I’m a very big Power Rangers fan, I was there at the beginning with the Mighty Morphin era and then went all the way up to Super Megaforce until I finally dropped out. But I can back now and again to enjoy certain things like the comics (which are awesome!) or the 25th anniversary and everything else. So when Power Rangers Battle For The Grid came across my pathways, I was pumped! And while it’s a solid fighter, it’s missing a lot of the personality that helps define the more long-lasting franchises.
Game Name: Power Rangers Battle For The Grid
Platform(s): Switch (reviewed), PS4, Xbox One. PC version coming Summer 2019
Release Date: March 26, 2019
Let’s start with the positive. The game honestly looks really good. It would’ve been really easy for them to skimp on the graphics and go with very basic character models. But honestly, all the Rangers in the game look really good. And their movesets are very much tied to the characters in their own ways. Jason Lee Scott (MMPR Red Ranger) uses his sword mostly with the occasional blaster fire. While the Manga Defender is slower but packs a lot of punch with his sword, which also more readily fires bolts from the blue. And the Ranger Slayer is one of the fastest characters in the game and loves to play dodge with foes.
Like Marvel Vs. Capcom, you’ll pick three characters to be on your team and go do battle in a certain variety of settings. There’s Casual Mode, where you can battle online opponents for nothing more than pride. A Ranked Mode (which is in Pre-Season at the time of this review) where you can prove you’re the best in the world, and an Arcade Mode that’ll let you do a “story mode” with the first character you selected.
Oh, and of course, there’s a training mode, but I do wish that it was more in-depth than just looking up attacks and such. But hey, I know that most fighting games do just that.
Sadly, if you’re expecting me to do a more in-depth analysis on Power Rangers Battle For The Grid, you’re kind of out of luck. For this game honestly reminds me of the release of Street Fighter V. It’s a very bare-bones title, and it shows in all the wrong ways.
For example, Arcade Mode? There’s minimal “story” and the boss is predictably the same (which they could’ve honestly changed up if they did it right given the long history of the franchise) and it’s honestly kind of boring to go through for one very simple reason… there are only 9 characters in the game right now. That’s right, 9. Out of a franchise roster of over a hundred (and growing) characters that could’ve been in this game. They chose 9. In fact, here they are:
Can you see the problem with this roster? While I applaud them using stalwarts like MMPR Red and Green Rangers, the Magna Defender, Goldar, Super Megaforce Yellow, the rest are…way too niche. For example, Lord Drakkon is a character that was made in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers event known as Shattered Grid (it’s awesome, look it up). He was an alternate universe Tommy Oliver that actually accepted Rita’s offer of power, and he betrayed the Rangers, then Rita, then took over the world…then took over all worlds…long story. Having him in there is actually kind of cool. But, having the Ranger Slayer (who is Kimberly from that alternate timeline who got brainwashed by Drakkon), and the Mastodon Sentry from that event? That’s a little much.
Or how about Kat Manx from SPD? A character who transformed I believe only a handful of times throughout THE ENTIRE SEASON!
Seriously, there are so many other characters, both heroes and villains that could’ve been in this roster and fleshed it out greatly. Such as Lord Zedd, the Psycho Rangers, Lothor just to name the villains. And as for Rangers, how about Zane from In Space? Karone from Lost Galaxy? Tori from Ninja Storm? Cam could’ve worked too. The Jungle Fury squad would’ve been very unique here, and on and on.
To have three characters come from a comic event, an event that I would bet 80% of Power Rangers fans never read? And then one character who didn’t even get her powers until near the end of the season in Kat? That’s too niche. It makes me wonder what Hasbro was thinking of having such a small roster.
Which leads me back to Arcade mode, because with only 9 characters, and two of them are designated “bosses”, you’re going to be fighting the same characters over and over again. No seriously, you will. Trust me. If the roster was double this, it would be more bearable. But sadly, it’s not.
And this brings me to the other major issue with the game. A severe lack of personality. What I mean by that is that while it’s a fighting game, it’s only a Power Rangers fighting game because the characters are in it, and the stages are Power Rangers themed. But that’s it. The only real shots of personality are in some of the “Ultra Moves” that the characters do (like Green Ranger summoning the Dragon Zord for a missile attack), and then having the ability to summon a Megazord or Goldar to do damage to enemies. That’s a cool, and somewhat unique, idea. Especially since that special has to charge up. But everything else? It’s very basic.
Speaking of basic, let’s talk about voice acting…there isn’t any. Seriously! They have access to guys like Jason David Frank (who was in the reveal trailer for the game), but they don’t have him voice anything but an evil laugh! And none of the other characters speak too. Sure, some of the original actors or actresses might not be available, but I bet you can get sound-alikes!
And finally, while I like some of the special attacks from the Rangers, they don’t “feel” special outside of maybe Tommy’s Dragon Zord summon. They’re very basic pan out shots and then the attacks themselves. The sound dies out, and the attacks are often really quick. These are the moments that the game should shine, but it doesn’t.
I know it sounds like I’m harping on Power Rangers Battle For The Grid. But it honestly is a decent fighting game. I had no lag in the matches I had only, which were several. And the elements are all there to make the game great. It’s just they don’t embrace enough of the legacy to truly make this game great. And if it did, it would’ve been a lot better.
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Power Rangers Battle For The Grid Review
If you’re looking for a solid fighting game, Power Rangers Battle For The Grid is definitely something you’ll want to try out for a while. But if you’re looking for the ULTIMATE Power Rangers fighting game experience. Or a fighting game that’ll last you a long time, this isn’t it.