In 2011, WayForward released Mighty Switch Force! on the Nintendo 3DS. While it wasn’t the first game on the eShop (that distinction belongs to Let’s Golf 3D), it was a part of a group of early games that set a high standard for the service. These games include Pushmo (Pullblox in PAL regions), VVVVVV, Mutant Mudds, Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword (Hana Samurai in PAL regions) and Dillon’s Rolling Western; all of which have received critical praise.
Two years later, WayForward released a sequel to the game called Mighty Switch Force! 2. In this game, you continue to control Patricia Wagon but in a different function. Instead of being an officer who has to recapture the Hooligan Sisters that got away, Patricia will be saving people–more specifically, the reformed Hooligan Sisters–from fires that are engulfing the various areas.
Being a sequel, a number of aspects of the original game carry over to this one. For instance, all controls are the same as with Mighty Switch Force!. So if you’ve played the first game, you should be able to move over to Mighty Switch Force! 2 with ease since Patricia will control and handle pretty much the same way.
In addition to the familiar controls, you’ll also get similar gameplay mechanics in the switching of blocks from foreground to background. As with the previous game, you switch the blocks back and forth in order to move through the level. You also see the return of colored blocks from the previous game. You can change the pattern of these blocks by standing on a block of that color and hitting the switch button. This will come into play a lot near the end of the game. It also creates some interesting level design in the later game.
The one major difference between the first and second game is the use of a hose rather than a gun. Keeping with the firefighter theme of the game, Patricia Wagon is equipped with a hose that can shoot water across the stage. However, keep in mind that it takes about a second for the hose to go full bore. But that can also help you with certain parts of the game.
New to the game are fire blocks. These are basically blocks that are on fire. You can put the fire blocks out for a few seconds by hitting them with water from the hose. However, you can keep the fire out by continually hitting the block with water, basically resetting the time the block is put out. You can even stand on a block for a while just by tapping the button for the hose. Water will drop almost straight down if you tap it quickly enough.
Also new are pipe blocks. These types of blocks help direct water to a designated area. Basically, you shoot at one of these blocks, the water will go through a set path, and come out in a straight line toward whatever (as opposed to the downward arc the water usually travels). These blocks can also be colored, which creates some creative puzzle solving during the game.
Bomb enemies are replaced in this game with flame enemies. These guys are actually pieces of coal that have been lit on fire. You can use these guys to burn away wooden blocks. If you dose them with the hose, they will start to run faster until the flame comes back. In this phase, you can shoot them to different areas without destroying them on contact.
There’s also a new NPC that you can save in the game. Somewhere in each level is a hidden baby, also known as the Ugly Secret Baby (it says so in the manual). If you save the baby, you’ll get… something. I don’t quite know for sure since I beat the game and saved all the babies at the same time, both of which unlock something new in the game. My guess? I think finishing the game unlocked the higher powered hose while saving the babies unlocked a new outfit for Patricia Wagon.
Also, when you save the babies, Patricia comically kicks the baby off the screen. This, for obvious reasons, reminds me of this (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=SwLIhM_CHRw).
And to top it off, we have the musical stylings of Jake Kaufman. In case you’re new to the site and have never seen any of our previous reviews of WayForward games, let me just say that we at oprainfall love his music. His latest work with Mighty Switch Force! 2 is brilliant. The title/credits theme, Rescue Girl, may be my Song of the Year so far. If you want, you can purchase the soundtrack at Kaufman’s Bandcamp page (http://virt NULL.bandcamp NULL.com/album/mighty-switch-force-2-ost).
Unfortunately, with all the good that carried over from the first game comes the one thing that I didn’t like resurfacing with this game: the length. I wish it was longer. I’m not going to say that I could finish this game in one sitting at lunch time like I did with the previous game. As a matter of fact, I take back that comment from my Mighty Switch Force! review. These games are longer than that. However, you should play them in small bursts to extend your experience.
Also, be advised that there’s only 16 levels to the game. To be fair, that was also the total number of levels when the first game was released two years ago. However, when the Wii U port came around, 5 more levels were added on to both versions. So, there is a bit of hope for more game when the Wii U version comes later this year.
But Mighty Switch Force! 2 hits way too many right notes to get bogged down by what appears to be a lack of length. The platforming is great. The puzzles are great. The music is fantastic. It’s a wonderful sequel to a wonderful game.
The game was purchased by the reviewer.