WayForward has an incredible talent for creating games with colorful visuals and cutesy characters that pair up with fun and interesting gameplay. Mighty Switch Force is an example of this with its silly, yet satisfying puzzle platforming that can be very addicting, which lead to a few sequels with `a similar formula. These games are bundled together in Mighty Switch Force Collection, which features four titles that have been requested by fans for a long time. Does this collection do enough to satisfy fans and bring newcomers into the fray? The short answer is yes, but there is a little room for improvement.
The four games included are Mighty Switch Force, Mighty Switch Force 2, Mighty Switch Force Hyper Drive Edition, and Mighty Switch Force Academy. All four games have nearly identical gameplay despite a lot of the context, stages, and puzzles being different. In each game you must move and jump around obstacles while collecting escaped prisoners hiding around a stage.
While some will look at Mighty Switch Force and think of games like Mega Man, mostly because of the blaster you wield and robotic enemies, it’s the platform switching ability that makes these games unique. Using this ability to get around gaps and reach new areas to find collectibles is both clever and really interesting as you progress through each stage. Every game in the collection has a big focus on this and never gets boring, no matter how many times you find yourself switching platforms constantly.
The original Mighty Switch Force and Mighty Switch Force Hyper Drive Edition are the same, with a few exceptions in the artwork and extras you unlock. Hyper Drive Edition acts like a definitive edition for the original game, with the most same stages and puzzles as before. However, there are additional stages included within Hyper Drive Edition with new puzzles and challenges appropriately named Hyper Mode Stages.
These stages are much harder and will test your problem solving abilities and understanding of the game’s mechanics in various ways. But even if you’re not big into harder challenges, it’s the revamped artwork for the visuals that make this game appealing. Realistically, you can ignore the original Mighty Switch Force and get a much better experience playing through Hyper Drive Edition, but only if you’re already familiar with the original game. While not entirely a new game for the collection, there’s still plenty to enjoy.
Mighty Switch Force 2 mixes up the formula by applying it to firefighting. You’re still switching panels to get around puzzles and obstacles, but the characters you play as now are fire fighters looking to save civilians. Enemies that appeared in the original game now have a fire theme to them, but the stages you traverse are also burning up with flames scattered around. This requires you to put out fires with a water gun, as opposed to a blaster like before, in order to clear the stage of fires and rescue civilians within a level. It’s a clever change to the basic idea of Mighty Switch Force, keeping things familiar with a different context. There aren’t as many stages as the other games within the collection, but they’re still just as fun.
Mighty Switch Force Academy is the most different of the four games included. While you can play through each stage solo, you can also play with up to three other players in local co-op. Getting together with others for multiplayer makes the gameplay of Mighty Switch Force a lot of fun, but only if you’re with a full group of people. The biggest issue here is how the camera is placed so far back from the action, whether you’re playing solo or with friends. There is no way to change the camera zoom when you’re alone in each stage, which can make it difficult to see your position and judge how to jump or move accurately.
This could also be a problem during multiplayer but not as bad since you can focus on a specific section without having to worry about the rest of the stage where your teammates are located. However, any sort of ability to zoom into the action when playing alone would’ve been immensely helpful. There’s a Versus Mode in addition to the main game that allows for competition among everyone, but it’s still limited to local multiplayer and only has a few stages to compete in. The lack of online play is a real bummer since it could greatly enhance both the co-op and versus modes when there’s nobody around to play locally.
Mighty Switch Force Collection has a good amount of puzzle platforming to enjoy, but lacks any other extra content beyond that. Despite that, all four Mighty Switch Force games included are interesting and fun to play through with their colorful visuals and solid controls. The multiplayer for one of the games is a nice touch, but is heavily limited with the absence of any online compatibility. If you just want to jump into a fun series of games without much complication, but still get a nice challenge out it, then Mighty Switch Force Collection will have just enough to make you happy.
These impressions are based on a digital review code of Mighty Switch Force Collection for the Xbox One, provided by WayForward.