Mighty Switch Force! collection review (PS4)

After their excellent Shantae releases, WarForward is now bringing a collection of four of their Mighty Switch Force! games to Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC and PS4. Our look is based on the PS4 version.

The multiplatform nature of the Mighty Switch Force! Collection is kind of a big thing here, because unless you’ve been playing on Nintendo platforms in the past ten years there’s a good chance many of these games have passed you by. In that case you probably also don’t know that there have been more games in the series than these four – which make up the ‘core entries’ in the franchise. It’s still a welcome introduction though – and this applies to Switch gamers too, who are getting their first sampling of Mighty Switch Force! with this collection.

At their most basic, the Mighty Switch Force! games are action games of the puzzle platform variety, with each of the games bringing its own twist on a familiar theme. Included are Might Switch Force!, it’s sequel, a remake dubbed the “Hyper Drive Edition” and Mighty Switch Force! Academy – which introduces local multiplayer into the mix.

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In the original Mighty Switch Force! game (originally released on the 3DS), you’re a female police officer trying to round up escaped girls in order to complete each level. Obviously there’s a catch to this, and it’s that not every escaped convict is easy to reach. To get to them, you need to switch special blocks in and out of the scene with the push of a button – enabling usually one disables another, and getting across a chasm means you need to do this mid-air. There are different (color-coded) blocks that do different things as well, but it’s easy to learn. It’s a mechanic that I kind of recognize from Hue, another fun puzzle platformer that was released after Mighty Switch Force!

Obviously the remake offers a very similar experience, but with sharper HD graphics (that retain the retro look that WayForward is known for, but without going the pixel route). The sequel, however, mixes things up by making you part of a fire brigade instead – putting out fires with a water hose that also allows you to target enemies in more creative ways. You’re still rounding up girls, only this time it’s to rescue them.

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Mighty Switch Force! Academy is a bit of the odd one out in the collection, because besides the multiplayer aspect it also changes up the view of each level. While the other three titles employ a view not too unlike that in a game like Mighty No. 9 (to stay with the Mighty theme), Academy features a zoomed out view where your characters are smaller and more of the level is visible at once. This works well in terms of having an overview of where everyone is, but changes the dynamic of how you traverse each level as well.

All four games are great fun, and wonderful to have on a new console. When you get better you also have the ability to try for faster times – or stick with the fun local multiplayer option that Academy provides. If you already own one of more of these games on a different platform then I could see that being a reason to hold back, but other than that this is a pack that provides great value for money.

Score: 8.0/10

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