Sometimes a TV show comes along that is so popular that it launches a movie adaptation. Transformers. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And now, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. But I’m not talking about the 2017 version. I’m talking about the old school 1995 one. Released on June 30, 1995, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie came out right toward the tail end of my Power Rangers fandom. I didn’t catch it at the time because I had pretty much lost interest in them by that time. If only it came out a year earlier! I just graduated 6th grade and the magic of the Power Rangers was all but gone for me at that time. The movie’s release also coincided with the Super Nintendo game of the same name, also released in June of ’95. The first Mighty Morphin Power Rangers game was solid albeit repetitive and flawed (single plane beat ‘em up and 1 player only, not counting the code for a token 1 on 1 option). So this “sequel” added an extra plane and a legit 2 player option. So obviously it’s the better game, right? Not so fast…
Hearing that classic Power Rangers theme will never get old. Unfortunately, it’s missing the lyrics here that the first game had. OK, not a big deal but right off the bat that’s a bit of a downgrade.
There’s one extra playable character in The Movie, but right away you can see there’s been a drop in graphical quality, not to mention aesthetics. The first game has this nice simple look to it. The second one, not so much.
Both games start out with a city type level. Other than the 2 player option for the second game though, the first game has it beat in almost every other category.
Single plane beat ‘em ups rarely realize their full potential, as I feel beat ‘em ups should allow free roaming space. The Movie adopted Fatal Fury‘s two plane system. Jump in and out of the background and foreground as you see fit. This added some extra depth to the game but I wish they simply made it a free roaming type of a beat ‘em up. On a side note, it’s oddly satisfying to clear the trees there. Similarly, failing to clear the trees elicits an opposite reaction: d’oh!
Some Putties are about that thug life. Others are about that hug life.
Exclamation points warn you of impending danger. These parts are kind of fun and highlight the added diversity that a two plane system brings. Still not the biggest fan of it but I can appreciate moments like this.
Every slain enemy drops a thunderbolt. Collect enough bolts to fill up your power meter. Once you do, IT’S MORPHING TIME!
Maybe it’s just me but I feel like the art style changed from the streets to this grocery store section. This looks much more like it! Love the little detail of the hapless citizens running for dear life.
Perhaps I spoke too soon, though. I miss the bombs from the first game.
They’re so much better! Again, not a deal breaker, but another knock.
Relax pal, there are plenty of red shirts on the rack there. You don’t have to fight me for the last one or anything! Also, a PSA to not be a hero but to switch planes instead. You’ll be glad that you did!
Things get rather heated and quick!
Mirror Maniac channels his inner Ryu. Channel your Haohmaru!
Watch out for his twin magic trick. Aim for the one with the bright center. 7 years bad luck? I’ll take my chances…
Stage 2 opens with you riding atop a speedboat. You soon crash into a rock which sends you onto an air force carrier base. Parachuting Putties occasionally drop from the sky. Navy planes zooming by causes them to sway away. Nice.
Kimberly actually bitch slaps the competition. Watch out for those crawling Putties. They’re a bit unsettling in the way that they drag their bodies like rotting zombies.
“IT’S MORPHING TIME!”
Inside the base now, we’re greeted by grenade launching Putties.
Clever usage of the two plane system. [You can still jump up on a single plane system -Ed.]. Shush, you.
Rumor has it this is how Sonic Team was inspired to create Burning Rangers. Or not.
Never bring a gun to a bow and arrow fight.
Carrot Top, I mean, Cannon Top, is a fun little boss fight. Long range attacks work fine, if you have them. Otherwise, you can either ride the platform or grab the crane up top to get your licks in. Beware of the spikes below.
Bombs work well, too.
Grab and kick is my personal favorite method, but you got to watch out for that deadly cannon blaster.
WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING THERE, BILLY? You know what, nevermind. I don’t even want to know. Skelerena, the boss of this snowy stage, greets you early on for a preview.
Great. Of all the Rangers I had to pick the least athletic one.
Exclamation marks warn you of big jumps to come. Oof!
Yeah, good call to switch to the jock. Sorry Billy,
Jason Rocky’s got this.
Another good clever usage of the two plane system. Still wish it were “free roaming” though.
Hazards are strewn about to keep you honest.
Rocky’s so smooth. That Putty went out in glory.
Jump over single rocks but multiple rocks require plane switching.
Crap… it’s almost boss time and I haven’t collected enough power yet to morph. Thankfully, the game kept this consideration in mind…
Should you fail to activate your Ranger mode, the game is kind enough to force you into it at the beginning of a boss fight. I like this detail as you should not be able to beat a monster in teenager mode.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID
EGM gave Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie scores of 7.5, 5.5, 5 and 5. Many people seem to prefer the first game over this one, myself included. Being released somewhat late in the Super Nintendo’s lifespan (June 1995), it didn’t create the hype or stir that the first game did, if nothing else based on timing and mega popularity. Power Rangers were very much in back in 1994. They were still popular in mid 1995 but the shine was quickly waning. Not unlike the SNES itself.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie is something of a guilty pleasure for me. It’s not a bad game but I wouldn’t call it a good one, either. It’s somewhere in the middle. The two plane system is cleverly implemented although most of the time I feel it’s a tease and wish they had gone with a free roaming system instead, similar to Final Fight. The 2 player co-op mode is a nice addition but honestly I would rather play the first game. In that one you got to actually pummel the Putties for a bit. Here, it’s one punch and they burst into thin air. You never feel like you’re actually beating them up, if that makes any sense. There’s no chance to land in multiple blows or to polish off a combo with a good old fashioned throw. This took away from the game for me personally.
Even though it came out a year later, the first game looks, sounds and plays better. My biggest disappointment with this game was the complete lack of Zords. Sure the first game has three token Megazord boss fights that felt tacked on more than anything else, but at least it gave you a little taste. Let’s face it, Power Rangers just isn’t the same without their giant dino Zords. This game completely misses that mark. Thankfully though, it still plays decently and it’s harder than the first game (whose difficulty was a complete joke). I think Power Rangers fans will find some enjoyment here. Hey, maybe Natsume will get it right on the third try. They say third time’s the charm…
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition review can be seen here.
“You ooze, you lose.” Nuff said!