Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid Review — Go Go Away from this Game


Being let down by a game that’s nearly great can be more disappointing than playing a game that’s outright terrible. When the potential for a game that could be something great is there, one can’t help but think about what could have been. Unfortunately, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is one of these titles despite the solid mechanics at its core.

When everything is functioning properly, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is a fun, accessible, and fanservice filled team-based fighter. Sadly, this is all marred by lackluster visuals, a small character roster, a lack of a real story that pays tribute to the entire series, and an overall feeling of being rushed to release prior to Mortal Kombat 11 and the end of the fiscal year.

If nothing else, one would expect Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid to do well in paying tribute to the long-running franchise. Developer nWay had not only done this before with Power Rangers: Legacy Wars for iOS and Android, but Shattered Grid, the comic event this game seemingly pulls from, is full of fanservice. While Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid attempts to do this in a few ways, it fails in others.

On the positive side of things, the character models and animations are all true to form for the characters they are representing, which did leave a grin on my face the first time I played. There are also some interesting characters in its pitifully small roster (more on that later) whose inclusion shows that the developers do have extensive knowledge on the entire franchise. Unfortunately, it fails to live it to its franchise and potential in other ways.

Despite promising a story, it’s basically absent in the final game. While Lord Drakkon is here, all players will get for anything story related is a couple of lines of poorly written, generic dialogue against still images with the final two characters you face off against in Arcade mode. For a franchise with years of history that should all finally coming together in this game, it is very disappointing and leaves the Battle for the Grid feeling hollow despite its premise.

Due to the title’s budgeted nature, there’s no voice acting outside of the announcer, which takes a lot of potential personality and unique flair out of the game. There are small bios for playable characters highlighting their history, but these are very short, and again, the roster is surprisingly lean. The accurate models, stages, and character picks show that the developers do know and care about Power Rangers, though the lack of any real story or personality in a game that is brimming with potential definitely makes Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid feel rushed.

In general, the presentation is one of Battle for the Grids weakest areas. Outside of the aforementioned issues, the graphics are generally underwhelming and I’ve run into a few visual glitches since launch. One area where the presentation is surprisingly smooth and polished is in the online modes. I never ran into any noticeable lag when playing the game, which is impressive when even AAA contemporaries can struggle with this at launch. Unfortunately, it’s disappointing when that’s the only great thing about your game’s presentation.

If you can get past all of these issues, there is a surprisingly solid fighter at the core. One of the biggest goals for nWay with Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid was to make the game accessible, and it succeeds here. There aren’t many extremely difficult techniques to get the hang of so those who are bad at complicated inputs in fighting games shouldn’t be scared off. All four face buttons plus a direction pull off different attacks, creating a system where even more novice players can string together some competent moves.

There’s definitely more room for hardcore players to work with though, with the Battle for the Grid’s tag team nature and Zords opening up a lot of opportunities. One of three Zords can be used when the meter is filled up in battle and while you don’t directly control them, they will help out with some extremely powerful attacks that can have a major influence on fights. While fighting in actual Zords would’ve been awesome, this is still a clever and unique way to include them.

Even though the game is easy to get the hang of, its tutorial is surprisingly laughable, only teaching the absolute minimum. Considering Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid’s paltry selection of modes, a more fleshed out training mode would have at least given players more content to go through and learn the intricacies of gameplay in before delving into online matches.

While the actual gameplay is solid, it’s ultimately let down by the lack of content in terms of modes, stages, and characters available. At release, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid only has training, casual online matches, ranked online matches, versus, and a barebones arcade mode. This is the bare minimum for a fighting game to be considered complete, meaning that there isn’t much to Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid if you don’t plan on sticking around in the online modes.

I understand that this is a smaller, cheaper title, but having almost no single-player content is laughable when experiences like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate exist and are more worth it for the players’ money. Even with the online modes, there isn’t a way to create lobbies. For everything Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid gets right, it seems to do at least one other thing wrong.

Then there’s the roster, which only features 9 characters. That’s right, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is a 3v3 fighter that only has 9 characters. You’ll be seeing a lot of repeats. There are some interesting pulls like the Ranger Slayer and Kat that show respect for the franchise, but there are many characters absent. I appreciate that they didn’t make the roster just Power Rangers, but they also don’t even have representation for each color ranger and notable villains like Rita Repulsa.

The roster ends up unfullfiling despite the absolutely large cast of characters available to pull from. For a 3v3 fighter in a franchise known for its ensembles, this meager lineup is very disappointing and barely worth the $19.99 price tag when Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is otherwise unimpressive.

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is clearly set up for DLC, with some already available, but that doesn’t excuse a lack of content in the base game. This, above everything else, is what makes the game feel rushed. It seems as though they got 9 characters working in a barebones experience, and just decided to release Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid and add more later. It’s not worth your time at launch despite its smooth online play and solid mechanics.

While I am leveling my fair share of complaints at the game, I wouldn’t call it a lazy mobile port. It’s different from Power Rangers: Legacy Wars in a lot of ways; unfortunately, I would still say that Legacy Wars is the superior Power Rangers gaming experience. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid had so much potential, and nWay seemed eager to capitalize on that when I spoke to them in January, but the final product just feels rushed together due to its poor presentation and lack of content. Die hard Power Rangers fans may get a bit out of this, but most players will likely be done and never want to touch the game again after a couple of hours.

