Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
They might seem silly now (they're not silly at all, by the way) but in the mid 90's, the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers were in control of every kid on the planet. Who didn't love the "teenagers with attitude"??
TV show(s), movies, actions figures, comic books, the Rangers were everywhere. Video games were inevitable. I remember wanting to get my hands on every Mighty Morphin' thing I could during my phase a Ranger junkie. Especially the video games. But the only one I ever owned - and played for that matter - was the self titled game on the Super Nintendo. And when I was young I thought it was incredible, albeit a little easy. As a jaded, grumpy old man now, I can see it for what it is. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers on the SNES was a half-assed, cookie cutter beat 'em up.
On a console that boasted incredible beat 'em ups like Battletoads in Battlemaniacs, Maximum Carnage, Final Fight 3 and (insert your favourite game that I missed here), not to mention the undisputed king of beat 'em up - TMNT IV: Turtles In Time, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers came up short in every possible way. It snuck by on the back of the franchise itself, and while many of us played and loved it as kids, it's aged terribly.
I could beat this game as a kid without breaking a sweat. I'm not great at games now, but man did I suck back then. You just ran left to right, punching generic putties over and over again. Being able to pick from Jason, Trini, Zack, Kimberly and Billy before each level was cool, but they all pretty well controlled identically. And once they morphed from their teenage selves into their Power Ranger counterparts, they were simple palette swaps of one another. Some of the boss fights were kind of cool, but the two minutes it took to beat them didn't make up for the ten minute slog you went through to get there. The game ends with a couple Street Fighter style battles between Megazord and some villain, and they're only slightly more fun than the countless putty fights before them.
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers isn't a great game. But it's based on a great franchise, and it kicks my nostalgia sensors into overdrive. My buddy Andre is back this week, and we're talking about the video game and the Rangers themselves, and we had a hell of a time doing it.
Plus, I snuck the theme song into the beginning of the episode :)