Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Those four words just brought back memories for a whole bunch of people.
"Samurai Sentai Shinkenger" was brought to the U.S. as "Power Rangers: Samurai," and it's been successful enough that Namco Bandai prototyped a Kinect video game based on the sequel series, "Power Rangers: Super Samurai." We saw the demo at E3 2012, and the question is whether it will come out before the series rolls over to "Mighty Morphin' Pirate Rangers," which is based on "Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger" and timed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the U.S. version of the show.
Power Rangers: Super Samurai casts the player as either the Red or Green Ranger. The demo level started with the player performing the series-trademark transformation sequence and then followed the standard flow of "Power Rangers" combat, with the character automatically moving through the level to confront groups of enemies. Punches and kicks rendered with less delay than you would expect from a Kinect title, automatically curving to strike incoming monsters. After a while, the character breaks out his signature weapon, and the player swings it with an appropriate motion. There's at least one special swing to deal heavier damage. When the game flows nicely, it makes you think of Dynasty Warriors and what it would be like on Kinect.
The game's beta status was evident. The environments, which consisted of rock quarries surrounding a warehouse, were uninteresting and quickly rendered, and there were only a few enemy types available. One area showed particular polish: The transformation sequence gimmick is fully rendered, putting the Kinect's best image of you in the middle and doing a good job of producing the feel of transformation to start the level. If the developers can bring that feel to game's other areas, the title should turn out pretty well.
While the fighting simulation was basic, Power Rangers Super Samurai felt better than previous Kinect-based fighters. While it still has a ways to go in the development cycle, it definitely has potential.
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