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Burning Rangers

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Released: 1998

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: Sega Saturn

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Sonic Team

There aren’t many fire-fighting games out there, and very few futuristic ones – but that’s exactly what Burning Rangers is. As a member of the elite rescue force of the same name, Burning Rangers tasks you with putting out fires, rescuing civilians and occasionally blasting out-of-control robots until they stop moving. Of course, since this is the future, you’ve got a shield that protects you as long as you have a minimum of one crystal, and a jetpack which allows for ludicrous jumps and backflips. That’s pretty crazy, right?

What makes Burning Rangers all the better is that Sonic Team was clearly trying to prove a point about the power of the Saturn. Sega’s beast was complex to code for and had some flaws with its graphical capabilities, but the programmers here tried everything to squeeze the utmost power from the machine. The results were beautiful – transparent shafts of light could be spotted, the fire was definitely see-through and the vast 3D environments were unlike anything else ever seen on the system. Of course, it’s not without its flaws – apart from the occasional phantom fire, scenery break-up is frequent as the Saturn struggles to cope with all the polygons being pushed.

Of course, it’s still lovely to play, and if you’re able to ignore some graphical issues it’s one of the most compelling action-adventure games on the system – not least because of the dynamic level system that shifts stage layouts between playthroughs. Still, this is one of the few games of the era we’d’ like to see remastered, just so it’s no longer shackled to the Saturn’s ivsulaa