Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie

This screen encapsulates the gameplay of the entire cartridge, as far as I could determine.

Recently, I read a long thread on the Shoryuken forums – a website for the dedicated fighting game community – where one of the guys who worked on Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game talked about how he thought it was going to be Street Fighter 3, and how he had so many good ideas, and how he had so much hope for it, and how he was so pleased to be working on this series that he loved – and how it turned to shit as he watched, and how he is now ashamed to have been part of the team that created one of the most hated fighting games ever made.

I read that, and I understand what it’s like; the game was crippled by poor design choices from the start, by the urge to use mocap actors, by administrative and financial complications, and so on.  This guy thought he’d have the chance to make something great, but it was twisted and doomed to be another piece of shovelware.

On the other hand, what is going through the mind of someone who works on a game like Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie – a licensed game of a movie based on a really bad TV show?

Someone on the team thought that, instead of making a game where you can move freely up and down like in most beatemups, you’d have to switch to the upper or lower section with a leap, and this would be a good thing.  This person probably also thought that letting players punch, just one punch, no combo, just one kind of punch, would be just awesome.

I can’t even come up with anything to hypothesize about their thoughts.  These people were clocking hours and doing grunt work and had no passion or interest.  They weren’t thinking anything at all.

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12 thoughts on “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie

  1. Whosever idea it was to make that exploding bubble where it is telling player 2 to join in the game: he is the one who wanted more. That tiny section of the screen, perhaps 1/16th of the entire television’s real estate, inspires me. That is someone who wanted this game to be more. Whether this person killed themself in a motel bathroom with Werner Herzog on the TV and Iggy Pop on the record player or created Braid is beyond me. But there’s your music maker. There’s your dreamer of dreams. I am being fully unironic when I say that that riskily void-of-information whitespace, devoid of meaning aside from its own boundaries, is beautiful.

  2. That probably makes me weird. It was, in all honesty, probably an embarrassing oversight by a coked-up producer who didn’t keep a close enough eye on the art team, or failed to communicate properly during a weekly meeting, or died on the job. But I don’t care. Maybe I’m the music maker. Maybe I am the dreamer of dreams. I hope I’m not, though. I hope there’s a shred of humanity, caged and manic but hopeful and vibrant, contained in that little shithole of a white explosion-blob. I have little hope for humanity left if I’m wrong.

  3. Maybe the one-punch mechanic was placed there as a minimalist gesture, to avoid taking focus away from that explosion-blob. The wiry, shittily drawn goodguys and badguys pale in comparison to that robust, vibrant comic book expletive container. What is power? Why are there five boxes of health? Because they don’t matter, and they draw your eye away from their banality, and towards this white space.

  4. Maybe that white space is a counter-argument to the maximalist kitchen-sink design of games of the era. A brash, heady appeal to the “less is more” mentality of the modernists of yore. Perhaps that artist was a closeted Bauhaus enthusiast. Perhaps he, long before anyone else ever attempted to do so, referenced pixels on the very-pixel-finite SNES as “real estate” in a “graphics” meeting (this is before there were “art” departments in video game companies, I would imagine). Perhaps this concept fell upon deaf ears. Perhaps he would show them; On this screen, a cit filled with bustling, complicated, irritating, banal pixels, there would be a tragic few: naked, sincere, alone, who would create something greater than themselves by simply refusing to be SNES.

  5. Street Fighter -> The Movie -> The Game’s designer (or whatever the fuck he was– I bet this piece of shit was QA) was probably a visionless peon, forever dedicated to his navel-gazing, forum-posting, unoriginal future of mediocrity.

    He was a spoke on the wheel of the video game industry, forever spinning without ever leaving the orbit of the centre hole. The person who made that pow-bubble, seen above, is the centre hole. Without her/him, the wagon would never move.

  6. SF:TM:TG guy is the clay that shapes the pot. MMPR:TM guy is the empty space inside that pot. He is what holds whatever we want. In this case, it is my hopes and dreams he holds. The piece of shit who thought SF:TM:TG would be something is the fucking terra cotta coating. Also, the Power Rangers guy is the Patrick Swayze. Without him, the lady would never even have made the pot.

  7. Confession: I loved the crap out of this game as a kid. Brawlers with co-op play are hours of fun, no matter how bad.

    Plus it was the FRIGGIN’ POWER RANGERS, my nine year old brain was helpless against their kung-fu action.

  8. Note: Sorry to those who work in QA. I lost my head. I work in QA. I am one of you, and, yes, your video game ideas are probably really, really awesome.

    Matthew is not QA so I am not sorry to him at all. AT ALL!

  9. I have to say I enjoyed this game a lot for the 10 minutes I played it in microplay as a kid.

    I don’t think I was even aware of that GUI though O_O.

  10. would it crush your entire fantasy, will, if i told you that i put the explosion in with photoshop, and that it was never really in the game at all?

  11. or perhaps it would be more crushing if i admitted that the above is a lie, and that the screen cap simply caught the flashing “press start” in the frames where the text was not visible

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