I never got the appeal of
the Power Rangers license. By the time the license became
popular, I was already a little too old to enjoy the extremely
cheesy action, lame storyline, and underwhelming fight sequences.
Nevertheless, I can understand why the kids enjoy itÖprimarily for
the very same reasons why I always hated it. Given the fact that the
GBA is a platform with a lot of pre-teen owners, a Power Rangers
game based on the latest rendition of the series was destined to
As youíd expect, Power
Rangers Time Force is as straightforward as they come. Naturally
youíre in control of the Power Rangers, each of which look
identical except for their color. They do have different attributes
however (some can jump higher than others do for instance). When one
dies, youíll select another to control and continue the game with
him/her. When you run out of Rangers, you get to either continue
with a new set (if youíve got a continue) or the gameís over.
There are a total of seven levels in all to fight through, each set
in a different time period and location.
Fighting is as basic as
can be. Just walk up to an opponent, pound the "A" button,
and continue to do so until the opponent dies. Along the way,
collect a few different types of items that award continues, special
powers, etc. This type of gameplay is OK in most games (although not
inventive or challenging in the least bit), but this is the Power
Rangers weíre talking about. Why canít I flip, somersault,
and do all the other cool moves they can do on the show? Punch punch
slash punch drop-kick gets old quick.
graphics are actually pretty good. Each level has a distinctive feel
that perfectly matches the time period it takes place in. The are
multiple layers of scrolling in the background, as well as some in
front of your character to create a decent 3D effect. Additionally,
everything is animated well enough, with smooth transitions between
actions and even some extra bits of animation (like tossing a sword
from one hand to another) thrown in for good measure. The sound
effects are merely average, but the music itself is top-notch in
quality. As annoying as the tune itself is, the Time Force theme
song sounds excellent.
All of this equals a
pretty average experience, but what brings this title down into
mediocrity is the fact that itís simply too short. I literally
beat it in about an hour, and that was when I was trying to kill
every enemy on each level. A number of enemies can be avoided
altogether, making the game even shorter. I can't imagine it being
more difficult for the kiddies either, since it's a very basic
game. Once youíve beaten it, thereís little reason to go
back and do it all over again.
Not only that, but it
also lacks a lot of little things like story transitions between
each level. You finish one area and suddenly youíre plopped down
into the next with no explanation at all. Itís obvious that youíre
following whatever time-hopping villain youíre chasing at the
time, but there are no cutscenes at all to explain how you got
there. Youíre in Ancient Rome because they said so, and youíll
just have to deal with it. And after you beat each boss, youíre
treated to one still screen (which is exactly the same for every
boss) and thatís it. Itís clear that they didnít put a lot of
development time into this one.