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Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid Release Dates Are Unveiled from the Viewing Globe


The official Twitter account for the upcoming title Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid posted a new status update concerning the official release dates:

According to the recent tweet, Battle for the Grid will start rolling out on March 26th for both Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. PlayStation owners in Europe will be getting the game on March 28th and for PS4 fans in America it drops on April 2nd. PC fans will have to wait until Summer 2019 to their hands on the brawler, however.

Battle for the Grid seems to be the Power Rangers fighting game that fans of the franchise have been waiting for, as nWay Senior Product Manager Jesse Cherry was very adamant about this title not just being a mobile port or a quick and easy cash-in, but a game built for consoles and PC. Cherry stated:

“This is from the ground up, full movement, and what you expect from console team based fighters like Marvel vs. Capcom or Dragon Ball FighterZ. There are all new animations. We had to create new rigs because in the mobile game our characters didn’t have certain points of articulation that we needed for a game on consoles. So this is brand new.”

That’s of course not to mention Cherry’s desire for the title to have a strong post launch support and esports community, which in part will be dependent on the support and strength of the fanbase itself.

Not that the casual fans will be left out either, as Battle of the Grid will feature a single-player story mode. According to Cherry, the plot is based in part on the Shattered Grid arc in the comics. In that storyline, Lord Drakkon, an evil version of Mighty Morphin’ Green Ranger Tommy Oliver from an alternate dimension, was the main villain of the event. Lord Drakkon is confirmed to be in the game as a villain.

There’s still time to preorder the game before launch, which will net you a Green Ranger V2 character skin as well as a digital art book. A $39.99 deluxe edition of the game is also available and includes Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid’s first Season Pass, a Lord Drakkon Evo II skin, and a Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Pink Ranger skin.

For more on the game, check out our interview with development studio nWay as they discuss console development, story, and cross-play.

The post Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid Release Dates Are Unveiled from the Viewing Globe by Allisa James appeared first on DualShockers.



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Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid Gameplay Trailer Finally Shows Zords and New Characters


Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid has received a few gameplay videos in the past but they have been fairly reserved, only showing a couple of characters and the basic fighting mechanics. Today, a full-fledged gameplay trailer was released by nWay, Lionsgate, and Hasbro and it finally showcases several new characters as well as Zords’ use in game as Megazord Ultras.

The gameplay of Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid looks much more fluid here than in some previous trailers, as it isn’t afraid to show juggle combos and the game’s assist takeover mechanics. Additionally, it shows new characters with varied abilities unlike what we’ve seen so far. In addition to the four previous confirmed characters (Jason, Tommy, Lord Drakkon, and Gia), this trailer shows that Magna Defender, Mastodon Sentry, Goldar, Ranger Slayer, and Kat will also be joining the fray.

These characters come a wide variety of places within the Power Rangers lore, reflected the developer’s previous comments. nWay’s Senior Producer told DualShockers in a recent interview that “a big, important part for us is to make sure that people that left the brand or stopped watching the show at different times will have elements in Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid that will bring them back. Then, we can introduce them to new, interesting stuff.” This trailer helps prove that Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is definitely trying to do that.

That being said, Jesse was hesitant to talk about one thing in our interview that was finally shown off today: Zords. This trailer introduces the concept of Megazord Ultras, which give the player some extra help by attacking or stunning one’s opponent. While we don’t see a full-on zord on zord fight in this trailer, Megazord Ultras are an interesting inclusion nonetheless.

You can check out some screenshots featuring the new characters below. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid will now release for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in “Spring 2019”, a more vague window than the previously shared “April 2019” release window. Following the console release, the game will also be coming to PC later this year.



The post Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid Gameplay Trailer Finally Shows Zords and New Characters by Tomas Franzese appeared first on DualShockers.



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Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid Developer: “This is Not a Mobile Port”


Hasbro, Lionsgate, and developer nWay were all set to announce Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid next Tuesday, January 22. Unfortunately, the YouTube channel Dante Nintendo Switch World posted the trailer and press release early, leading to the game being revealed on the same day Mortal Kombat 11 was fully unveiled. Still, nWay took this early announcement in stride, with Senior Product Manager Jesse Cherry telling me that “the response has been good” so far in a recent interview: “There are a lot of Power Rangers fans excited.”

Still, the response has been tepid from others who think the game looks like a quick cash-in mobile port, mostly because nWay also worked on the popular iOS and Android fighting game Power Rangers: Legacy Wars. Call these people trolls, but the game just being a mobile port was a significant concern for some. nWay is hoping to quell this stigma.

Jesse Cherry was quite adamant about Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid being “made from the ground up” for consoles. He bluntly said to DualShockers multiple times throughout a recent interview that “this is not a mobile port,” even if some of the tech from Legacy Wars is being used to improve Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid’s matchmaking and cross-play features.

