If you were a kid back in 1993, chances are you grew up on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. It was a huge hit and left an indelible mark on many of us who were born in the early-mid ’80s. Take a group of Saved By The Bell-esque teenagers, cheesy Godzilla rubber monster goodness, larger than life superhero teamwork antics (not unlike Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and you get a smash success. As was the norm back in the early-mid ’90s, this meant the inevitable Super Nintendo licensed game. But first, let’s start at the very beginning.
“GO GO POWER RANGERS!”
Was the show cheesy? Of course. Was it corny? You betcha. But it was all part of the charm. I was 10 when the Power Rangers burst on the scene in 1993. It was the perfect age I felt. I always say 10 is sort of that magical marker in one’s life. It’s that age where some days you feel like you’re 5 and on certain other days you feel like you’re 15. You’re old enough to get certain things, but still young enough to buy in and be in complete awe of something such as Power Rangers. Today, April 8, marks the birthday of my childhood best friend, Nelson. How appropriate, because Nelson and I loved the Power Rangers to death. Our daily after school routine consisted of sprinting from our 5th grade classroom, Room 21, back to my house as fast as possible in time to catch the opening intro. Oh, and what a glorious intro it was. DAT MUSIC!
Speaking of Amy Jo Johnson, let’s face it. She was a big reason why so many 10 year old boys loved the show. Along with Kelly Kapowski from Saved By The Bell, the Pink Ranger was one of our earliest crushes. Those two and Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years.
Eye candy aside, the show had its fair share of exciting action and drama. For me the peak of the Power Rangers was that whole Green Ranger saga. Who could ever forget it…
But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Tommy, the new kid in town who quickly became a fan favorite with his athletic ability and badass Dinozord, was sapped of his powers. But wait, there was a new ranger in town… the White Ranger!
The big reveal was set to happen the following week. All week long at school we were talking about it. My friends and I started a betting pool. WHO WAS THE WHITE RANGER? This is where I have to give props to EGM. Thanks to EGM, I won the pool and scored a few bucks
In 1994 my brother was subscribed to EGM. Subscribers got the magazine earlier than newsstands. Issue 64 came before the White Ranger reveal. I was excited to read it as I loved EGM back in the mid ’90s, but I had no idea I was about to come across a gigantic spoiler…
But then I flipped the card…
I never felt so conflicted in my life before. Granted, a big part of me figured it was Tommy, but no one at school had Tommy pegged! There were votes for Bulk and Skull, even Alpha but surprisingly none of them could fathom that it would be Tommy again. I was upset I was “spoiled” but I was ecstatic about having a guaranteed win. Finally, the moment came. The grand reveal…
I’ll never forget Josh, the ringleader of our little pool, questioning me that day like the FBI. “No way you could call that on your own! You cheated somehow, right? Like you saw it somewhere?” I guess he wasn’t an EGM subscriber! My brother and I still laugh about this memory every once in a while. Who knew EGM would make me about $7!
Obviously, it wasn’t the most honorable moment of my life but hey, I was 10! We all did stuff back then, you know?
NEARLY 25 YEARS LATER
It’s bittersweet to see the nostalgic entities of my childhood being revitalized over the past several years. Sweet because it always brings out the inner kid in me. Bitter because it reminds me my childhood is now over 20 years ago and that I’m getting f*cking old! This ’90s revival seems to be a trend in recent years — nostalgia sells. A lot of the 10 year old kids 20 years ago are now 30 somethings with disposable incomes. Goosebumps and Fuller House come to mind. Two weeks ago, Saban’s Power Rangers made its theatrical debut and became the latest ’90s franchise to be relaunched. I caught it on opening night and enjoyed it. It’s not going to win any awards or anything, but it’s a solid origin story with typical Power Rangers cheese. However, I’m not a fan of the Megazord design, the suits, the Putties or Goldar having zero personality. Dat Amy Jo Johnson and Jason David Frank cameo tho! Not to mention, my entire theatre exploded when the classic GO GO POWER RANGERS theme came on. For a second there, we suddenly morphed back into innocent, wide-eyed 10 year old kids. Good times.
IT’S MORPHIN TIME!
Awesome intro! The theme is faithfully ported over and got you pumped!
Underrated intro — I always thought this was a really cool opening. Love the flaming city in the background, the crimson red and the towering sight of Rita Repulsa. It made Angel Grove feel like any normal town or suburb anywhere in the USA. Hell, it could have been your town! That second shot is so simple yet so effective. One of the better SNES images that rarely gets its props.
