Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid – Super Edition Review: Make My Roster Grow
When it was released in 2019, Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid delivered fighting game fans a competent, if somewhat lean, tag-based brawler. Now, two years later, developer nWay has returned with a much more robust package with Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid – Super Edition, which bundles together all of the game’s DLC, including the recently released Street Fighter Pack, which adds the World Warriors Ryu and Chun Li to the roster.
The base game launched with a meager nine playable characters. Super Edition’s roster of 23 combatants from throughout the Power Rangers universe more than doubles that number. Needless to say, there’s a lot more meat on the game’s bones this time around. But is that enough to make this mighty morphin’ melee worth your time?
It’s Morphin’ Time
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid actually marks the franchise’s second attempt at producing a fighting game. While Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on the Sega Genesis was one of the countless mediocre Street Fighter II clones of the early 90s, Battle For the Grid instead takes its inspiration from Marvel vs. Capcom. And honestly, it’s all the better for it. The game’s a combo-heavy, high-energy affair where projectiles often fill the screen, and careless players can catch the business end of a Mega Zord’s fist if they’re not careful.
Despite all the chaos going on at any given moment, the game’s controls are fairly streamlined. It uses a simple four-button fighting system, with the controller’s face buttons mapped to light, medium, heavy, and special attacks. There are no complex directional inputs to worry about. Special moves are executed by simply pressing the stick in one direction and pressing a button. Meanwhile, EX and Super moves, which require power stocks to use, are performed by pressing two face buttons simultaneously, and tagging and assist abilities are handled with the shoulder buttons.
At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about this approach to the game’s controls. I was worried the basic move inputs would make Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid feel like Fisher-Price: My First Fighting Game – Playground Edition. Thankfully, my fears were mostly misplaced (more on that later). Despite some simplified control scheme, this is a surprisingly modern fighter with plenty of depth for fighting game fanatics to sink their teeth into.
A Sentai Slugfest
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid – Super Edition doesn’t pack any surprises when it comes to modes. There’s your typical selection of game types to choose from. Arcade Mode lets you choose a team of 3 from the roster of 23 playable heroes and villains from nine different Power Rangers‘ series, including Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Power Rangers Mystic Force, Power Rangers Time Force, Power Rangers Zeo, to name a few. In addition to Arcade, there’s also a Story Mode. This one’s a bit more ambitious, as you play as both the heroes and villains in a 16-chapter adventure written by Kyle Higgins, the creator and writer of Boom! Studios’ Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic series. Featuring voice talent from the television show’s original cast and a cadre of characters spanning the entire multiverse, it’s the kind of stuff that fans of the franchise should go nuts for.
In addition to these single-player modes, the game also offers your requisite two-player Versus Mode as well as a Training Mode, which is good for helping you master the game’s various combos.
Of course, being a fighting game and all, the Online Mode is probably the most important part of Battle for the Grid‘s package. And thankfully, during my time spent with the game for review, all of my matches went off without a hitch. It’s easy to hob in ranked and casual lobbies to go head to head with the competition or play with friends. So if you’re a Power Rangers devotee looking to take the fight from the Grid to the Net, you shouldn’t have any issues jumping right into the action.
Tripping Over Nostalgia
While I had a lot of fun with Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid – Super Edition, it’s not without its share of issues that keep it from being totally Morphinomenal. Remember earlier in this review when I mentioned the game’s streamlined control scheme? While I appreciate developer nWay’s attempt to simplify Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid’s controls, it does create some problems from time to time. Unless you always keep your joystick in the neutral position, it’s easy to accidentally fire off a move you didn’t want to perform due to the game’s single direction + button move inputs. Which, as you can imagine, can leave you wide-open to an attack. And given how aggressive the enemy’s AI is, this does become a headache.
Thankfully, this issue doesn’t affect Street Fighter characters Ryu and Chun Li. Their moves are executed using the same quarter-circle and charge inputs you’re used to.
Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid – Super Edition also lacks polish in some areas, both in terms of visuals and mechanics. There are only a handful of backgrounds in the entire game. And, sadly, they all look rather flat and lifeless. Then again, the character models don’t fare much better either. But seeing as this is a budget game, it’s hard to judge the game too harshly for its less than stellar visuals. Oh, and don’t get me started on the infinite combos. It’s not uncommon to get caught in an endless death loop that decimates your entire health bar. While it’s great fun to exploit these for a laugh, it can be incredibly frustrating to find yourself on the receiving end of one. Here’s hoping these get patched out of the game at some point.
He Who Fights And Runs Away… Lives To Fight Another Day
No doubt about it, Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid wasn’t ready for prime time when it was released in 2019. However, developer nWay’s focus on pumping fresh content into the game has mostly paid off over the past two years. While it isn’t likely to replace your fighter du jour like Guilty Gear -Strive- or Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown anytime soon, those of you who left your hearts in Angel Grove will find the Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid – Super Edition to be a slightly above average brawler packed with more fan service than you can shake a Dragon Dagger at.
Final Verdict: 3/5
Available on: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Switch, PC; Publisher: nWay Inc./Maximum Games; Developer: nWay Inc.; Players: 2; Released: May 25th, 2021; ESRB: T for Teen; MSRP: $49.99
Full disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher.