to be excited, all over again!

Unlike Mighty Flip Champs on the Nintendo DSiWare service, where two worlds spanned the dual screen DS system and players had to flick between the alternate versions in order to progress past obstacles to reach the end of a stage, Mighty Switch Force instead keeps the stages the same, but relies on making blocks appear and disappear along the way to add challenge. In the same vein as Divergent Shift and Chronos Twins, the concept of using two versions of the same existence works wonderfully in crafting creative worlds for players to face. See a block ahead? Simply hit a button to flip it out of existence, bringing another into view somewhere else in a stage. The idea is simple, and like some of the best basic ideas proves to work brilliantly.

Patricia Wagon is a cyborg police officer who is tasked with gathering up escaped female convicts before heading to the exit point, leaping into a giant robot suit and zooming off to find more elsewhere. Mighty Flip Champs has a set time to beat on each stage, making the collection of convicts a race against the clock, and thus encourages repeat attempts at conquering all of the short levels. There are times where there will be puzzles of such a complicated nature that there is no way the times can be beaten, but with plenty of practice it becomes a fine art. Blocks can be used to merely jump on, or in other inventive ways, such as crushing enemies that pass by them when they have been pushed backwards, bringing them back into view at just the right time to squish the pesky monsters. Some blocks do not switch out when stood on, certain ones act as launchers to reach new heights, and others draw Patricia into the background with them. All are used in a wide range of inventive ways, and the player must navigate around using them whilst trying not to lose all three health hearts.

Screenshot for Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Based on the original Nintendo 3DS eShop release from December 2011, the idea is to jump around the colourful levels - now much crisper than before thanks to hand-drawn updates delivered in HD - shooting at enemies in the way, blasting open containers, as well as taking full advantage of the flipping ability that Patricia has. This Wii U update includes the ability to play the game solely on the GamePad, as well as on a TV (where the GamePad then becomes a handy radar), and works delightfully well in either form. It also comes with the extra five stages added as a free update for 3DS owners earlier this year (bringing the total to twenty-one), plus the chance to restart levels if things are not quite going as planned on a speed run. However, the 'Hyper' part of this new download version's title refers to remastered stages that offer an even higher difficulty than before to entice hardcore gamers to double-dip for a tougher experience. These only open up after the initial batch have been completed, meaning that twenty-one stages later and suddenly the game doubles in size! Not bad in terms of value, right? Especially when the alterations are big enough in scale to keep the remasters feeling fresh, coming with brand new music to boot (and what fantastic music it is!).

Sadly there is no online element to share fastest level completion times via leader boards, but at least there is the chance to take snapshots of scores and post them on Miiverse. The workaround is decent enough, but hopefully full online integration will be made available via a patch further down the line. It also feels like the sort of game that might work well with two players facing off against each other using two GamePads locally, but since no games at the moment use more than the one GamePad, that remains nothing more than a pipedream for now! One person on a GamePad and another using the Wii U Pro Controller could have worked, though.

Screenshot for Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Flipping blocks from the foreground to background is a basic idea, but one that is implemented into stages sublimely to create mind-bending puzzles at times, with the added twist of having to complete everything against the clock.

Graphics

The visuals are extremely reminiscent of the delicious treat that was A Boy and his Blob, with the beautiful hand-drawn approach for characters and environments being boosted by the HD crispness now possible on Wii U.

Sound

Amazingly addictive techno beats across many of the levels, with plenty of strong impact sound effects to further the ambience, be it whilst pumping through the GamePad speakers alone or the TV set.

Value

The added content definitely makes for a more impressive package, but the longevity still merely comes from replaying stages rather than the length and depth of levels themselves. The lack of a dedicated leader-board facility also reduces the enjoyment factor of besting times on speed runs. All-in-all, though, the fun factor keeps Mighty Switch Force going strong for the most part.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition is a superb action puzzle title with clever stages that both get the brain working overtime, yet also offer up a thrilling fast-paced platform experience that will keep even the toughest of gamers on the edge of their seats. The number of improvements and remastered stages make this well worth a look for those that even played the game before. The only real let-down is the lack of online leader-boards for boasting about fastest level completion times, and perhaps a two-player face-off mode.

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19.12.2012

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Developer

WayForward Technologies

Publisher

WayForward

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?
Rob64 (guest) 20.12.2012 17:01#1

Sounds like a very good deal! Still, would have loved a Flip Champs sequel...

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

It's such a fun game and I do wonder who else here on Cubed3 has played it...Anyone?

WayForward has a knack of churning out some fantastic games. A Boy and his Blob is still one of my favourite Wii games, and Shantae on DSiWare is amazing! I really should try to review it at some point Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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