Remember Untitled Goose Game? I’m sure you do—it was sort of a phenomenon. Now imagine if the goose from that game was an intergalactic bounty hunter with a Samus (from Metroid) style exosuit, a Mega Man style blaster, and that instead of wreaking havoc in a sleepy little village, your goose is dropped into an action game that feels like Contra mashed with Metal Slug: that’s Mighty Goose. It’s as crazy and cheeky as it sounds, but it also turns out that it’s a pretty solid run and gun.
Mighty Goose is an action shooter with classic run and gun style gameplay. If you’ve played Contra or Metal Slug you’ll know exactly what to expect: lots of enemies with copious projectiles that must be dodged. If you get hit three times, your goose is cooked—literally. But there are lots of items to help you, including weapon power-ups, different companions, and different suit configurations you can set back at base. Choose missions to partake in, and replay previous missions to get a better score or find secrets you might have missed.
In Metal Slug style, you’re not just stuck on foot, as there are multiple vehicles to pilot throughout your adventure. Some of these vehicles give a little bit of extra help, while others are required to pass the section they’re in. From the tank to the airplane, every vehicle in Mighty Goose could have come directly from Metal Slug—and that’s not a bad thing. But it’s not just vehicles giving you an advantage in Mighty Goose, since you can have a companion with you on your whole journey.
While Mighty Goose can be played completely solo, you have the option to have a computer controlled companion tag along. Most of these companions do some sort of attack, but some of them give advantages in other ways, like giving power-ups. These companions can also be taken over by people, making the game effectively a 2 player co-op experience, but in way that’s low stakes for player 2. Perfect for a little brother or a significant other who isn’t as familiar with video games.
It’s not just vehicles and companions that give you an advantage. The goose’s suit enables all sorts of passive power-ups that can be discovered and enabled back at headquarters. It also gives you access to the powerful mighty mode, which turns your goose into an invulnerable murder machine by increasing the power and size of projectiles. Mighty mode can be activated once your mighty meter fills—which is something that’s surprisingly easy to do. In fact, I found that Mighty Mode made Mighty Goose a little easier than other run and gun type games, because I was able to activate it fairly regularly with practice.
Mighty Goose isn’t a perfect game, but it’s nearly perfect. It has great, tight controls, a cheeky sense of humor, and great animations and pixel art. However, the soundtrack is just okay, which is a real missed opportunity. And while there are interesting boss encounters, most of the enemies you fight through the game are the same few types. That’s pretty on par with other run and gun type games, but I would have appreciated more variety.
As you fight your way across the galaxy in the hopes of defeating the Void King, you’ll encounter lots of different worlds and environments. Mighty Goose does tout a fair amount of variety in its level design and gameplay. You’re always running and gunning, but sometimes you’ll do it in an arena, or against creatures that have taken over a mine in an almost horror-like environment. Mighty Goose stays interesting throughout, and if you want more, you can replay levels to attempt at a higher score or play past the end in the Mirror world—a sort of New Game+ with added difficulty.
Mighty Goose was a pleasant surprise. It’s got a good sense of humor, and great, tight run and gun gameplay. If you’re a fan of Metal Slug or anything like it, you’ll definitely find something to like about Mighty Goose.
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