Monday, October 16, 2006

GameFAQs Review - Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Sega CD)

The Power Rangers... concocted when creator Haim Saban got inspired by Japanese programming to do a show about kids in costumes fighting rubber monsters with their nice weapons and giant Megazord robot. A simple premise that somehow got over with the kids, Power Rangers was a big thing back in its day... and with a big thing comes the video games. While Bandai released some platform-based brawling games for the Game Boy and SNES, Sega released one-on-one fighting games for the Sega Genesis and Sega Game Gear. Those Sega games were actually pretty good and even the Nintendo ones had their moments... but then Sega still had another "console" to make a game for. And so they begat this game for their Sega CD console. Unlike the Genesis and GG versions, this was an Full-Motion-Video style game... much like most of the Sega CD's library of video games. Now I don't particularly care for FMV games, but I did play this one since one of my buddies still had a copy... now I wish I hadn't.

Now before we jump ahead, I should probably let on that I'm into this Power Rangers stuff. I've seen the shows and movies, played the games, read some of the comics, and even wrote a few fanfics. It pretty much helped to reinforce my resistance to terrible movies and video games, giving me somewhat jaded tastes. So, in reference to another review for this game, I can stomach this stuff quite well. That having been said, no amount of resistance and stomaching could blind me from seeing what a putrid release I've been hit with. It absolutely boggles the mind how something like this came to be.

STORY: Read any of my other reviews concerning a Power Ranger game to get the story of the early MMPR titles. Simply put, evil witch Rita Repulsa sends Monster, Rangers fight monster, monster goes big, Rangers get Megazord, Megazord fight monster, monster goes boom, lather, rinse, and repeat the whole process all over again. Of course, they use actual footage from the TV show as opposed to sprites and backgrounds, but it's pretty much the same thing. 5/10

GRAPHICS: Grain, grain, and more grain: that is the giff of this and all other FMV games of the time. The footage is somewhat (just barely) watchable, but unless you vividly remember the majority of sequences from the TV episodes (meaning you're a die-hard MMPR geek), chances are there's no way you'll recognize anything at all. The only distinguishable items during gameplay are the text and status meters, but that doesn't necessarily make it any better since they're only statistics and not the action that's going on... which you can't even control. More on that later. 3/10

SOUND: The audio quality in this game tends to sound a bit too scratchy for my tastes. I could comment a little more on this, but the sound effects and stuff are from the TV show and I have no desire to comment on the source material since I've done so elsewhere. The scratchiness of it all does kill the mood for me. 4/10

GAMEPLAY: Let it be known that I have never touched a FMV game prior to this. The closest I've gone were the Rebel Assault games on the PC, but they were more rail-shooters than FMV. And so I have no basis for comparison. If all the games of this type are a matter of "How fast can you press this button? How fast can you press that button?" and whatnot, then apparently I haven't missed on much. Then again, there's a reason why FMV games of this type is no longer made in this day and age. While it does tend to be enjoyable for a relative footnote, in the long run, it's get really, really, REALLY repetitive and tedious. And since all the footage is taken from the TV show, your actions has no winding impact whatsoever on the action. I can understand that it's cheaper to just splice the TV show footage than it is to shoot new material, but there wasn't any reason for this game to be made if you weren't going to shoot new stuff for it. Without new sequences to differ from what has happened, your actions are useless in the long run and that just defeats the purpose. 3/10

CHALLENGE: This is one of those games where the challenge isn't with the gameplay (or lack thereof), but with the patience in sitting through it. There's a difficulty setting here, but if you want to play the full game, you'll have to set it to the hardest skill setting. Sadly, the game is really unplayable at that point and any desire to continue is immediately extinguished. Besides, if you wanted to see how the game ends, just find yourself someone who has the original MMPR episodes and is willing to sell them for you. You'll see the end result and with a much cleaner picture quality. 10/10

REPLAY VALUE: The play value is low enough as it is; replay is practically a pipe dream for this game. 1/10

OVERALL: I can enjoy a Power Rangers game as well as the next guy (well, okay. Maybe moreso than the next guy) and I've endured my fair share of crappy titles, but this is bad. I'd like to say that there's a saving grace to this game, but... I can't. Because there isn't any. The game is pretty bad and I can't recommend this title to anyone... at all. If you want to check out old Power Rangers footage from the early years, there are plenty of means of checking out old Ranger stuff without subjecting yourself (or your money) to this thing. Don't bother checking this out, don't bother looking for it. It's not worth your time. 1/10

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