Review: Mighty Switch Force 2 (3DS)

WayForward has yet again graced the Nintendo 3DS with platforming bliss, this time in the form of Mighty Switch Force 2.

Mighty Switch Force 2
Score: 9/10
Release Date: 6/13/2013
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Developed by WayForward 
Published by WayForward

Mighty Switch Force 2 is actually the fourth installment of the WayForward “Mighty” series, following the original Mighty Switch Force! on 3DS, and Mighty Milky Way and Mighty Flip Champs! for DSi. The series blends classic platforming with puzzle elements; in the case of Mighty Switch Force 1 and 2, this involves switching blocks and interactive objects between the foreground and background of each environment.

The current Switch Force games follow the antics of cyborg Patricia Wagon, and the Hooligan Sisters: The first game sets Wagon in the role of a police officer, out to track down the escaped Hooligan Sisters, whereas Switch Force 2 sets Wagon as a firefighter poised to rescue the Hooligan Sisters from burning areas.

Gameplay is a solid balance of platforming and puzzle-solving across 16 missions: Each “Incident” requires the player to save the five Hooligan Sisters scattered across the level, while switching blocks back and forth between planes, in order to defeat enemies, reach new areas of the level, or to solve puzzles. Unlike its predecessor, where Patricia used a blaster to defeat enemies, she’s now equipped with a multi-purpose water-gun; the water-gun can be used to defeat certain enemies, extinguish fires that obstruct the player’s path, remove “dirt” blocks, and can be used in tandem with “pipe” blocks, which can alter the direction of water towards otherwise unreachable areas. While most of the enemies from the original Mighty Switch Force! have made a comeback, a few new types have been introduced, which will challenge the player to use Patricia’s water-gun in abstract ways.

Mighty Switch Force 2 is structured with a competitive edge; each level has a preset “Par Time” that the player can attempt to beat, along with a hidden “Baby” for Patricia to…rescue. Both of these are optional challenges, but will yield extra unlockable items for skilled players. This isn’t a game designed around selling the player a lengthy, cinematic experience, as it can be finished within 2 hrs; some have even completed it in as low as 30 min.

The audio contains some of the best music found in any downloadable title on the 3DS. The soundtrack is composed by Jake Kaufman, and like the original, has a futuristic, electronica vibe to it. While the soundtrack for the original Mighty Switch Force! can be described as “an evening in futuristic Vegas”- very energetic, yet relaxed- Mighty Switch Force 2 goes for a “punchier” aesthetic, including distorted vocal samples, and even dipping into some dubstep influences. This is definitely a soundtrack that can be listened to over and over; in fact, players shooting for those “Par Time” scores might be discouraged, as they’ll want to stop and listen to the background music in-game.

Mighty Switch Force 2 is undoubtedly a notable 3DS title worth checking out: It brings just enough difficulty to the table to be a challenging experience, while never discouraging the player to a point of no return; it sports a crisp, vibrant art style, which is a refreshing reprieve from the ultra-realism of most current games; the soundtrack will make players wish the 3DS had louder speakers; it’s replay-able for competitive gamers who strive for 100% completion.¬†Mighty Switch Force 2 is a must-buy for platforming, and puzzle gamers alike.

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