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  • Chad Myers

Game Review #315: Mechstermination Force (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Chad M.

Developer: Hörberg Productions

Publisher: Hörberg Productions

Category: Platformer, Action, Adventure

Release Date: 04.03.2019

Price (at time of review): $11.99

Buy Mechstermination Force from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Don’t Blink or It’ll Pass You Up!

When looking for a game that stands out on the eShop you can be somewhat overwhelmed, as there are so many great games, to the point that, when new games come out, they sometimes fly right over our heads. On the surface, I can see how Mechstermination Force might do just that, as the title alone is a mouthful; and a lot of people may not know it, but the developer on this title is Hörberg Productions, which is who developed the very excellent Gunman Clive games that I highly recommend. Now, me being aware of this developer, I was extremely ready to check it out, but the core concept was what intrigued me even more.

Mechstermination Force is a game that is essentially one large boss-rush game, and considering one of my favorite games of all time has the same core concept, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one and see if I was right to have high expectations from Hörberg Productions.

Shadow of The Contra: Redux!

So, as I was saying before, a game that pits one man against a slew of titan-sized bosses has been done before, and it is one of my all-time favorites in Shadow of the Colossus. It’s simple: if you own a ps4 and don’t have it, you’re messing up at life and need to correct that ASAP. But, in all seriousness, I loved the concept of being able to just battle it out with huge bosses without all the busy work of getting to them. Mechstermination Force takes that concept and sprinkles some Contra love on it that will bring you right back to those classic games, especially when you’d fight the bosses.

Now, there isn’t much in the way of a story, but what is here works very well. In the year 2024, these monstrosities, called MegaMechs, attack the world, bringing about an all-out War of the Worlds scenario. As things are in utter chaos, you and your team of mercenaries—the Mechstermination Force—are sent in to handle the problem with brute force to reclaim the earth from these titanic robot monsters. You can choose from five different characters, with one being Gunman Clive, the protagonist of Höberg’s freshman and sophomore efforts, Gunman Clive 1 & 2.

Up, Up, Down, Down... Just Shoot Em!

The controls are done very well, with my only complaint being the semi-floaty nature of the jumps, which remind me of the jumps from their previous titles, Gunman Clive 1&2. Besides the normal jump and shoot action layout, you can acquire a few new moves over time, like being able to grab and hang on to metal to gain access to certain areas. You will also unlock a double-jump, which will become very handy—and necessary—as the game goes on. You can also lock in your stance with the push of a button so you can aim with some precision.

Now I wouldn’t so much call this game a Platformer, but you will be doing some platforming. As the enemy rolls out, you’ll be trying to shoot him, and as you do, it’s like solving a puzzle. You’ll see two different colored lights—yellow and a red. The yellow can be shot by the guns and destroyed that way, but the red lights take a little more, as you’ll need to get up close and personal and hit it with a melee attack. When hitting the red light, it will usually fling you back, sending you flying outward and causing some armor to fall off of the mech, or a piece will break up and reveal another area for you to go to attack. You repeat this over and over until they’re defeated. All the while they will do as boss fights do, adapting and trying new things; and you have to quickly adapt, or if you die, learn enough of the pattern for when you come back so that you can master it enough to defeat the boss.

Now, all of this being said, you may think, “Well, that doesn’t sound bad,” and think it’ll be a breeze. Well, you’d be wrong, as this can be very challenging and downright hard at points. I even have heard a few gamers compare the gameplay to Cuphead, which is a huge compliment. You can head back to the HUD and talk with teammates, replay missions, and listen to the soundtrack through the jukebox. This allows for a small distraction between levels, and it adds replay value with chances to master the levels and get three stars—which is hard as hell!

In the HUD base area, you can also purchase items like an extra heart for life, or weapon upgrades. You also have the ability to play with a friend in co-op, which is a fun addition, but still overall tough—unless your friend is very skilled as well!

Audio & Visuals

As I said, you can jump into the HUD base and listen to the tracks off the soundtrack from a jukebox. The soundtrack was composed by Bertil Hörberg’s brother, Arne. Victor Engström, who did about 50% of the songs, also arranged most of Arne’s tracks for a richer sound (per Bertil).

The visuals are completely different than Hörberg’s Gunman Clive 1&2. Rather than hand-drawn visuals, we instead have a cell-shaded art style with both muted and bright colors. The art style of the characters is very Contra-inspired, with a lot of diversity in the many different bosses over the entire game—with some being quite amazing in their scale and size!

It’s A Wrap!!!

Mechstermination Force is a lot of fun, with a highly addictive style of gameplay from a developer that oozes talent and passion in his projects. I could only hope this would get half the notoriety that a title like Cuphead gets, because it deserves the attention. This is a title that I hope gets the physical treatment, but as of now, I highly recommend buying this for your digital collection.

Score: 9.5/10

Buy Mechstermination Force from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by Hörberg Productions

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