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About the product
- A blistering breakthrough adventure from Yuji Naka, creator of Sonic the Hedgehog and NiGHTS.
- Backflip, somersault and rocket through raging firestorms.
- Blow away flames with multi-powered concussive blasts.
- 8 levels filled with blazing infernos and terrified victims
- Replays unlock secret doors, new victims and new areas for escalated shake and bake.
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It's wild. It's angry. It's like no enemy you've faced before. From the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog and NiGHTS comes the ultimate challenge: Fire. Strap on your jumpjets and battle 50-foot firewalls. Exploding fuel tanks. Thousand degree temperatures. And the fear that the innocent victims that you must rescue aren't the only ones in danger of being barbecued alive. Ashes to ashes, you're dust.
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As a fresh rookie working for a futuristic fire department, the Burning Rangers, your last is to rescue people from flaming sites in revolutionary 3D polygonal environments with several paths and floors.
This is a game best played with headphones, to listen carefully to the tips and indications given by your superior over the headset and the tiny sound effects and big explosions within the fire sites. I recommend using the 3D Control Pad for this game, it feels natural and intuitive.
Excellent game, an absolute underrated classic, well worth its steep price.
In the future fires aren't fought by men in heavy uniforms with water hoses. Instead they are fought by jet-pack wearing gymnasts and extinguished with laser guns. A team of heroes with the typical anime players (an ice-cool dispatcher, a big lovable tough-guy, a silver-haired ace, and two inexperienced rookies) gets dispatched to four locations to put out the fires, which are on multiple levels and rooms inside of large complexes where all the doors are computer locked or unlocked and strange monsters must be destroyed in hidden locations. On the way of course you'll have to collect the fire energy to sustain your fire shields, and the more people you pull from the burning building via teleport the better.
Back when I was looking to buy more Saturn games and didn't know what to get, I used to scour the Internet for information about Saturn games. This game was given a horrible review by GameSpot (go figure), but something kept me interested. Then I found a Website that had real tiny grainy video of the game-play. Wow. You don't jump through the levels, you back-flip, cartwheel, and somersault through them, boosting through the air on your jet-pack. When the a back-draft is about to burst up you back-flip out of the way. And everything has the beautiful graphics style of Nights into Dreams.
When you start the game you get to choose the male or female rookie for your character. Then you are taken through a tutorial that shows you the basic controls. You can jump, double-jump (actually you boost instead of jumping), blast with your gun to release crystals from fires, charge your gun for a more powerful blast (which also destroys all crystals), grab the fire crystals (like rings in Sonic the Hedgehog), use the trigger buttons to move the camera left or right (like Panzer Dragoon), and (this is REALLY cool) press one of the top buttons to ask for directions which are given verbally by Chris, the dispatcher. When there's a back-draft, you quickly press down on the control stick to back-flip out of the way. When there's a control panel that needs to be accessed you hit the fire button while standing next to it. And when there's someone who needs to be rescued, you just walk up next to them when you have enough crystals. Just be sure you never lose all your crystals from having fire touch your shields (again, just like Sonic the Hedgehog you lose them instead of taking damage and try to get some back when they all scatter).
The actual game-play is wonderful, because while the controls are a little unusual, they are unique and feel great (especially with analog control). The ease with which you pull off the jumps and acrobatics can only be likened to Nights into Dreams. I know of no other controls that compare. Unfortunately, there is another shared point in the controls which may frustrate some. You see the controls, while easy, are also rather floaty (as you might expect with a jet-pack). The trouble is, you will often miss a jump or have trouble staying on a narrow ledge because you so easily step right off it due to inaccuracy. You may also have trouble navigating underwater and zero-gravity sections for the same reason. For what it's worth, I think of this not as a bug, but rather as a unique aspect of the game which requires further practice to master (it's not Gun Valkyrie difficult by any means). There has been talk of the in-game camera and the camera controls that is quite negative, so let me clear that up as well. The camera will often not be pointed where you want. As such, you will have to get used to tapping the left or right trigger very frequently so you are looking where you want to. Again, I think of this as a unique aspect of the game (I like having quick access to other camera angles and think it's wonderful), but some people will hate this and wish for a Nintendo style camera that never needs adjusting. Sorry but the camera here is a simply a different STYLE and you will have to get used to it, just as you got used to adjusting the camera 360 degrees in Panzer Dragoon. The best feature of the controls though is also an audio feature. I can't stress enough how cool it is to have voice navigation. No more checking stupid maps every ten seconds to figure out where you are! If only thousands of games used this instead of maps I'd get through them a lot faster! At any rate, it doesn't ALWAYS tell you where to go, but it is extremely useful for keeping you from getting lost.
