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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie – SNES

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie – SNES

mighty morphin power rangers: the movie snes nintendo box artPlatform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Developer: Natsume

Publisher: Bandai

Release Date (NA): June 30, 1995

Genre: Beat ’em up

Rating: 5/10

Reviewed by ChronoSloth

Man, what a disappointment. I went into this experience expecting a decent brawler at the very least, or a wonderful 90’s cheesefest with bombastic ranger action at the very most. It appears that I was aiming far too high with both of those scenarios. Some of my favorite fourth generation games are beat ’em ups, and I’m a big Power Rangers fan. This could have ended up in my top ten if not for some bad game design decisions and the corners they cut. There’s also the fact that the game doesn’t follow the plot, or even the setup of the movie it’s based on, something even the Game Boy adaptation of the film managed. While I’m not sure why they made the decision to ignore a readily available plot, I am sure that it makes the game feel even more generic than the boring gameplay does. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate this game. There’s just some serious wasted potential here.

mighty morphin power rangers: the movie title screen snes

“Featuring Ivan Ooze” is actually an important footnote, because the game’s nonexistant plot and random enemies wouldn’t lead anyone to believe that the movie’s antagonist would be here.

Despite famous, more advanced, quality beat ’em ups like Final Fight 2 and Streets of Rage 2 being released a few years before this game, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie doesn’t build on the precedents set by these previous games. It bears much more of a resemblance to the 1988 arcade release Bad Dudes vs. DragonNinjaMovement is limited to walking left and right, with the ability to jump between two planes, one in the foreground, and one in the background. Enemies appear on both planes, sometimes simply walking from one side of the screen to the other and serving as a hazard for players switching planes, other times actively following players from foreground to background. There’s mild platforming that includes hanging on ledges as well as jumping over pitfalls and damaging objects. The plane switching is often incorporated into getting past obstacles. The basic enemies you encounter are palate swapped putties, robots, and that’s about it really. The robots may be drones that drop bombs, drones that shoot slightly in front of themselves, and later, humanoid mechs. As far as putty variation, they simply take between 1-3 hits to kill depending on their color. Unlike other brawlers, non-boss enemies don’t have health bars here, because there aren’t any combo attacks. Single punches will take out most baddies, with stronger ones and minibosses taking only a few more. Players themselves will go down in five hits, giving the game a decent challenge level.

mighty morphin power rangers: the movie character select

The images of the pre-morphed rangers here is a nice touch, though the pictures of Rocky and Adam look like mugshots.

Morphing is a moment that almost makes the tedious gameplay worth it.

Morphing is a moment that almost makes the tedious gameplay worth it.

Speaking of punches, one area where Mighty Morpin Power Rangers: The Movie falls short is attack variety. Each ranger has a unique basic standing attack, crouching attack, jump attack, uppercut, and special attack (though throws are sorely missed from other beat ’em ups, and touching enemies causes you damage). Despite how few total attacks there are, the fact that they’re unique for each character is promising at first. This, plus the fairly detailed sprites that represent these beloved teenagers with attitude makes it really feel like you’re controlling the characters from the movie. This makes 2 player co-op with a fellow MMPR fan even more fun, as you see your two rangers take down baddies as a team, just like in the show, and film. Morphing in tandem is an awesome moment, too.

Collecting enough lightning bolts from fallen enemies allows you to transform into a Power Ranger, and it’s damn cool. Character sprites do a super flamboyant, impressive animation, a huge closeup of the character and their morpher is shown onscreen with lighting effects flying everywhere, the morpher is then held up to the sky, and in a flash of light your character is now a beefy, helmet wearing, diamond emblazoned protector of Angel Grove. Enemies go flying, your five hit points are restored, and your damage is increased. However, this transformation exposes a glaring flaw in the game’s presentation and gameplay variety. This is where attack variety is revealed to be incredibly shallow. All Power Rangers, excluding the White Ranger, are pallate swaps. They all have the exact same attacks, excluding their single weapon attacks unlocked by filling the power meter a second time, and they’re all super buff and wear the Red Ranger’s t-rex helmet. This includes the yellow and pink ranger. The Pink Ranger is even missing her skirt. The uber popular White Ranger is given his own unique sprite and animations of course, as the armor and helmet he wears are drastically different from the other rangers, and besides being more noticeably off if they were just as lazy in his creation, he’s the cover star and to this day, the most popular ranger. He still doesn’t play much differently, though. His pullback on his basic punch is a bit different, but besides that, they did the bare minimum to ensure Tommy stood out, and the White Ranger wasn’t a clone like the other five. After such unique unmorphed forms, the cloning of the rangers (made even more evident and frustrating in co-op) is a big disappointment.

