We call a lot of games hidden gems that are not so hidden. Deadly Premonition, Indigo Prophecy, Flower…the list goes on and on. While these titles did not see mainstream promotion, they are not even in the same category of “hidden” when compared to the games you knew existed, but chose to ignore.
These are titles that flew way under the radar. You have seen them a thousand times, but passed them by due to their premise. Admit it, you, like myself and everyone out there are judgmental when it comes to what goes into our system, but for just a few minutes – open up your mind and discover a product you need to go back for.
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie
Ready guys? It’s Morphin’ Time! You know the words by heart if you born at the right place and time. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers set the 90’s on fire with its larger than life villains, costumes, toys, and everything else that Saban could stick a price-tag on. In 1995, it was time to cash in on that craze with a movie. Rightfully titled Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie, this flick came out and didn’t really set the theaters on fire, but still made a huge impact on children everywhere that still keeps the original cast working through convention appearances and autograph sessions worldwide.
The phenomenon still isn’t dead, but there are some aspects that have been forgotten. One of those aspects is a video game that appeared on the Sega Genesis. I know, I am going to get some flak for not mentioning the other Power Rangers games for the Super Nintendo or even that fighting game that came out on the same platform – but to myself, this title is the release that cemented a part of my own love for the fandom in stone. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie was a Streets of Rage clone through and through. Varied attacks, multiple characters, and…random cars that would mow you over. It was odd, it didn’t fit with the theme of the show or Angel Grove – but I loved it anyway.
After selecting your favorite ranger, the plot for this title takes us right up to the moments before the dastardly Ivan Ooze laid waste to the Power Rangers and their beloved leader Zordon. While the flick is only above an hour, this game had the player right to the climax within ten minutes tops, but by cutting out the filler (and sadly the awesome ninja suits), the player got to experience a whole new take on what they probably just seen on the big screen – as well as the show itself. Right before you battle the big boss himself however, we end up with a flashback that reintroduces Jason, Trini, and Zach – showcasing their sendoff and how the newer squad were brought in. Yeah, it makes no sense to the canon, but hey – it doesn’t need to.
As we go back and forth between putties and Oozeman, the player gets to have Megazord battles, fight memorable enemies, and traverse some interesting locations. I honestly don’t remember the Power Rangers fighting a giant hand of Lord Zedd in a hidden ice chamber, but why not? Throw it in. It was all about pleasing the fans for Banpresto, and by throwing in the birth of the White Ranger, the famous Power Transfer, and “Ninja Encounter” episodes on top of the otherwise short experience, we as young fans had all we could want. But the gameplay – you say. Well, as I said, this was a Streets of Rage clone, so that is really all you need to know. It isn’t as polished, but it was a blast to play and had a nice coin-op feel to it, where the player never truly lost and could come back by inserting a digital coin. Two players could go alongside eachother in co-op as well, which was a definite plus if you had a friend ready to join the action.
By far, the most memorable aspect of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie for the Sega Genesis however was the music. Instead of coming up with something original or generic, we received 16-bit versions of music straight from the show, originally composed by Ron Wasserman. “We Need a Hero”, “Fight”, and that famous main theme are just a few of many tracks brought in, and when I go back every year to relive this gem, I still get a large smile with how great those tunes still sound.
Hear for yourself:
I’ll admit it isn’t the best adaptation to hit consoles from the Power Rangers franchise, but Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie struck a chord by making a mess, throwing it together, and calling it a video game. Its rare when a licensed game can be such a rip-off, so cheap, yet still so enjoyable, but this title is one that any collector should invest in to get a brief look at why the 90’s was one of the greatest and most care-free times in gaming history. These days we are older, but we still know quality from trash – and while Saban are back in the driver’s seat in the franchise, it seems they lost their way when trying to please the fanbase of their show as the releases we have seen in the past few years have been terrible to put it lightly. Beat-em up fans and honorary rangers owe it to themselves however to check out this gem, and the world will be sure to thank you when you finish this short yet memorable title in the Sega Genesis’ forgotten catalog.