Review: Mighty Goose
By: Fernando Da Costa
Developer: Blastmode, MP2 Games
Publisher: Playism, Active Gaming Media
Available On: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 5
Review Console: Nintendo Switch Lite
THE GOOSE IS LOOSE! - Introduction
One would assume that geese are rather docile creatures. Some people I’ve spoken to have continuously inquired if the stories that tell of their hostility are remotely true. As a Canadian, I can not only confirm but promise that these feathery maniacs are indeed vicious when provoked. In the last few years, we’ve seen plenty of games using these lunatics as a protagonist. First, it was the charming adventure of Untitled Goose Game. While it never depicted them as outright savage, you could definitely tell they were kind of a jerk based on their in-game antics. Today, we get to witness their bloodlust on full display in Mighty Goose. This title has you assuming the role of a, well, a goose and essentially combatting the robot uprising. It won’t be a long journey to finish with my session clocking in at about 9 hours with four completions. Regardless, it was a fun romp that you should experience. So stick around as I answer the question - is this bird overcooked? Join me!
ROBOT TAKE-OVER! - Story Synopsis
You play as a Bounty Hunting Goose set off on a mission to defeat an evil king. Along the way, you’ll answer distress calls and rescue allies that the robotic resistance has taken. Blast your way through endless hordes of metallic foes that include worms and humanoids. If that weren’t enough, harness vehicles to commit vehicular robot slaughter. You’ll fly through space and visit many locales on your quest to their mastermind's throne room. From entering tournaments to exterminating a big infestation, there’s no telling what you’ll encounter. In fact, by the end of the game, you may find yourself reflecting on what you’ve done.
HIT THEM WITH THE WING! - Writing
As I’m sure you’ve surmised, the premise is both ridiculous and silly - and I love it. The limited dialogue never took itself seriously, despite attempting a deep undertone. No matter how hard it tried, though, it was all quickly overshadowed the moment you heard that honk. Mighty Goose wants you to let loose and laugh, but unfortunately, I never chuckled out loud. There were still smirks. However, it was largely due to the unwavering charm of the visuals. Not to mention the idea of a bird combatting robotic humanoids felt like a prophecy being fulfilled. The world was finally seeing these animals for what they truly are - oil-thirsty killers. In all seriousness, the narrative could have been more than what it was. All of the pieces were in place to inject utter lunacy. As is, the game is driven more by the concept opposed to the writing. After the second level, it becomes abundantly clear that the story isn’t the focal point of Mighty Goose.
LOCK AND LOADED! - Gameplay
This brought me back to my youth and my days of playing run-and-guns such as Contra or Metal Slug. For as simplistic as their gameplay was, it was always fun as hell, and that holds true to this very day. Mighty Goose retains that DNA in its gameplay loop, and it’s just so satisfying. As you play, you’ll be able to obtain a limited number of weapon types that range from machine guns to rocket launchers. The former was by far my favourite, but that’s not saying much. All the available options were fun to use for one reason or the other. It’s hard to nail down, but shooting and defeating those pesky robots was just so exhilarating. Do note that initially, the game is quite easy to beat. My reflexes were never tested, and I was able to speed through with minimal issues.
Eventually, though, that all changes once a tougher difficulty is unlocked. It forces you to be on your toes and demands your utmost attention. I was dodging far more often than before, and there were times I was overwhelmed by everything happening on screen. With that in mind, any deaths I sustained never felt unfair or like I was cheated. Mighty Goose is pure fun, and to further cement this point, I completed it four times in succession. I strive to “S” rank each level which isn’t something I typically go for unless I enjoy the game. There are also perks that slowly unveil as you progress through the levels. These obviously vary and can range from the mundane to the eyebrow-raising. As an added bonus, you can actually have companions that assist in your journey. My favourite by far is the default one, and that’s a duck. From what I can see, there’s no real benefit but having that duck and goose connection is too good to pass up. Sadly, you’re unable to pet your poultry amigo.
DANCE FOR ME, GOOSE! - Performance
There was a considerable amount of attention put into making sure this game ran smoothly. I do want to note that while there are sections of slow down, it’s intentional and adds so much to the action. To put it in other words, imagine those scenes that depict a hero walking away from a massive explosion. It gives you that brief second to indulge in the destruction you’ve just caused as robotic body parts fling into the air. As for the framerate, I’ve never been able to discern the difference between 30 and 60. For what it’s worth, gameplay was very fluent, and every animation had sleek movement. One, in particular, that could go unnoticed is melee oriented - the goose just slaps its foes. The buttons felt responsive and snappy, translating into a rather solid session.
GOOSE IS LISTENING! - Sound Design
I grew up during the ’90s when the Super Nintendo was tearing up the competition. There was simply nothing like the beautiful 16-bit pixel art and music. It was incredible back then and still holds up remarkably well in this day and age. Mighty Goose is a love letter to an era long gone with its great chiptune tracks. In fact, while the gameplay was reminiscent of Metal Slug, the score actually reminded me a lot of Mega Man. As I gunned down my enemies, nostalgia engulfed my body, planting a smile firmly on my face. The sound effects were decent, but it could have been more impactful with hits. I was especially a fan of the ability to honk. It didn’t actually have any effect, but I got a kick from hearing it.
AND THE HONKING VERDICT IS...
Mighty Goose is an excellent example of bite-sized entertainment. I reckon that it stands firmly beside those titles that one could revisit countless times and not get tired of. The absence of a serious story actually lends itself perfectly to this idea. Because I’m not playing for the story, I can concentrate on the gameplay only. It doesn’t matter if I know what’s going to happen because the battles themselves have variety to them. No two runs will be exactly the same, meaning the dodges and attacks will never devolve into routine. I’m forced to constantly be on my toes, and it’s that adrenaline that pushes me to come back.
I recommend Mighty Goose, especially if you love run-and-guns. There’s enough here, but if you’re the type to enjoy a game once, and that’s it, you’ll beat it in one afternoon. If I were giving this a numbered score, it would be sitting at a sturdy 7.