Most fans of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers grew up in the 90s and remember the excitement surrounding Saban’s syndication of the Japanese inspired action show. The side scrolling brawler based on the series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle, attempts to recapture the same level of excitement that fans experienced back in the day. Unfortunately, Mega Battle doesn’t succeed in this due to a number of problems that dampen any excitement that could have been there. Some disappointing gameplay sections and a lack of online play are some of the things that make this Power Rangers game not that great.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle blends together a numbers of aspects from the first season of the Saban 90s action show. Interestingly, a lot of sound clips for catchphrases and iconic shouts are pulled directly from the show and used in the game. Every time the rangers say their animal names when they morph or whenever Rita Repulsa makes her monsters grow, it’s the same actors from the show doing so. This gives a somewhat authentic feel to the game, though eventually things get a bit repetitive when you hear the same audio clip repeated multiple times. Visually, Mega Battle is stylized and plays up the cheese factor of the show in an action cartoon like fashion. The rangers themselves look muscular when morphed, while the Putties have exaggerated body structures.
The game plays like most side-scrolling brawlers, with a few role-playing elements mixed in. You and up to three friends can team-up and play through the story, which follows the origin of the Power Rangers from the show’s first season. Fighting through groups of Putties and Rita’s monsters can get repetitive pretty fast. If you’re playing through the game alone, this is even more so during sections with lots of enemies.
Each enemy defeated yields power orbs that grant experience to level up and unlock new moves, such as combos and powerful abilities. It takes a long time to level up however, despite the groups of enemies you end up defeating over the course of the game. Playing alone feels like a dragged out process, especially when you defeat a bunch of enemies over the course of a few levels and barely reach level 2 with your ranger of choice.
There are a few spots during the game that break away from the beat-em-up action sections and feature the famous Power Zord Battles. One would think this would be the best part about Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but the game interprets this as anything but exciting. The Zord sections are limited to two phases, a rail shooting phase and a quick time scenario to finish them off. With many other Power Rangers games that give you direct control of the Zords themselves, Mega Battle’s take just feels uninspired and lazy.
The final battle against any boss is set up like a traditional 2D fighting game matchup, but ends up not playing as such and instead ask you to hit the correct button sequence to defeat your foe. When playing co-op with friends, each person needs to hit the correct button sequence in order for the attack to be successful. These sections are immensely disappointing and finished in less than a minute, making it all the more shameful.
But the most disappointing part of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle is the lack of online cooperative play. This game begs to be played online with others, especially if you and your friends are long-time Power Rangers fans. Multiplayer can only be done on the same console locally, which is a huge bummer for a game that prioritizes cooperative play with friends on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Had there been any online support there would be many more opportunities, and reasons, to play through the story and level up each of the individual Rangers. But as it stands, you’re either having friends over to play or going through the game alone offline.
It’s hard to recommend Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle to anyone, even if they’re hardcore fans of the show. The side-scrolling brawler gameplay only offers so much before it becomes a disappointing and overly repetitive bore for everyone. The lack of online play really kills a lot of the excitement and fun that could be had with cooperative play. The Zord Battles could have, and should have, been much more exciting and on par with the show if they gave direct control of the Zords during battle. While the look and sound of the game feels authentic to the original show, which long-time fans will appreciate, it’s all canceled out by the disappointing choices for everything else. Sorry friends, but it’s no longer morphin’ time here, time to pack up and go home.
This review was based on a digital review code for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle for the PlayStation 4, provided by Bandai Namco.