Mighty Goose (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Albert Lichi 20.07.2021

Review for Mighty Goose  on Nintendo Switch

Running and gunning go together like love and marriage. There isn't having one without the other, and there have been several indie games that have been refining this gameplay style over the years. Blazing Chrome and [url=/review/5586/1/gunlord-x-nintendo-switch.html]Gunlord X were excellent examples of this recent revival. Pixel art has matured, and the finer nuances of handling and controls have improved since the days of Contra and Metal Slug, and now there is something fowl gunning to take the spot for top 2D action-platformer. Cubed3 reviews the other goose game, Mighty Goose.

There is something undeniably appealing about an underdog. Geese are traditionally intensely dumb birds that look and sound ridiculous. While Untitled Goose Game takes the foundation of goose simulation and casts players as a cruel villain, Mighty Goose takes the premise and shows the world just how awesome a waterfowl can be when armed to the beak with an arm canon and robo-arms. The cybernetic goose is something out of the '90s; from a time when a character like Earthworm Jim could be a hero of a popular game, and would be used to sell a terrible fighting game, like Clayfighter 63 1/3.

Screenshot for Mighty Goose  on Nintendo Switch

Mighty Goose's premise is simple but effective. The protagonist is a mercenary who does odd jobs that usually involve an extremely high body-count and a lot of weaponry. Sometimes the hero gets into bouts with his archenemy; a ninja like crow who is sworn to pluck the feathers out of his rival and get the player's goose cooked. This is a high-concept action game, so story is not a priority. When you have a set-up that is based on a goose in space armour, there isn't anything else required.

The robo-goose will save other characters who can be recruited as support fighters, all of which can offer some help in stages. The piggy mechanic will often drop the heavy machine gun power-up, or one fellow who dashes around slashing at threats like a psychopath. Other upgrades can be equipped, but there is a limit to what the goose can take with him. Each ability has a fixed cost, and the allotted points are maxed at one hundred. Mixing and matching abilities, and staying within the budget adds a bit of needed strategy in a game that can become utter bedlam, when out in the field when all the bullets start flying. Some abilities are passive, like the option to bounce off enemies when rolling, or higher ammo capacity. Some are more offensive, like bombs which are helpful at wiping out shielded goons. Finally, some are more technical, like the reflector honk that requires a perfectly timed honk that will reflect large bullets.

Screenshot for Mighty Goose  on Nintendo Switch

The action of Mighty Goose is pure chaos. The controls feel very tight, and the goose can dodge roll for some much needed invincibility frames. Aiming while on foot can be fired in four directions like in Metal Slug, and the goose can even, uh... duck-walk to stay low and maintain gunfire. Power-ups include classics, like the shotgun for big damage in small spaces, the homing missiles for fire-and-forget, and some new toys like the energy thrower. Vehicles are present and come in several varieties, like mech suit, tank or motor-wheel. No matter which one is used, it will look hilarious and absurd when driven by the goose. These are incredibly fun to use for how much power they give, and also add a few extra hits as a safety net.

While these weapons are mostly conventional, Mighty Goose adds a bit of a new trick to them by allowing players to use them to hover when firing downwards while mid-air. Every weapon handles the hovering differently, and some are better suited than others. When the screen swarms with baddies, a lot of the time the best option is to fight while air-borne to avoid getting hit. Thankfully, the goose can take four strikes before he gets roasted, and while health drops are common, they are not guaranteed. Death is inevitable with the way how this floods the screen with bullets and debris; it becomes almost impossible to tell what is shrapnel that hurts, and what is meant to add to the feel of the combat.

Screenshot for Mighty Goose  on Nintendo Switch

The action is admittedly busy. Between all the exaggerated character animation, the constant hail of bullet casings, the screen shake and how colourful the presentation is, Mighty Goose is sensory overload. Enemy bullets are not well defined from all the pixels that flutter in battle, and sometimes are too closely matched to the beautifully warm backgrounds. The frantic visuals may be too confusing at times, but it is hard to deny that it does give Mighty Goose a fair bit of style and personality. Thankfully, the difficulty is very low, and dying only happens when fighting the stage boss when learning their patterns. Only the clumsiest of geese will die early when going into battle, as checkpoints are frequent, and health plentiful.

Mighty Goose is an excellent 2D action game. It may not be the best, but it has a lot of personality and looks great in action. The pixel art is very chunky and makes the setting and characters resemble '90s action figures, due to how lurid the colour scheme gets. The music is decent, but will be drowned out by the sound of constant gunfire and distant honking. The challenge may be low, but the post-game unlocks a much harder difficulty. Sadly, the developers missed an opportunity to include a bonus final boss with a true ending, like in Contra III: The Alien Wars. This would have greatly increased the value of the hard mode and given hardcore gamers something to chew on, since the first play through is very casual by run and gun standards.

Screenshot for Mighty Goose  on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Mighty Goose won't push players to their limit the way Blazing Chrome does, but it is satisfying to play, thanks to all the mayhem and destruction to be had. The impressive sprite art and animation go a long way at elevating the experience from being just another run and gun action title. There aren't many like this that have so much pandemonium on screen. The harder, unlockable mode definitely seems like it would have been the standard difficulty if this had come out in the era that inspired it, and it feels like the intended way to play. For some reason, causing havoc as a goose is one of those things that makes a lot of sense in a video game.

Developer

Blastmode

Publisher

Playism

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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