mighty morphin power rangers: the movie red ranger boat

One of the more exciting, but strangely out of place, set pieces in the game.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie consists off seven stages that the player moves between for no rhyme or reason. Luckily the bosses at the end of them are actually from the show (excluding one) and their attacks and appearance are very well done, unlike the generic enemies in the game. One level is an aircraft carrier that you board by exploding jet-ski, there’s a warehouse (I think), a snow themed area, and a few other uninteresting locales. Every once in awhile the wind on the aircraft carrier will push you to the left of the screen, and there’s a sledding section in the snow level, but these touches didn’t impress much, and the levels just didn’t do it for me. I played through this game a day before I sat down to write this review, and they’re just not memorable. The only two levels that stick out in my mind when I think of this game are Angel Grove and the final level because it’s just Ivan Ooze’s throne room where he serves as the final boss. I’m not even sure the first area is Angel Grove, because nothing ties it to the show’s setting besides that it contains a bunch of 90’s looking civilians in the background, looking through shop windows, or coolly leaning on walls, ignoring the fact that the chosen six teens who defend them from intergalactic criminals are roundhouse kicking henchmen made of clay into cars and in between the only two traversable planes in this strange town that doesn’t conform to normal physics. Let’s just say it’s Angel Grove for this game’s sake. There’s enough going against this title; let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.

mighty morphin power rangers: the movie red ranger weapon snesThe presentation here is probably the game’s only saving grace, and was probably enough to satisfy younger fans of the series in 1995. There’s no denying the cool factor of morphing in the game. It mimics the most exciting moment in the show, when the going has got too tough for the teens’ regular martial arts skills, and shit is about to get real. The impact is definitely lessened by how everyone actually ends up being a recolored red ranger and there’s nothing extraordinary the ranger can do until they get a second power meter full for an incredibly brief period where they can use their weapon. The graphics and animations are nice, and the ridiculously prominent front flipping and back flipping from the show that was missing in the Game Boy version is featured here on the SNES when the rangers switch between planes. The putties are far overused and there isn’t much enemy variety, but these grey fighters are instantly recognizable for MMPR fans. The sound effects aren’t stellar, but serve their purpose and make hits feel like they have a bit more impact. None of the game’s songs are grating, but none of them stand out as great pieces either. That is, besides the awesome version of the show’s main theme that plays on the game’s super hype, lightning bolt filled title screen. This title screen was also a mistake, as it raised my expectations way too high for the actual game. There’s no denying how great the SNES version of the theme is, though. Every time I hear it, I get the urge to front flip off of every piece of furniture in my house in slow-mo with an exaggerated karate battle cry. MMPR:TM has a really neat ending too, featuring the only appearance of a (nonplayable) Zord in the game, but it’s really not worth playing through the entire game to see.

mighty morphin power rangers: the movie snes ending

Saved you a boring hour, you’re welcome.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie just doesn’t stand up to the beat ’em up competition, even with the appealing Power Rangers coat of paint. There is fun to be had here, especially with a second player, but the limited moveset, limited enemy variety, uninteresting areas, and the complete absence of a plot means there’s no build-up as you progress through the game, no need to change your strategies or improve as you play, and hardly any motivation to keep going. If you like the Power Rangers, this game will be moderately entertaining. If you’re not already a MMPR fan, there’s really nothing here for you, and with the plethora of excellent brawlers out there (Final Fight 3, Streets of Rage 2, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs), why would you be playing this instead of one of the greats? You wouldn’t, and you shouldn’t. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie for SNES is a let-down.

mighty morphin power rangers: the movie ending

THE END

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Written by ChronoSloth

ChronoSloth


Video game reviewer with a specific love for the fourth and fifth generation of consoles. In an exclusive polygamist relationship with Nintendo and PlayStation. Fluent in Al Bhed and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 combo notation. Follow him on Instagram to see lots of pictures of video games.

 
 

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  1. Nick Hardee says:

    One of my most played games as a child. This review brings back so many memories T.T

     

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