The Power Rangers have been a source of martial arts entertainment for decades now. Their latest series, Power Rangers Samurai, started just a couple of months ago, and with it comes a video game based on the new characters, powers, and villains worming their way into the public conscience. We had a chance to check out the Wii version of this brawler today and came away feeling like a red-clad hero.
In the final version of Power Rangers Samurai, you get to choose to play as whichever character you want, but for the demo we played today, only the Red Ranger was available. There is also a two-player cooperative mode available, though sadly, we had to clean up the streets alone during our limited play time. But that handicap wasn't enough to hold us back from beating down the thugs who stood in our path.
Samurai plays out like a typical beat-'em-up. Using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk (no Classic Controller support because there are some motion-enabled attacks), you mash buttons when enemies stand before you. Stringing together quick and heavy attack combos brings foes into submission, and there are magic strikes if you're struggling. Tapping the D pad unleashes a flaming sword strike, which made quick work of anyone dumb enough to square off against the Red Ranger.
At the end of our brief romp, we faced off against a boss named Nighlok. It was easy enough to take him down with a few magical attacks, but that was only the first half of the battle. Once Nighlok was weakened, we had to jump into our zord to finish him off. Unfortunately, the demo ended just before our epic confrontation was set to begin. Such a tease, but that's how life goes at E3.
Right now, Samurai is shaping up to be respectable beat-'em-up for fans of the series. The simple combat certainly won't lure in veteran players, but the smart use of the license will keep people who love the show invested. Keep your eyes on GameSpot to see how this brawler turns out.