Indie roundup: Mighty Goose, Lost Epic, Hentai vs Evil & Paradox Error

It’s been a while since we did an indie roundup, but there have been plenty of interesting releases and announcements – today we take a look at Mighty Goose, Lost Epic, Hentai vs Evil and Paradox Error.

Mighty Goose

Developed by Blastmode and published by PLAYISM for every major platform (including next gen), Mighty Goose wears its inspirations on its sleeve – as a run and gunner in the Metal Slug vein that stars the titular Goose. For those who’ve played them, it also resembles the fun Rocketbirds series.

Of course, this being Metal Slug-inspired, your protagonist isn’t just any goose, but has been cybernetically enhanced for combat. The game runs with this sci-fi premise by casting you as a bounty hunter among the stars, but obviously never takes itself too seriously either. Levels are generously filled with alternative weapons to your standard pea shooter, with a nice amount of diversity between them.

And as with Metal Slug, you can also hop inside the occasional vehicle for some extra firepower and protection – which isn’t just a luxury because Goose himself can be short of health bars quickly and outside of vehicles you’ll want to make use of your dodging abilities as often as possible. Checkpoints are placed at points where they’re always challenging, so the game definitely has that arcade feel to it where you want to push on and give it another try if you happen to fail – even if the odds can feel overwhelming at times thanks to some chaotic on-screen action with enemies and bullets flying all around you.

mighty goose2

Visually, Mighty Goose takes the outrageous nature of the premise and applies a cartoon-like, over the top style to it. This is where the Metal Slug influences really shine through, with tons of explosions and destructions on screen at pretty much any given time. If you take the retro style graphics and add a fitting soundtrack, then you’re got a great retro arcade title here – one that plays as well as it looks.

The game also supports co-op play, though it’s asymmetrical in nature. Player two doesn’t get to control a second Goose, but acts as a supporting character instead. They’re invulnerable though, so if you’re playing with someone who isn’t looking for a challenge then you’ve got a good pair-up here. As Metal Slug goes “Tactics”, this is a nice throwback to what made that series so beloved.

Lost Epic

A surprise release on Steam last week was Lost Epic, which brings hack and slash action with RPG elements to PC players through the Early Access program. Developed by oneoreight and Team EARTHWARS, it stands out partly because of a gorgeous visual style – with characters designed by Namie.

lost epic

In its Early Access stage, Lost Epic is challenging, to say the least. We have the sense that that’s partly due to balancing issues though, which can make some sections and enemies (especially) bosses feel like a massive grind while others do not. It comes with the EA territory, we suppose.

Content-wise, the version that was launched last week features about a third of what the final game will be, so it’s hard to judge the story, but the combat feels excellent and it’ll be interesting to see how it will go together with the RPG influences of the game. Plenty of work has already gone into the weapons and upgrade systems, so once this fleshes out more (and perhaps gets a few balance tweaks) this is a game to look out for.

Hentai vs Evil

Recently release for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch – with a native PS5 version – Hentai vs Evil takes a high concept, low content type of approach where you get exactly what you’d expect but not much more than that. As such, this one is high on fan service but relatively low on gameplay and diversity.

We won’t explain what you get with the “Hentai” bit in the title, but the evil part roughly translates to the hordes of zombies and demons you’ll be facing. There’s no story to support this, however, and our protagonists aren’t even named, let alone feature a backstory. There are only three girls to pick from, three stages and a handful of enemy types to mow down – which you’ll do with a very small selection of weapons as well.

hentai vs evil

Without a narrative campaign (which is a shame because a title like Hentai vs Evil is just begging for a B-movie type of silly narrative), you can only engage in survival mode or rescue mode – the latter being a scenario where you rescue other girls. Luckily, the actual gameplay, albeit formulaic and mindless, is a fun example of third person shooting, so it’s a nice use of about an hour of your time – the game runs out of content after that. For trophy hunters there’s also a good amount of trophies to earn during that time though, so we can see an audience there as well. Other than that, you’ll only want this if you’re interested in the Hentai aspect of the game and prefer games on the ‘naughty’ end of the spectrum.

Paradox Error

The second Eastasiasoft release in this roundup is Paradox Error, developed by Nerd Games. A challenging platformer, it combines all the spikes and falls that you’d expect with minimalist and experimental visual design to make for a creative take on a familiar formula. One where glitches are intentional, although we’re not sure that counts for all of them.

The central concept for Paradox Error becomes clear the second you want to start a new game – the ‘new game’ button doesn’t work, and instead you can jump on it and out of what you previously thought was the start screen. You’ll learn where you can land and where a fall towards your doom is inevitable, and gradually you’ll make your way towards the end of the level – learning through trial and error how you’ll get there.

paradox error

The second level has the ‘new game’ button acting as a moving platform that takes you through the level, dictating when you need to run and jump, and most levels have a unique hook like this. It’s a shame, however, that many players won’t get to see the majority of them. There’s a good chance you’ll have unlocked all the trophies for the game at the end of level 3, so that incentive to keep going is gone. What’s worse, however, is that the game doesn’t feature any kind of level select – or we’ve been missing it. It would be interesting to keep going and see what type of glitches have been implemented for later levels, but having to plough through all of the early levels again and again just isn’t worth it – this is where being a difficult platformer works against the game, and why it’s most interesting to gamers looking for a quick road to a platinum trophy.

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