Saban's strange little kid's TV show sure has come a long way since its 1993 debut. With a brand new movie on the way, Bandai Namco created Mega Battle in the hopes of getting fans excited again so let's shift into turbo and see if it's any good.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle is played by controlling your choice of Ranger to fend off hordes of familiar enemies such as Putty Patrollers and Tenga Warriors. You do so through traditional beat 'em up stages while unleashing a fury of punches, weapon slashes, and ranged attacks. Up to four local players can fight together so if you have friends who can join you then the gameplay is much more enjoyable. The Rangers include Red (Jason or Rocky), White (Tommy), Pink (Kimberly or Kat), Yellow (Trini or Aisha), Blue (Billy), and Black (Zack or Adam). These teenagers aren't that powerful on their own but once you collect enough energy, they can transform into their respective Rangers. In this form, they can double-jump, dodge, block, and grab enemies with style. It all adds up to a simple formula that's reminiscent of old-school brawlers.
Unfortunately, Mega Battle doesn't look like much. The character models come across as quite goofy as if they're lifted from a Flash game and their animations can be rather stiff. For example, their walk cycle makes them look like they have sticks up their bums. That being said, they can be quite badass in the middle of combat as they beat their opponents to a pulp. The enemies come in a handful of varieties yet some of their animations seem missing. Certain foes may even go from a standing position to lying on the ground with no transition in between. When it comes to audio, the sound effects are kind of satisfying yet the lack of voices and music makes it fall flat. When music plays, it's mostly just generic electric guitars which would be okay except for the fact that many long stretches have no music whatsoever. As you could guess, fighting in silence simply comes across as awkward and incomplete.
The campaign contains six stages that are broken up into three areas each. Besides brawling with enemy forces, there are a few memorable moments that help add some variety. Whether you're jumping in a bouncy castle, cruising on surf boards, or running from a wall of lava; it's great to experience something besides the repetitious combat. The boss fights have three phases each: battling it normally, transforming into Megazord and using tank mode to shoot at it in first-person, and performing quick-time events while using Dino Megazord. These bouts can be rather epic-looking although the latter two rounds are always incredibly easy. On top of this, you'll gain experience as you progress that levels you up and grants you coins that you can redeem at terminals. Doing so increases your base stats and grants you additional moves. Watching your Ranger grow into a powerhouse makes it quite a rewarding system.
On the downside, you can finish the entire campaign in a couple of hours. Also, there is almost no replay value (unless you like playing through the same scenarios just to mindlessly level up). Upon completing the campaign, you'll unlock a few extra modes including Rita's Tower (a survival mode), Boss Rush, and Angel Grove's Dojo (a vs. mode). All of these additional modes are pretty lame and definitely not worth playing for longer than a couple of attempts. You could always watch all of the unlocked cutscenes again...
If you're interested in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle then you should know that you basically need additional players. Going it alone results in an increase in difficulty that makes completing the whole campaign nearly impossible. Even if you have just one friend to play with, at least you can revive each other. It's a shame that there is no online multiplayer to remedy this.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle disappointingly fails to live up to its genre predecessors. Those who love the Rangers and don't mind playing a substandard beat 'em up should check it out but it isn't much of a game to widely recommend.
- + Somewhat enjoyable and simplistic beat 'em up gameplay for up to four local players
- + Boss fights are pretty cool
- + A few segments add welcome variety
- - Playing solo makes it almost impossible yet there's no online multiplayer
- - Generic visuals and lackluster audio
- - Short campaign with little replay value