Power Rangers: Mega Battle is not a good game. While the gameplay can be fun in spurts, the bland visuals, overly long levels, repetitive enemies, and lack of checkpoints all make this game a Mighty Morphin’ mess.
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Mega Battle
Developer: Bandai Namco
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One
MonsterVine was provided with a PS4 code for review.
As a young man who grew up with the Power Rangers, I had hoped with all my being that Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Mega Battle would be a good game. The Power Rangers franchise lends itself well to the beat-em-up formula, so it didn’t feel unrealistic to expect some quality from the game. Unfortunately, I was desperately wrong.
Mega Battle very loosely adapts the plot of the first season of Power Rangers. Memorable enemies like Rita Repulsa and King Sphinx appear, and Tommy’s evil arc is done minimalistically, but there’s nothing overly memorable about the plot, as it isn’t even a re-telling of the first season. This makes the numerous text-based cutscenes feel extraneous and unnecessary, as they never amount to anything more than “Let’s go!”.
Mega Battle’s gameplay is an oddity, as it has genuinely fun moments that are quickly counteracted by any of the numerous issues the beat-em-up is riddled with. Using the standard light and heavy attack two-button set-up, you select any Ranger out of the core group, and proceed to hack and slash your way through one of six levels, each comprised of three chapters. The Season 2 Ranger variations, including the White Ranger, are also available with the launch version of the game.
Throughout each level you typically face off against a seemingly endless amount of Putties, Tenga Warriors, and some minor Monsters from the earlier episodes of the show. The abundance of enemy hordes is frustrating, as they not only stop you from progressing until they’re defeated, but they’re unbalanced as well. Putties can fly towards you instantly, meaning you’ll be frequently knocked to the ground. Even with a friend, a huge horde of Putties is a pain to deal with, as they’ll knock you down repeatedly and relentlessly.
There are no checkpoints in each chapter and dying throws you back to the first screen of the level. This is immensely frustrating, as it makes Mega Battle’s plentiful (cheap) deaths take up even more of your time. It’s hard to motivate yourself to redo a level from scratch when you got so far, for nothing. Worse still is that this reverts you to your un-morphed form, meaning you’re at a disadvantage until you can morph again. Sometimes the controls don’t even work, stalling when you try to move. This is yet another problem that can lead to even more deaths.
The gameplay can be fun at times, when you get a good combo going or when you’ve upgraded your moves, but this fun wears thin due to how simple and repetitive it is, thanks in-part to the excessive amount of enemies. You can upgrade each Ranger’s moves and stats, but not only does it take far too long to level up to improve these stats, but the stats make little to no noticeable difference. While some of the moves are neat, it just takes far too long to unlock them.
The saddest thing about Mega Battle’s gameplay is that the Megazord segments are nothing more than simple quick-time events. What should be the most epic and exciting part of the game is reduced to an incredibly easy series of button inputs.
The visuals may be Mega Battle’s greatest sin. Everything feels bland and lifeless, as the style feels as though it was pulled from bitstrips, with pieces of clip-art strewn throughout. The character and enemies all move in a poorly tweened manner, leading to GoAnimate quality animation, which is especially awkward in battles.
Mega Battle’s design is its sole beacon of unadulterated goodness. The show’s theme song is used repeatedly, with classic tunes like Bulk and Skull’s theme playing at appropriate times. Original voice clips from each Ranger are used for Morphing and Megazord summoning, which is a fantastic and nostalgic touch.
The Final Word
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Mega Battle is a Megazord-sized disappointment. Though there is some short-term nostalgic fun to be had, the gameplay and visuals of the game are simply subpar. Power Ranger fans are better off buying all of Dino Thunder or SPD with the money that could have been used on this shamefully poor game.
– MonsterVine Rating: 2 out of 5 – Poor