Cube
Published in

Cube

Saban’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Mega Battle Impressions

Don’t buy this.

I was tempted to call this a review, but I haven’t finished the game yet. I’m not sure if I will any time soon. Maybe I will. Sigh.

I so wanted to like this game. I know it was unreasonable to expect a low budget licensed brawler to be great. Some things about this game are great. It’s the stuff they got wrong that lets it down. Big time.

Overview

Saban’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Mega Battle is a sidescrolling brawler based on the first two seasons of the 90’s TV show. You can play as different rangers. You can play with up to three other people. It has six main stages, split into a couple of different areas each. I’ve played about half of it. I think the whole thing is maybe 3 hours long. It’s $15 on PS4, Xbox One, and Steam.

Good Things

  • The artwork is surprisingly nice. At first glance, it looks like cheap old flash game art, but it’s actually quite detailed and on-brand. The characters are all rendered accurately, with exceptional detail. The many different kinds of putties are drawn exactly right. The boss characters have little details that a lesser game might have ignored. The art team on this game clearly loved classic Power Rangers. Or at least watched a bunch of it.
  • It has voice clips from the old episodes of the show. It should have more of these.
  • It has the rights to the old music…but not the original recordings. More on that below.
  • The whole thing is more true to the Power Rangers brand than you’d expect from a cheap licensed thing.

Bad Things

  • The combat isn’t very fun. Uh oh. It’s like a weird middle ground between Streets of Rage and River City Ransom…only bad. The basic combo doesn’t hit enough times. Bad guys stay stunned on the ground way too long. It’s too hard to line up hits. The game doesn’t seem to have learned any of the right lessons from classic 90’s brawlers. Proper gameplay flow is the number one thing a brawler needs, and this doesn’t have it.
  • There’s a River City Ransom style upgrade system in place…but it takes forever to earn experience points. I still haven’t been able to level up after an hour of play. I think they added this to make you grind through levels over and over/to add replay value. But man. It’s a bummer.
  • You only get one life to complete each stage. The stages are long, and not always fair. And you get One Life! And then if you die, it’s back to the menu. WHAT! Who thought this was a good idea? Doesn’t Power Rangers target kids as their chief demographic? This game is way too hard for kids. I find it frustrating, and I’m a veteran game player. It might get easier with multiple players, but not having extra lives in inexcusable.
  • From what I can tell, Ron Wasserman, AKA the legendary man who wrote most of the Power Rangers music, still holds certain rights to those great songs. His name is not anywhere on this, and none of his recordings are in here either. There’s some awkward synth recreations of his classic pieces. Lyrics to the old song briefly appear…but they’re the Noam Kamiel versions from Power Rangers Samurai, edited to take out the word Samurai. Lame! Classic Power Rangers is not right without the voice and music talents of Ron Wasserman. They should have paid whatever it cost to get him.
  • The Megazord boss fights are lame quick-time event style things where you just hammer some buttons. The Sega CD FMV game had better boss battles than this. They’re strangely easy given how frustrating and slow the preceding stages are.
  • Did I mention you only get one life to play each stage and that the combat isn’t fun?

Conclusion

This game is kind of a let down. It’s a shame, because this gets a lot of the little Power Rangers details spot on. The gameplay and the music are major bummers. I’d rather play the old 16-bit games which also weren’t great. But they weren’t quite as disappointing. Avoid this unless you’re a super fan and you just have to know how this turned out.

I bet this is better than that upcoming movie. Mark my words.

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