I got my copy of the Power Rangers Super Samurai (Kinect) today. The game is produced by Namco Bandai and will release on December 4th. You can pre-order your copy today at Amazon.
Unboxing the Power Rangers Super Samurai Kinect game
The Power Rangers Super Samurai Box Art is a minor improvement from the Wii game that released last winter. Fans may notice the artwork from Power Rangers Super Samurai posters and the Official Power Rangers website. The Shark Attack Mega Mode is the primary Ranger used for marketing Power Rangers Super Samurai on a variety of products and promotions. The usage of the character indirectly implies that the character may appear in the game. The usage of red color for the side spine conflicts with the vibrant colors used on the front and back covers. The image choices on the back cover work nicely with the screenshots. Click on the images below to view their full size.
The game comes with a small booklet that opens up to reveal the four page spread. The booklet cover matches the design on the game box art. The booklet shows briefly instructions on the combat gestures.
The intro screen has the Power Rangers Super Samurai logo and the instrumental playing in the background. This screen loses the opportunity to introduce the fan to the show and the great artwork that was used in the print media. Unlike the Wii game, there is no intro animation or Samurai episodic storyline. The secondary menus are far more active than the intro screen. The primary menu has Ranger (Story Mode), Training, and Collection. Each of the menus delivers more options with the same menu style. Click on the following images to view their full size. I have uploaded all of the menu screenshots to Samurai Cast.
In the last year’s Wii game, gamers controlled the Rangers using the Wii remote. In the Super Samurai version, the Kinect allows for full body control in addition to a live camera that places the gamer in the game. The Kinect camera did a decent job of portraying the basic combat gestures (jump, duck, attack, and special attacks). The camera works well when you perform the gesture at a normal pace. Rapid gestures may confuse the camera and result in your character standing and waving around their hands.
My biggest rant in this game is the navigation control in the game. Most of the time, the game automatically controls your navigation as you progress through the level. During fights, the primary navigation is controlled by performing attack gestures. This concept makes the game more of an annoyance during Boss Fights when you are trying to fight, move closer to the enemy, and avoid the attacks. I would’ve preferred a more refined approach in allowing the user control their movements in the game.
The Kinect camera places you in the game during training sessions and the start of each Story mode. I feel that both scenarios are distracting and unnecessary. For training, I would’ve preferred the Xbox avatar or a custom Super Samurai avatar which looks more integrated. In the story, the avatar approach could work as well. The only proper usage of the live camera is the morph sequence when you are morphing into the Ranger. The usage of the live camera and the Cg animation is pretty clever. I uploaded the screen captures from the Morph Sequences to Samurai Cast.
When you start the game, the Kinect camera takes a photo of you for your Samurai License. In Power Rangers Super Samurai Kinect, you earn points in Story and Training modes. Your License keeps track of your points and latest badge.
The Training Modes are a great way to learn the gestures and burn calories at the same time. Each training mode has different levels which require a certain number of points to advance to the next level. In Breaking Challenge, you train with one of the Rangers by following the gestures (duck, jump, left, or right) to build up the stack and the break gesture to break them. There are four levels in the Breaking Challenge (50, 100, 150, and 200). In Ranger Training, one of the Rangers trains you in the Shiba House exterior. Nighlok Training was a creative touch with fun and goofy Nighlok gestures in the Sanzu River. The Samurai Megazord (or MegaMonster in Nighlok Training) will appear if you reach the Extreme bar in training. After you complete the training levels, the Gold Ranger in unlocked as a training instructor. Lauren (Red Ranger) is unlocked after unlocking the Gold Ranger and getting most of the badges in the game. You can earn Skill and Training points that are applied to earning new Badges.
Ranger Mode, which I coined as Story Mode, is the primary mode in this game. This mode is more repetitive fighting, boss fight, and zord fight game play than actual story. You can select one of the five primary Rangers. If you are playing with a friend, then each of you can select a character. If you want to change your character during a level, you will need to quit the level, select a character, and restart the level. Each episode starts with a brief animation of the Boss followed by the camera moving to the character, which is a render of you playing the game. The morph sequence is the only camera usage that I enjoyed in this game. The sequence starts with a live rendering of you followed by Cg animation as you morph into a Power Ranger.
Most of the levels, except Deker and Dayu episodes, have a normal and zord fight mode. The normal fight mode allows you to fight through the level against Moogers until you reach the Boss. Special Moogers have a symbol over their head. If you defeat this type of Mooger, you will gain a special weapon attack. In a few of the levels, this Mooger will grant you the Black Box for Super Samurai Mode. The character has a set of hit points, which depletes when you get attacked by Nighloks and Moogers or by incoming obstacles. Don’t worry, if you lose all of your hit points, you can given a chance to restore your hit points by performing the on-screen gesture.
Super Samurai fans will note that most of this game is based on the first season. Super Samurai elements aren’t introduced until near the end of the game with Super Samurai Mode, Bullzooka weapon, Claw Armor Megazord, and Samurai Gigazord. Shark Attack, Shark Attack Mega Mode (as seen on the box), and Shogun Mode are not seen in the Story Mode. Lauren (Red Ranger) and Antonio (Gold Ranger) are not playable in Story Mode.
I uploaded 150+ screen captures from Story Mode to Samurai Cast.
Level 1 – Eyescar
This is the first level in the game, featuring a Samurai (not Super Samurai Nighlok) and Samurai Megazord in the zord fight. The “Defuse the Situation” achievement is unlocked after the Boss fight.
Level 2 – Rofer
This level resembles the iPhone game that released earlier this year.
Level 3 – Steeleto
This level is the only level to use the Battlewing Megazord in the zord fight.
Level 4 – Deker
This level is a single Boss Fight against Deker. “The Ultimate Duel” achievement is unlocked at the end of this level.
Level 5 – Gigertox
This is the first Super Samurai episode with the introduction of the Black Box power up, Super Samurai Mode, and Claw Armor Megazord in the zord fight. This is the first level that you can use the Bullzooka if you get all of the Power Discs. “The Great Duel” achievement is unlocked at the end of this level.
Level 6 – Dayu
This is a standard level with Dayu Boss fight. There is no zord fight in this level. You can earn an achievement by defeating Dayu with the Pink Ranger.
Level 7 – Serrator
This is a standard level with a Serrator Boss and Zord fight. The Serrator fight is one of the easiest battles in the game. “Stroke of Fate” achievement is unlocked at the end of this level.
Level 8 – Master Xandred
This is the final level in the game. Master Xandred has a two part fight followed by a zord fight featuring the Samurai Gigazord. “Victory is Ours” achievement is unlocked at the end of Master Xandred’s fight. “Samurai Forever” is unlocked at the end of the zord fight. This level is designed to give you additional Power Discs to ensure that you can use the the Bullzooka for Master Xandred’s second fight.