Select from any one of the five Power Rangers. Each stage begins with you in their original teenager form. But halfway through, you morph into the Power Ranger form. Unfortunately, they more or less control all the same. I’ve always liked the corresponding light that transports each Ranger to the stage. It’s the small details!
Naturally, stage one takes place in the city. Is there a more classic stage one stereotype? But hey, I’m a sucker for a good city stage. Putty Patroller deception FTW.
About halfway through, there’s a boss preview and a morphing sequence.
Unfortunately, one thing you’ll notice right away however is that this is a single plane beat ‘em up. Kind of a bummer as I think the game would have been more enjoyable in a free roaming aspect with no plane restrictions.
Nothing like picking up a bench and tossing it at a Putty.
Remember the classic SNES era explosions? Power Rangers does.
Explosions in SNES games always looked like this, didn’t it?
Reminiscent of Double Dragon. That makes me one happy camper.
Bonehead is your first boss. All of the bosses are based upon the TV show. And all of them, like the game itself, are easy to beat.
Rattle his bones until only his head remains!
Unleash your bomb. Each Ranger’s bomb features their respective dinosaur. I love how it switches from showing a special attack and your signature dino. Good stuff!
Although the five Rangers play similarly, it’s still nice being able to select whoever you want before each stage. I always dug the rainbow effect of your chosen Ranger as they enter each new level.
Trini (played by Thuy Trang) is as graceful as they come. Speaking of whom, it’s sad that Thuy died in a car accident on September 3, 2001. Her funeral was held a week later and was attended by her Power Ranger cohorts. This was a day right before 9/11.
Transitions like such are handled smoothly. Pass through a wooded area to a warehouse factory of sorts. Trini flies through the air with the best of them.
Rita’s Putty Patrollers are no match for Trini’s athletic prowess.
Saber-toothed tiger was my favorite other than Jason’s T-Rex.
Rather bulky for a petite Asian girl, eh? Shame Natsume didn’t adjust the size of the Rangers. A hint of laziness on their part that isn’t a deal breaker by any means, but highlights the short cuts the firm took when developing this game.
Cookie points though for hazards that can take out either party!
Health refills are scattered throughout. Credit to Natsume for a slight twist here. To pick up a refill one had to press a button — this eliminates accidentally walking over it when you didn’t mean to. I’ve always appreciated when games from that era did that.
Bounce off walls with the greatest of ease. I wish Samus from Super Metroid did her wall jump as smoothly!
Gnarly Gnome and all his evil ways!
Seeing all the old faces from the TV show is good for a nostalgic jolt.
Walter Jones, who played the original Black Ranger, is done totally wrong here. His sprite resembles a primate more than it does a human. Weird!
There’s something about a classic flashing GO sign that keeps the old school gamer in me all giddy. Man, his sprite looks terrible…
Sewer stage? No, not stereotypical at all. But hey, at least it’s fun.
Mastodon > Lion Dinozord. Always and forever OG.
Nothing like smashing Putties with Zack’s power axe.
These sections are an absolute blast
Here, Putty Putty…
Underwater bits in video games are hit or miss. But this is a refreshing breath of air (pardon the pun). The water rises and dips. At times you can only swim but other times you can stand up and kick some Putty ass. Pretty cool.
Avoid his deadly eye beams and hack away.
Similar to Bones, Eye Guy battles to the very bitter end.
Interestingly enough, in the 2017 film the Black Ranger is played by an Asian and an African American played the Blue Ranger.
Every boy’s childhood crush!
Chandeliers fall and do not discriminate, taking out anyone caught in their way.
Kimberly has got legs for days…
Similar to Trini, Natsume didn’t account for the smaller build. D’oh.
Leaping over bullets like it’s a walk in the park and firing arrows at Putties like fish in a bucket — the Pink Ranger does it all.
Kimberly has the best range of all the Rangers. Love that second shot!
Similar to Gnarly Gnome, Genie fades in and out to keep you honest. He’s got the most attacks of all the bosses. It’s neat too that you can actually knock down his daggers with a well-timed strike. Big fan of that feature!
Enough fooling around. Time to put that genie back in the bottle!
Donatello was the brains of the Ninja Turtles, and Billy plays that role for the Power Rangers.
Turkey leg! What is this, Disneyland?! Hundred hand slap! What is this, Street Fighter II?!
