Gameplay At Its Finest
I’m currently making my way through Mr. Shifty on the Nintendo Switch, and enjoying the hell out of it. The game brilliantly meshes together the over-the-top (literally and figuratively) action of Hotline Miami with beat em’ up-styled gameplay that has you teleporting viscously whilst smashing baddies faces in. At first glance you might think it’s a Hotline Miami ripoff, but the two games actually play wildly different. Hotline Miami is a twin stick shooter, whereas Mr. Shifty is a beat em’ up.
Mr. Shifty also mixes up the gameplay by having you dodge obstacles and using melee items to get you through puzzle areas. I’m still early in the game but the pacing has been superb. The gameplay always changes things up at the perfect moment, and you’re never expecting it. I find myself constantly on the edge of my seat during intense running segments or while fighting a huge group of enemies in one room.
Most importantly, the game makes you feel cool. You have a badass super power, and you feel like a badass while using them. Perfectly executing enemies in a stylish and fast manner is the most fun I’ve had in some time. Teleporting behind an enemy and taking them out with a coffee mug, then teleporting across the room and punching another enemy out a window is pure adrenaline-filled fun.
Prepare for a bold statement, Mr. Shifty is the best gameplay experience currently on the Nintendo Switch. Believe me, I know how crazy that sounds, especially given I’ve only played the game for about 2 hours. But from a gameplay standpoint, it’s near-perfect. Obviously, something like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the grander experience thanks to the sheer scope, level design, and world-building — but the studio (Team Shifty, tinyBuild) behind Mr.Shifty put all focus on the gameplay mechanics, and it shows.
How’s the game run? I was fortunate enough to try it out on PC/Mac and Switch. Both versions suffer from framerate drops, but nothing too crazy — the only time they occurred was when there were a lot of enemies on screen and/or when a lot of explosions were happening. I did run into a bug/glitch in the Switch version that had me stuck in a room (in stage 2), unable to progress due to a door not unlocking when it should have, so I unfortunately had to start the stage over. Hopefully the game gets a day-1 patch to fix these issues.
The X-Men/Nightcrawler Possibilities
Mr. Shifty’s story is pretty interesting thus far, early in the game you’re using your unique powers to infiltrate a large corporation and collect data of some sort. Just your luck, it’s a heavily secured, and heavily armed building. While I do find the story somewhat interesting, it’s not exactly what I was expecting or wanting from the game. I was hoping it’d put more focus on your powers. How you got them, and how you’ll use them for good or bad. Cause let’s be honest, at some point in all our lives, we’ve all wished we could teleport. Overall, I think a more interesting story could be told. Also, I can’t help but wish the team had the rights to Fox’s X-Men IP, as the gameplay and power of Mr.Shifty would have been the perfect Nightcrawler game. Obviously, that’s an extremely hard business deal, so I wouldn’t expect a small indie studio to be capable of pulling those strings, but one can always dream, right? I also dream to see Shifty as a Nightcrawler game because it’s still pretty rare that licensed properties turn out this superb.
Mr. Shifty is already one of my favorite Switch titles, and it’s somehow pulling me away from Persona 5. It’s gameplay at its finest, and I can’t wait to see it through to the end.
Brett Medlock is one of our leads on video production here at Enthusiast Gaming. He’s obsessed with action-adventure games, platinum trophies, and K-pop. To hear more about how lame he is, follow him on Twitter @brettnll