Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is a nostalgic throwback to the classic television show from the 90s. While the original release of the game may not have been a polished masterpiece, developer nWay Inc. outdid themselves by updating it with a complete storyline, voice acting, and new characters. It’s fun, quick, and sets itself apart from other familiar fighting games.
The fighting sees players taking control of three different characters from the Power Rangers universe. The game launched with nine playable characters but eventually the developers released three others, bringing the current ranking to 12. Every Ranger or other fighter has access to heavy attacks, quick attacks, and specials. The button mapping is clear, precise, and doesn’t leave you fiddling about with pressing random combinations to figure out a fantastic move. It’s easy to figure out what buttons lead to new maneuvers to bring down opponents. Fighters even get their own unique ultimate ability that feature their own personal spin on attacks. Eventually, they can even summon the Megazord, Dragonzord, or Mega Goldar to smack down their opponent.
Fighters such as Jason focus more on quick attacks and thrusts with his sword, while Gia uses range to her advantage, striking out with her chained daggers. Players can also choose to go for a more brute forced fighter like Magan Defender or Goldar.
Before the update included voice acting, a story, and new art, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid wasn’t anything special to look at. It was another generic fighting game that just happened to include the Power Rangers. Now, it’s fresh, exciting, and engaging. While the voice over work may be lackluster and feels rushed, it at least exists. It’s enjoyable to hear the original actors lend their voices to the game . It’s a Power Rangers game for crying out loud, fans want to hear the familiar voices of Tommy and Kimberly as they battle out their teenage angst in the Grid.
The storyline plays out like a comic book. Lord Drakkon is hopping through the Grid hunting or recruiting rangers to his mission. The gameplay shifts when he or one of his hunters begins a fight with another fighter. However, while it may provide a more entertaining approach than just defeating enemy after enemy, it’s highly monotonous. Thankfully, fighters are switched out often to keep the flow more interesting and fluid. The plot is similar to that from the original TV series, but it’s a lot more adult. It’s gritty, dark, and mysterious and this is a fighting game we are talking about. I was left wanting to know what happens next.
One of the other drawbacks of the game as a whole, is the level selection is bland. There aren’t that many choices and the ones given don’t feature a wide variety of things to look at. The most exciting map to fight on includes the Megazord fighting giant Goldar, but their fight is so obviously routine, that it takes a few seconds for them to start over and begin the fight from the beginning.
Online multiplayer also needs some tender love and care. Connecting matches online was met with frequent dropped connections or laggy games. Even finding a match with a friend was near impossible. I never got the chance to fully delve into the online play due to the amount of times I got kicked off or the other player quit the match.
Verdict: Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid contains plenty of highpoints for the fighting game genre but lacks in just a few places. The backdrops to the few levels to pick from are dull and while the cast of characters is fun, including the entirety of the original group or some other characters would be a gift. The voice over is drab but it’s a nice touch to include it at all. It’s a classic arcade fighting game but needs some improvements to really stand up to today’s releases.