Once a staple of 16-bit systems, run and gun shooters have regained a second life thanks to the advent of lower-cost digital titles. Published by Playism, Mighty Goose is the latest to deliver some retro-inspired fun drawing from classics like Metal Slug while mixing in some irreverent goose-based humor to make things a bit more ridiculous. With an array of power-ups, some vehicle sections for variety, and unlockable sidekicks, Blastmode and MP2 Games’ shooter ticks off all the boxes for a modern title in the genre, but doesn’t do anything to move it forward nor does it excel in any one area.
Mighty Goose is consistent with other games in the genre. There are dozens of enemies that run toward your character, who you will mow down by pressing the shoot button an uncountable number of times (although there is an option to let you hold down fire in the menu). As you take care of the generic robotic-looking foes, you’ll see a meter grow that ultimately unleashes a powered-up attack that can change the tides of even the most intense battle. Knowing when to pop that gauge winds up being key to many of the harder encounters in the game as a screen full of enemies can easily be cleared when it is triggered. This leads to some come-from-behind moments that keep the gameplay enjoyable despite the repetition.
There are a number of unlockables and pick ups that range from buddies with their own abilities to additional skills that you can outfit your goose with. But you can’t get all of the awesome powers as they each use up energy and you have a limited supply, making players pick and choose what perks they’ll take into levels. Finding a playstyle that works is important, but the limited amount of energy ultimately hampers how enjoyable the combat could be rather than making for a rewarding difficulty curve. It’s a limitation that holds the game back.
The levels in Mighty Goose range from inspired alien planets to generic fighter pits that tediously throw in hundreds of enemies without checkpoints. The checkpointing system is generally pretty helpful, but some later boss fights don’t have any at all despite offering multiple forms. It sounds like it could be a gauntlet that test the player’s skills yet it winds up being more of a pain.
Driving tanks in run and gun shooters is usually a great time and that stays true here. The semi-stiff flying sections aren’t as solid as the land-based combat, but they do add some variety; a necessary feature for such a repetitive title. While there are some unique enemies in different worlds, you wind up seeing way too many of the same grunts, and the combat simply isn’t rewarding enough on its own for those encounters to feel like anything more than filler.
Unfortunately, Mighty Goose never manages to hit the high points that separate the best run-and-gun shooters from the games simply inspired by them. While competent and without any glaring issues, the action ultimately pales in comparison to Gunstar Heroes, Sunset Riders, and Metal Slug 3, which are all over 20 years old. With nothing all that novel to offer the genre besides some admittedly hilarious honk-filled, goose-based humor, it will just leave you wanting to play one of the classics instead.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 6 equates to “Decent,” as it fails to reach its full potential and is a run-of-the-mill experience.
Disclosure: The publisher provided a PlayStation 5 copy for our Mighty Goose review.