Ranger X: In-Depth Review

ranger x sega genesis game

Ranger X, also known as Ex-Ranza in Japan, was released towards the end of the Sega Genesis ( Mega Drive ) lifespan in 1993. Despite not being the most technically advanced game for the system, it comes pretty close. The game’s polished feel, weighty graphics, and intense fighting make it stand out. However, it’s not an easy game for kids to pick up and play due to unusual controls and rapidly increasing difficulty after the first stage. Despite this, Ranger X offers massive bosses, a variety of weapons, and innovative stages that keep the action fresh. The production values are high, with great artwork capturing the hectic feeling of a full-scale robot war. While some stages may be dull and frustrating, the game overall is well-executed. Ranger X demonstrates that the Sega Genesis ( Mega Drive ) was powerful enough without extras like the 32x and Sega CD, showcasing that a fun game is a fun game regardless of technological advancements. Despite the Sega Genesis ( Mega Drive ) aging, titles like Ranger X prove that it still has a lot of heart.

 

 

The game Ranger X has a unique narrative that is only found in the instruction booklet. Players take on the role of Ranger X, a combat mech fighting against Edgezone terrorists who pose a threat to Homeworld. The game features impressive technology considering the hardware it’s built on. Ranger X is equipped with various weapons and special abilities, including left and right-sided shots, special weapons like a flamethrower and proton cannon, and sidekick vehicles like the Indra and Eos. Players need to manage their energy levels, recharge in sunlight or find spotlights in darker levels, and even collect fruit for repairs. The gameplay is complex and challenging, especially when coordinating with the sidekick vehicles, making for an engaging experience.

 

 

To progress in the game, players must defeat a specific number of foes such as energy hubs and strong robots. An on-screen counter keeps track of how many enemies are left, while a radar assists in locating them. The levels are linear, making it difficult to overlook these adversaries. The game is challenging as enemies are constantly attacking, even on the easiest difficulty. Mastering the controls, especially for the character Ranger X, can be time-consuming due to the character’s large size. Players have a limited number of continues to restart from where they fell, but additional chances can be earned by scoring points.

 

 

Ranger X is a standout game known for its high-octane gameplay and top-tier graphics that rival Gunstar Heroes on the Genesis console. Despite the system’s limited 64-color palette, Ranger X features vivid visuals with impressive parallax scrolling that creates a 3D effect in some levels. The game boasts numerous distinctive bosses that fill the screen, with some designs nodding to classics like Life Force and Gradius. While the soundtrack is heavy on percussion and can feel repetitive, it matches the intense atmosphere of the game, often overshadowed by constant in-game explosions. As the game progresses towards the finale, the music crescendos into some of the most memorable 16-bit compositions.

 

 

Ranger X, a game released by Sega but created by Gau Entertainment, offers a challenging gaming experience despite some flaws. The extreme difficulty in level four, where the jet-pack’s cooling stations are eliminated, presents a nearly insurmountable challenge that requires immense patience to overcome. The game requires players to decelerate at times to navigate dangers or gather points, which can feel repetitive. Playing on Easy mode will lead to a disappointing ending, pushing players to tackle tougher levels. Gau Entertainment, the company behind Ranger X, unfortunately, ceased to exist after this project. They later collaborated with ex-members of Wolf Team to form NexTech, producing games like Crusader of Centy and Cyber Speedway. They also had a hand in supporting the creation of games such as Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Shining Soul, and Shining Tears.

8.0 TOTAL SCORE

Ranger X Review


Features Rate 8
PROS
  • Polished feel and weighty graphics that push the Sega Genesis hardware
  • Offers a wide array of massive bosses and diverse weaponry for varied gameplay
  • Innovative stages and high production values with great artwork add to the game's appeal
CONS
  • Unusual controls and a sharp difficulty spike after the initial stage may deter some players
  • Certain stages can be perceived as dull and frustrating, affecting overall enjoyment
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