Ranger X (Sega Genesis, 1993)
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|A rare classic, Ranger X for the Sega Genesis is known for its fantastic graphics, smooth audio, and immersive arcade-style game play. It was released in 1993 as a kind of final showcase of the Sega Genesis’ technical power. Ranger X for Genesis was among the most eagerly anticipated games in classic console history.
The player assumes the role of Ranger X, piloting a powered exoskeleton who leads the fight back for his home planet against the invading Rahuna forces. Ranger X is equipped with a jet pack and an assortment of weapons. The jet pack allows for short periods of flight, the duration of which is limited by the jet pack's temperature. Upon overheating, the player must land and wait for cool down. Alongside Ranger X's standard pulse rifle, the player has access to various special weapons including a flamethrower and homing attacks. Unlike the pulse rifle, the special weapons drain a power bar, which can only be recharged when Ranger X is in a bright light source. This special arsenal can be increased by collecting power ups scattered across the levels. On certain levels, the player may also control a supporting vehicle - an Ex-Up, such as Indra - a futuristic motorcycle, a premise described as "RoboCop on a Harley". Indra can move and fire independently of Ranger X, although Ranger X can enter it to take advantage of its separate shielding.
The game is split across several levels, each of which is introduced via a wire frame 3D cutscene detailing a specific target objective. The player must battle through enemy forces and destroy all target objectives, followed by the stage boss, in order to progress.
Critical reception was generally positive. Mega praised the tactical opportunities offered by the different weaponry, and the need to manage the supporting vehicle. Similar sentiments were echoed in Sega Force Mega and GamePro, who felt that "the unique dual action of flying and riding a motorcycle gives this game a step up against over other shooters".
The graphics impressed, with some reviews claiming that Ranger X had broken through the Mega Drive hardware's colour limitations. Almost every aspect of the graphics were praised, from the detail of the backgrounds, to the clarity of the sprites, and even the presentation of the cutscenes. EGM felt that Ranger X featured "some of the best graphics ever seen on the [Mega Drive]". MegaTech however, noticed that the game exhibited "a bit of sprite flicker when things get busy".
Still, the game received recommendations from the majority of critics, with Mega concluding that "it's so chocka full of imagination, that you'll be left wondering why other shoot 'em ups are so repetitive".
|Publisher||Sega of America, Inc.|
|Number of Players||1|
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