Review: Mighty Switch Force! 2 (3DS eShop)

It's difficult to imagine any of Nintendo's digital marketplaces without the presence of WayForward.  With consistent quality offerings that capitalize on what makes video games so fun and enjoyable, they've established themselves as one of the premier developers for Nintendo's budding digital storefronts.  With their latest release, Mighty Switch Force! 2, WayForward continues their established pedigree, and once again sets the bar for what digital offerings are capable of.

Fans of Patricia Wagon's original outing will be pleased to hear that the overall structure of the game hasn't changed.  Ms. Wagon has however undergone a change in career, and now serves as the city's sole firefighter in a time of blazing catastrophe.  Players will still use Patricia's ability to alter the composition of blocks and other obstacles, making them either transparent or solid for platforming and puzzle-solving purposes.  The level design is once again top-notch, and players will more-often-than-not find themselves scratching their heads over the more puzzle-centric nature of this title in comparison to its predecessor.

In the midst of the fire that has broken out, Patricia will be seeking out and rescuing the newly-reformed Hooligan Sisters, while putting out the flames that are continuously engulfing the city.  As previously mentioned, Patricia can still make obstacles and blocks become solid or transparent with the press of a button, providing some simple, albeit clever puzzle design that ramps up in difficulty with each incident.  Again, there is more of an emphasis on said puzzles this time around it seems, but don't let that make you think that the wonderful platforming mechanics have taken a back seat.  On the contrary, Patricia's actions still feel great, and players are conditioned slowly into being able to jump on platforms and switch the composition of blocks and obstacles simultaneously.

The stereoscopic 3D aspect of Mighty Switch Force! 2 doesn't necessarily add so much to the gameplay outside of providing a stronger perspective on transparent and solidified objects, but lends itself more to the presentation.  Many games feel as though the 3D effect is a tacked-on affair, but this isn't the case Mighty Switch Force! 2.  Visual elements like embers consistently fluttering about on your screen, and the detailed, beautiful environments are wonderfully represented in 3D, providing a nice layer of depth to each level.  Couple that with WayForward's amazing production value and vibrant color scheme, and you have one of the best looking games to hit the eShop.

Replay value is fairly high for the title, as after completing the game once, you are given access to a higher-powered hose, aiding in your pursuit of the brutally demanding par times for each incident.  Also of note, are the optional babies that Patricia can "rescue" through one of the funnier in-game animations I've seen in a while, and will require a bit more thought and ingenuity from the player in order to access.

Even with the heavier focus on puzzle-solving however, the fact remains that this is still overall the same game that players were introduced to back on 2011.  A new weapon, and a few new ways in which it is used environmentally may not be enough for some players to stick through this short but sweet adventure.

In conclusion, WayForward proves in MSF!2 that they still have a knack for providing players with simple, yet rewarding game experiences that exude a level of polish that is normally only found in retail offerings. + Bryan King

9/10 - Mighty Switch Force! 2 is a superior sequel.  It encapsulates the charm, humor, and solid gameplay of the original, while soaring to new heights all on its own.  Every 3DS owner would be doing themselves a disservice by missing out on such a wonderful experience.

Review copy provided by WayForward

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