Also On: Wii U
Mighty Switch Force! debuted on the Nintendo 3DS back in the day, bringing a neat little platformer to the eShop that introduced gamers to a speedrun-oriented blend of platforming and puzzle mechanics. Since then, the game has had a sequel, and seen a port to the Wii U. That version arrived on Steam not too long ago, and for better or worse, is a 1:1 port of the Wii U version.
Released as Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Edition, the Steam version comes equipped with minimal graphics options and controller support. Controls can be customized, although the default mapping does the job just fine. Seeing as this is a straightforward game that isn't particularly demanding, and that it runs at 60fps on its own, the lack of options or customization doesn't really affect the game's performance — it looks nice on every machine.
One thing to note is that the game lists DX11 in its minimum requirements, and when playing it on my 5-year old laptop on an Nvidia 320M that maxes out at Direct X 10.1, gameplay became unstable. Particularly in that the game ran fine on first boot, but when restarting a level or moving between stages, the game would perform at about 1/4 its normal speed. At first, I thought this had to do with the resolution, but it's an issue that continued even in a smaller windowed mode and may affect players who have older hardware.
While a cursory Google search on this issue didn't bring up results, it's safe to conclude that it's an edge case, although a troublesome one at that. Luckily, on my desktop (and for the vast majority of users), the game's performance isn't even an issue and runs silky smooth. Considering that this was such an isolated issue, and that it happened outside of recommended spec, I'm writing about it mostly the educate readers using outdated hardware. While it's nice that the game runs so smoothly within its specified requirements, it's a little disappointing that it doesn't have much scaling room below DX11.
There's a good amount of content in the game, consisting of the core levels along with some extras and remixed versions. Most players can blow through these in a couple hours, but going back through to complete them under a par time will take discipline and a much greater investment on the player's part. While the game goes by the rule of "easy to learn, hard to master," the latter half of that philosophy is particularly hard to, uh, master. It'll give perfectionists something to chew on for a while, and taps into the previously-mentioned speedrunning vibe.
There's also no support for Steam Workshop, and for a puzzle game like Mighty Switch Force!, that could have been something really special. That's not to say it's a horrible omission, as this is again a very straightforward port, but it's the kind of thing that can really extend the life and value of games on PC. Toki Tori 2+, another game on Wii U and Steam, was built for the ground up with that kind of idea in mind, and while Wayforward's design is excellent, I was reminded that the content is finite in Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Edition. This, again, is something that occurred to me a couple times while playing, and is mostly a note for educational purposes, since readers can find out if Steam Workshop is supported by checking a game's store page.
Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Edition is a great PC port that will suit those looking for a casual platforming or puzzle experience, along with the hardcore speedrunners looking for a challenge. Getting a star for completing a level under par, especially on a difference of milliseconds, is greatly rewarding after spending even upwards of a half hour figuring out how to finish in 90 seconds. I'm glad to see this type of game reaching more players, and hopefully Wayforward can keep up great PC ports.