Genre: Beat ’em up
Developed by: Natsume
Published by: Bandai
Platforms: SNES, Genesis/Mega Drive, Game Gear, Game Boy
Feeling Like: It’s no longer Morphin’ Time
Some childhood obsessions can be easily transferred to adulthood. A real job means money to pursue ridiculously expensive trinkets, all in the pursuit of nostalgia. Going to conventions and meeting other grown ups who just can’t move on. Discussions online about how awesome it was…when you were a kid.
The Power Rangers aren’t anything like that for me. It’s a three year period in my life that I’m ashamed of. There’s very few redeeming qualities to be found in old episodes of Saved By The Bell meets Japanese Robot Monster Happy Hour, but I don’t want to be too inwardly harsh. My childish glee’s source was, of course, the giant mechanized animals who climbed together to form the Megazord, which looks like something from Neon Genesis Evangelion, if it was made out of Lego.
Ok, ok. Enormous robots fighting comically over-sized monsters. Never gets old, unlike me.
So what about the game?
It’s almost sinfully basic. You control each one of our intrepid rangers: Jason, Zack, Trini, Kimberly and Billy as you beat up putties, thugs and other monsters. It was satisfying as a fan of the show, but hardly worth taking up any more words here. You do “morph” halfway through each stage, gaining a weapon and a much cooler costume. I would say ninja-like, but a master of shadow wouldn’t be caught dead wearing pink.
The real appeal was hopping in your giant mech and going toe to toe with an equally sized alien opponent. I think they realized this, since subsequent Power Rangers games really focused on the fighting genre and including all sorts of characters and Zords from the *checks Wikipedia* TWENTY FOUR SEASONS??? Boy, did I jettison my interest early.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers probably should be a few spots lower on the list, but it doesn’t really misstep in the game play department. It’s over in an hour, you’ll get your Power Rangers fix, and you’ll beat up some monsters while listening to the still admittedly kick ass theme song. The power of a fad, I suppose.
Oh, and the less said about what Zack looks like in the ending credits the better.