2020 is the 27th anniversary of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers coming to the United States. So I decided to replay 2014’s Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce for the 3DS to see if the game lives up to today’s standards.
What could go wrong?
Something incredible happens when I hear someone say, “Power Rangers.” It’s like I’ve been transported to a world filled with happiness, mightiness and morphin’ time; a place where my childhood lived, and my world was simply carefree.
Back then, I was dreaming of Tommy and wishing I was The Pink Ranger. Throughout the years, many Rangers of Power have come and gone from Mighty Morphin to Rangers in Space. In 2013 Super Megaforce debuted on Nickelodeon.
Saban’s Power Rangers Megaforce game (based on the TV show), was a semi-3D brawler that saw players trying to defeat Prince Vekar and his army who were threatening to destroy the planet.
This time, our Rangers were not alone. Joined by Power Rangers from all past TV shows they became an unstoppable force. I was very skeptical about this game; games based on TV shows are often uninspiring, rushed, and devoid of feeling. My worries were pushed aside the second I started the game. Just hearing the sound of “Go Go Power Rangers!” made me do a “happy dance” that no one could ruin.
…and then I played it.
Seeing the game start up on the 3DS screen is something I don’t ever want to experience again, it was like being punched in the face by both Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali in their prime. It was something I have never seen before. It was if gaming never existed, graphics were a thing of the future, the gameplay was as advanced as a colorful game of Pong but at least the sound worked.
When I closed my eyes and just listened to the sounds, this was a playable game. Unfortunately, I did not possess the skill of playing games successfully with my eyes closed, so I grinned and bared the pain.
This game was a disaster of epic non-playable proportions.
Megaforce tried to be something was not…good. Gone are the days of when the Power Rangers were fun, color and completely over-the-top, instead it’s replaced with…I just didn’t know what. After I got past the nostalgic soundtrack full of lies, I was quickly dragged into the game’s single-player mode where I was given the simple task of stiffly and awkwardly running either left or right through the most mundane muted environments to exist.
Just when I thought all I could do was run, I soon discovered I could do much more, like jump onto objects like trash cans and buses to get on roofs which were somehow thrown together by artists who must have had both their hands tied behind their backs when they designed this.
As I ran and jumped through the levels of boredom to collect large coins I could purchase poorly conceived items, later on, I came across enemies to be defeated in order to proceed with the level. This was where things got interesting. When I first started the game, I was given the option of choosing five Rangers of the thirty Rangers (including several locked Red Rangers) to assist me, with each Ranger having different combat and fighting skills.
My theory was picking certain members for my team was imperative to gaming but this theory was far from the truth. This was also where the game fell completely apart, as the combat was awful and downright unplayable at times. Rangers literally kicked and fought right through enemies, controls didn’t work probably, and some Rangers are left shooting the air as if they were attacked by the Ghosts of Combat Past.
Despite the numerous Rangers offered, and the ability to swap them during every stage, they were limited in what they could do and no matter who I picked, I was left fighting blind. Feelings of hopelessness and vulnerability caused me to give up, stop caring and start randomly smashing buttons, shooting, kicking, and swinging with no sense of purpose aside from just wanting to continue to the next tragically stale level.
A more puzzling aspect of the game came in the form of their heavily touted 3D feature when in actuality it was a semi-3D game, even for 2014 technology, it felt like the developers thought it would be a great addition to the game but just gave up half-way. This is unfortunate because the 3D aspect did add personality to the flat design. Seeing some pops of color and an attempt at detail mad me cry when I thought what this game could have been. A colorful yet still embarrassingly awful game.
Then there was the voice acting, which gave commentary during gameplay and during the must needed cut-scenes. The constant over-the-top dialogue had me screaming at the tiny screen; and when I say “over-the-top” I refer to the constant nonsensical conversations.
During one sequence, Rangers randomly commented on the birds, for no reason at all and completely out of the blue. Yet there were no birds. Sometimes, the Rangers conversed with others in the group, again just because.
In no shape or form can I recommend playing this game ever again. It was an awful game then, now and forever; and should have never been released. Painfully boring and uninspiring, it was created without any love, care, or respect. It’s an embarrassment to the franchise, an insult to the customers, and should have been thrown into the infamous E.T. landfill.
From the terrible presentation to the stalled animation and nonexistent graphics, Super Megaforce is Super Trash Force.