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CONSOLE: Sega Genesis DEVELOPER: Syrox Developments PUBLISHER: Sega
RELEASE DATE (NA): 1995 GENRE: Beat-'em-up
// review by EscapeRouteBritish

Not the virtual reality we were hoping for.

Remember Power Rangers? We talked about it last January — keep up please. VR Troopers is another show in the same vein. Saban threw money at this show, and it ended up mediocre at best. Toys were released (which probably bombed) and two video games. The Sega Genesis one, we're looking at now. Hey, you're still loitering around the first sentence — I told you to keep up!

The VR Troopers game is one of these one-on-one fighting games your mother warned you about. It has a bunch of playable characters, all of which suck. It has bad controls. However, the music is okay, so I guess it has at least one thing going for it. But let's try to give this the benefit of the doubt, it came out in 1995, and... oh yeah, Street Fighter II had been out a while. This game has no excuse.

Raise your hand if you recognize any of these characters. ...I see no hands.

If you play on the patronizing "Kids" difficulty level, you get to have the special moves mapped to the X,Y, and Z buttons. Otherwise you have to pray to Saint Walpurga and perform a blood sacrifice to pull off special moves. Alright, they're not that hard to do, they just don't register all the time. The game even goes to the kind extra step of telling you what the special move combinations are while on the character select screen, so I guess it's not too bad.

There are just three modes. Story Game takes you through a specially written scenario for the game, Vs. Battle throws you and another poor sap into a versus battle, and CPU Battle allows you to fight singular battles against the computer. So basically, all three modes are the same.

The most interesting mode is Story Game, if only for the absurdity of the concept. Three teenagers getting sucked into an arcade game and having to fight their way out — like a mash-up of Innerspace and Kid Chameleon. That's a ludicrous but kind of charming way of explaining that the game itself is a one-on-one fighter, so I can kind of dig that.

Bonus rounds have you fighting the Putties Skugs for bonus points.

An arcade game hypnotizing people... what is this, Polybius?

In the cut-scenes, the character portraits look as though someone just dropped a bucket of pixels over a photograph and said, "There!" Everybody looks so emotionally tired. I never even watched the show, so a talking dog just seemed so ludicrous to me, and it was most definitely an unexpected sight.

The story ends with the main characters getting out of the arcade machine. No fanfare. No pay-off. Just the characters running towards the screen and the usual victory spiel, "Oh, the world is safe for now!" Puh-lease. That wasn't worth slaving several hours to get. I'm so glad I just looked it up on YouTube.

Unfortunately, this game came out the same year as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie on Genesis, which is two whole points better than VR Troopers. If you had any self-respect back in '95, you'd have grabbed that game instead. That game has a crippling lack of variety but the beat-'em-up genre lends itself to the Tokusatsu show theme a whole lot better than one-on-one. It also doesn't look ugly and has Ron Wasserman tunes. Oh, and actual replay value.

This game has nothing. Except for a talking dog.

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