|Now, when I was six, and
wanted to be both a ninja and a super hero, Power Rangers would have met my criteria for
quality programming. But the dreams of spandex and sai have been supplanted with the
desire to be taken seriously as a writer. Which made it devastating when I discovered that
for a few years the actor playing the White Power Ranger was named Jason David Frank. For
an aspiring writer the fear of being associated with that franchise would cause
involuntary seizures when I would accidently surf past it with my remote control. If Power
Rangers would have grown any more in popularity I was prepared to change my name and
divorce myself from the mess. Thank heavens for Beanie Babies and Pokemon.
I cant say that Ive really kept up with all thats been happening in the Power Rangers universe, but my understanding is that theyve actually graduated from high school (finally) and are working as a rescue team. This lends the game some goals other than just beating up the bad guys and is really the most interesting aspect of the game.
There are five levels broken up into three stages: a rescue stage, a combat stage, and a Megazoid stage. The levels can be played non-sequentially, but the stages must be completed in order. During the rescue stage you must collect certain tools like a grappling hook in order to save the civilians trapped in the disaster areas. Each tool takes a certain amount of energy so you have to use discretion with how you use them. Some civilians can be a little difficult to find, but its pretty straightforward.
The combat stage plays like the rescue stage only you have to find people to punch rather than save. It ends with a boss that is moderately difficult, but not impossible. The only weapon you get to use is a sword, which gets a bit old. The Megazoid is your fighting aspect of the game. It involves a lot of button pushing. It takes very little skill or strategy to knock down your opponent.
There is a time limit to each level and points are awarded for the number of people you save or bad guys you take down, the time left on the counter, and how many Power Rangers it took to finish the level.
Your adventures take place in settings like a leaking dam or a downtown on fire. All of the settings pretty much look the same and there is only one type of henchman to fight before the bosses at the end. Completing the first five levels will open up some bonus levels as well.
The controls work just fine, and the details in the graphics are pretty good. A little more emphasis on the martial arts aspect of the show might have been interesting. There is only a punch and jumping kick move. The game is too short, and it will not take long for most experienced gamers to finish it, but it is a fun enough distraction for the little time that it does occupy. If you are a Power Rangers fan (and can admit to it without shame or fear of stoning) there is no question that you should get this title. The highest praise that I could give this game is that there were moments when I forgot I was playing a Power Rangers game and that is lot more praise than I thought I would give anything associated with this franchise.