Developer: Blastmode, MP2 Games
Publisher: Playsim, Active Gaming Media
Genre(s): Indie, Action, Shoot ’em up
Platform: PS4 (also available on Switch, Xbox, and Steam)
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 05/06/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
Mighty Goose is a run and gun shooter featuring a bounty hunter goose. Fight your way through hordes of bugs and robots to prepare for battle against the Void King. Meet an adorable cast of battle-ready creatures and fight with high octane gameplay. Is this goose cooked all the way through? Find out in my Rapid Review.
Devoid of Story
The developers of Mighty Goose do not invest much into their story. There is no major character development, no moving cinematics, nor will the players receive life-changing realizations. Regardless, the story in Mighty Goose is cute and establishes the story well. The story revolves around the battle against the Void King. There are other bosses, and each stage has its own premise, but there is no real buildup towards them. There are occasional cutscenes depicting the goose travelling to certain locations, or even crash landing onto the planet of interest. These are exciting and help the gameplay flow significantly. The story serves to supplement the gameplay well. There is little story content, but what the game brings, is quite pleasant.
This title also has conversations during each level. They reminded me of codec conversations and detail the mission as well as important information about the stages. These conversations ensure that the player has all mandatory information prior to entering the stages. Some of these were quite funny as well. They were effective both mechanically and to excite the player. These were pleasant additions.
The Goose is on the Loose!
Although the story elements present were delightful, the story would not stand on its own without solid gameplay. Thankfully, Mighty Goose delivers the fast-paced action players are looking for. The goose controls very well and it is easy to figure out these mechanics. The player can waddle around, jump, and roll to get exactly where they need to be. There is also a special meter. Once that meter fills up, the goose becomes the menace he was destined to be, gaining invincibility and a faster attack speed for a limited time. With these simple controls, the goose is easy to pick up yet difficult to master. The basic movement is fun and leaves room for players to truly master the mechanic.
This goose needs more than movement options to accomplish his goals. He is a bounty hunter after all… The developers ensured that this goose is equipped with substantial amounts of firepower to keep his enemies at bay. He begins each level with his trusty pistol. Even though all enemies could be defeated with the pistol alone, I enjoyed experimenting with the various weapons on offer. There is a machine gun, rocket launcher and a Tesla cannon. Even though those weapons are fun, my favourite was the shotgun. I thought it was adorable to see a goose carrying a shotgun at least twice his size. The player could find these weapons scattered throughout the level. These weapon pickups had limited ammunition so the player must kill as many enemies as possible with their improved weapons and save their bullets too. The various weapons made combat and encounters feel fresh all throughout the game.
License and Registration Please
In addition to the normal weapons included, the goose can occasionally find vehicles to assist in its hunts. There is a spaceship, a tank, and some sort of bike. The spaceship controls the best out of the three, as it only shoots directly forward. I found it challenging to aim with the other two vehicles, as aiming uses the same directional stick as navigation. This means the player must shift their aim when traversing the level. Even still, these vehicles were a welcome addition. They gave the goose extra hit points and made travelling easier. They were a bit frustrating to control, however.
Not only can the goose move and utilize powerful weapons, but the goose has allies on his side. There is a wide cast of sidekicks available to aid you on your journey. From captive prisoners to drunk miners there is a loveable cast of characters awaiting your companionship. These unique sidekicks added strategy to the game and made sure the player thought about which companion would make logical sense in their next endeavour. This encouraged the player to tailor their loadout to the stage they are playing, a welcome addition in my opinion.
To compound this decision making even further, the goose unlocks customizable parts to go alongside his normal abilities. He can unlock additional jumps, a faster movement speed, or even a charge shot for their gun. The developers included a neat mechanic where each upgrade uses a certain amount of electricity, and the suit can only maintain so much power. This adds even further depth to the loadout decision making. It was yet another welcome addition. As fun as these two systems were, I found that neither really changed much and that my selection did not matter much in the long run. Many of the upgrades and changes were minor, and I found the default move set of the goose to be proficient. Regardless, I thought they were pleasant additions. However, I would have liked a greater diversity in the playstyle for the different customizations.
Although the customization options did not change the flow of gameplay, this may be due to the level design. The levels are linear, and the goose must follow a strict set path. There are no hidden collectables, no secrets, and no alternate routes. Occasionally there are hidden vehicles, but this only occurs sparingly. This may be one of the reasons that options provided to the customization options felt minor. Regardless of what options the goose has equipped, whether they can double jump, roll through enemies, or even having a larger super meter, the levels follow a strict path. There are no collectables for players who dedicate their energy to having multiple jumps, meaning this change barely benefits them. I did not mind that the levels were linear, but I think including some optional collectables or hidden rewards for using certain powerups could incentivize exploration and specific load-outs being used.
Mighty Goose: Apex Predator
To complete the game, the developers included enemies and bosses. The enemies were not particularly tough, as they populated most of the map. The levels were not complete pushovers either, as there are many enemies to clear before each checkpoint, and there are plenty of enemies to get damaged from. In addition to the regular enemies, many stages ended in a boss fight. These were some of the most enjoyable fights and require quick thinking and precise gameplay. Unfortunately, some of these boss fights could be beaten easily because healing items did not have a time limit before disappearing. They would remain on the battlefield until consumed. This means if enough health kits dropped at the beginning of the fight, the player could play recklessly with little consequence. The enemies were not pushovers but at the same time, I rarely found myself struggling extensively with levels.
Even still, the game makes sure to challenge the players with the ranking system at the end of each stage and the new game plus mode. This ranking system motivates players to beat levels extremely fast. This is even further encouraged by the PlayStation trophies. Even players who do not focus on speedrunning may find themselves moving quickly through the new game plus levels. Though these are nice options, there is one issue. The game is not long enough. The build-up to the final boss was minimal, and I would have liked to see additional levels that further challenge the players. For players who like to spend their time mastering specific levels and getting perfect scores, this may not be a problem, as the game is fun to rush through. However, for players who play games one time, it is detrimentally short.
To complement the gameplay, the game features a beautiful soundtrack composed by Dominic Ninmark. It fit the theme of the game wonderfully. The sound effects were also delightful. From the occasional honk of the goose to the sounds of the weaponry, all the sounds coming out of my speakers were lovely.
The visuals were similarly delightful. The pixel artwork looks gorgeous. The goose stands out from the background, but the background is somehow also attractive. Everything on the screen is visually pleasing. Unfortunately, with so much on-screen, it can be hard to tell what is going on. Especially when confronted with various explosions and enemies at once, finding small projectiles can be near impossible, leading to unjust damage. Moreover, one of the majors tells for an enemy’s attack is glowing. An extremely similar visual effect is used when the enemy is being damaged. This can lead to some confusion and is frustrating when it occurs. However, in my playthrough, this did not impact me very substantially because I learned to use other indicators. Though there were some disappointing oversights, the visuals were stunning.
Mighty Goose is a blast to play. The action is quick, the movement is precise, and there are plenty of options for the player to choose from. While this may be perfect for speedrunning fans and players who love replaying the same levels repeatedly, I found there was not enough content to satisfy me, especially at the price point. Regardless, I still do recommend Mighty Goose. I enjoyed my time with the title and look forward to seeing what the developers do next.
4 out of 5
You can purchase Mighty Goose on the Nintendo eShop here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.