Full-motion video (FMV) was all the rage during the nineties. While games like Command & Conquer fed players lore and objectives with campy video sequences that were compressed and fitted onto CDs, some games were almost-entirely made up of live-action clips. Sure, the quality wasn’t great most of the time, but being able to play an interactive movie seemed like the future of gaming. Sega thought so, at least.
The Mega-CD (also known as the Sega CD in the US) was released in the early-nineties as an attachment for their best-selling Mega Drive console, in hopes of expanding its lifespan. Alas, it was overpriced, and had a library of mediocre and forgettable titles, save for a few gems. However, nothing screams “cash grab!” louder like the 1995 Sega CD title Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The worst part is, even if you’re a die-hard fan of this iconic, kid-friendly action-adventure TV show, you’ll really struggle to get any sort of enjoyment from this one.
Gameplay is as barebones and minimal as it gets. All you need to do is watch fight scenes from the Power Rangers TV show, and press the buttons that appear on-screen. If you’re too slow or hit the wrong button, the on-screen energy bar will go down bit-by-bit, causing you to lose a life if it hits zero. Strangely, the episodes will keep playing no matter how badly you do. No stock footage of the Rangers getting their backsides battered will be spliced in between to show you messed up. Instead, your screen shakes a little. On the whole, your only reward for hitting these buttons correctly are points, which are woefully worthless in the long run as they contribute to nothing except a slightly-inflated ego, if big-numbers are the kind of thing that makes you feel valued.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has ten levels on offer, and each of them is made up of a fight scene from episodes of the show. You can only play the sixth and seventh level on normal mode or higher, while the final three missions are exclusive to the highest difficulty. Thing is, while normal mode give you less time to input buttons, hard mode is sadistic enough to remove all on-screen prompts, leaving you to fumble around and mash buttons aimlessly. That is, unless you were deranged enough to put the effort into memorizing the on-screen combinations (advice for those who feel like doing this – get a job instead).
The worst thing about this laughable excuse of a “game” is that it’s incredibly short. There are better ways to kill 45 to 60 minutes: read a book, bake a cake or two, see how many of your own teeth you can punch out in an hour, etc. Or, better yet, just go watch the show, if that’s your sort of thing. There are coffee machines that have more interactivity than this.
There’s really nothing much else to say about Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. It was nothing beyond a lazy attempt at scamming gullible Power Rangers fans and SEGA CD owners alike back in the olden days of gaming. So, why bother playing a grainy, snore-inducing, brain-meltingly horrible game like this? You’d have just as much fun twaddling with a TV remote. If you’re after some exciting action involving guys and gals slapping one another in spandex outfits and rubber suits (you have interesting tastes), then go watch the original show in all its hammy glory instead. Avoid this like a proximity mine.