There are only four levels (and one hidden), but the game has a lot of replay value. After you beat the game, all of the doors in all of the levels are randomized, meaning different doors are locked and unlocked each time you play. What this means, is that you will have to navigate each level like it is a new level each time you play it. You can't memorize the locations and just speed-walk through it like a cakewalk. There is also a letter grading system for each level that ranks you according to time finished, number of crystals, boss defeat time (only one boss per level, but die and you have to start the whole level over like Nights into Dreams), and number of people rescued. The game may sound easy, but even with the excellent voice navigation it's possible to get stuck or lost, and if you don't progress QUICKLY through the level, you are likely to experience the frustrating constant flare-ups of flame that occur when your fire-percentage rating rises at specific intervals.
The graphics here are basically just an enhanced version of the Nights into Dreams engine, so if you liked that style of graphics you'll love them. There's some nice water and fire effects (and lighting effects to go with them), and while it's not terribly smooth I really like the overall style enormously. The sound in this game is just wonderful overall. From the rumble of the fire in the building to the whistle of flare-ups, from the laser-blasts to the crystal-clear dialog and voice navigation and classic super-hero music I just love the sound in this game.
If this game has one glaring flaw, it is this. The final hidden level. It's horrible. After you rescue the kid from the space station, you are stranded there, and the game becomes more like a suspense-horror game (in atmosphere I mean). You can't contact your team, and you're navigating the creepy deserted station where there's monsters and just a really creepy atmosphere as a mysterious and (again) creepy voice guides you through. It's actually a girl who is frozen and connected to the computer, but given the ghostly ambiance, and then the incredible frustration of the level itself (whoever designed the section where you have have to climb TINY steel girders with your incredibly inaccurate jet boost to get out of the level SHOULD BE SHOT. I think I must have climbed the dang thing a thousand times only to fall back down to the beginning. Just plain bad design that. If it weren't for that final level and it's bad design, the game would be perfect despite its short length.
To tell you the truth, while the game is truly awesome, it's the story that pulled me in, and perhaps not the way you might think. In the manual is described the reason why one of the young rookies joined in a short simple three paragraphs "A shimmering outline appears, extending a blood-soaked glove to hurl the young boy to safety." I don't know why, but the short description of a character having his life saved by a Burning Ranger and then deciding that was what he wanted to be, that got to me. And then in the fourth level (but kind of sadly, NOT the final level), there's a part where a little kid is the last survivor on a space station, and you have to carry the kid on your back as you run through the flames, reassuring the kid the whole time that everything is okay. That was one of the greatest moments in any game I've ever played. It's the kind of thing that makes you excitedly show a game to your friends and cry for a sequel even though many years have passed.
If you own a Saturn (and especially if you love Nights into Dreams), buy Burning Rangers. Beat the thing to unlock the random levels, then play them over and over and forget about the final level. I say again, BUY THIS GAME.
-There are some neat effects like light source glowing which is very hard for the Saturn hardware to pull off.
-The concept is actually more interesting than you may think.
-Besides the neat glowing, the graphics in this game are just awful. The textures glitch in and out far too frequently and it just makes the game look unfinished.
-The control is very clunky and imprecise. While it does support the 3D Analog controller, there doesn't appear to be any difference. There are even times when you auto-jump and it's very difficult to control.
-The camera is just awful. Plain and simple awful, no ways around it.
-There is no map system to guide you around. You rely on the voices of your teammates and it gets very annoying at times.
This game, nowadays, is more of a collectors piece than anything, but is most certainly not worth the exorbitant prices it demands today.