It seems like a Power Rangers resurgence is on the cards with a new movie slated to come out late in March. I don’t care one iota though because throughout my teenage years I boycotted the original TV series. During that phase of my life I felt I was too “mature” to watch children’s programming. Well, that opinion didn’t last long after I discovered how awesome the nineties X-Men cartoon was. I wonder what my younger self would think about me watching Japanese animation at the tender age of thirty-six. Anyways, despite my lack of passion for Americanized Super Sentai shows I downloaded Saban’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle for the PS4. When it comes to 2D beat-em-ups I’m not particular whom you play as, whether its teens with attitude or a Double Dragon named Bimmy Lee.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle is a side-scrolling brawler starring the inaugural Rangers lineup. The five spandex wearing heroes need to protect Earth from Rita Repulsa, who has recently been freed from a lunar trashcan. Over the course of six levels, players will have to fight off an army of Putty Patrollers, Lord Zedd and Harambe with wings… um I mean Goldar. Like most games in the genre, you travel from left to right smacking any enemies that get in your way. Pressing square unleashes a light attack whilst triangle performs a weapon-assisted swipe that deals more damage. Circle fires off a projectile, provided that you have sufficient energy stored up. On the defensive side of things it’s possible to evade harm by leaping out of the way with X, blocking with L1 or tapping the right stick to roll.
The combat is easy to learn, but will require more than mere button bashing to succeed as each adversary possesses their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Flying kicks for example are required to shatter the protective barriers surrounding knights, whilst the horned brutes are only vulnerable when they perform a charge attack. Defeated foes drop luminescent globes that award experience points. Once sufficient XP has been accumulated the Ranger under your command levels up, allowing them to unlock new combos and increase their attributes. Thanks Zordon, those upgrades are a big help. I am so appreciative that I’ll forgive how politically incorrect you are. Seriously how did he get away with making the Black Ranger an African American and the Yellow Ranger an Asian girl?
My rating for Saban’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle is a two and a half out of five. It’s a perfectively serviceable fighting game, which I enjoyed for the few hours it lasted. Now that I have finished the story however I have no inkling to replay it or challenge the Boss Rush/Rita’s Tower modes located in the extras menu. Perhaps the game would have more staying power if I could partake in some multiplayer sessions, but unfortunately for me co-op is strictly a local only affair. If your multiplayer cannot be enjoyed online I refuse to play it. Sure, I could probably coerce some buddies into playing Power Rangers if I bribed them with free beer. That would however involve inviting them over to my residence, which isn’t happening. Explaining my secret collection of anime body pillows to visitors would be most embarrassing.
Some critics have complained that Power Rangers’ graphics are weak because they resemble the visuals of a glorified Flash game. Although those claims aren’t untrue, I am okay with the cartoony aesthetics because they suit the franchise’s campy nature. One complaint that is valid however is how underwhelming the game’s giant monster battles are. The titanic tussles between Rita’s Godzilla rejects and the Megazord are settled via simplistic quick time events, which lack any semblance of challenge or strategy. I think the TV show’s iconic mech scenes deserve better than sequences were you tap along to a series of onscreen prompts. QTEs aren’t fun and the button bashing causes my arthritis to flare up. Ouch my fingers are sore now. Guess I’ll have to take something for the pain… its Morphine Time!