I don’t know if it’s a run of bad luck for the Power Rangers franchise or just the curse of the movie tie-in game; but it looks that we are getting badly made, rushed out, cash grab games featuring our favorite spandex clad Japanese characters turned American. Power Rangers: Legacy Wars is a fighter much in the same vein as the Mortal Kombat and Injustice mobile fighters, but without the good controls, balanced rewards, and character selection.
Usually I’d start a review by talking about the story behind the game, however Power Rangers: Legacy Wars doesn’t really contain a story in the traditional sense. The promotional game write ups state that the story is: “Rita Repulsa, the space witch, has infected the Morphin Grid, creating virtual monsters and Ranger clones programmed to fight on her behalf. Fight back with your own curated team of legendary Power Rangers and villains from the multiverse! Unlock new Rangers, upgrade your best warriors and create the best team to defeat Rita, and save the Morphin Grid.” There are no cutscenes or even dialogue sequences in Power Rangers: Legacy Wars. Instead it’s just an excuse to have a three versus three group battle featuring the various Power Ranger teams and their associated villains face off. While other mobile fighters also don’t have a story, they at least feature some interaction between the characters. In Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, the interaction is nothing more than your “main” fighter gesturing “bring it on” to your opponent. I know this is a mobile game, but can we get these characters some personality? Even if they are silent, there are still actions the characters can take to make them feel real, where as at the moment the characters just look like re-skinned versions of the same character model.
The gameplay in Power Rangers: Legacy Wars is very simple. You move your character backwards and forward via swiping the screen and then tap one of three options to attack or defend. Each action you take costs power, which is indicated by a draining and filling gauge in the center of the screen. The other thing about the attacks is that they work on a rock-paper-scissors system, with red attacks breaking blue (which is your block), blue defends against yellow attacks and yellow attacks have priority over red attacks… When the system works.
There are two issues I’ve found with my time with Power Rangers: Legacy Wars. The first being that the rock-paper-scissors nature of the game does not work as intended. A lot of the time I’ll have my yellow attacks taken out with red attacks, blue blocking working against red attacks, etc. Not to mention that sometimes an attack will be used even though you never actually hit the command. The other issue I have with Power Rangers: Legacy Wars is that the timing of attacks and defense relies way too much on your personal internet connection, ranging from getting stun locked with no chance to enter any commands, to full blown drop out of your opponent or yourself; leading to a one sided fight that’s not fun at all.
Games like Injustice & Mortal Kombat are very well received by gamers is because you aren’t locked into some weird struggle with the server as well as your opponent, not to mention that you aren’t forced into this online mode shitfest. Those games have a single player ladder mode that you can play instead, something that Power Rangers: Legacy Wars desperately needed due to the nature of lag forcing more issues in their battle system than need be.
Now I’d like to talk about the sound, but there isn’t anything to talk about. Everyone has the same silent reaction to everything. You do get a small guitar riff of the “Go Go Power Rangers” theme when you win or lose, but other then that there isn’t much in the way of music, again its just generic crap.
The graphics are not too bad when it comes to Power Rangers: Legacy Wars. While everyone does have an almost plastic action figure look to them, they at least look like their proper characters. This is shown more in the monster designs than the Rangers themselves since there’s only so much detail you can give tight as all hell spandex. The animations for the attacks flow well and even turn into combos really well when it works. The backgrounds, while limited, are done really well and you know where they came from in the TV series or movies.
The final thing to talk about are the dreaded microtransactions. While you do earn one random higher level loot box per day, plus a few common levels that you can line up to open later, two daily low end loot boxes and one “corrupted” loot box that you earn by doing damage to your opponents. Sure, it sounds like a lot, but then you get hit with the paywall in the mechanic of waiting. The high end loot boxes cause a wait time of 6 to 12 hours, then the additional loot boxes are 1 to 2 hours each. The daily boxes are two a day at a 4 hour wait timer each, but they reward next to nothing. So what do you have to pay for? The usual gold coins (which help either buy or level up a character) and power crystals (which are used to speed up loot box timers). Gold and Crystals are found in loot boxes, but are at such a slow amount that you very quickly get pushed to purchase them. While again it doesn’t seem like much, but the characters you really want (Like Mighty Morphin Green Ranger for example) are locked behind limited time offers in the $15 range.
Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, like Saban’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Mega Battle before it, feels like a rushed out cash in that puts yet another stain on the Power Rangers franchise at a time where it’s getting a global resurgence. People aren’t going to spend weeks, months or even years on Power Rangers: Legacy Wars like they do with the NeitherRealm fighting games. So to see a push towards spending money right away really hurts me as a gamer and a Power Rangers fan. I really want to give Power Rangers: Legacy Wars a chance, and I’ll keep trying after a few months or so, just to see how much is locked away from us via a paywall. Hopefully the next time we see a Power Rangers game it’ll be a proper well thought out game that is given the time, dedication and respect that the property deserves… But I doubt it.
Nothing worse than a game that holds everything behind paywalls and timers. The obvious cash grab nature of this game, plus some seriously bad server issues put a damper on what should and could have been a really good fighting game. Other studios have found success in the mobile fighting game market because they put the time, dedication and respect into the properties. Power Rangers: Legacy Wars is just something that has been thrown out into the marketplace because there is a movie out at the moment. Once the movie hype dies, so does this game.