SNES Quick Look: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition!
If it’s one thing that hits me directly in the nostalgia organs, it’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
The series is a little hard to watch now, but I can’t help but have a soft spot for the various video games that were made for the franchise back in the day. The Super Nintendo game is one of my favorite beat ’em ups on the system (right before TMNT: Turtles In Time), and the sequel game based on the movie is just as good, if not better.
As awesome as the SNES game was, there was one fairly major drawback: The Megazord fights were basically nonexistent. Yes, they did have one for the final boss fight, but compared to the rest of the game, that fight was over before it started.
Thankfully, Bandai and Natsume had something in store for the fans.
Say hello to Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition!
This game falls into the continuity of around Season 2, where the original Megazord was destroyed and replaced with the new, more-powerful (and on store shelves) Thunder Megazord. It’s a shame that the game doesn’t have the bright, shiny Optimus Prime-looking Megazord from the first season, but the Thunder ‘Zord is pretty awesome anyway. The game’s plot is basically nonexistent. It doesn’t really need to be there in the first place, but suffice to say, if you’re looking for a story mode that actually has a story, look elsewhere.
Speaking of which, you get your choice of two Zords for the story mode. You can pick the Thunder Megazord or the Mega Tigerzord, which is an awesome extra.
After picking your Zord, you get a sweet cutscene of all five robots combining into the Zord you picked. It’s straight out of the show, and I think it actually looks better on a SNES than with people in costumes…
Gameplay is fairly standard. You have Street Fighter type controls for attacks, and you can do some cool super combos if you time your attacks right. If you’re familiar with Super Famicom releases, the gameplay in this title might ring a bell or two. That’s because Natsume used the same game engine for the fighting game Gundam Wing: Endless Duel, which was never released stateside. The fighting is actually really fluid, but it’s clear that most of the sound effects from the game are re-used from the original MMPR game on the Super Nintendo. The environments you fight in are really nice, since they actually give you the sense that you’re piloting a giant robot in a populated city, which is something that the actual show had trouble doing.
The music in this game is absolutely fantastic. Say what you will about source material, but this soundtrack is one of my favorites on the system. I’d even go so far as to say that it’s slightly better than the original MMPR game’s tunes, which are some of the best on the system. Give these tracks a listen, they’re great.
After beating your opponent, you get to watch a cutscene of your Zord finishing them off. After that? Well, there are some problems. The list of enemies that you fight in the game is limited. You’ve only got two real non-boss enemies to fight, one of which was shown above. You also have to deal with a mirror match of your own character, a fight with the Zord you didn’t pick, and fights with other Megazords from the multiplayer mode. It doesn’t really make sense why you would do that, but it’s best not to worry about it.
Oh, yes. There’s a multiplayer mode. No fighting game would be caught dead without one. The characters on offer here are the ones you’d be fighting in the game itself, but now you can actually play as them. You even get a few more Megazords from Season 3, the Ninja Megazord (which was from the movie, too!) and the Shogun Megazord. They control similarly to the other Megazords, with some variation in their attacks. The Shogun Megazord is also huge, which makes him kind of an easy target. The multiplayer mode is probably what will keep you coming back to this game well after you’ve relegated it to your SNES game shelf.
Power Rangers: Fighting Edition isn’t the best fighting game in the world, but does it really need to be? This game came out at a time where Power Rangers merchandise was still white-hot with kids, and there is a good chance that it would probably have sold regardless of quality. It’s nice to know that Natsume had some sense of integrity with their games, and while MMPR: Fighting Edition isn’t perfect, it’s definitely a fun way to spend an afternoon.