Xbox One

  News 
  Reviews
  Previews
  Hardware
  Interviews
  All Features

Areas

  3DS
  Android
  iPad
  iPhone
  Mac
  PC
  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Switch
  Vita
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One
  Media
  Archives
  Search
  Contests

 

Sabanís Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle

Score: 75%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Games America, Inc.
Developer: Bamtang Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Classic/Retro/ Action/ Arcade

Graphics & Sound:

With a new Power Rangers movie on the horizon, it's no wonder that there will be some related games released to draw on the hype. What I wasn't expecting though, was a throwback to the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in a classic arcade style brawler, and that's exactly what you get with Sabanís Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle.

Mega Battle takes the classic characters and adds a stylized flair to their look. While everyone is immediately recognizable to fans of the original series, the artwork is different enough to give this game it's own feel. The Rangers and the Putty Patrol that make up most of the game's enemies have a chibi look, but instead of giving the Rangers a cutesy look, they are beefed up with somewhat exaggerated muscles. It's an amusing art style that really works with the arcade feel of the game.

Mega Battle's audio department seems to fit nicely. The Rangers themselves don't say much outside of calling on their Zords, and those few lines seem to be lifted from classic footage because the voices sound like the original actors. While most of those actors could have been brought in to reprise their roles, that is unlikely and, in the case of Thuy Trang (Trini, the Yellow Ranger), impossible. Then again, there is little spoken dialogue, so there isn't any real reason to have new recordings made for this game.

Accompanying the scant voice clips is the classic theme song, appropriate feeling sound effects and the iconic sound of the Putty Patrol, something that my friends who are less familiar with MMPR found silly sounding and, quite frankly, I have to agree.


Gameplay:

Sabanís Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle's story is a different origin than the TV series. In this game, the five teenagers, Jason, Zack, Billy, Trini and Kimberly, discover an odd crystal and find themselves under attack. They are then transported to a strange base where Alpha-5 and Zordon not only explain that the Earth is under attack, but also grant the teenagers the ability to morph into fighters.

The game is spread across several locations, each with three levels, and in pretty much all cases, the first level is short, the second is the longest with a bulk of the location's enemies concentrated in one place, and the final one puts the Rangers up against a major villain that results in some time fighting in the Zords. There are a couple of exceptions to this pattern, but in most cases, this is what you can expect. While there is a heavy wash-rinse-repeat pattern to the game's structure, it kind of fits given the same feel from the TV series.

As you progress in the story, you will also meet Tommy and get a similar introduction to the Green Ranger that mimics the original series, eventually leading to unlocking his character. So what do the different characters get you? While they each have their iconic weapons that have different effects and strengths, the real differences come in the stats that the Rangers possess. Each one is balanced a little differently so that one will have better martial arts skills, while another's health or strength is higher. All that being said, the characters all ended up feeling very similar, so who you play as ends up coming down to personal preference over anything else.

As you progress in the game, the Rangers gain experience as enemy drops in the form of energy balls. When you level up, you can spend points to unlock various abilities in the skill tree that each Ranger has. These different skills are everything from stat boosts to better weapon usage, co-op attacks, or new fighting moves. By the time the character is at the max level, everything can be unlocked and the Ranger is a fighting force to be reckoned with.

While Mega Battle can be played, and beaten, in a single-player mode, up to four players can join forces to work through the levels, and Mega Battle really pushes for you to play with friends. For one, if a Ranger goes down, then another one can revive him/her so the game doesn't have to end there. Other multiplayer benefits include co-op attacks that can be unlocked and, after you've finished the story, a Dojo Mode that lets players fight each other.

Beating the Story Mode also unlocks a Survival Mode called Rita's Tower and a Boss Rush Mode where you can go through each of the main villains either as Rangers or by fighting in the Zords.

Speaking of Zords, as you would expect, most boss battles end with Rita or Lord Zed growing the monster and forcing the Rangers to call upon their huge mechanical robots to continue the fight. These fights are in two stages. The first stage is in Tank Mode where the players fire weapons at targets on the monster and then shoot down blasts that it sends at the screen. Once this stage is done, the Megazord goes into Battle Mode and the game takes on a fighter look, but instead of standard fighter controls, the players work together to perform quick time sequences in order to judge how well the Megazord pulled off the attack it was attempting. If you do well, you can overpower the enemy's attack and deal a lot of damage, but if you only do okay, then you just block that attack. A failed attempt yields damage to the Megazord and occasionally the two fighters will be equally matched and the players have to rapidly press a button in order to overpower the enemy's attack.

While this was an interesting way to integrate the Zords into the game, I felt like this was typically the weakest part of the experience. The Tank Mode segments felt very rote and required little thinking, while the frustration inherent in the quick time sequences just added to the overall blah-ness of what should be epic battles.

As a side note, there is a DLC that adds a few more characters to your list of Rangers. Not only does Tommy's White Ranger version become available, but you also get the Season 2 Rangers, Rocky, Aisha, Adam and Kat, as well as an alternate version of Billy. At the time of this writing, this DLC is available for purchase, but it doesn't actually become available for use until sometime in March. As a result, it's unclear if these are new characters you can choose from or if they are just different skins for the human form of the Rangers.


Difficulty:

While Sabanís Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle can be played with up to four players, the game doesn't seem to scale the number or difficulty of the enemies as more Rangers join the game. Not only does this mean that more players tends to make the game easier, but the fact that players can revive each other means that the team can get further in a level and you don't have to start the level over if just one Ranger goes down.

While playing solo can get a bit tedious, especially if you find yourself stuck in a level that you have to keep repeating, the game's skill tree system means that you should never find yourself at a point where you can't make actual progress. The one level that I was stuck in longer than any other became a frustration of repeating the same battles over and over again. Once I earned enough experience to level up though, I was able to add points to unlock various attacks and stats that made the fight much easier. So, while the single-player experience can get tedious, there isn't ever a point where the game feels hopeless.


Game Mechanics:

Sabanís Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle ticks all of the boxes for a classic side-scrolling fighting game. Reminiscent of games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time and Double Dragon, Mega Battle is all about making your way through the level attacking everything it has to throw at you. You will find classic mechanics like walls that need to be destroyed in order to proceed, arenas where enemies will pour, and even a level that has the Rangers on surfboards going down a river as enemies surf towards you. If there is one thing Mega Battle gets right, it's striking the nostalgia chord.

All that being said though, Mega Battle's repetitive nature makes it an experience that can get tedious. Thankfully, the game does break up the pattern occasionally so that tedium doesn't last long and the only times it really sets in are when you find yourself struggling to get past specific levels. In the end, Mega Battle is going to appeal mostly to those that want a trip down memory lane with these classic characters, even if the story isn't a retelling of the original seasons.


-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Related Links:



Sony PlayStation4 Nioh Sony PlayStation4 Berserk and the Band of the Hawk

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated