I will preface this review by voicing my bias. I am a power Rangers nerd. I was in the 90’s when the Rangers where at the height of their powers, and I am now with the latest iterations of the shows and comics books. I played hours and hours of Lightspeed Rescue on the PlayStation 1, and now I’ve played hours and hours of Battle for the grid on PC. As such, my enjoyment and expectations for the game might be dramatically different from yours if you’re neither a fan of power Rangers, or arcade fighting games such as this.
That aside what we have here is a fighting game loosely based around the shattered grid comic books, developed and published by nWay Inc. The game launched in September of 2019 to quite mixed reviews, but since then has been augmented heavily with frequent DLC releases. As such, nWay has decided to compile all this DLC into one product – The Super Edition.
So, where does the game stand as of the release of The Super Edition on the 25th of May 2021? Well, you’re in the right place if you want to find out, because we’re going to tackle Battle for the Grid’s latest release from every angle, and then you’ll know whether picking up The Super Edition is worth both your time and money.
Our MGN Impressions have evolved, and today we’re going to dissect Battle for the Grid: Super Edition from a variety of angles, we’ll give each angle a score from ten, and then give you our final verdict. We’re going to score Power Rangers on:
1: Difficulty – We’re going to look at whether the game is difficult enough to maintain a challenge and prevent the player from becoming bored quickly, without being so difficult that it is inaccessible to players who are unfamiliar with the tag-team fighting genre.
2: Appearance – Appearance is scored on both how the game looks graphically, and how demanding those graphics are. Are the models crisp and accurate to their source material? Are there frame drops on either the PC or console versions? That’s appearance.
3: Sound – Sound effects are crucial in a fighting game such as this. Abilities need to have recognizable and unique sound effects. But, with sound we’re also going to review the sound track and the voice acting, if there is any.
4: Story – Some fighting games forgo a story in lieu of a focus on game play, does Battle for the Grid fall into this crux? The game boasts being based loosely on the comic books, but does it do enough differently to maintain the players interest for the narrative. Or is this simply a re-telling of those stories, with a fighting game tacked on. We’ll see.
5: Fun – The gameplay needs to be fun. It needs to appeal to both a power rangers informed and ignorant audience. If a fighting game isn’t fun to pick up and play immediately, it doesn’t last long and the player base falls off quickly. Where does Battle for the Grid stand? We’ll see.
6: Price – Does the amount of money that you have to spend on the Super Edition, despite including all the past DLC, stack up against how much time and enjoyment that you can get out of the game? Is it underpriced, overpriced – that’s Price, and we’ll get there lastly.
3:50 – Difficulty 9/10
Battle for the Grid is pick up and play. Even if you’re not terribly experienced or interested in the genre in general, you’re not going to be hard-blocked by intimidating combos or complex mechanics. There’s not combination with half circle radius’ turns that perform the coolest looking attacks, it’s simple direction and button press. What does that mean? Well, you’re going to be able to pick up the game quite quickly, and you’re going to feel very satisfied pulling off some of the cooler looking abilities without having to practice playing the game for fourteen hours a day, every day – that’s a good thing.
If I was to make a comparison for the difficulty in Battle for the Grid, I would say it much easier to pick up than something like the Street Fighter series or Marvel vs Capcom, and would liken it to something like Super Smash Brothers. I say this because the abilities and combinations are easy to pull off and wrap your head around, but there is depth there in the mastering of the timing and execution in relation to what your opponent is doing.
That’s what makes Battle for the Grid such a good game in that respect, it’s very accessible for newer players – which is important with the newest edition dropping, but not so devoid of depth that there is no sense of competitiveness, especially well playing against other players online. For that execution, I’ve had to give Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid – Super Edition a 9 from 10 for it’s difficulty handling.
5:08 – Appearance 6/10
Unfortunately Battle for the Grid is pretty visually unimpressive. Whilst mechanically it is very difficult to tell that the game had a very small budget, visually it is quite obvious. The textures of the models themselves aren’t terribly detailed, and things like shadows and environments don’t really feel like much of an improvement of the mobile game that the franchise released a little while ago.
So, why does Battle for the Grid earn a six instead of a much lower number for this execution. Well, because there aren’t any continuity hickups between translating the iterations of the rangers because several mediums, and their fighting-game counterparts. That’s something that has been amiss often in Power Ranger games in the past, and I’m glad that nWay has gone to the effort to get it right.
The second reason is the effort. Effort if not execution. The studio hasn’t left the game bare of visual effects, just because the game doesn’t have a huge budget to make them look AAA. You’re not missing out on impressive visual effects for super moves, you don’t miss out on the large scale Zord fights. These are things crucial to make a good Ranger game, and the studio hasn’t let the budget impede their inclusion. They’re there, it’s a good effort, but not the most appealing to the eye.
6:28 – Sound 8/10
Whilst it is true that the game launched without voice acting, and that some fans thought the game should have been held back until details like this were ironed out, we’re here to review The Super Edition. This edition includes the story update and with it brought finally brought voice acting to the game, as such we’re not going to detract from the sound score for not having voice acting at launch, because we’re reviewing a separate product here.