The developers seem quite confident in delivering a satisfying 3v3 fighting games that elicits a similar feeling to Dragon Ball FighterZ as well as the Marvel vs. Capcom series on consoles. While “some of the same tech” from Power Rangers: Legacy Wars was used on Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, mainly concerning the multiplayer mode’s matchmaking, Jesse highlighted one essential part of development that was wholly original for the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch game to me: animation.

“This is from the ground up, full movement, and what you expect from console team based fighters like Marvel vs. Capcom or Dragon Ball FighterZ,” he confirmed.”There are all new animations. We had to create new rigs because in the mobile game our characters didn’t have certain points of articulation that we needed for a game on consoles. So this is brand new.” nWay was wholly dedicated to properly adapting the source material with the animation as well, watching several episodes of the classic shows and recreating several classic moves within Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid.

You may be wondering why nWay, Hasbro, and Lionsgate, all of whom typically liked to focus on mobile games in the past, are deciding to release a console game. According to Jesse, this decision was mostly based on fan demand. “Constantly in our mentions and comments, people were asking ‘can we get a full controller, Marvel vs. Capcom style fighting game for consoles. That’s what spurred [Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid] on,” he revealed.

Making this Power Rangers title for consoles a fighting game was also apparently a natural move for the studio. “Everyone in the studio” over at nWay is apparently a big fan of fighting games, with some staff members being “old-timers that even grew up playing Street Fighter II in the arcades.” Drawing from their love games like Street Fighter II and more recent titles like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, nWay’s focus has been on fighting games recently, coming to a head with Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid. 

This passion for fighting games has inspired them through the studio’s development and consistent support of Power Rangers: Legacy Wars. When it comes to fighting games, Jesse Cherry says nWay loves to put “a new spin on them, make them more synchronous” which he thinks the studio achieved with Legacy Wars and is now “chomping at the bit” to do so once more, now on consoles.

After learning all this, I asked Jesse Cherry what some of the most significant differences were developing Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid for consoles when compared to Power Rangers: Legacy Wars’ mobile development. While he was quick to point out that “there’s a lot of similarities more and more nowadays,” there were defiantly a few key differences when looking at Battle for the Grid’s development.

The game isn’t free-to-play, which was a significant change for them, but being on console also meant that the experience had to be “far more focused on moment to moment gameplay.” As Jesse points out, its typical of mobile game players to experience their games in 10 or more short five-minute gameplay bursts over the course of a day instead of one long gameplay session. Due to that fact, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars was designed with the ethos that nWay “always want to give the player something to do” in a meta-game sense.

As I briefly mentioned before, developing Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch meant nWay made the design decision to focus on exciting “moment to moment” gameplay that would sustain a player’s interest so “you can go for thirty minutes or more.” As such, there is apparently less of an emphasis on the “meta-game systems” that were used in Power Rangers: Legacy Wars to encourage players to consistently return to the game.

Even though it is clear that nWay has made a massive effort to distinguish Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid from its mobile predecessor, the game did bolster itself with some of the experience and tech learned from Power Rangers: Legacy Wars. Jesse Cherry told us that these cherry-picked systems are what make “players feel good as they are playing,” and mainly concern the multiplayer portion of Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid. 

The central aspect pulled from mobile is matchmaking, as the massive infrastructure Power Rangers: Legacy Wars had allowed nWay to learn a lot about how to properly structure things. “Here’s something that was helping us that we could take over to the console games,” commented Jesse as he revealed that this infrastructure also helped ensure the game’s impressive cross-play and cross-progression capabilities made it in at launch. “It takes a team of server engineers to make this work, but luckily we had that.”

Working on Power Rangers: Legacy Wars also meant that nWay became very knowledgeable about how to handle developing a game based on the classic franchise. “Luckily a lot of the research that we did for Legacy Wars sort of comes over here,” Jesse told me, also commenting that the developers’ experience with Power Rangers and working with the game engine Unity makes “things a lot easier when making new projects.”

Jesse also believes that nWay’s experience with mobile game development will also ensure that the game’s progression system and ranked mode are quite fun and satisfying to get through. While it’s true effect remains to be seen in the full game, it was probably a wise decision for nWay to learn from and improve upon the aspects of mobile game development that transition nicely into console game development.

While there are still a lot of unknowns surrounding Power Rangers: Battle for Grid following its announcement, which came less than three months before its official launch, we can say for sure that the game will not be a hastily slapped together mobile port. The systems that were brought over from Power Rangers: Legacy Wars only seem to help Battle for the Grid’s multiplayer features and meant that the game could be created in “a far faster than regular sort of cycle just because of how much we learned.”

In the end though, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid seems like it has been able to build something that feels wholly original on the groundwork laid by Legacy Wars. If it isn’t already clear, nWay has put its foot down and stated that Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid “is not a mobile port,” so you shouldn’t let that stigma stop you from keeping an eye on and potentially picking up the game.

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid will be releasing for Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch sometime this April with the PC version of the game to follow later in 2019. Stay tuned to DualShockers over the next week for more Battle for the Grid coverage based on our interview with nWay Senior Product Manager Jesse Cherry.

The post Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid Developer: “This is Not a Mobile Port” by Tomas Franzese appeared first on DualShockers.



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