Mechstermination Force from Hörberg Productions is an action-packed 2D platforming bosh rush game on Nintendo Switch that you have to check out. Find out why in our Mechstermination Force review!
Mechstermination Force is the latest released from indie Bertil Hörberg, who you will remember from the excellent Gunman Clive and its sequel, the aptly titled Gunman Clive 2, which are available on their own on the Nintendo 3DS, as well as on Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo Switch in the Gunman Clive HD Collection, that Tracey review for the site (and which you can check right here). This time around he’s expanded a bit, from a one-person studio to a team that includes Daniel Ribera Olsen and Felicia Hellsten.
As for the game, it’s a 2D action platforming boss rush game in which you take on massive bosses as you learn their movement and attack patterns so that you can find a way to hit their different weak spots, which are easy to spot since they’ll be glowing with a fiery red color. In some ways, the game will end up feeling like a condensed 2D homage to the excellent Shadow of the Colossus, with its larger than life bosses you end up climbing on to try and bring them down, mixed with some of the action-packed Contra gameplay mechanics you know and love.
After selecting your character from the available options (including Gunman Clive if you’ve bought Gunman Clive HD Collection on Nintendo Switch), you’ll start a tutorial boss fight to learn the basics. You will move with the left analog stick or the D-Pad and jump with the B button, but instead of aiming with the right analog stick, you will also aim with the left analog stick or the D-pad. Because of this, when you’re shooting with the Y button, you can press down on the L, R, ZL or ZR buttons to crouch and plant your feet on the ground so that you can stay your ground and freely aim your weapon. The X button is an important one since this activates your powerful melee attack, which is the only way you can destroy the red cores that are the “hit this to destroy me” weak point of each boss.
As you battle each of the bosses in the game, including the one for the first tutorial mission, you will get cash for the parts you destroy. And when you defeat a boss, you will get a cash prize for your success and a cash bonus for each of the hearts from your health bar you have left after the fight has ended. This money can be used at Mr. McShopKeep’s store in the Mechstermination Force HQ to purchase additional permanent health boosts, temporary health boosts for your next battle, or new weapons to add to your arsenal. Once you’ve bought some extra weapons, you can switch between your all-purpose main weapon and the extra weapons by pressing the A button. Some weapons are better for taking on particular bosses – or particular stages of a boss battle – so you’ll need to do some trial and error to sort things out.
At some point you might feel like you should take a break from the next available bosses to battle, feeling that perhaps a new weapon or some extra health would greatly help your run. It is then that you should take to the arcade machine located close to the top of one of the buildings in the HQ. What this will do is allow you to take on any of the bosses you’ve already defeated so that you can both get some extra cash after defeating it, as well as aim at completing 100% of what the game has to offer. You see, for each boss fight, you will be rated with one, two or three stars depending on how fast you’ve managed to completed a battle. On top of this, there’s an extra star for completing a battle without receiving any damage.
And once you’ve defeated the first three bosses in the game, you will be rewarded by the shopkeeper with a pair of high-tech magnet gloves that will allow you to hold on to any surface by pressing the L, R, ZL or ZR buttons. As you can probably imagine, this skill will be put to good use against the next batch of bosses since they will dial back a bit the Contra part of the equation while they dial up the Shadow of the Colossus elements, all as you try to hold onto each of the bosses to keep from plummeting down to the ground. There are other surprises in the game, but I won’t spoil them here!
Between each of the battles, you can have a chat with the many characters that populate the base. There is Lieutenant Lisa, Medical Officer Astrid, Sargent Stina, Officer Olle, Lance Corporal Lars, Sergeant Sven, Mr. McShopKeep, as well as Captain Johnson. Talking to Captain Johnson is how you access the stage select screen on the huge monitor on the wall of his office. Before selecting a battle, you will be given a heads-up of the stage you will be taking on, as well as some general info on the situation at hand.
When compared to Gunman Clive, Mechstermination Force is certainly a different type of 2D game, as it places the focus on the boss battles, leaving the platforming for avoiding their attacks or climbing up their many parts so that you can get closer to the red weak spots. But what this game shares with its predecessor is great attention to detail, fun gameplay mechanics, and a premise and execution that feels right on a Nintendo Console. I highly recommend that you get Mechstermination Force today!
This Mechstermination Force review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Hörberg Productions.