GC: Hands-on with Power Rangers: Super Legends

They're mighty, they're morphin, they're powerful and they're, erm, ranger-ing

GC: Hands-on with Power Rangers: Super Legends

Like most of the stands at this year's Games Convention, Disney's was sporting a screen so large that if you'd wanted to install in your house, you would have had to lift your roof off and lower it in by helicopter.

Caught in the shadow of this monolith were a small collection of DS Lites, a couple of which were running Power Rangers: Super Legends – a game we first got wind of back in July.

Loading up, we were presented with a fairly lengthy dialogue section between our Ranger and his spiritual guide, who spun a convoluted yarn about stopping the evil Gluto from using time chambers to alter history. After clicking through this section, it was on to the main event.

The game itself is a straight-up 2D platformer but it's the enemies and not the terrain that present the real challenge. Although the action takes place across a decent spectrum of ground level and high-up sections, the overall feeling is that this is a game more about the brute force of a side-scrolling beat-'em-up than the pixel-perfect poise of an action platformer.

For the first ten minutes or so, however, there were few enemies to speak of as we went through the tutorial covering the different attacks and abilities. The standard punch/kick attack is dealt out using the Y button, there's a light sword, which is wielded via the X button, and a laser is fired by pressing A. The B button takes care of jumping, and that seemed to be about the sum total of the abilities on offer (though there are sure to be more available in the later stages of the game).

The different attacks have specific uses, with some of them proving powerless against certain enemies. So while dispatching various ranks of the Putty Patrol, we were given prompts as to what weapon to use against which type of enemy. It all seemed to work well enough but the ability to combine different attacks to greater effect would be nice.

The visuals were rather average-looking, too. Everything is fairly colourful and the backgrounds were detailed but the animations on the Rangers themselves were less than impressive. Although considering the number of enemies you'll be bashing up – one of the game's features is a big combo meter you have to rack up – we assume that's because the developer has focused on action rather than graphical niceties.

As for the touchscreen and stylus, little seemed to be made of them. During the main sections of the game, the only use of them was to navigate options or skip through the overly long dialogue sections (this is a game about clown-suited kids kung fu-ing the bejesus out of aliens made of putty, not a plot synopsis for War and Peace).

Apparently stylus-based finishing moves are promised, but we didn't get to see them. Still, despite its somewhat common-or-garden attributes, what we played of Power Rangers: Super Legends seemed enjoyable enough.

Indeed, at one point the game shifted into a top-down shoot-'em-up mode, which had you flying a helicopter, blasting the oncoming alien invaders, while trying to pick up falling power-ups.

And assuming there are other such twists – the ability to use vehicles such as flyers and light skimmers has been suggested, although whether in the side-scrolling or top-down mode isn't clear – as well as a decent selection of special moves and attacks for the various Power Rangers, we're sure the game should satisfy its intended audience.

Power Rangers: Super Legends is due to be released on November 2nd.