|Will this game please little fans of the show? Without a doubt.
Is there anything in it for the rest of us? Probably not. Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue
is a serviceable game that is better than it needs to be, but not nearly as good as it
could have been.
This is the first instance of a game where I thought the PlayStation version could learn a thing or two from its Game Boy counterpart. The GBC version of Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue focused more on the Rescue aspect of this band of Power Rangers. You needed to find various tools like grappling hooks or drills in order to get the victims to safety. Fighting the monsters was something you had to do to get to the people; in the PSX version the emphasis is definitely on the fighting. Saving people is incidental. On the PlayStation version there are no tools or weapons of any sort. This is made a little ironic by using video clips from the show that clearly shows the Power Rangers brandishing all sorts of cool swords and laser guns. Its almost as if they are advertising what the game is missing.
The controls are fair. I was never frustrated by them at any time. There is a wide enough variety of moves to keep things interesting. I particularly liked the ability to block opponents attacks. The bosses at the end of each level are basic enough and get a little repetitive towards the end.
Its a fairly pretty game to look at if you can get over how lame the Power Rangers costumes are. The levels are nicely designed, albeit a little small, and there is enough detail throughout the game that you dont feel like your walking down the same corridor again and again. This could have been a really good game in spite of the franchise if there had been a little more to do than just fight clones of the same minion over and over again. Its kind of a shame, because the levels are so nicely designed.
If you were to ask me about the plot, I dont know what I could tell you. Youre a Power Ranger (Red, yellow, blue, green, or pink. You decide.) and your home town is being attacked by funky space men. You need to progress through each level rescuing civilians and battling the Battlings. If the game has one message for its players, its that violence does solve most of your bigger problems. I guess they could have tried a game with the Power Rangers as intergalactic diplomats, but I think it would have a hard time gaining a following.
The game is aimed at a younger age group and I dont think that they will be disappointed. The controls are easy enough to learn and the objectives for each level are simple enough to figure out. If youre looking for a real challenge, you wont find it here.
What would a Power Rangers game be without the option to fight as a big robot? Like most big robot games, it doesnt really work. I still havent played a big robot game where I got the impression that I was, in fact, a very large robot. Its difficult to convey that sense of scale on the small screen. It even fails on the TV show. When you see the robot, you know that it is just some guy in a big suit no matter how slowly he lumbers about. In the game it seems more like a costume change than a scale change.
You must be warned if you havent seen the show before: The Power Rangers theme song will get in your head, and you will not be able to do anything to get it out short of replacing it with a Britney Spears tune. At the oddest times I find myself humming it and I just cant stop.
This game could have been a lot worse. I know that doesnt sound like much of a compliment, but when youre dealing with the Power Ranger demographic, you pretty much know that your audience is oblivious to reviews. The kids will ask for the game regardless of what they hear; they just want to be a Power Ranger (if its still cool). THQ did a lot to bring out a game that strives to be a good one and one that succeeds in many areas. They dont let the franchise do all the selling. A better franchise wouldnt have made it a better game, but it could have broadened the appeal enough to include gamers above ten. If this had been, say, a Voltron game you might have a few more happy campers out there (myself included). I wouldnt recommend buying this game to anyone but a die-hard fan. Most gamers (even the young ones) will finish it in a night. There is a cooperative two player mode which offers some re-playability, but there just isnt enough to the game to keep you coming back.