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Samus Aran better watch out. While she continues her sabbatical from video gambling, a different intergalactic bounty hunter in orange armor has arrived in the scene: Mighty Goose, the eponymous hero of some new side-scrolling run-and-gun match in the design of Metal Slug and Contra. Even though Mighty Goose isn’t as impressive as some of the giants of the genre, it is still a solid, enjoyable shooting match with reliable action, varied amounts, several cool weapon and vehicle types, along with vibrant pixel art. Just a short running time and some visibility problems hold it backagain.
There’s a loose story in Mighty Goose, although it’s really only an excuse to get Goose and his sidekicks into a bunch of volatile situations on several planets. The Void King has raised an army of minions, critters, and mechs to conquer the galaxy, and only the legendary Mighty Goose can prevent him.
Anyone who has played a Contra or Metal Slug name will recognize the tenets of Mighty Goose instantly. It is a 2D side-scrolling run-and-gun match with some light platforming. Your main purpose is to blast to smithereens whatever moves. That includes grenade-totting robots, spitting slugs, hard-shelled insects, skeletons, aether-manipulating beings, and many giant bosses. Across nine distinct levels you will face these enemies and many others, as you inch closer to the domain name of the Void King.
The levels in Mighty Goose are strong. To begin with, they’re thematically and visually distinct. You’ll start in a Void prison, then land on the sandy planey Zandbak, then travel to the bug-infested caverns of Bugga’Veo, etc. Secondly, they’re automatically different from one another. Some feature the standard run-and-gun gauntlet, one inquires Goose to leap across a moving convoy, and the other starts with a horizontally-scrolling shoot-em-up sequence. Others lean heavily on vehicles, such as bikes, tanks, and a goose-themed mech with a giant blade.
Complementing these varied level designs is a good gameplay. The 2D controls are tight, battle is crunchy, and the activity includes a rewarding sense of forward momentum — thanks in part to Goose’s rolling dodge move along with the ability to fire downward to remain suspended in atmosphere. Gunplay is strong also. Goose’s pea-shooter base gun won’t do much harm, but there are plenty of updates in the form of machine guns, rocket launchers, lightning guns, and one of the very best video game shotguns you are ever going to use.
Mighty Goose combines up the conventional run-and-gun frame with a few twists of its own. Before each level you are able to see the armory, in which you are able to elect several perk”chips” — e.g.,”sprint boots” and”gun nut” — choose one of eight different secondary weapons and, on top of that, select a companion. All these are relatively underpowered sidekicks who journey with you into conflict. There’s Commander Varka pig engineer that drops machinegun ammo; Knabbo, a rabbit miner who utilizes a little energy pistol to attack enemies; and MetaWheel, a robot fitted with a powerful rocket launcher, to mention a few.
These companions are usually automatic, but if you have a buddy nearby you can trigger two-player Neighborhood co-op from the pause menu and b