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RELEASE DATE (NA): 1995 GENRE: QuickTime
// review by SoyBomb


In 1992, Sega released the Sega CD add-on for the Genesis in North America. (Outside of this continent, it was known as the Mega-CD, released in 1991 in Japan and 1993 in Europe and abroad.) At this time, CD-based entertainment technology was still in its relative infancy, but the proposed possibilities for this extra hardware seemed limitless. After all, CDs could hold an impressive amount of data compared to cartridges, and the add-on itself could provide some additional CPU power and memory to the Genesis. The Sega CD even included new graphics chips for nifty effects and a wider colour palette, not to mention its new ability to show off full-motion video (though not in topnotch quality). It was, above all, an extension of the Sega Genesis' limited lifespan, and great things were meant to come from this machine.

But we sure didn't always see it put to good use. Case in point: Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.

Hopefully you are aware of the bare basics of Power Rangers lore. But if not, here's an abridged summary. The evil Rita Repulsa is accidentally released from her containment cell and wants to conquer Earth. That floating head, Zordon, calls upon five teenagers with attitude to become the Power Rangers and thwart any of Rita's attempts of world enslavement. The teenagers become more powerful when they summon the powers of dinosaurs, and simply by donning colourful costumes, they can fight rather well. They can also summon large dinosaur-based robots called Zords; when combined together, they form the Megazord. (In this game, they also included the Green Ranger, so now there are six of them.) Now you know.

The Sega CD was not designed to make the Power Rangers look good, that's for sure.

Most MMPR games (based on the original series) were either one-on-one fighters or, on occasion, side-scrolling beat-'em-ups. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers for the Sega CD is neither. This game (and I use that term loosely) is like watching a DVD full of episodes while sometimes pressing buttons. Here's how it works: you get to watch truncates versions of up to ten different episodes of MMPR. Depending on which difficulty level you choose, you'll either get five episodes (Beginner), seven (Intermediate), or all ten (Expert). During the fight scenes, icons will appear on the screen at specific times and you have to press the matching controller button. You get points for hitting it correctly and in a timely fashion; fail, and you lose a bit of your health bar. Lose all health, and the game ends. The only skill you need to have is to press a button as quickly as possibly. That's all. Nothing more. It's as exciting as watching a cow stand in one place for a few hours. It's Dance Dance Revolution without the funky J-Pop.

This might have been fine if the majority of the scenes were brawl-based, but you still have to sit through many other story sequences. Why do I have to watch them be selected and given their powers? If I actually wanted this game back during the height of MMPR's popularity, I'm sure I'd know enough about the Rangers' history to NOT need to be visually led through their origins. And if that weren't bad enough, the Sega CD's limited visual capacities make the FMV extremely grainy and unpleasant. At least the audio quality is acceptable and listenable, although being buzzed at for incorrect presses is not my first choice for a motivator!

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers for the Sega CD was clearly devised for the most hardcore fans of the show — and not necessarily fans of video games! Clearly the developer saw the potential of using the Sega CD to show off the TV series, but they also forgot that you still need to actually create an actual game along the way. Don't bother looking for this one; just watching the show on DVD gives you a less frustrating experience.

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