While it’s been over two decades since I pretended to summon a Megazord in my living room, the Power Rangers formula hasn’t changed much. Unfortunately, cashing in on a popular license with a low quality videogame hasn’t changed either.
Power Rangers Super Megaforce is an action brawler for the Nintendo 3DS that relies way too much on the familiar sights and sounds of the franchise it’s based upon. Instead of a fun, fast-paced martial arts romp through memory lane, the characters feel stagnant and not nearly as nimble as you’d expect superheroes to be. Quite frankly, the game is as lifeless as the Power Ranger toys that are still hidden away somewhere in the attic of my parents’ house.
After static character panels identify which alien baddie we’ll be facing this week, players can choose two Rangers- one to control and one as support- to make their way through a series of side scrolling levels. Rangers can jump, shoot their blasters, and attack enemies with their specific weapon, as well as unleash a special attack, but the animations for these attacks are so slow that enemies can easily catch you in between motions and score a cheap hit or two.
In an attempt to really yank on those nostalgic strings, players are able to collect coins and unlock characters from past seasons, including the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. That being said, there’s little variance between the heroes to make any kind of difference when choosing. Slight attack and defensive differences are present, sure, but at the end of the day you can still manage to play the game with one hand while eating a bowl of cereal with the other. Not since Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball have I been able to play a game one-handed, and that’s saying a lot.
The one saving grace of Power Rangers Super Megaforce, as it is in nearly every episode of the series that has been on for 20 seasons, is the Megazord battles. After a handful of levels in a similar color palette, gamers are able to take control of one of the Power Rangers’ iconic giant robots to thwart an overgrown enemy that’s wrecking the city. These battles consist of nothing more than alternating between a short range attack, long range attack, and an infuriatingly slow dodge command to defeat the bad guy. After enough hits, just tap the lower screen of the Nintendo 3DS repeatedly to unleash the final blow. Then cue fireworks and jingle, and cut to commercial.
Even if you’re a really, really ,really big fan of the show, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend Power Rangers Super Megaforce. There are far better brawler/platform hybrid games out there, and I’d likely take a chance on any one of them before morphing ever again.
Power Rangers Super Megaforce is out now on Nintendo 3DS.
Power Rangers Super Megaforce 3DS Trailer