Justice is still being served!
When I picked up my Wii U, the first game I bought was Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition (MSFHD). Sure, I already have the 3DS original—which I love—and you should read the review and maybe these impressions to get a good idea of what the game’s all about if you don’t already know. This particular review focuses primarily on how MSFHD differs from its predecessor, and whether those differences justify a double-dip.
The most obvious change is that the game’s art assets have been entirely redrawn. Backgrounds and foreground objects don’t look so much entirely different as crisper and more colorful, but heroine Patricia Wagon, her Hooligan Sister quarry, and all the game’s enemies have gone from sprite-based to cel-based, akin to the animation style of A Boy and His Blob. You won’t believe how good the characters look now, and it’s hard to go back to the 3DS version’s graphics.
MSFHD has all the bells and whistles of the complete 3DS game, including a retry option and five bonus stages that are unlocked after completing the first 16. As always, the real goal of MSF is to beat each level’s “par time.” In most cases, this becomes much easier after you’ve played through the first 16 stages initially and unlock Patricia’s Mighty Gun. A single blast from this weapon destroys even the largest breakable blocks and every enemy. You’ll gain access to the Mighty Gun differently in the bonus levels—play through each one a single time to unlock the Mighty Gun for that level.
Lest you think this is just a prettied-up version of the original game, WayForward added some Wii U-exclusive content that made me absolutely giddy. Most importantly, completing the bonus levels unlocks Hyper levels, essentially remixed versions of all the normal and bonus levels. While the overall geography of areas remains the same, the block configurations, enemy placements, and par times are different. In fact, the par times are much tougher! The music is also remixed in Hyper levels.
If you manage to beat the par times for all the normal stages and the bonus stages, you unlock a new character model for Patricia Wagon—this one was a huge surprise, and something I’d been wanting in MSF from the beginning. I’d even begged Voldi Way and Matt Bozon to include it in a future update back at E3. This was before we knew that MSFHD even existed. I’m not taking credit for its inclusion; I’m just saying I like to think my suggestion was influential.
In case you’re curious, the GamePad merely displays a redundant radar pointing you toward the next criminal—there’s an on-screen indicator, too. There’s also a button you can tap that switches the action from your TV to the GamePad for when someone else wants to use the TV.
So if you’ve never played MSF, this is definitely the way to do so. For people who’ve already bought the game on 3DS, it’s a judgment call. I certainly don’t have buyer’s remorse thanks to the new content, but you will basically have to play through that of the 3DS game again to get to it. But with those pretty new graphics, who’s complaining?