Review: Power Rangers Super Samurai strikes a low, cheap blow to the Kinect
And…once again, someone doesn't get how to make a worthwhile experience with the Kinect when it comes to mimicking a super hero. At least Ubisoft has the practice down somewhat to a science, with their Power-Up Heroes and Marvel's Avengers: Battle For Earth games. But Namco, on the other hand, churns out the kind of Kinect fare that gives the device a bad name. It's bad enough that we had to get through the sluggishly difficult Dragon Ball Z Kinect. But now we have Power Rangers Super Samurai, a game so cheesy and inoperable that it makes the classic TV series look joyous by comparison. (Aw, what the hey, the movies, too.)
The story moves along decently enough – you've got five Power Rangers heroes battling enemies and eventually getting a chance to battle it out with an enemy in their Megazord. It's about on par with what you'd get from the TV show in terms of cheesy action. But it's the execution that leaves little to be desired here.
The main problem is that the motion controls simply don't work. At all. Your movement is handled so that it's an on-rails experience, diminishing it to the point that it feels like a second-grade Dynasty Warriors clone. But then your attacks barely register, to the point that you're waving around your arms, hoping that Namco recognizes some kind of life from your body. You see your silhouette in the corner doing stuff, but, surprise, your Power Ranger barely follows suit. Sometimes they just stand there, even when you're commanded to stand in a specific pose for the Megazord to finish off your opponent.
The only thing that tends to work is slashes. And though the game supports two-player action at once, I can honestly say there's nothing fun about two people trying to wave their arms up and down at each other. It's probably the most uncomfortable multiplayer experience we've had since trying to get through Twister Mania with someone in a cast. WHACK.
Aside from that, the game barely registers in the presentation department. Some of the cheesy enemy designs are pretty great, but the levels themselves are generic and bland, and the Rangers barely do anything to distinguish any personality. Take away the suit colors and you'll pretty much be unable to tell them apart. The audio is cheesy as cheesy gets, with badly composed music and sound effects that can't even rise to the level of low-grade kung fu.
At $50, Power Rangers Super Samurai is a damn insult. Even at $20, it doesn't deliver any value. The completely broken controls, lack of long-term replay value (two hours – if that – and you're done) and poor presentation will leave you wondering if something is wrong with your Kinect. Go go, Power Rangers – away, that is.