Review: Mighty Switch Force Hyper Drive Edition! (PC)

Wayforward Technologies has been on a tear as of late and has been porting titles that were previously exclusive to the Nintendo 3ds and Wii U over to the PC platform. Their most recent release is Mighty Switch Force Hyper Edition! that’s made its way over to the PC. Is this title worth picking up for those who’ve never played the title but always wanted to, but you simply didn’t want to pluck down the cash for a new system. 

Keep on reading to find out.

Game Name: Mighty Switch Force Hyper Drive Edition!
Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS, Wii U & PC

Publisher(s): WayForward Technologies
Developer(s): WayForward Technologies
Release Date: June 25, 2015
Price: $8.99 until July 2, $9.99 afterwards

The same game just at a different home and that’s alright!

Before I go any further, I want to address the elephant in the room, so bare with me. Being a PC game I typically look at enhancements or updates that have been implemented in a port and this game is no exception. That said, if you’re looking to find something out of the ordinary with this title, well you’re out of luck. There are no PC-centric updates that have been made to this title. There’s no option to change the frame rate nor no anti-aliasing option, in fact the only options you’ll find is that you can change from windowed or full-screen mode and change the resolution up to a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080. That’s it folks, and for a title such as this that’s not really a deal breaker, well except the resolution part as I play games on a 34 inch 21:9 ratio monitor and most games I play are at a 2560 x 1440 resolution. So in this instance I’m forced into using the small resolution and in turn my game is surrounded by black bars. Obviously this isn’t a typical setup for most PC gamers and a 1080p screen will have you playing just fine, for everyone else with 1440p monitors, you’re going to have black bars.

That’s the bad news. The good news however is that’s the only bad thing about this port!

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For all intents and purposes this is the very same game that graced the Wii U way back in 2012. The gameplay is the same, it looks the same and it’s just as fun. You play the role of Patricia Wagon, not a female version of Mega Man. Though she does play very similar, doesn’t she? Ahem, getting back to the game, your’re tasked with arresting a group of criminals that have escaped and are doing their best to not getting recaptured. There’s where you come, so get ready to get those rascals!

The controls are simple, you control Patricia with either a d-pad or analog stick, you fire your blaster with the Y button, B handles the jumping duties, while X allows you to look around the stage, lastly every other button on the control will let you switch blocks (hence the name Switch Force) which you’ll be using for every portion of the game. And while we’re on the matter of controls, Patricia moves with such pinpoint precision, you’ll won’t be able to blame any deaths in the game on the controls. They’re tight and very responsive, so try not to jump into a pit full of spikes, because it will be completely on you.

And as mentioned, the game is called Mighty Switch Force, so one would imagine that switching is an important part of the game and you sir or mam would be correct. Patricia has ability that allows her to alter the world around her with her helmet siren. Well it doesn’t technically alter the entire world, just blocks that would otherwise be impassable. However once that siren goes off then you can either pass through those obstacles or use them to continue on. This is where it gets tricky as you’ll need to use your wits to overcome stages that require the use of the world altering techniques, so pay attention.

The game is a beautiful hand drawn masterpiece and a sight to behold in motion. The game runs at a solid 60FPS, characters move with a fluid grace that would put even ballerinas to shame and it even feature vivid backgrounds.  A welcome when it comes to ported games over to the PC, especially in an age where we’re treated with broken and sad examples of other ports. They’ve also added the ability to choice the original pixel version of Patricia, just in case you don’t want to play with the sexy hand drawn version.

But why would you want to do that?

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Pixeled, for your pleasure

And then of course there’s the music and when I say music, I mean those wonderful toe tapping jams from Jake “Virt” Kaufman.  No stranger to composing game music, Jake has once again upped the ante with some sweet upbeat tunes but that’s the typical flair that his man is infamous for. And if you’ve never heard any music from Jake (where the heck have you been?) then you’re in for a treat. Outside of the music however are the sound effects, which are also bright and do a good job adding to the content of the game. From your blaster fire to explosions and other sounds do their job and make you aware of what’s going on.

Easy to pick up yet hard to master

Although the game features 16 stages or incidents as they’re called, Mighty Switch Force Hyper Drive Edition is still a short title and even with the five extra stages included, the game will take 1 to 2 hours to complete. That is if you’re just trying to beat the game. For you completion purists however there’s much more. On top of the original 21 stages there are also 21 “Hyper” versions of those stages that switch things around a bit.

While Mighty Switch Force HD may seem like a simple platformer, you may want to look again. Under all that beauty is a devilish time attack based system that pushes you to play the level at hand as fast as possible, while making as little mistake as possible. For you see each stage has a time or par, which on your first time through the stage of game you’ll likely ignore. However after a while that par starts to eat into you and suddenly you’re obsessed with beating the times, and you’ll run through a stage multitple times before you even know it just so you can smash that par and cheer on in victory. Well there’s also another reason why to knock all those pars out as well, as Wayforward has taken a page from Nintendo’s playbook it seems and the reward of clearing them all is the ability to play…….. Yeah, sorry I”m not going to tell you that and you’ll have to figure that by yourself.

*Review copy provided by publisher

Another winner from Wayforward graces the PC

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a huge fan of Wayforward Technologies, from Shantae, Duck Tales Remastered, Contra 4 and yes even Double Dragon: Neon (That game has some fantastic tunes). That said I’m happy to see that they’ve been bringing those classic titles over to the PC platform, especially since their most important series have been traditionally locked down on Nintendo’s platforms.

With Mighty Switch Force Hyper Drive Edition, while we didn’t get anything extra, it’s a welcomed surprise for anyone who’s a fan of an enjoyable puzzle-platformer as well as a loved of 2D hand drawn animation.

Despite being a game that can be beaten in two hours or less, Mighty Switch Force Hyper Drive Edition doesn’t really open up until you’ve attempted to tackle the Hyper stages and managed to beat the par’s, which could take a very very long time. But I’m ok with that, especially when I’m having fun doing it. The only thing I wish they would change is how a level is completed. Instead of waiting for your ride to pick you up, the timer needs to stop right after you tag the last criminal. As it stands now you lose precious, which can hose a run if you’re so close to beating the time and a few seconds really matters.

Here’s to hoping that they bring over Mighty Switch Force 2 as a remastered title to the PC as well.

  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Gameplay - 9/10
  • 8.5/10
    Sound - 8.5/10
  • 9.5/10
    Value - 9.5/10
Overall
9/10
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About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.