Burning Rangers

Moby ID: 7630
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Description official description

As a member of the Burning Rangers, it is your job to put out a range of fires and rescue those trapped in the heat of the blaze.

During each level, your quad leader informs you of the critical areas inside certain buildings, such as multi-level warehouses. Following his advice, you must use your cybernetic powersuit to put out the flames in each area. Along the way you will also come across boss characters, who are out to light up the town, and you. Your performance is then rated on your time to complete the objectives, how many lives were saved, and so forth. The better you go, the higher the rating.


  • バーニングレンジャー - Japanese spelling

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Credits (SEGA Saturn version)

122 People (106 developers, 16 thanks) · View all



Average score: 80% (based on 20 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 22 ratings with 2 reviews)

A game about firemen? How can that be any good?

The Good
The presentation throughout is great, filled with cheesy Anime clips of the Burning Rangers, even cheesier J-Pop, badly translated text (you've got to love the Japanese touch) and some nice looking menus. However, the best thing to do with the presentation has to be the "emails" you receive from the people you manage to rescue. These are really a great touch, and make you feel a lot more involved with the game world; indeed, if it wasn't for these emails I probably wouldn't have replayed the game so many times. It's with these emails that the world of Burning Rangers is opened up to you, and you start to get a view of how you have changed things. A wonderful touch, and the emails can be more than just a way to involve you with the game... I won't give away any details, as it might spoil the surprise(s), but there quite a few extra features and Easter Eggs within the game, which can only be unlocked with the help of the emails you receive. The only downer is the fact that on the main title screen there are three buttons, Story Mode, Options and Email. The "Story Mode" option suggests there were more ideas in development; indeed, with a little scrounging around I found details of a planned 2-player competitive mode (a mini-game, similar to the one in NiGHTS) which never made it into fruition. Ah well, maybe in a remake, eh Sega? ;) Graphically, this game uses some nice effects some people may claim the Saturn can't cope with, including transparency and lighting effects. Indeed, the lighting is actually important to the game, especially on levels in pitch black, where you have to rely on the green light projected from your suit to get around, and also in order to detect fires... but more on that below. The aurals of the game are quite important, as they not only let you receive instructions from Chris, your navigator, they also warn you of impending explosions/backdrafts. If you open a door/walk past a piece of the environment which is about to explode, you will here an inrush of air as the flames consume it, giving you 0.5 - 1 seconds warning to get out of the way with a quick jump. This ties in with the graphics aiding you, as mentioned above, because when you hear the sound you will probably also notice the area where the explosion is about to take place glow red as it superheats. This lets you know which way to jump, and together they help the game keep you on your toes, as you always have to be ready to dive out of the way of danger. Finally, onto the most important factor of the game - the gameplay! The premise; putting out fires and rescuing people, is pulled off with aplomb as you race around, putting out fires manically to keep your Limit down (a gauge which is constantly rising, and can only be dropped by putting out fires. If it reaches 100% you're done for, as you will be barraged by non-stop explosions) and hunting for survivors. The gameplay is great, with frequent changes in pace; one moment you'll be exploring, trying to find your way around to the next objective, the next you'll be racing through a rapidly collapsing and exploding room. The shield system is very similar to the ring system used in Sonic: you pick up crystals which power your shield. However, hit a fire (or other hazard) and the crystals are knocked out of you, and you have to grab them back to protect yourself again. Also, you need at least 5 crystals to teleport survivors out... you'll have to be careful! With only four levels and two characters (who share each level) you may be excused for expecting this game to have little or no lastability. However, you couldn't be further from the truth. Some people found NiGHTS: Into Dreams very replayable, as they attempted to increase ratings. I must admit that I was not one of these people. As such, the fact a similar grading system is used in Burning Rangers adds nothing to the lastability for me. What does is the great emails you receive, which help to increase your understanding of the world the Burning Rangers inhabit, and, as I found out, occasionally let you in on secrets (such as extra characters). This really addded to the game, and to this day I haven't received every email that you can get! So, for all those completists out there this game will be heaven. I myself don't normally even finish most games, and the fact that I have stuck by this game for so long is the highest praise that I can give.

The Bad
I know that only 5,000 units were created for the US; I'm not sure of the amount created in Europe, but I doubt it's any higher. Due to this fact it's one of the harder games to find for the Saturn, but I found a copy in a local shop! Lucky break, huh! However, most of you aren't going to be so lucky, so I realise that very few people are going to have the pleasure of playing this game, and that fact does sadden me greatly. Enough about manufacturing though - of course this game has flaws as well.all is not perfect. There are, unfortunately a number of graphical glitches, and while I have never experienced pop-up (due mainly to the fact that most of the game is set in enclosed spaces) there are other graphical problems. One is the annoying "see-through walls" problem, where from certain angles you can see objects which are actually behind a wall your facing. A little annoying, certainly. However, more annoying is that sometimes you will come across fires in the wall, which you can't put out. Not terrible, but annoying and it can waste precious seconds as you try to extinguish it. However, the worst problem (though, thankfully, it's not too common) is the terrible problem of slowdown. While preferable to dropping frames but maintaining the same game speed, slowdown is still highly problematic. It mostly occurs when a large amount of fires are on screen at the same time and the Saturn struggles to process all the textures and lighting effects. This can have some dire consequences, and has been responsible for me walking into a fire I could normally have avoided/extinguished with ease on several occasions. Ah well. Sound-wise, the navigation advice you are given isn't flawless. This much vaunted technology (well, much vaunted on the box at least) is exceedingly useful... when it works. What happens is you press the X or Z button, and your navigator tells you where you need to go (assuming you're in an area she has the map of). However, approximately 1/3 of the time you will end up with hard to follow advice, and occasionally you will receive advice which is impossible to follow (e.g being told to turn right when you are in a corridor with only turns to the left). This can often confuse the player and spoils the game somewhat, but when it works it can be a god-send.

