Power Rangers: Dino Thunder brings the latest incarnation of the Power Rangers series to the Gameboy Advance for some portable side scrolling action. Go forth, and defeat the minions of Mesogog, who threatens to return the planet to the Mesozoic era. The game requires you to go to different areas of the city, collecing Dino Gems and defeating various minions and monsters sent by Mesogog.

The graphics for Dino Thunder consist of poorly drawn levels, with low resolution digitized images of the Power Rangers and their foes. The basic character had fewer than ten frames of animation, and most moves (punches, jumps, falling over) seemed to use only two or three frames to animate in. The levels were large, with lots of sub areas to go into, but frequently I found myself jumping to reach another platform, only to find out that part of the background was actually an obstacle or platform. This made some of the areas very frustrating, as you had to jump blindly and hope the artwork you’re jumping at was actually a platform you needed to reach.

The sound and music on this cartridge reminded me of the Megaman games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Some of the sounds are digitized effects from the show itself, but they were poorly done and sound very scratchy. The music is fast paced, high pitched, and irritating. The music also loops relatively quickly, which only added to the irritation factor. Control is average. You can attack and jump. If you press down when attacking, the Ranger makes a stronger attack. The controls vary from being well timed to just a little sluggish. Action occurrs on screen as I would expect, but every so often I found myself cursing a jump even though I hit the button correctly. Megaman 2 for the Nintendo… I’m sorry, I meant to say Power Rangers: Dino Thunder for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance is a simplistic side scrolling game made simply to expand the marketing of the Power Rangers franchise. With the music, and the action involved in the game, I kept having flashbacks to my Megaman days on the NES, except that I was using fists and a power mace rather than a beam gun. Basically, you get sent to different levels to stop Mesogog’s plots and collect Dino Gems to power the Megazords. The levels are filled with Generic Minion D (you know, the guy in tights that the local ninja guild refused to hire because they had higher standards), dino coins, and dino gems. At the end of each level is typically a Megazord fight, which is more side scrolling beat ‘em up action on a larger scale. Another unusual decision in this game is the use of passwords as a save device rather than having a save slot. I can only think that they were trying to save money and not put a save state into the game. Very little replay value is in this title. It is a linear game with no collectable items. The game has large areas to explore in it already, and some simple collectable items and a suitable payoff for them would have expanded this title greatly. As it stands, there is little reason to go into the majority of the sub areas in each level.

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