Remember the old school game “Duck, Duck, Goose”, well Mighty Goose is somewhat of a sequel, where the Goose is a bounty hunter and it involves no physical running but mastery of the run and gun genre. GO MIGHTY GOOSE.
Mighty Goose developed by Blastmode and MP2 Games & published by Playism aims to pull on those arcade nostalgia heartstrings with a game that at times feels more like Metal Slug than anything else and with classic 16 bit visuals so strong you can’t help but want to cradle the closest Neo Geo.
The story is that you are Mighty Goose, the world’s greatest bounty hunter on his latest mission to get money for bread I would assume, he gets involved in a galaxy-wide threat but rather than formulating a plan and getting too in-depth with things, Goose does what Goose does and blasts holes in everything in his there.
It’s a classic game in modern clothing so it doesn’t focus on a grand narrative, merely just an excuse for an animal to go round shooting everything ala Earthworm Jim. The cutscenes in the game do give Goose a little character and have quite a few comedic moments but anyone expecting something life-changing in terms of the story could quite literally look anywhere else but here.
Visually Mighty Goose could stand toe to toe with the Neo Geo’s heaviest of hitters and come out with only a few scratches and bruises, it’s so vibrant and detailed and looks just like having the pleasure of an arcade cabinet in your own home, steeped in nostalgia and charm you can’t help but fall instantly in love with Mighty Goose from the second their webbed feet touch the ground.
Animation is buttery smooth throughout and again has all the charm and “Tude” from the 90s mascot platformer boom with characters such as Earthworm Jim and Boogerman, Mighty Goose would be in great company but with the amount of action on screen, sprite detail and colour usage you would need a SNES on steroids for it to ever consider being able to play this one, it’s like Blast Processing and Mega Shock combined.
The game never stutters or shows any frame rate drops the only times it ever slows down is when it’s presenting a little bit of dialogue or goes into slow mo’ which I couldn’t figure out what triggered it but always made my kills look cool doing so!.
The gameplay of Mighty Goose is that of the run and gun genre, think Contra or more closely Metal Slug, especially in terms of visuals which screams Metal Slug, the enemy count, and possibly even more “subtle” the playable tank vehicles you can find!.
You’ll find most of your time running to the right of the screen, blasting baddies, melee the ones that come too close, flicking switches, and doing some platforming. The levels are perfectly paced and you’ll find yourself craving more after each level. Bosses are absolute standouts there with some devilish patterns to learn and intense battles to make sure you are worthy of the moniker Mighty.
Vehicle sections usually see you storming the stage in a tank much like it’s inspiration and controls identically too, there are also some aerial sections which play like a Shooter/Shmup which you know this reviewer just lapped up/.
One small feature that I actually loved was that when you jump and shoot down, your kickback from your gun causes you to float down or if you have the shotgun you’ll actually gain height, it’s a small feature but so good to effectively turn yourself into a zeppelin of destruction as you leisurely glide across the screen smiting foes.
You have a dodge roll that has I-frames which will help you avoid death, you have a health bar which is a godsend in a title with this many bullets and various weapons, the standard blaster, shotgun, and even rocket launcher. Manage to not get hit and kill a whole load of baddies? You can unlock Rage mode which makes you invincible for a brief period and turns your weapons into screen-clearing major damage dealers.
You pick up coins throughout the level and these can be used to buy additional weapons or the vehicles you can find throughout to help give you the leg up on the opposition. I loved this little feature and felt rather daft not using it in earlier stages wanting to “do them pure”.
Mighty Goose has a selection of sidekicks he can find throughout, starting with the utterly useless but completely charming “Average Duck”, they will help you whittle down the hordes and usually provide you with extra weaponry or health when you need it.
You unlock various upgrades and special abilities for Goose as you progress and to select these you need to manage an energy meter, it’s down to your choices on how you play and want to cover your blind spots to make the game manage for you or if you just want to go in guns blazing without the extras and challenge yourself.
The game has a phenomenal sense of humour and parody, one section is directly ripped out of Castlevania which made me smile and what followed was the game telling me to play it again but on its “true” difficulty, something I did and didn’t even have to think twice about doing so because fun is the name of the game here.
Mighty Goose is what I love about Indie Games, it’s a perfect homage to my golden era of gaming, it’s fun, it runs like a dream, it’s engaging and it’s fun, really, really fun. The characters are all charming and have that 90s mascot appeal, the controls are intuitive and the game never overstays its welcome.
While some people would complain about its rather short run time, it is so replayable and customizable in its options that I find myself returning time and time, the only issue is the rather tacked on multiplayer where the second player controls the sidekick with basic attacks and the like rather than another Goose for true chaos. If you’re into old-school kicks and charm you can’t get much better than spending time with Mighty Goose and Average Duck!.
Lacking a robust Co-Op experience is the only thing stopping this Mighty Goose from being Golden