In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle, a new side-scrolling beat em-up from Bandai Namco – available now on PS4 and Xbox One.
It would seem the side-scrolling beat em-up is making something of a comeback. First we had retro title Double Dragon IV and now comes Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle, which not only captures the spirit of the 90s television show, but also sees a return to the classic multiplayer beat-em-up style… and best of all, it’s for FOUR players!
OK, let’s get right to the point. For those of you out there that are fans of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, there’s a LOT to like about this game. Each level is based on a classic episode from the TV series and are ﬁlled with familiar dialogue, locations, background details, cut scenes, and enemies pulled straight from the ﬁrst two seasons of the show! MMPR Mega Battle also allows players to fight in, and out of costume – morphing when enough power is genereated by fighting – said power also charges up your use of blade blaster (in both gun and bade form)… Players can also level-up and unlock new moves, attacks and weapons. Oh, and did I mention you [eventually] have the ability to summon the Megazord?!!
Graphically, MMPR Mega Battle is nothing to write home about. Its looks like a mobile game. The graphics have an animated, almost cel-shaded look and the backgrounds are about as basic as you can get – we’re talking 16 bit basic. I’ve actually seen some mobile/tablet games that look a LOT better than this!
I wouldn’t mind poor graphics if the gameplay made up for it. Sadly here it doesn’t. Once you get past the nostaglic gimmick of a “new” Power Rangers game on a current gen console, you realise that this is – at its core – just another run-of-the-mill beat em-up. Nostalgia can only get you so far it seems… Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun playing this game initially but the sheer repetiveness of it will soon grow weary for older gamers; this is more of a button basher than a skilled beat em-up.
In the end Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle is actually an odd game. On the one hand the over-simplified graphics and controls are aimed squarely at a younger audience; on the other, the game can be – at times – too hard to complete for a younger audience without help, or without multiple players. The waves of enemies can get overwhelming and some of the end-level bosses and stages are overly complicated and will easily lead to frustration for younger players. Especially when death means having to start the stage over from scratch!
MMPR: Mega Battle is available now, as a digital download, on PS4 and Xbox One