I remember learning about the Mighty Switch Force games when they got their start on the Nintendo 3DS back in 2011, and how I always wanted to play them as I’m a fan of WayForward and their many titles (Shantae being their most famous one). Good things really do come to those who wait as all these years and releases later, the Mighty Switch Force! Collection comes home to rescue the day on all platforms with tricky but fun puzzles and some amazing soundtracks that’ll keep you switching for days.
This collection features four games starting with Mighty Switch Force!, Mighty Switch Force! 2, Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition (a cleaned up remaster), and Mighty Switch Force! Academy. No matter which one you play, they all have the same concept of controlling cybernetic Officer Patricia Wagon (Get it? Patti/Paddy Wagon) whose job is to capture or rescue the mischievous Hooligan Sisters and some other bonus people that are scattered across the map. Once you’re done, Wagon’s faithful friend/mecha named Corporal Gendarmor will appear somewhere and fly you to safety once you’ve reached him.
Thankfully you have either a pellet gun or a water cannon to take out enemies or fires that stand in your way, and your trusty siren helmet that has the power to shift blocks from the foreground to the background and vice versa. You’ll need to master switching blocks to climb them, cross chasms, and even use special blocks to fire yourself or enemies to reach new places or solve tricky puzzles.
It’s nice that the only real challenge here is against the clock and beating your best time, as you have infinite lives should you perish after getting hit three times, though there are health cards you can pick up to restore lost health. I have to say that I love the retro graphics of this series, even when they’re pixelated or cleaned up. Everything has that classic “Mega Man” vibe that pushes you to play even when the puzzles try to get you down (and believe me, they will at times).
Speaking of pushing you to play, the main thing that drove me to keep on going were the awesome tunes by composer Jake Kaufman. I’ll be honest and admit that I had listened to the soundtracks to this series long before getting to play, and now they’re even more amazing since I get to see the game levels that go with them. They’re extremely catchy and fun and will keep your head bobbing as you bob and weave through switching blocks.
If you enjoy platformers and puzzlers, you’ll want to join Officer Wagon in her pursuit of justice in the Mighty Switch Force! Collection. Cool retro graphics, an amazingly fun soundtrack, and some tricky platforming puzzles all come together nicely to show you what this rescue girl is all about.