Let me tell you a thing or two about nostalgia. Many moons ago, when I lived in Edmonton with my Grandma, we had an old Sega Genesis. This was my first video game console. We weren’t super well off or anything, so we only had four games for it. My favorite was from Sega’s all time classic video game series, Sonic the Hedgehog. I beat that game, I think I may of beat it twice in the years after I moved (I don’t remember I was like four). That game was Sonic Spinball. In retrospect maybe that’s why I don’t like classic Sonic games. But importantly at the time I was also, understandably as I was a small child, super into Power Rangers. So we also had this; Power Rangers The Movie. Now, for those of you who know a thing or two about the videos and the games, you’ll know that there are multiple versions of this game, across many systems. I’ve never seen anyone LP the version I had and all the ones I’ve seen be LPed are INHERENTLY INFERIOR IN EVERY RESPECT. And this isn’t nostalgia talking. So today I bring you, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers The Movie The Game. It’s not a perfect game. In all honesty it’s not a very good game either. But it’s fun, it’s something from my past I love, and I want to share it with you. So let’s get going. THE POWER…IS ON!
Video Length: 8:16
A quick primer for those of you who care about my stuff but don’t like the Power Rangers for some reason. Big ole alien technowizard awakens on Earth after his rude cackling witch mortal enemy wakes up on the moon. After ten thousand years I’m free time to etc etc. He asks his doof robot to get him some sick nasty teens to use the ultimate power of dinosaurs to beat up her monster. Instead he gets the most milquetoast teenagers, who’d be made fun of on Degrassi High for being too uptight (this is something the modern movie fixed in SPADES and it’s wonderful). So our heroes get their powers and they beat up the monsters and become heroes, waging giant dinosaur robot war through vast swathes of Angel Groves abandoned warehouse district. Super sentai shows are weird. In reality, Mr Saban (yes it’s a name, not a company, though he did name his company after himself) came up with a rather ingenious idea. Buy the rights to a Japanese live action show…and film new parts in English, and just use the stock footage to make a complete episode. Not as much work was needed, and he could basically do whatever as long as he had the stock and was creative enough. This actually worked really well. Well enough to make constructing west side version of the props was a good idea, asking the original Japanese crew to make new footage with stuff they had, and as we can see from the title of this game…to make their own feature length movie.
And that’s where we begin! Ivan Ooze, an evil goopy wizard who cracks jokes about the black plague and the Brady Bunch Reunion being as evil as each other, has been freed due to poor land development planning. Ooops! This planet concurring wizard and his army of ooze created dreadlock warriors are gonna take over the city and destroy all the adults and then take over the world. So uh…we should stop that. This first level is detailing that, and is the first difference between the movie and game. The first fight scene against the Ooozemen is at night, and they never meet ole purple Ivan in it like they do here (which is good because in game we get our face kicked in). Ivan destroys the command center, taking out our heroes wizard mentor and generally causing trouble. Then the next like hour and ten minutes of the movie plays out in cutscene because, as good as this game IS (which is only slightly) it’s not good enough to think that having our heroes fight tengu men and gargoyle monsters would be a fun bit of gameplay. It’s really weird and only just now has it occurred to me that this is such a missed opportunity.
Plot stuff aside because for some reason I care about it, let’s talk mechanics. This is a pretty simple 2D but on a fully movable 3D plane beat em up. It being on the Genesis, it’s as simple as it gets. The other games in this sort of loop are all single lane or dual lane beat em ups and they suck. Unlike the other games, each character has…while not their own unique moveset, they DO have different animations for their moves (which actually effects things!) and different charge attacks. Adam, the Black Ranger that we start off today with, using a big ole axe that is also a gun, so his combo attack and dash attack have a kind of wide arc to it, and his charge attack is a big ole blasty gun. Who says I’m not a fan of stupid TV shows that have weapons that shouldn’t be guns but are? Grabs are performed by walking into the enemy, so you’ll often be grabbing enemies by mistake and that’s kind of bad especially given the Genesis has like six buttons on the standard controller (I know some didn’t but there’s still like a button or two that just isn’t used in this one). The final mechanical thing worth mentioning here is the super attack, a sort of bomb for the game to use shmup terms. It damages you a bit if it hits, but does a lot of damage and hits on both sides of you. I like that it’s the “HIYEAH!” spin kick thing they do, but I wish each character had a unique one to just up that factor of the game.
One final note that I bring up in video worth mentioning here. Unlike the other Power Ranger The Movie games, this one takes the time to actually edit each sprite to make it look like the character! All the others I’ve seen just change the colour of the Red Ranger, for everyone but the White Ranger who gets his special armour pads. This game modifies each helmet slightly to be accurate, gives the Pink Ranger her skirt, and while Yellow doesn’t get a skirt, she does hold her fists differently and I believe has some more feminine body animation with her attacks. This might not seem like a lot but this was the Genesis era man, this is actually a big deal.
So yeah, that’s episode one. I don’t imagine many people are going to enjoy this quite the way I am, but that’s fine. This is for me. Hope you all enjoyed though!