Mr. Shifty (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Greg Giddens 01.05.2017

Review for Mr. Shifty on Nintendo Switch

The top-down shooter genre is prolific right now, so when a title comes along that takes the same concept, strips shooting for melee, and adds a new and wonderful movement mechanic, the genre starts to evolve into something new and refreshing. Team Shifty has been quick off the starting blocks with its release, Mr. Shifty, getting it out onto Nintendo Switch quick enough to ride the early launch hype train. Does it deserve your attention, though?

Mr. Shifty is delightfully satisfying. It's like recreating that exceptional scene from the film X-Men 2 where Nightcrawler teleports gracefully around the oval office, unleashing a flurry of kicks and punches on the secret service officers. Indeed, like the name suggests, here you 'shift' a few feet in any direction chosen, quickly and effectively teleporting around the area in order to traverse the office complex you're invading and fell the goons that are trying to hinder the heroic quest.

The quest itself is a shallow excuse for crime fighting mayhem, with players looking to topple an evil kingpin but, fortunately, the fun is in the mechanics, not the tale. It ends up facilitating a constant stream of different enemy goons to confuse and frighten with the shifting ability, before flinging them into each other, walls, and through windows. Meanwhile, whether through enemy weapon's fire, the protagonist's attacks, or shifting, furniture and windows are smashed and each area organically changes as the battles play out, littering the floor with debris and the odd weapon that can be picked up and used for a limited time before breaking. Swords, bottles, planks of wood, and much more, offer an edge when the heavy enemies show up, or when the screen is utterly filled with baddies, with precisely the kind of sound effects and rumble feedback expected from wielding them. It all comes together so smoothly and satisfyingly.

Screenshot for Mr. Shifty on Nintendo Switch

Even when completely outnumbered and shifting becomes frantic, the scene still looks remarkably controlled and intentional, as the blue trench coat, baseball cap wearing hero darts around the room, unleashing the odd punch and appearing to deftly dodge incoming attacks. This is especially cinematic when the heavy weapons show up, with rockets launching across the screen only to miss the protagonist as he shifts and the rocket explodes a group of goons instead. It's these moments where the strategy behind Mr. Shifty becomes apparent: it's not about felling the strongest enemies as quickly as possible but instead it's about allowing them to live long enough to turn their weapons against the masses that threaten you.

With the top-down perspective, oodles of enemies and crime fighting action, most could be forgiven for comparing Mr. Shifty with Hotline Miami, but the cel-shading subtly brings it back on superhero brand, and indeed the shifting ability immediately reveals it to be something else entirely. In the end, it feels familiar but fresh, which is no small feat. The experience is largely focused around combat, although the odd traversal puzzle comes into play here and there. However, combat itself very much plays like a puzzle, albeit one that asks players to solve it in a very reactionary manner of frenzied shifting, kicking, and punching. As you figure out where to shift, who to attack, and what weapons to pick up, though, facing a particularly tricky set of enemies in a frantic display of teleportation, slows down in your mind, and uncovering the tactic that takes them all out and leaves you alone and victorious in a room full of debris and bodies is wonderfully cathartic.

Screenshot for Mr. Shifty on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Mr. Shifty's shifting is one of the most satisfying and enjoyable combat mechanics ever conceived. Teleporting through offices, smashing furniture and enemies in a flurry of kicks and punches is a wonderful visual spectacle, as well as an adrenaline-fuelled treat. Allowing the story to take a back seat so the action leads the way certainly feels like the best move in this case, but there's certainly some room for a more thought-out and quirky narrative. Meanwhile, some frustrating checkpoints can make the more frustrating fights that bit more annoying.

Developer

Team Shifty

Publisher

tinybuild

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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