If you’re into 2D platformers that aim to test your skill, then you’re in for a test with Mechstermination Force. This Switch title lives in the Platform Boss Rush genre, so its gameplay is purely focused on platforming and boss battles.
That’s all you face in each level, a big ass boss that takes up most of the screen, and while that may sound a bit basic, the battles are epic in size and scope. Although, there’s plenty to hold your attention even though you don’t have to plod through a level to get to its boss.
The gameplay itself is very Contra-like in terms of the shooting and movement, and the gun powers-ups you can earn also reflect the arsenal in that classic 2D platformer. You also curiously have a bat for melee attacks, and it’s key to every boss battle, because you have to use it to take out power cores on the bosses. Upgrades are also available to give you boosts to your platforming abilities, such as boosted jumps, or magnetic gloves for scaling the metal machinations that you must take out.
Again, the boss battles are the level, so as soon as you start one, you’re thrust right into a skirmish against a screen-sized baddie looking to snuff you out. Each boss has a unique attack pattern, and they do take time to learn, so prepare for plenty of deaths due to experimentation. I wouldn’t go as far as calling Mechstermination Force a “Souls-like” experience, but the boss battles will most definitely test your will and spirit.
While I appreciated most of these tests of my gaming soul, I do have to mention that this game may be more challenging than it needs to be thanks to wonky mechanics. In particular, the platforming required to take down bosses can get overly frustrating because your character is a bit floaty while in mid-air, so when you need to pull off precise jumps, while also targeting moving targets, you end up fighting the controls more than the boss. This definitely soured the experience overall for me, and that feeling kicked in early, as in the second boss, which nearly caused me to smash my Switch in two. I contend that I was dying due to poor controls, specifically the platforming, so while I loved the challenges that the bosses presented, I hated how it felt controlling my dude.
This frustration can be alleviated a bit when playing locally with a friend, but I just feel the platforming mechanics need a bit tightening to make the overall experience feel as solid as it could be.
Mechstermination Force is a curious game. On one hand its boss-only setup is highly intriguing and a bit addicting, plus it looks great to boot, but on the other hand, the platforming tends to spoil the fun more than add to it. With that being said, this game will challenge you at nearly every step, so if you’re into masochistic gaming experiences, this is a cheap little Switch title will fill that hole in your gaming soul.
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