Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
Welcome Time Wasters!
This week my time-wasting takes me back to my childhood as I look at Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid (thanks to a free review code). Power Rangers isn’t something I really get the chance to talk about here much, but superheroes and giant mechs match up perfectly with my other interest. It should come as no surprise it was one of my early loves.
I grew up in the 90s, so the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was in full swing. I basically watched most of the series that came out all the way up through SPD, but won’t deny I’ve missed a few here and there. My personal favorite to this day is still Power Rangers Time Force, but I also have a soft spot for Power Rangers in Space (The Pshyco Ranger arc is amazing!). Luckily for me, there is a large cast of characters from across the Power Rangers franchise available in this game.
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid features a story adapted from the Boom Comics run. I’ve not read this myself, but I’ve only heard good things about it. I can see why as the story mode here offers a neat twist for players. They basically have to team up with Power Rangers from across multiple dimensions and times to stop Lord Drakkon. Drakkon is an alternate version of Tommy from MMPR that never became a good guy and holds the powers of both the Green and White Rangers.
I’ll be completely honest, there are moments where the story falls a little flat, but it’s definitely still Power Rangers at its heart. I also think this has less to do with the story itself and more to do with the pacing of the game.
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is a fighting game. It puts players in the roles of both the good guys and bad guys at various points in the story. The biggest problem it has is in the third act. There are loads of repeat battles here that exist just to stretch the game out. It also doesn’t help that the game interjects dialogue during the combat. This has the game actually pausing so that the player can read text that pops up on the screen. This sucks at it can pull the player out of their combos. It also doesn’t immediately give the player back control of their character, which can result in the enemy getting a few free hits in. This happens way too often in the final battle of the game.
Outside of these nitpicks, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid offers some great fighting action. Pulling off combos is easy enough, but there’s clearly a deeper system to learn. It also has all the special, super and ultra moves that players could want. Plus, it features battles with up to three characters on each side. I love this style and all the assist combos and switches it allows for. It also adds an extra layer of strategy to the game by letting players switch characters out to recover health.
I’m no stranger to the fighting game genre, but I can’t deny that it’s been a while since I dipped my toes into it. That’s mostly due to my friends getting out of it after high school. That’s why I love the addition of online play in this game and it runs smooth. The problem here is that there aren’t many players online to go against. I gave it a shot but kept facing off against the same guy over and over again.
The roster of characters is great with there being more than a dozen to chose from. It’s not a crazy amount, sure, but this is only a $20 game. What isn’t worth the price are the DLC characters and skins. Each character is $5.99, which is dang steep for what the players get. Two of the skins in the game, such as the one for the original Pink Ranger, are $39.99 each. That’s just plain stupid and I can’t understand why it’s like this.
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid isn’t the most visually impressive game there is, but I can forgive that. Overall, hitboxes seem to be accurate, which is what I care about more. It also helps that the fights are flashy and the movements of the characters feel like they have the appropriate amount of weight to them. Also, that Ranger Slayer outfit for the evil Pink Ranger is hands-down one of the coolest-looking suits in Power Rangers history.
The biggest complaint I have with the game is the audio. It’s not so much the sound effects or music, but the voice acting that bothers me. The developers did get back quite a few original actors for the game and I love that. However, the actual recording quality of the voices is all over the place. Also, I love Kyle Herbert as much as the next guy, but did he really need to voice three characters?
Overall, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is a great game and is perfect to jump into for a couple of rounds here and there. The story mode is fun and entertaining, the battles feel good and it’s a love letter to Power Rangers fans. If you love the Rangers, then don’t feel bad about picking this game up for the full price.
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid earns 4 GiN Gems out of 5!
Developers: nWay Games
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One