Sunday, 19 December 2021

Burning Rangers - Charge your Water Zappers!

Of all the titles that deserve recognition that got none of it, Burning Rangers is probably the finest. This is a game that Sonic Team created especially for the Sega Saturn that pushed its boundaries to its very limits. The real problem was that it came at the end of the Saturn's lifespan, when it was already being discontinued. It was very expensive to make, and Sega was cutting their losses, so it became a very limited release. Thus, it became rare and excruciatingly expensive as a result. Its quality cannot be overstated, though. 

In this game, you are a fire fighter of the future. You go through burning buildings, extinguishing fires and rescuing victims that are caught in the fire. You are also flying through the dangers and trying to stay alive, while strange things are happening all around you. The game is very simple to learn but very hard to master. There is some 3D platforming to get through and it can be very tricky. 

The story is not especially deep, but it is still deep enough to where you learn about your characters, meet them and begin to care about them. You choose between two characters and learn how to use your equipment. You have water beams (yes, water beams) you can use to put out fires that spontaneously come out of nowhere. Sometimes the fires appear so fast that you have a hair trigger of a second in order to dodge back and put them out. You also have your jet pack that you can use to get through the buildings and all of their levels. 

There are flaws in this game, obviously. Sometimes the camera doesn't do what you want it to do and sometimes the game will tell you to go a certain way, but the command will be vague or just downright incorrect. You definitely cannot play this without sound, because then you will be missing some very important messages that will help you throughout it. The platforming can be downright unforgiving, especially if the camera is not cooperating with you. The time limits are also quite unforgiving, but once you get use to the controls and the level layouts as you play, these hardships can be overcome by sheer strength of will. The urge to play this game can get downright addictive because it is such a smooth experience.

Collecting crystals is also something of a headache. Putting out fires will get you some crystals for armor and such, but sometimes you don't have enough crystals to save all of the civilians and it can become something of a slog to try and even it out. Crystals also help protect you from the fire's burn but try your best not to waste them. On top of everything else, this can be some of the more challenging aspects.

The graphics in this game are unparalleled and even rivals some of the later systems of Dreamcast and PS2 in how amazing they look. Burning Rangers boasts some of the most impressive graphics because of Sonic Team's dedication and experience. They were obviously swinging for the fences with this title, which makes it all the more sad that it never got the praise it truly deserved. Obviously, this title has gotten a fanbase all its own and there have even been fans who petition Sega for a revival of the franchise and even sequels and remakes. They want anything having to do with this title to be done, even going so far as to make fan revivals themselves. 

If you haven't guessed already, this is one of the greatest games on the system. Its very being is that of nostalgia within its heavy polygons, its atmospheric aesthetics and the anime stylings of Japan. It is a gem in the Saturn's collection that rivals many of the Playstation's finest titles. Do yourself a favor and play this game however you can without spending too much money. It is not worth emptying your bank account to scalpers who covet it, don't give them the satisfaction. Buy yourself a reproduction or get it on a rom, it's too old of a game for anyone else to care about its development costs and you'll be glad you did. Start putting out fires and don't forget to drink your water lasers.

1 comment:

Father Krishna said...

Great article about a great game! It took a long time to finish... and if I had 9ne gripe, it would be the inability to save often. It is a game that I felt a huge sense of achievement in beating. Sonic Team made two great games for the Saturn... if only it had made a great Sonic game for the system.