MSF2 review for tonight, Mutant Mudds Deluxe review for tomorrow! Game and Wario review coming soon after! Good to have some time for reviews. I hope you enjoy reading them! See you in a few, short hours.
If I had to pick one other company that I love almost as much as Nintendo, I think I'd have to go with WayForward. They encompass everything I love about old-school gaming, and I mean that in a very lovable way. The genres they tackle, the design choices they make, their love of pixel art. All of that rolls into a warm virtual hug that almost all of their games give me.
Of course, that's why I was super excited for Mighty Switch Force 2. I really enjoyed the first outing, but was even more surprised to find out that a sequel was coming our way. With what seemed like a quick turnaround, would the quality in this sequel take a dip? I didn't think WayForward would let things head in that direction. I'm very happy to report that they didn't.
If there's one complaint I can lobby against Mighty Switch Force 2, it's that you're getting a lot of the same mechanics that you saw in the first game. Of course, that's not a complaint in my book. I feel like a lot of people reviewing the game might be a bit bugged by that, but only because the first title isn't really that old. If there were a few more years between the first and second outing, I doubt we'd hear the same level of issues.
Like I said, that return to certain mechanics doesn't warrant any complaints from me. I felt Mighty Switch Force was amazing but a tad short, so getting more of that same core gameplay helps to fill me up. That's not to say that the entire game is more of the same. There are a few new details to spice things up this time around.
Obviously the biggest change comes from Patricia Wagon's new profession. She's not just hunting down criminals now. She's carrying around a portable fire hose system to help her put out the fires that are running rampant in the game. You'll have to deal with fire blocking your path, platforms that have to be extinguished in order to use them, and enemies that are just waiting for you to quench their thirst. All of these elements play into a nice mix of both action platforming and puzzling, which is what the series is known for.
This water hose also paves the way for new puzzle mechanics. Instead of just shifting blocks and locked blocks, there are also blocks that channel water through piping systems. You'll have to feed water through the correct pipes to break mud blocks or put out fire enemies. Some of these puzzles really have you scratching your head for awhile, which is exactly what I want from a action/puzzle/platformer.
I think taking the gun away from Patricia and giving her a fire hose was a great decision, as now the attack mechanic means a lot more to the game. You're not just shooting enemies and moving on. Your main method of attack now serves multiple purposes that intertwine into the game mechanics. Plus, I just think a water hose is more fun than a gun! I'm just a sucker for water mechanics...as long as I'm not swimming!
There's also a much greater variety in level design this time around. You're still doing the same sort of platforming an puzzling, but the places you visit are more gorgeous than ever. You get a lot of varied locations and colors, which absolutely pop when you see them in 3D. It's really crazy to see just how much different background and level themes can do to give you a refreshing feeling.
Speaking of popping 3D, MSF2 has some of the best 3D I've ever seen in a 3DS game. It's absolutely insane to look at the multiple layers and depth. I had an out-loud 'WOW' moment when I first fired up the game. When I saw the sparks from the fires floating around in the air, it really blew me away. I just sat and stared at the 3D effect. I really felt like I could reach out and grab those embers. It's little touches like that that I feel WayForward delivers in spades.
That is especially true when talking about the game's visuals. Again, this is a sprite-based affair, but you're going to get some of the smoothest animations around. The work here easily stands toe-to-toe with what Nintendo offers. I even feel they top the Big N in certain instances. Everything looks so gorgeous, especially in motion. Even the little idle animations thrown in are a joy to find. These little nods and moments really do a lot to build up a wonderful experience.
That experience is given a nice bow on top via the amazing soundtrack by Virt. Once again, WayForward's latest game gets an outstanding audio presentation. From sound effects to music, the audio package is truly top-notch. The last 6 or 7 WayForward games have had insanely good music thanks to Virt, and I always end up putting the tunes on my iPhone for listening to on the road. Just the other day, Mom Brain and I were dancing away in the car while listening to some of these tracks. If you love the music in other WayForward games, I'm happy to tell you that you'll once again find yourself grinning from ear to ear.
Actually, that goes for the whole experience. I actually think I like MSF2 just a tad more than the original. The variety in level themes, the water cannon puzzles and mechanics, the original block-shifting puzzles and platforming plus an amazing soundtrack and hidden babies to collect. WayForward once again proves that they know how to deliver a stellar eShop product. If you loved the first game, I'm pretty sure you'll love this one as well. If you missed out on the first game, now's the time to grab both!