Not even morphing can save them now.
When I was a kid, there were two things I enjoyed more than anything else – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. I was a fanatic. I had all the toys, the VHS tapes, and even gloves that had sound effects in them. I loved everything that was the Power Rangers. Now, a new, gritty Power Rangers movie is about to hit and a new beat ‘em up comes out of nowhere for us to play. After putting some time into it, I think this may be one people need to pass on.
Players take on the role of the teenagers with attitude as they start off acquiring the power to become the rangers. It actually follows the original storyline (that of it that actually exists other than the monster of the week episodes) So, naturally, players can choose to play as Jason, Kimberly, Zack, Billy, Trini, and eventually Tommy as they take on Rita Repulsa and her legion of monsters and puttys.
Platforms: PS4, XB1
Price I’d pay: Maybe $3
The game is a standard beat ‘em up where players will move from left to right beating up enemies along the way. Most levels start off with the characters out of their ranger suits, so they have to fight enemies to gather up strength to morph. After morphing, the rangers then have more moves to utilize in combat. There are standard combos, a launcher that can then be combo’d into an air combo, a stamina bar-regulated weapon that can extend combos and a blaster that uses energy that must be refilled. Pretty standard stuff. At the end of a chapter, a boss fight occurs where after defeating them, usually turns into a giant monster (just like the TV show) which then requires the rangers to call on their Zords to fight it. The next part of the boss fight is a simple shooting gallery trying to hit weak spots on the monster and then a quick time event fight between the Megazord and monster. It plays out how people would imagine it does.
Defeating enemies will offer up experience orbs that can be collected to level up the ranger being used. Players can then talk to Alpha 5 to purchase upgrades to power, learn new abilities, and other stats. Leveling takes a while. In fact, I stayed at level 1 until after completing the second chapter.
The combat feels off more times than not. Since players can move and attack at the same time, positioning is very important when trying to hit enemies. In most beat ‘em ups, I can mash on the attack button while moving slightly forward. I can eventually hit an enemy that may be a bit too far ahead of me. In Power Rangers, I am stuck in the same spot whiffing air until I stop attacking and move slightly towards the enemy I was trying to hit. It just feels wonky and stiff.
The issue here is that the formula never changes. At all. The same exact fights take place at the same moments, the boss fights play exactly the same, and the overall gameplay just really grows stale after a few chapters. Mix that with a combat system that feels stiff and cumbersome more times than not, and players are in for a monotonous, carbon copied game that over stays its welcome within an hour or so.
The only possible saving grace is the game has four player co-op. Of course, this is only local play which doesn’t really help many, but it is there for the ones who want it. Even then, I think after a couple of levels, the co-op partners will be done with it.
Even with the nostalgia factor, I really don’t think this game holds up enough for even the hardcore fans of Power Rangers. It quickly becomes a boring trek even with friends playing alongside you. It looks like a game for kids, but there’s no way it would hold their attention for long, and the adults that loved the Rangers as kids will find it far too repetitive to keep going. Unfortunately, I just can’t really recommend this game to many people. At least not until after a deep price cut.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.