Platform(s): PC (Version played), Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Genre: 2D Shooter Tribute To Metal Slug, But With A Goose
Sometimes, simplicity is the best policy. If you tell me that someone is making a 2D run-and-gun game in the veins of the classic Metal Slug series, but starring a cybernetic bounty hunter Goose fighting aliens instead of Not-Nazis, I’m sold. To keep my attention beyond just being curious about that prospect, the developers just need to make a great game out of that idea; one that can stand next to its contemporaries thanks to meaningful additions.
Mighty Goose is definitely doing that, even if it’s not really breaking new ground.
Mighty Goose is really fun is because it just doesn’t let up with the challenges and action beats. One moment you’re storming a space prison camp, the next you’re in a Mad Max-inspired desert level complete with Goose Bike chase sequences followed by multiple explosions from your gun-toting mayhem.
You even get to play through a level inspired by Mad Max, complete with a Goose Bike segment and multiple explosions from the damage you’ll be causing. It’s simply a thing of beauty you need to witness, as well as listen to. Mighty Goose’s sounds and catchy music is a cut above the rest.
At the same time, Mighty Goose adds some much-needed features to keep the action going while making it fair yet challenging. Instead of a lives system, the Goose has 4 hit points so he can take 4 hits. If he dies, he starts back at the last checkpoint of a stage. The Goose also has a dodge button to evade enemy fire and cover more ground faster than usual.
Your goose can buy weapons on the fly if he has enough scrap from slain enemies. Goose can also hover in the air if he shoots his gun downwards, with different weapons giving him different kinds of airtime. You can equip Goose with one support weapons (bombs, protection, etc.) and one sidekick who tags along with you while firing at foes. These range from a rabbit that fires plasma to a pig that gives you Heavy Machine Gun Ammo on occasion. The pig is awesome.
You can also give your bounty hunter augments like longer “Goose Rage” mode (a super state where your bullets are faster and Goose is invincible), additional ammo from pickups, and double jumps. Collectibles on-screen do not disappear after a few seconds; this is personally my favourite addition to this kind of run-and-gun game. All this and more just enhances the 2D run-and-gun experience.
I really have no complaints here as everything I mentioned here is pulled off spectacularly from start to finish. With spot-on controls and a number of attack options, you’ll feel great just mowing down enemies and will be tested for it with obstacles and explosions abound.
Titled Goose Game
My only major beef with Mighty Goose is that it can get a bit too chaotic. I usually get hurt because some enemy bullets and grenades are obscured by the plethora of debris and explosions happening on-screen at the same time. It’s awesome to look at, sure, but it requires you to pay attention moreso so that you don’t get hit by stray fire.
Also, the game is pretty short if you’re just aiming to get to the last boss and ending. If you’re itching for a higher score and getting some additional achievements, you can play the buffed-up versions of existing stages that amp up the challenge with new enemy placements. Here’s where all the extra powerups come in handy though.
Not a score hound? You’ll still get some enjoyment out of Mighty Goose‘s 9 stages filled with balls-to-the-walls pixel-laden action. For you retro gamers and 2D shmup fans longing for an arcade challenge, you should goose-step up to the challenge.
- Challenging yet fair for 2D shooter newbies.
- Dodge button & Assist mechanics spices things up.
- Short but sweet gameplay with tougher bonus levels.
- Charming 2D aesthetics & soundtrack.
- Screen gets really messy & obscured in very heated moments.
- A bit too short for a run-and-gun.
Final Score: 80/100