Power Rangers Ninja Storm
Remember the Power Rangers? They were awesome when I was a kid. Who cares if they pranced around in tights? It didn’t bother me that the black ranger was a black guy and that the yellow ranger was an Asian chick. Nope, I was too young to worry about such things. It was a half hour where I could shut my brain off and simply have fun watching the good guys take it to the bad guys. This is the exact same mindset that I had going into THQ’s Power Rangers Ninja Storm for the GBA. I wasn’t expecting something deep and engrossing, but rather something that I could pick up and play in short spurts, and that’s exactly what I got.
If you’ve played the hundreds of Game Boy or NES beat’em ups then you’ve played Ninja Storm. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing but it’s not necessarily a great thing either. Repetition is the order of the day here, be prepared to fall in love with that B button because it’ll be demanding an awful lot of attention. The majority of the levels are comprised of kill zones. Head into one of them, take on an onslaught of enemies and prepare to move to the next. Occasionally there are some zones which will require a bit of thought, such as ones where you’ll have to throw an enemy into an obstacle, but those are a rare occurrence.
At the end of the level is a stereotypical boss complete with easy to dissect attack pattern. After you slay the monster the beast within awakens and you’ll take to your Zord for some old-school baddie bashing. Instead of turning the game into a 2D fighter the designers opted to turn it into a sort of reflex-based mini-game. Little icons will protrude from one side of the screen, it’s up to you to press the appropriate direction and the corresponding button. Beating the computer to the punch rewards you with a short cutscene that exhibits your monster crushing techniques and then it’s back to work again. Eventually you’ll finish them off and then move on to the next level so that you can do it all over again.
To spruce things up a bit you’ll be able to choose from three different characters, well six if you count the palette swap rangers. You’ll get the Thunder Rangers the Ninja Rangers and the mysterious Green Ranger. All of them are virtually identical although they each have unique special abilities. There are very few differences between the various sides, mainly resulting in a different level or two. However, they all have similar attacks and will fight the same bosses so picking your on-screen avatar is basically as simple as choosing your favorite color.
Since the game was probably intended to score a few easy bucks the guys at THQ opted to go for the less expensive password system instead of including a battery backup. This isn’t really a huge problem here though. Instead of using an insane 20 character sequence of upper and lowercase letters Ninja Storm employs a simple three character system that’s really easy for gamers on the go.
If you have a child who is a fan of the television show or you’re looking for a fun game to play on the bus or train to work then you should consider picking up Power Rangers Ninja Storm. It’s nothing groundbreaking but it provides just what you would expect out of a GBA beat’em up, brainless fun in a small and convenient package.
A pretty decent 2D platformer that will satisfy gamers who are looking for a quick fix. Not much depth or variety but then again, people who need to kill 15 minutes really aren't looking for something incredibly deep or engaging.
Rating: 6.1 Flawed
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Gaming has been a part of my life for as long as I could remember. I can still recall many a lost nights spent playing Gyromite with that stupid robot contraption for the old NES. While I'm not as old as the rest of the crew around these parts, I still have a solid understanding of the heritage and the history of the video gaming industry.
It's funny, when I see other people reference games like Doom as "old-school" I almost begin to cringe. I bet that half of these supposed "old-school" gamers don't even remember classic games like Rise of the Triad and Commander Keen. How about Halloween Harry? Does anyone even remember the term "shareware" anymore? If you want to know "old-school" just talk to John. He'll tell you all about his favorite Atari game, Custer's Revenge.
It's okay though, ignorance is bliss and what the kids don't know won't hurt them. I'll just simply smile and nod the next time someone tells me that the best entry in the Final Fantasy franchise was Final Fantasy VII.
When I'm not playing games I'm usually busy sleeping through classes at a boring college in Southern Oregon. My current hobbies are: writing songs for punk rock bands that never quite make it, and teasing Bart about... well just teasing Bart in general. I swear the material writes itself when you're around this guy. He gives new meaning to the term "moving punching bag."
As for games, I enjoy all types except those long-winded turn-based strategy games. I send those games to my good pal Tyler, I hear he has a thing for those games that none of us actually have the time to play.
When I'm not busy plowing through a massive pile of video games I spend all of my time trying to keep my cute little girl fed. She eats a ton but damn she's so hot. Does anyone understand the Asian girl weight principal? Like they'll clean out your fridge yet still weigh less than 110 pounds.
Currently I'm playing: THUG, True Crime, Prince of Persia, Project Gotham 2 and Beyond Good & Evil. View Profile