Friday, October 8, 2010

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition (1995)

     It's a safe assumption that if you were a boy in elementary school in the early '90s, and liked smashing things, you were smitten with the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. It's execution of huge mechs and monsters going toe-to-toe was unrivaled up to that point, and as a kid, it was awesome. With a franchise as popular as Mighty Morphin', the inevitability of terrible, officially incensed games was predictable. 
     Not so with The Fighting Edition. Though the box art does a terrific job leading the buyer to assume the game must be terrible as well, I assure you it's a façade. Disregard the universe it's set in, and you're presented with a really decent fighting game. 
     With a cast of four Megazords and four villains, The Fighting Edition is essentially your basic 2D fighter, except with amazing visuals and a gimmick that works surprisingly well: underneath your health bar is a secondary bar that repeatedly refills and empties over the course of the battle. I discovered through playing that if you pull off a special move right as the bar is completely filled and flashing, the bar will change color. Repeat the process several times, and you pull off a super fancy, oh-my-god-what-the-hell-is-going-on move. It's really cool, and it's a nice touch to the overall metagame, as it requires impeccable timing.
     When it comes to every fighter I've ever played, I shamefully adhere to the button-mashing code of suck. However, I actually found a bit of a scapegoat from my routine in The Fighting Edition. The game is actually really easy to pick up and play; I figured out your basic Hadouken equivalents and physical combos fairly easily, which is kind of a big deal for me. When I played the game with a few buddies, it was even easy for them to pose a serious challenge to my patented "Mash the D-Pad in a counter-clockwise motion, while repeatedly pressing the energy button" strategy (which, might I add, is exactly what I told them to do.). I think part of The Fighting Edition's pick-up-and-play focus could be attributed to the fact that it's demographic is 10-year-old's, but that really doesn't detract from the game. 
     The visuals and sound are pretty great! The included fighters are very accurate representations of their television counterparts, and they move very fluidly. Once I got a Game Over in the Arcade/Story mode, I was treated with an illustrated depiction of Lord Zedd that was one of the best looking images to ever come off of a SNES, hands-down. The soundtrack that serves as a supplement to your brawls contains a pretty faithful composition of the main theme, as well as other songs featured from the show. I had a good laugh with most of the backgrounds, though. For example:


     It's good to see that Zordon finally upgraded to that 700 foot flat-screen plasma he always wanted. I don't remember the Command Center taking place inside of a computer. I digress, the game is very detailed, and one of the better-looking fighters on the SNES. 
     Coupled with the gimmick mentioned prior, The Fighting Edition really is a solid fighting game, and even hardcore fighters should find a home with it. Though there aren't any outstanding flaws in the game, it's more of a game to play in quick bursts or simply for those bursts of nostalgia with a few friends. 
     Also, Shogun Megazord is terribly, terribly broken. I had a rougher time fighting him than I did with the final boss. It isn't his size exactly, it's more of how much straight up discipline they managed to pack into one character. It's like, all of the other characters are balanced simply because the majority of the available programming was put into Shogun Megazord's flaming sword. When playing as Shogun Megazord, I can't even beat Shogun Megazord, yet he's based solely around defense. I'm thinking that if you land one hit on him, then stand still, blocking, Shogun Megazord won't know what to do, and you'll win simply because the time runs out. He's so used to kicking total and complete ass that he won't know what to do. He's accustomed to being approached first that he can't make the first move. It's almost crippling for him. Shogun Megazord has Asperger's.  

Buy Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition (feat. Shogun Megazord) on Amazon 

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