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Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue

Score: 20%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Mass Media
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Action

Graphics & Sound:

Urgh. About the only place that Lightspeed Rescue is bearable is in the visual department. Yes, the graphics are bad, but I’ve seen worse. (Carmageddon 64, anyone?) The character models are at least adequately detailed, and some of the arena battlers actually look halfway decent. The enemies generally look pretty stupid, though, especially those green guys that hop around. And the ‘comic book’ that appears between the various segments of the game is absolutely atrocious. The four-color, two-step animated sequences will make you want to scream. Luckily, you can fast-forward through them by holding down the A button, although it’s still painful to see.

The sound effects are, once again, passable, with decent digitized voices and tinny MIDI music. Few people can get much more out of the N64, though, so it’s neither spectacular nor spectacularly trashy. The sound effects themselves are decidedly poor, however, with bleeps and bloops and weak explosions and crashes. Ugh. If the presentation is merely mediocre, you ask, why such a low score?


Gameplay? What gameplay? That, sir, is why Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue goes down in my book with other unmentionables as one of the worst ‘entertainments’ inflicted on man in video game form. If you can stand to play past the first few levels, you’ll find you’ll beat the game in roughly two hours, and then you’ll throw your controller down in disgust because that’s two hours of your life that you’ll never recover.

The ‘game’ consists of two modes -- Titanium Quest and Megazord Arena. In Titanium Quest mode, you participate in a sequence of events with ‘animated cutscenes’ in-between, presented as three different episodes. There are four styles of events, and in Megazord Arena, you can play one of the event styles, namely the battling robots, against your friends. Not that you’d want to.

The four game modes are as follows -- an overhead-view rescue mode, where you must touch (‘rescue’) a certain number of innocents, and usually a Ranger or a Coin to beat the level; a side-view vehicular stage, where you put out car fires or clean up toxic waste, usually under a time limit; a behind-the-vehicle flying stage, where you zoom around a city, rescuing Rangers or picking up boxes; and the aforementioned Arena mode, where you beat the crap out of various baddies in a big robot. And they all stink.

The rescue mode is the most tedious, mainly because the various people to rescue usually appear in a specific sequence, requiring you to run around and collect them in a given order. Enemies charge at you from spawner things, and you can usually run past them. There are various power-ups that give you such things as triple shot and invisibility, but the gameplay is trite and dull. Running across an endless cityscape in search of a civilian is not my idea of fun.

The driving mode is only slightly better, requiring you to dodge cars and pick up items (health, time extenders), all the while aiming for whatever you’re supposed to aim for -- passengers, toxic waste, whatever. Enemy ships come to shoot you as well, and you have to kill them with life preservers or water or other odd weapons that make no sense to me. These levels are usually timed, and at a certain point, they speed up and you get bombarded by a flying ship or two, basically just to ‘extend the playability.’ Whatever.

The flying stage is actually almost passable, although it’s still pointless. Follow your radar and get close to the Rangers or boxes, and a beam shoots out of your vehicle and collects the item/person. Ignore the enemies and you might lose a quarter of your health before the level ends.

And finally, the Arena mode lets you pump the attack button vigorously until your enemy falls. You may have to rotate, and might want to pick up a health item or two, but no more strategy than that is needed. Whee.


There is none, really, other than one of the last levels where you must fight two bosses in a row in rescue mode. There are three choose-able difficulty levels, and they do change things a bit, but not enough to make the game worth playing. And with an entire two hours of game-time, it’d take a lot more than three difficulty settings to make the game worthwhile.

Game Mechanics:

The controls are often awkward and contrived. Getting the flying ship to stop where you need it to is often a pain in the butt, and the fact that the trucks all move at a constant speed means you’ll often miss pickups because you didn’t want to hit a stupid car. In the rescue mode, the controls are bearable, but there are really strange issues with where you can and cannot walk. The levels are boring and repetitive, and reuse of a landscape is the modus operandi. The menu systems are easy to understand (there’s not much in them), but a little sluggish to respond. And as for the underlying gameplay mechanics, there’s really only one question: Why?

Lightspeed Rescue is not a game to buy. It is not a game to rent. It is not a game to play. Avoid it at all costs. It’s short, boring, ugly, and easy. My nephew would run screaming back to Ecco or Hogs of War after playing it for a few minutes, and you will too. Treat as toxic. To sum it up: It’s Bad.

-Sunfall to-Ennien, GameVortex Communications
AKA Phil Bordelon

Nintendo 64 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Sony PlayStation 2 Spy Fiction

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