What I will say about the voice acting is that nWay didn’t screw the pooch. Having anyone but Jason David Frank voice Tommy would have been a catastrophic failure. Not only did they secure Frank, but his performance is knocked out of the park, and brings the game to life. Furthermore the studio even managed to secure Austin St. John to reprise his role as Jason, which is rarer thing for Austin to take on Power Rangers projects after his exit from the television show originally. Kudos to nWay for securing the talent necessary to make nostalgic fans of the series happy.
High praise for the voice acting, but what does that leave for sound? The sound effects, and the sound track. We’ll go with sound effects first, and they’re okay. Good, not great. These type of games, with multiple characters taking to the stage in a single fight, it is easy for sound effects to get lost in the mayhem if they’re not defined and individualistic enough to be recognized. This the issue of Battle for the Grid, don’t get me wrong, the sound effects are good and hit the ear well, but they’re not different enough to not get caught in the audible clutter.
That just leaves the games soundtrack left to score Sound on. Unfortunately the soundtrack isn’t composed by Ron Wasserman, so if you were hoping to listen to one of his iconic tracks whilst playing the game and to relive the golden era of Power Rangers, whelp .. too bad. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the soundtrack is back. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Tony Porter does a good job of trying to capture the feel of the franchise, whilst pumping the player up for the fights to come. I suggest if you’re interested in the series, to give Porter’s OST a listen and you’ll be hit with a wave of nostalgia that gets the blood pumping.
8:43 – Story 5/10
The story for Battle for the Grid doesn’t really do anything new or exciting. It just tacks on the plot lines from the comic books to give some context to the fighting. If you’ve read the comics, or even have an understanding of what occurs in them without having bought every single edition, then the story in Battle for the Grid is going to feel a little tired.
That’s the issue with the adaptation of the story from the comics to the game. If you already know the story, it’s going to feel phoned in to tack in onto the game just so there’s a reason to fight the baddies. If you don’t already know the story, you’re given an extremely bare-bones version compared to how much detail and lore there is available from the source material. Instead of getting the best of both worlds, you get a poor experience regardless of whether you’re familiar with the lore or not.
What’s the solution? Well, when the story addition to the game dropped (which the Super Edition includes) there needed to be either:
- A) an entirely new story that made use of the fan favorite rangers, devoid of canon or continuity issues; or
- B) go into the level of depth that the comics have, which would be a massive undertaking
Doing neither makes the story elements of the game feel very hollow. Yes, sure, there is some context for your fight against the other team, but it’s neither well told, or deep enough. Which is a shame, had the studio decided to introduce The Super Edition with a brand new story, or expand fully on what the game has to offer now – the time could not have been more perfect, alas nothing was done.
10:23 – Fun 9/10
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid – Super Edition is not perfect, there’s no arguing that. But what it is, and what it gets right, is that is overwhelmingly fun. Whether you’re sitting down for 20 minutes, or you want to play a long session with all the characters and delve into the various game modes, Battle for the Grid does well what all games try to – IT. IS. FUN.
The cast selection is great for the Super Edition and you’re bound to find your favorite ranger or favorite series in among those of the collection of the base game and every single DLC Ranger. Each Power Ranger feels unique, with a move-set and animations that bring their character to life, and make each a joy to control and beat up on baddies with. Jason has his sword, Tommy has the dagger. Rangers have their augmented suits from the comic books, all is right in the world.
What makes Battle for the Grid so fun? Well, it’s in part to the accessibility. Like I mentioned in the difficulty, there’s no gate-keeping the fighting game genre with overwhelming and intimidating controls. You can simply jump in the game, pick your favorite ranger team-up, and beating the living heck out of Goldar. Simple, sure. But super fun.
11:35 – Price 10/10
Battle for the Grid has always been well priced. The game was affordable at launch. Sure, it might have been a little light-on with content, but it was priced accordingly. But, today we’re talking about the Super Edition and whether the compilation of the base game and all it’s DLC is worth the amount of money nWay are asking.
The Super Edition is currently sitting at $72.92AUD, meaning that you save around 50% by buying the latest edition as a whole, rather than buying the base game and singly buying each DLC. I love this. It makes the game easy to get into if you’ve not played before and want the whole experience. And it allows you to get a reduced price on the Super Edition based on the amount of DLC you already own, if you in fact do already own some. nWay are taking in less dosh by providing this option, and I can’t help but praise them for the offer and the affordability of their game in general.
So, how does this cost effective solution compare to how much enjoyment and playtime you’ll get. Well, the game is stupid fun so I have no problem giving it a big ol’ green tick in the enjoyment factor. As for the time you’ll get out, I’d say that without online play the average amount of time you’re going to get is 40 hours. However, if you’re a baron of online fighters and want to test your skill online, there’s hundreds of hours of competitive battles to be had.
Final Verdict – 8/10
That’s going to wrap things up for our review of Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid – Super Edition. That’s a mouth full. If you agree or disagree with any of the points in this review, we’d love to hear from you on our mgn.gg blog, the YouTube channel, our new twitter account or our new discord. All of which can be found in the video description of this review.
|Game||Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid – Super Edition|