Yeah, it’s safe to say Billy was never that jacked…
Nonetheless, he kicks Putty butt with the best of them.
Watch out for this giant laser beam. I love how it can take out the opposition as well!
There’s something ultra satisfying about an air throw.
Nobody ever said the Putty Patrollers were the brightest bulb in the tool shed.
They’re damn near suicidal!
Never learn, do ya?
Classic SNES era explosion. It never gets old.
What’s up with all the teleporting bosses? Dark Warrior is the hardest.
Billy’s Power Lance works effectively against Dark Warrior but call upon the powers of the Triceratops when the going gets tough.
Voltron, er, Megazord may have been all the rage back in 1993, but I always preferred Jason’s T-Rex. I remember it had a few solo battles in the TV series and those always had me on the edge of my seat. It was big enough to battle on its own but often lacked the oomph to finish off the bad guys for good. I would have liked to seen it being featured more in the original series. But maybe that’s just me.
Megazord in all his clunky glory!
Stage 6 puts you in the role of Megazord as you battle Mutitus. It’s a perfect choice because he looks absolutely badass towering over the factory!
Admittedly these giant battles are on the clunky side, but at the same time that added a bit of realism to things? Giant robots surely don’t move with the same grace as super powered humans. It doesn’t control bad or anything, but there’s a noticeable dip in the quality from Power Ranger to Megazord. The battles are still fun in their own unique ways.
Exactly like how you remember it being in the TV series, a flash of lightning appears right before you jam your Power Sword through the gut of your rival!
Cyclopsis is the final battle. There is a definite Mobile Suit Gundam Wing influence here!
Rushing in for the kill, you soon realize Cyclopsis finds his second wind.
TAKE THAT, BITCH! Cue Power Rangers theme song. End scene.
Rangers ride off into the sunset, literally.
Angel Grove’s Juice Bar, just like in the TV series, is the place to be. It even features a cameo from beloved Bulk and Skull. Unfortunately, there is no Zordon, Alpha 5 or Tommy sighting anywhere in the game. Man, I still can’t get over Zack’s sprite. That’s so wrong…
Hmmmm, come to think of it, we never did kill Rita…
PSST, WHAT’S THE PASSWORD?
There’s a four code password given at the end of each stage. I always appreciate a simple password system, but this game is so easy and short that the passwords are a bit comical. That’s how short and easy the game is. DAT RAINBOW EFFECT THO!
Seriously, I love a clean easy password system. No “S or 5?” BS here. By the way, at the end of the game three passwords are given. These allow a 2-player mode where Player 2 controls either Mutitus or Cyclopsis (Form 1 and Form 2). Eh. It’s not really worth playing but again, always better to have more options than not. I would much rather prefer this game to eliminate the single plane restriction and add a proper 2-player mode.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID
EGM gave Mighty Morphin Power Rangers ratings of 7, 7, 6 and 6. There was a follow-up of sorts to this game called Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. Most seem to prefer this first game, as do I. Despite the “sequel” having a 2-player option, it’s missing the charm of this simplistic single plane beat ‘em up.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers isn’t going to blow anyone away, but I remember thinking it was a pretty good little licensed game back in 1994. I still feel that way about it to this day. It sports some spiffy looking graphics that is pleasant to the eye. Although little details like all five Rangers having the same muscular build obviously detract a little from the overall package. The music is very good, especially when the Power Rangers theme comes on. The gameplay is simple as can be. It’s a single plane beat ‘em up so it’s very simplistic, but they threw in some fun little varied moments to keep things somewhat fresh. These include swimming sections, wall jumping and even having to contend with a gigantic laser beam that will ruthlessly slice anything caught in its vicious path. It does get a bit repetitive but that’s the nature of these type of games. It’s a shame the Rangers don’t play more differently. But I still like the ability to select any of them on any stage. It kind of reminds me of X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse in some ways.
Most Power Rangers fans are pretty pleased with how this game turned out. It’s faithful to the TV show and plays relatively well. It’s just a little too short and too much on the easy side of things. Still, there’s a simplistic charm about this game that somehow makes me revisit it once every couple years. It’s completely mindless and sometimes can get a bit repetitive, but I always enjoy popping it in for a few moments. It’s just a reminder of a simpler time when video games weren’t overly complex and the Power Rangers ruled the world. It’s by no means a masterpiece, but you’ll definitely appreciate it if you were ever a fan of the TV show.