Burning Rangers (バーニングレンジャー Bāningu Renjā?) is a video game developed by Sonic Team for the Sega Saturn. The game was released in Japan in February 1998, North America in May 1998 and Europe in June 1998.
The game is set in a futuristic society in which fire is one of the few major hazards remaining. The Burning Rangers are an elite group of firefighters who have been formed to help cope with such emergencies. The game sees players take control of one of two new recruits, Shou Amabane and Tillis, as they fight through burning buildings and rescue civilians.
Burning Rangers tasks players with completing various missions, most of which involve putting out fires and rescuing civilians, playing as either Shou or Tillis. The player is equipped with a futuristic suit which contains a jetpack that can be used in short bursts to cross large gaps or reach higher areas. During the game, players will come across various fires and sudden explosions that they must put out using their weaponry. Putting out fires earns crystals which are used to teleport civilians to safety, as well as protect the player. If the player is attacked by an explosion or attack, they will drop their crystals, with the game ending if they are hit without any crystals. If the level of fire also reaches too high a level, the game will end. Players can make use of a navigation system to make their way around, and can contact Chris via radio for information about hazards and objectives. After completing the game once, a random level generator is unlocked.
The game's characters were designed by Hiroyuki Ochi. Sonic Team have stated in interviews that they intended the silhouette of a Burning Ranger wearing their "Burneer Unit" jet-pack to resemble that of an angel.
The music for the game was composed by Naofumi Hataya, Fumie Kumatani, and Masaru Setsumaru, while lyrics were written by Naofumi Hataya and Tomoko Sasaki. Guitarist Vinnie Moore performed on the soundtrack, playing rhythm tracks and solos on the song "Angels With Burning Hearts", as well as others. Two of the three vocal songs from Burning Rangers are included and remixed in Sonic Pinball Party, listed as: "(Angels with) Burning Hearts" and "We Are Burning Rangers".
Burning Rangers received generally positive reviews. GameSpot's review came with a score of 6.2/10 but was wholly positive, praising the polygonal graphics, the free roaming of 3D environments, and the concise length. Sega Saturn Magazine gave the game a 90% but a more mixed review, criticizing the frequent polygon glitches, short draw distance, and low difficulty, but praising the voice navigation, use of the analog control pad, and high replayability, and concluding by calling Burning Rangers "yet another innovative and unique gaming experience from those lovely Sonic Team chaps."
Appearances in other games
References to Burning Rangers were included in Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe. Two of the three vocal songs in the game appear in Sonic Pinball Party. The fire-spitting flower boss Anemoth makes a cameo appearance as an enemy in the Prison Island level of Shadow the Hedgehog. A race track based on the game features in the racing game Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, featuring songs from the game remixed by Richard Jacques. The Japanese version of the song "I Just Smile" was featured in the final credits of Blinx: The Time Sweeper for Xbox. Burning Rangers made a return in Phantasy Star Online 2 for the 25th Phantasy Star Anniversary event on the Japanese servers, and also the 15th anniversary of Burning Rangers. Players go through a level, extinguishing fires and rescuing civilians while the theme song of Burning Rangers, "(Angels with) Burning Hearts" plays as background music.
- ^ "Angel Island Interviews - 08 May 1998" An interview with Sonic Team which first appeared in Sega Saturn Magazine