The Bottom Line
The great gameplay exceeded my already-high expectations for the game; while it didn't "blow me away" the first time I played it, it quickly grew on me and became one of my favourite Saturn games. If you're after an action game with a twist and with real longeivity, this is the game you're looking for. Do expect high-octane action and some nerve-wracking gameplay - but don't expect blood and gore!

SEGA Saturn · by yprbest (103) · 2003

A solid game and incredible technical achievement.

The Good
If there are any doubts about what the Saturn is capable of then games like this are sufficient to prove that the console had the capacity to compete with competitors.

Burning Rangers was one of the last games ever released for the console in the West. Sega Saturn Magazine followed the development and release religiously and naturally gave it a glowing review upon its release. Having played it through and finishing it several times I can assure you it is outstanding, but it is not without its own foibles.

Burning Rangers takes place in the future putting you in the oversized shoes of Shou Amabane or Tillis (just Tillis); two "Burning Rangers" or "Firefighters with laser guns and jet-packs". At its core the game is a pure action/adventure offering with platforming elements wherein you are tasked with going from A to B, rescuing civilians and putting out fires. The actual fire fighting is simple enough. You simply shoot the flames with your laser either with a single shot or with a charged laser blast for the more intense green, blue or pink flames. There is also simple combat in the game with a few boss fights thrown in for good measure. It's generally quite exciting and well paced, and there is a certain element of randomization that keeps the game feeling fresh.

Characters control with a highly accurate analog configuration. Naturally, the game is compatible with the 3D controller and making precise movements (which is important near the end of the game) isn't overly sensitive. Your character is also equipped with an outstanding jet-pack system that lets them avoid rushing fire, float gracefully over gaps and rapidly dodge left, right, up and down with minimal effort. A couple of touches I especially liked were being able to hang on ledges if you narrowly miss a jump (which, in my opinion, should be mandatory in any platform jumper) and the fact that your character automatically clears small gaps eliminating overly pointless button pressing. They are small things, but nice touches nontheless.

The graphics technology designed by Sonic Team for Burning Rangers is some of the most sophisticated on the console. Environments are rendered with complicated architecture, the camera adequately tracks your character with minimal hang ups and textures are clean, vibrant and varied. Each location in the game is vastly different and full of transparent windows showing off things like beautifully rendered fish tanks and vibrant explosions and fire that casts coloured lighting over everything around your character (and onto your character themselves).

The music in the game is generally quite good. The title track "We are Burning Rangers" is adequate however most of the other music in the game is nothing to write home about. Dialogue is a different story, certain characters are well performed while others don't seem to have put any effort into matching the facial expressions of their avatar on the screen they were watching while recording the lines. More on that later though.

After finishing a mission the game remembers who you have saved and sends you "fan mail" (yes, the Burning Rangers get fan mail) that gives you a bit of an insight into what would otherwise be ancillary characters designed solely as level goals. It's a nice touch actually and although the mail is a little breezy and bereft of content it's nice to see little touches like that personalising your play experience.

The Bad
Burning Rangers has a few niggling problems that don't kill the experience for you but still detract to a certain degree.

While the graphics are outstanding there is a fair bit of clipping going on. Occasionally the camera will swing around and leave you staring into a black room with nothing in it but a few flames burning away. Another camera issue arises when trying to turn and jump backwards. The game will recognise that you're trying to move backwards, but instead of turning you around it activates your jet-pack and just rockets you backwards off of the platform you just ascended. It's not an issue too often, as generally environments are easy to navigate and you do have manual control over your camera. It's worth mentioning nontheless.

I mentioned before the lack of quality voice over work. Characters like Shou and Chris are generally easy enough to listen to but Reed, Big and Tillis are either irritatingly high pitched or off puttingly monotonous. Also, there is a distinct lack of music during gameplay. This could be because of Sonic Team using the DSP for graphical effects or simply to generate atmosphere but music only tends to appear during cutscenes or boss fights.

One last thing is a translation issue that I noticed. Multiple times throughout the game you see Reed's name printed as "Leed". It's just a little instance of Engrish creeping into the game but it's fairly prominent. Also Big's last name is Landman. Big Landman.

The Bottom Line
Burning Rangers is a very impressive technical achievement. The game is replete with stunning graphical effects some thought the Saturn wasn't capable of such as real transparency and coloured lighting. This is no mere tech demo though. Burning Rangers is a really solid gameplay experience with superb analog control, great level design and addicting gameplay that rewards quick reflexes and meticulous searching.

There are a few apparent issues regarding clipping and some audio and translation issues but this does not take any shine off of the amazing graphics, outstanding gameplay and great lastability.

Burning Rangers is an example of how capable the Saturn really was. This, along with games like House of the Dead, Panzer Dragoon Saga and Shining Force 3 were an incredible swansong and is a title not to be missed for Saturn owners.

SEGA Saturn · by AkibaTechno (238) · 2011


1001 Video Games

Burning Rangers appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Additional contributors: Rik Hideto, FatherJack.

Game added October 30, 2002. Last modified September 17, 2023.