Running, Gunning and Goosing!
HIGH Hopping in a vehicle for extra firepower.
LOW The dodge button not being adjacent to the fire button.
WTF It’s convenient that the goose’s name is Goose.
One of my favorite things about videogames is the absurd premises that allow me to escape reality each night. Sure, a title can be serious and realistic, but there’s something special about those that are just a little goofy. Mighty Goose is one such, and it’s a blast.
Players take on the role of Goose, who is (conveniently!) a goose with a few robotic upgrades like bionic arms, a hand cannon, and rocket booster feet. Goose is charged with hunting down the maniacal, cosmos conquering Void King. The plot is as lighthearted as one would expect from a game about a pistol-packing, bionic goose.
The pixel-art graphics in Mighty Goose are bright and colorful, reminding me of something I might have found in the arcades of the mid-’90s. Things can become a little chaotic, especially when there are dozens of enemies on screen, but things run smoothly and the graphics are a feast for the eyes.
Part of that feast is the scenery within the game’s ten large stages, each one filled with numerous Void King henchmen and humongous bosses hoping to make foie gras out of our hero. Fighting back, Goose has its standard hand cannon, but can pick up more powerful weapons like a machine gun or shotgun. My personal favorite was the tesla gun – an electric firearm that spreads a current from enemy to enemy and packs a wallop.
In addition to the standard 2D run-and-gun action, there are also a few sections where Goose will jump into a mech, motorcycle, or aircraft to add a little extra oomph to its attack. A few of these sections are part of the natural game progression (including one boss battle) but a few vehicles are hidden off the main path. Either way, the vehicles control smoothly and are a welcome inclusion to the already stellar gameplay.
Whether on foot or in a vehicle, attacking enemies fills up the mighty meter. Once full, players can activate mighty mode, which turns Goose into a rage-induced monstrosity with greater firepower and near-invincibility. This is always a blast to unleash, but unfortunately mighty mode can’t be stored up – short cutscenes reset the meter, including the ones right before boss battles.
The only major complaint I have is about the controls — specifically the lack of a remapping option. A key aspect to Mighty Goose is the ‘roll dodge’ to avoid enemy fire. This becomes extremely important during massive attacks and later boss battles. It would be nice if I could remap the dodge button to be directly adjacent to the attack button, allowing seamless access to both inputs. The controls are okay with the current non-adjacent button placement, but an option to fine-tune it would have made an enjoyable experience even better.
Mighty Goose is good stuff — a slightly goofy premise, plenty of fast-paced action, and wonderful graphics all combine to make this a title that arcade action fans won’t want to miss.
Disclosures: This game is developed by Blastmode and published by Playism. It is currently available on XBO, PS4/5, Switch, and PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately six hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. Zero hours of play were spent in multiplayer modes.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated T and contains Blood and Violence. There is no official description available. The game is very cartoony in nature, but as a run-and-gun game it can be quite violent. I didn’t find blood to be an issue, but there were plenty of generic cartoon bones bouncing around after enemies exploded in defeat. This game is relatively safe but use caution with the younger gamers.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: This game offers subtitles that cannot be altered or resized. The entire story is told through dialogue boxes, accompanied by a picture of the charcter that is talking. Any sound cues that are in the game are fully accompanied by a visual cue on screen as well. This game is fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable. This game does not offer a controller map diagram, but movement is on the left stick or left direction buttons. Fire is with the Y button and an auto-fire option is available under the options menu. A button is dodge, B button is jump, and X button unleashes a secondary attack. Activating mighty mode is accomplished by pressing ZL and ZR simultaneously.
When he does find time to play, Brian’s preferred games of choice are platformers, beat-‘em-ups, or a good adventure game.He still enjoys the retro gaming scene, could talk about the Nintendo 64 more than he might like to admit, and misses playing in actual arcades. Brian also gets to pass on his love of gaming, as his oldest son is just now starting to join the fun.
As for that GameBoy - it’s sitting in Brian’s nightstand, waiting patiently for four AA batteries.