Many gamers have overlooked the Mighty series of games, and it’s no wonder why. WayForward had originally released the first two games on the Nintendo DSi shop called Mighty Flip Champs and Mighty Milky Way. Both received critical praise and even earned a few rewards. Despite their decent successes, everyone immediately forgot these series when Mighty Switch Force rolled around. This indie hit was one of the eShop’s first titles, and it spawned two sequels and a remake. With four titles in the bundle, Might Switch Force Collection on the Nintendo Switch is a fantastic deal for fans of 2D action/platformer games.
Mighty Switch Force was the first big hit, but in this particular review we will be discussing the remaster, as it’s roughly the same game with extra content (both the original and the remaster are included here). At its core, it’s a collection of stages where you must solve platforming puzzles in a variety of mind-boggling ways. You have three buttons to work with: one jumps, another shoots, and the final one activates and deactivates specific platforms. This isn’t your typical platformer where you solely rely on jumping to navigate the stages, so you’ll get some hefty use out of the other inputs.
The main gimmick is being able to control when platforms appear and disappear, which injects the game with plenty of puzzle elements. There are all sorts of different platforms with unique attributes, like the cannons that launch you into the air, or others that lock up as you step on them, keeping them from disappearing. Of course each level has plenty of enemies that get in your way, and in fact they become parts of the puzzle solving as you try and traverse each new area. Different enemy types will blow up or freeze when you hit them, creating some great moments of trial and error.
As you progress through the various courses you’ll constantly find new ways to utilize the tools that you have. Basic platforming quickly turns into labyrinthine courses that require skill to pass. That’s not to say the levels are overly long or complex, but first time players will more than likely be stumped on more than one occasion. There’s not a ton to unlock to encourage multiple playthroughs, but what’s here gets the job done.
Mighty Switch Force 2 sadly didn’t get a remaster, though that doesn’t mean you should shy away from this title. While the game is largely similar to the first, it does completely change the game’s dynamic by switching your gun from a Mega Man like blaster to a water gun. Now the objective of the game is to solve puzzles while putting out fires. There are now random patches of fire you need to spray away, mud blocks that can be washed out, and plenty of new fire-related enemies to douse as you try to puzzle your way through more areas. Fun mechanics like launching flame covered rock monsters into burnable walls or spraying them with water so they bounce against the wall instead of breaking abound. The game makes good use of this new mechanic, but sadly it doesn’t feel as unique as the switching mechanic. It would have been cool to see a ton of new concepts introduced in this game, but as it stands this feels less like a sequel and more of an add-on to the first game.
Lastly, there is Mighty Switch Force Academy, which is the odd game of the series. Unlike the prior titles, this one focuses on multiplayer. You can play solo, but the courses were clearly designed with up to four players in mind. The levels take on a very maze-like appearance, requiring you (and hopefully friends) to navigate puzzles and collect a certain amount of items in order to progress. The game does live up to its predecessors in terms of puzzle quality and even features a new gimmick: the ability to manipulate the boundaries of the course. So, if you fall into a bottomless pit you come back out the top of the screen.
Truth be told the multiplayer aspect of the game just doesn’t feel very fleshed out. The game can be played alone and unlike New Super Mario Bros. U, the game doesn’t zoom in and out. This means that even when playing alone the game is way zoomed out, making it difficult to see details, especially when playing in handheld mode. The inclusion of an optional VS mode is welcome, but I’m just not sure this series needed a multiplayer option.
Despite some of the issues, this is a really solid collection of games. They work fantastic as puzzle games, and they offer more than enough content. While there aren’t many unlockables, some replay value is achieved by each level challenging you to complete it in a certain amount of time. There isn’t any online functionality found here, which would have been nice for multiplayer or leaderboards. Still, these omissions don’t drastically detract from an otherwise fun and entertaining collection!
Mighty Switch Force Collection Review
- Graphics - 7.5/107.5/10
- Sound - 7/107/10
- Gameplay - 8/108/10
- Lasting Appeal - 8.5/108.5/10
Final Thoughts: GREAT
Mighty Switch Force Collection is a fun, creative, and charming set of games that are worth every penny. Taken as a whole there’s plenty of content to explore and should keep you busy for a long period of time.