Random Game Wednesdays: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

I thought I would try something a little different this week and play a SNES game. My SNES library is not nearly as large as my NES collection, but there’s still enough there to make for a decent variety of possible games. So, I went to my random number generator of choice and punched in my total number of SNES games. Surely, I wouldn’t end up with another licensed game, what were the chances. But apparently last week’s short break from licensed games was all the random number generator would allow.

On the plus side, I really like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, both the show and this particular game. I started watching the series when I was in third grade, which was during the second season of the show. As a result, I’m more nostalgic for the Lord Zedd era of the series than the original Rita Repulsa stuff. But I have since seen every episode through the sixth season (Power Rangers in Space), so I am very familiar with all the characters and monsters that appear throughout the game.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is a combination of beat-em-up and 2D platformer. The majority of the game is closer to the beat-em-up side of the spectrum, with enemies constantly popping out of the environment and you doing simple button mashes to take them. Occasionally, it does shift to segments that require you to jump from platform to platform, and occasionally wall jump to progress.

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Learning the game is very simple. The Y button is your attack and hitting it a few times will do a combo. Jumping is done with the B button and can be used to either reach higher ground or start a midair attack. The X button performs your “bomb” attack, something you can only do once per level and deals massive damage to every enemy on screen.

Most beat-em-ups started life as an arcade game and were often unfairly difficult. The idea being that while it was technically possible to beat the game purely by skill, the average player would just keep pumping in quarters until they finished the game or ran out of money. Power Rangers is different in that it was made with the console in mind. As a result, the game is much better balanced and more fun. However, they may have made it too easy. In a first for Random Game Wednesdays, I actually bet the game this morning before starting to write this and only died twice. While I do like some challenge in games, I found this game to still be a lot of fun.

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You start every level by picking your ranger. You can be any of the five original Power Rangers, and while they all play very similarly, they do have slight differences that make them stand out. For example, Kimberly, the Pink Ranger, is the only character with a ranged attacked. By holding up on the D-pad and hitting the Y button, Kimberly will shoot an arrow from her Power Bow.

Every level has the same basic progression. You’ll start as your selected character, unmorphed. After running to the right and fighting Putties for a while, you’ll come across the levels boss. Your character will morph, regaining any health you’ve lost and becoming much stronger. The boss will run away, and you’ll have a second half of the level to play through before fighting the boss. Repeat that five times.

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The game does shift after that point for its sixth and seventh levels. Level six starts with the Rangers summoning the Megazord, their giant robot. As the Megazord, you fight a giant monster. This fight resembles something closer to a fighting game, with health bars and power meters displayed for both you and the monster. As the fight progresses, the power meter will fill and you can do a different special attack depending on how full you let it get. In practice, I found that there was never a good reason to not let it fill all the way up. The earlier attacks don’t deal all that much damage, but the fully charged attack can take off a good third of the enemy’s health. The seventh level plays out the same, but on the moon in front of Rita’s castle.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is a pretty simple, straightforward game. While it’s not going to challenge you in any way, it’s still a lot of fun. If you have any nostalgia for the TV series at all, I strongly recommend you give the game a shot.

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