Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Ninpu Sentai Hurricanger (Playstation)

So, it's a licenced game based, obviously, on the 26th Super Sentai series of the same game (the suit action scenes from which were also used in the US/New Zealand series Power Rangers Ninja Storm). And it came to be released pretty late in the Playstation's life, the reasoning behind which I assume must be down to the fact that it was also very early in the Playstation 2's life and I guess the idea was that the young Super Sentai fanbase wouldn't yet have been able to upgrade.

Predictably, it's an action game, with the player taking control of the Hurricangers and their various mecha, fighting goons and monsters and at some points, other giant robots. Each stage represents an episode of the TV show, and is structured in a manner that will strike a familiar chord with Super Sentai fans. Typically, a stage will open with a section where the player defeats gangs of weak enemies, either in short beat em up segments, or occasionally in crosshair-pointing shooting gallery sections. Next up will usually be an on-foot fight against the monster of the week, which will play like a boss fight to the earlier beat em up segment. Finally is the main draw of these shows: the giant robot fighting against the giant version of the monster from the last part.

The giant robot fights don't play out like the other parts of the game, however: they start with a section with the camera behind the player's mech, in which the ploayer must move from side to side to avoid and deflect projectiles shot by the enemy until an opening to move in closer and attack comes up. When this happens, there's a short sequence in which the player hammers the attack buttons as fast as possible to knock the enemy back, followed by a first-person section that sees the player punching and slashing and using special attacks to deplete the enemy's health.

The game's presentation is perfect, with the in-game graphics being pretty much as good as they could be on the Playstation, and even the use of FMV works in the game's favour. The FMV clips used are short bits of stock footage that are used in the same place as they are in the show itself: transformation sequences, final attacks, and so on. The story mode is only a few stages long, but there are a bunch of extras, like a VS fighting mode, with all the rangers, enemies and monsters as playable characters, and an extra stage featuring a team-up with the red ranger of the Super Sentai show precedin Hurricanger, Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger.

You can probably work out what I think of this game by now, but yeah, I definitely recommend Hurricanger. If you're a fan of the show itself or the genre in general, it's a perfect adaptation, and even if you're not, it's just a really fun action game that's also very well presented.

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