Power Rangers Zeo: Battle Racers
Bandai's latest release, Power Rangers Zeo Battle Racers, allows players to compete against the computer or a human opponent in a fight-to-the-finish race to prove who is the best. Battle
Racers gives players the opportunity to play as one of their favorite rubbersuit heroes and blast the opposition in classic Mario Kart-style play.
The game controls are sluggish and nonresponsive, meaning it's designed for a younger audience who aren't hard to impress as long as they enjoy the characters in the title. As unappealing as the control is, one would assume that the graphics would be better to make up for an interface that is obviously lacking something. Besides Character Select and Pre-race Screens, the rest of the graphics have little to lift the quality level as they're pixelated and unrefined.
One interesting feature is the tracks which seem to copy the tracks of the much better Mario Kart. They start out being fair and at least fun to race on (even though the corners could have been more refined in all the stages).
But in the later levels, players will become annoyed at the cheap design of the track, which instead of challenging the player more, tends to make play frustrating.
This is another classic title for kids that was rushed to make a quick sale. It's time developers stop looking down on younger gamers by suppling them with inferior releases. A little forethought and dedication to the younger player goes a long way in the video game market.
As stated earlier, many of the levels are similar to those in the Nintendo classic, Mario Kart, This level (pic below), for instance, has the same hovering wooden plank feel to it but instead of being fair, it tends to irritate gamers with cheap difficulty.
The entire course is outlined with a glowing red line on both sides of the track while you race. This line is the no-cross line. It will be the worst enemy of the player who likes cur the corners tight as they try to pass the slower racer in front of them. If any of the racers wheels so much as cross an inch over the line, the player will plummet off the track into the seemingly bottomless pit.
Just as in Mario Kart, however, you are rescued by the universal hovercraft that places you to a spot close to the proximity of where you went over the edge. The entire track is lethal in this manor--not giving the player much room for error in driving through the 90-degree turns that seem to dominate the courses, Practice and well-placed projectile shots are the best way to move past the competition in a safe, risk-free manor. Many players will find little more than irritation in any of the later stages, but for the player with ungodly amounts of patience there is some good challenge hidden within the title. It takes a special and forgiving player to look past the cheap difficulty settings and into the deeper aspects of the game.
- MANUFACTURER - Bandai
- DIFFICULTY - Adjustable
- THEME - Racing
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
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Test your offensive driving skills on 16 different courses while racing and smashing and basically destroying your competition. Several different vehicles are useable. You can drive anything from jet cycles, hover crafts, dune buggies, Quadra fighters and three-wheel choppers. On a split screen, you can race against another human or against the computer. Is Power Rangers still big enough a hit to carry this racing game?
- MANUFACTURER - Bandai
- THEME - Battle Racing
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
Banpresto brought together Ultraman, Masked Rider Zo, V2 Gundam and Roa, but this time they are here for personal glory! The heroic gang now get downright dirty when they compete among themselves. They have no qualms at all about blasting each other with mines, slime or knocking others off the track!
The Rangers have tanked in popularity in the last year; this lame racer has them completely out of gas.
Running on Empty
Lots of options do not a great racing game make. Power Rangers Zeo has an impressive list of features, but the execution is so weak you won't be around long enough to try out everything. You choose from six Rangers, Cog, and King Mondo, each riding a bizarre armed vehicle. Single players race against seven opponents, try a solo Time Trial, or go one- on-one against the computer. The five two-player modes include a Demolition Derby-style Bumper Chase and a 99-second Blaster Master mode. Take first place at the Pro level on all five tracks, and you'll access a secret character.
Sound fun? It isn't, mostly because of the game's annoying split screen. Even the one-player races are shown via a split-screen, with one half giving you a view on a big rear- view mirror that takes up so much space your front view gets shortchanged. The backgrounds shimmer as if you were racing on water.
ProTip: Make sure opponents are within range before wasting valuable Blaster shots in them.
Stiff controls leave this game running way behind Super Mario Kart, and feeble sounds fail to generate any excitement. In every way, this game leaves the Power Rangers stranded by the highway.
Cut across corners to get a better firing angle on your opponent.