Tuesday 24 April 2018

Burning Rangers: The Junkyar(d)chive

We gave you a rundown of what the Junkyar(d)chives are all about in the introductory post. So without further ado, here’s a wealth of great discussions, commentary, analysis, and other cool content about Sonic Team’s other Saturn classic: Burning Rangers!

I guess we can begin with some internal stuff from within the Saturn Junkyard scrapheap, including a whopping TitanCast episode dedicated fully to discussing Yuji Naka’s futuristic firefighter opus. In this episode, we delved deep into the blazing corridors of our memories, experiences, observations, and struggles with Burning Rangers. Not only that but – at least as of this typing (April 2018) – this episode is the longest TC podcast we’ve ever recorded.

It’s no secret that Burning Rangers is a rather expensive game in western regions and the Japanese version is far more affordable. However, much of the game’s exposition and player directives rely heavily on its character voicework, which is all in Japanese in the NTSC-J version. This can be a problem if you don’t speak 日本の. The Southern Sega Gentleman (SSG) offers some helpful insights into whether the Japanese version is worth picking up amidst the trade-offs between its cheaper price and language barriers.

Next we jump back in time to the very beginnings of the Saturn Junkyard. In this 2007 review, contributor J takes us through his impressions of Burning Rangers, including descriptions of the game’s premise, mechanics, and criticisms of life as one of the future’s most renowned celebrity firefighters.

From the pages of the May 1998 issue of the Official Sega Saturn Magazine, the Out-of-Print Archive brings us an interview with the legendary Yuji Naka. In this interview, Naka-san describes some of the inner workings behind many of the choices Sonic Team made throughout development, including its premise, influences, gameplay mechanics, navigation system, character animations, stage designs, and so much more.
“We wanted to create a game where you could rescue people. Nowadays, there are so many games where you just kill people. Instead we decided to make a rescue game…Rescuing people, and many of the other things that a firefighter does, are in fact the very essence of a Sonic Team game. The firefighter is a hero people can identify with because they exist in our current everyday lives.” – Yuji Naka

On her YouTube channel, author Alicia Goranson offers a fantastic critical analysis of the plights facing our flame-dousing heroes. In her video, she delves into the multitude of ambitions, flaws, and other idiosyncrasies underlying BR’s mechanics, presentation, and much more.

In this SEGAbits video, Ian Ashcroft offers a massive, in-depth review of Burning Rangers. In this video, he covers every imaginable faucet of the game, spanning its concept, characters, presentation, gameplay, boss fights, technical aspects, soundtrack, and just about everything else.

In this video playthrough, join our friend Chris at Saturn Memories as he blazes through BR’s myriad of platforms and corridors en route to an A-Rank and a bevy of thankful survivors. Those fires never stood a chance!

Next, there's an excellent video review on SnicketySlice’s YouTube channel, where he provides a unique and humorous review exploring numerous conceptual, presentational, and mechanical aspects of Burning Rangers. Throughout this video, Snickety offers some unique and entertaining observations about BR, including its recurring themes of humans’ penchant for self-created destruction, a more realistic interpretation of the game’s voice navigation system, and a refreshingly in-depth critique of the game’s trademark rap theme song.

Burning Rangers OST - Preserved on YouTube by Deoxysprime

Finally we will close with a link to the full original soundtrack for the game which I know you'll want to stop everything to listen to right now. Just do it! Just Burning Rangers!

Hope you enjoy the growing body of work within the Saturn Junkyar(d)chives -- I keep cringing every time I type that. Anyway, this stuff is always iterative and we're happy to grow these collections over time. Note that in the case of original, independently-produced content, we will want to get approval from their creators before including them.

Special thanks to Saturn Memories, Alicia Goranson, SnicketySlice, and of course, the OG SJY contributor, Barry from SEGAbits!

Thanks for reading/watching/listening!

Follow SJY (@SaturnJunkyard) and me (@TheVirtuaSchlub) on Twitter for a ton of tweets from twits!

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Pole Position Performance said...

Great job. I give you an A++++

Burning Rangers is one of my favorites.

Robert Steele said...

Learning Strangers about Burning Rangers would also work as a headline. Great piece!