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Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie – Game Boy

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie – Game Boy

mighty morphin power rangers the movie box game boyPlatform: Game Boy

Developer: Tom Create

Publisher: Bandai

Release Date: August 1995

Genre: Beat ’em Up

Rating: 6/10

Reviewed by ChronoSloth

 

How lucky we are as a species, that the greatest motion picture of all time, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, was released during one of, if not the single best, generations in video game history. Video game adaptations of this masterpiece were created for the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Game Gear, and the Game Boy. Each of these provide a unique gameplay experience; no ports to be found here. I’ll start my coverage of these releases with the least advanced, but hardest working of all the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie titles, Tom Create’s beat ’em up for Game Boy.

mighty morphin power rangers: the movie game boy character select

Hmm…they grey ranger, or the light grey ranger?

After choosing their favorite color-coded warrior, players — wait; Game Boy games aren’t in color. Jesus Christ, these developers really had their work cut out for them. Without the colors that defined each of the Power Rangers, sprites would have to have enough detail to display recognizable features that each ranger was known for (Tommy’s long hair, Billy’s glasses, etc.). Well, as it turns out, the technical limitations of the Game Boy blocked that route too, so instead of choosing between the Red, Blue, Yellow, Pink, Black, or White Ranger, players can pick one of six nearly identical rangers who are all a shade of grey, half of them being stronger while sacrificing agility, the other half being nimble but sacrificing strength. The only time you’re given a real hint as to which ranger is which is in the character select screen where portraits above each character’s sprite show each rangers’ helmet. These still take a second glance and a squint to clue you in on whether you’re looking at the Pink Ranger or the Blue. However, true patricians who’ve either watched much of the original show, or have seen Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie upwards of twenty times like myself will spot the defining features of each helmet without much trouble and choose the ranger that will get the job done.

mighty morphin power rangers rat

I know the Power Rangers’ popularity has waned, but this was their heyday. And they still had to settle for pest control jobs?

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - The Movie (USA, Europe)Players take this ranger on a journey of punching and kicking Putties though six levels. The level you play can be chosen after selecting your character, and each stage is defined by its boss. Bosses include series staples Lord Zedd and Goldar, as well as the Giant Rat and Ivan Ooze from the film. Though you’re allowed to choose which order you’ll take on these bosses, you have no choice about facing all of them over again in the final level before Ooze. Please stop doing this. One way to kill the hype of a player about to finish the game, and diminish the sense of finality and accomplishment from defeating previous bosses is to throw them all back into the game to make the last level a tedious slog. As the Game Boy is a much simpler system than those that most beat ’em ups appear on, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie is a much simpler beat ’em up. It’s a true 2D game, as there is no moving up and down on the ground plane like in Final Fight or Streets of Rage.

mighty morphin power rangers stage level select

 

mighty morphin power rangers: the movie goldarThe Power Rangers’ attacks are limited exclusively to punches and kicks that can be performed while jumping, standing or crouching. These work just fine for beating foes into submission, but in a series with such a focus on style, weapons, unique abilities, and visual flair, it feels mighty bare bones. Players can also block (rare in a beat ’em up) by holding down the attack button, but it’s near useless and I abandoned it after figuring out plenty of attacks in the game actually pass right through it. Once players defeat enough cronies or have collected enough lightning bolt emblems to fill up their Power meter, they can morph for a health refill and a strength increase. Filling the the power meter after morphing will give you an attack that damages every enemy on screen, best reserved for doing heavy damage to bosses.

While in Ranger form, players can also perform a small shoulder charge. This is a blessing and a curse, as it proves useful as an attack that also changes the position of your Ranger, but when you’re attempting to carefully maneuver away from an attack or inch up to a ledge before jumping in one of the few unfortunate platforming sections in the game, you’ll dash right into a fireball, or off a cliff. Fortunately, the game is fair in difficulty, and when you do lose all of your health, you’re given the ability to continue, choose your ranger again, and continue on the part of the level you died at (part 1, part 2, or boss fight). There’s also a password system, and a normal and hard mode. The only time I ran into trouble was before I’d learned the pattern in a few boss fights, conveyor belt platforming, and the cart riding sequence. The latter two sequences, while not perfect in execution, impressed me for being in the game. Tom Create makes it clear with their level design that they wouldn’t settle for simply throwing together a beat ’em up and making long corridors to pad length. Some of it works, and some of it doesn’t, but their level design is at least creative for the genre, especially considering the platform.

mighty morphin power rangers: the movie game boy

I also like that this is one of the rare cases where touching certain enemies doesn’t damage you, only their attacks do. It always frustrates me in games when damage is taken simply from your sprites colliding. Many of the strategies I employed on bosses used this to my advantage, seeing as I could pass by/through them to position myself for my next attack or dodge. Unfortunately this also leads to a problem many have with the title: the hit detection. What attack will register on who is a tossup when you’re crouched down, halfway inside the character image of a boss. Goldar’s rapid slash attack gets especially confused when you stand inside/beside him and he’ll stand still and slash for eons, believing that he’ll hit you any moment. Meanwhile, you can inch left or right of him and be subjected to multiple slashes, or jump at an angle and hope you’ll escape the attack during your arc and land out of range. It made things interesting for certain, and I enjoyed it more than it bothered me.

mighty morphin power rangers: the movie game boy screenshot

While Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie isn’t great to look at, the music isn’t memorable, and the license isn’t used very effectively, the fun core beat ’em up gameplay, interesting level design, and satisfying boss fights save it from being a total loss. I can see myself playing through this on a car ride, but it’s not something I’d regularly pull of the shelf to enjoy. However, Tom Create definitely did their best to accomplish their task of bringing this cinematic gem to Game Boy, and their effort shows in the foundation of this game. If this is the worst that the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie adaptations have to offer, I’m excited to see how the other titles turned out.

**Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie – Game Boy – REMASTERED (kinda)

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - The Movie (USA, Europe)_08

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - The Movie (USA, Europe)_07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s also worth noting that you can improve the game’s visuals with the Super Game Boy. The Rangers will once again shine with their respective hue, and depending on which Ranger you choose, the game’s environments will also be colored. The game even has a sweet border to match. If you’re playing MMPR:TM at home, I’d recommend playing on the SNES.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - The Movie (USA, Europe)_06

 

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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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