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The New Power Rangers Fighting Game is Surprisingly Fun

Fernando Mendez | Posted on April 05, 2019

A Delightful Mess

When a game is described as being busted, broken, or incomplete it’s usually not associated with fun. This is how I would describe Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid. The game’s presentation looks incomplete, its mechanics are broken, and the game has numerous bugs and glitches. Yet, for being an indie developed fighting game made with a small budget, Battle of the Grid have given me the most fun experience I’ve recently had with a fighting game.

Battle for the Grid is a 3v3 fighting game that takes heavy inspiration from Marvel vs Capcom. The game has a four button layout of a light, medium, heavy, and special button, similar to Dragon Ball Fighterz and Marvel vs Capcom 3. Every character is given a unique special move that can be performed by pressing the special button and a direction at the same time. This simple button layout makes it easy to perform combos since most combos follow a light-medium-heavy format. On top of that, you can press the assist button to bring your ally out and then press it again in order to control that character. For example, you can call in an assist mid-combo and if it hits then you can press the assist button again to continue with a full combo. Meter is also integral in playing Battle for the Grid. Players have an option to use one meter to perform an armored EX Special or two meters to perform a super. Performing either an EX Special or Super does immense damage, and since meter is gained quickly in this game, this causes many combos to do nearly 50%. This makes the game pretty busted with high-damaging combos and infinites being easy to perform. However, I don’t see this as a negative as it prioritizes the player to be more aggressive rather than being defensive. Many other mechanics are also borrowed from other games such as snapbacks and push block, however, the main reason I love the gameplay is that it gives the player solid mechanics to play around with while also keeping the chaotic, combo-filled nature of other tag team fighting games. https://twitter.com/Fern1289/status/1113302715143213057

Battle for the Grid's Character Roster

Game’s Roster

Unfortunately, the game’s roster is very low for a fighting game with only nine characters to start with. The game makes up for this by having each character have their own unique move set and playstyles covering many fighting game staples such as zoners and rush-down characters. Many of the characters are fan favorites, with many characters coming from the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Although the game does take characters from other Power Rangers shows, as well as a good chunk of them coming from the comics. Despite every character feeling unique in their own right, it still doesn’t excuse the game’s small roster, especially with the plethora of Power Rangers they could’ve added from the franchise. I also have an issue with the Megazords, which is the game’s comeback mechanic that is available when a player loses a character. The main issue I have with this mechanic is that it’s too powerful and lacks any skill. While comeback mechanics in other fighting games may be powerful, such as X-Factor in Marvel vs Capcom 3, at least they required the player to have a bit of skill to utilize their benefits. The main problem I have with the Megazords is that they’re full-screen, cause an insane amount of chip damage, lead to unblockable situations, and they break combos. Maybe it would have been better to have the Megazords as a super or just replaced with some other comeback mechanic.

Despite these hiccups, the gameplay is still great, which is a shame as the game drops the ball in nearly every other department. The game has a lackluster arcade mode with no ending nor incentive to play. The music is generic with the audio often cutting out in certain moments. There are also numerous bugs. There were moments in training mode where the training dummy would float in the air and become invulnerable to any of my attacks. Other times in online play I would encounter a bug that would make the characters disappear or prevent the camera from moving. These issues, while not horrible, are a reminder that the game needs a lot more polish.

Battle for the Grid online is surprisingly great, yet odd at the same time. I played the game on my Nintendo Switch with a wired connection. The game’s matchmaking is quick and usually pits me up against opponents with a similar skill level as I am. The game has fantastic net code with the game running smoothly online, near identical to playing someone locally. As great as the online is, it’s incredibly confusing to see parts of the online fail in ways I would never expect. For starters, there is no way to play against a friend online. There is also no option to rematch an opponent, but instead only gives the option to find a new match. Another major issue that may deter people away from online is that there are issues with blocking. For some reason, low attacks cannot be blocked, making it a cheap strategy online. I don’t understand how a fighting game in 2019 can have such a great net code while lacking several other functions that are expected with any online fighting game.

As harsh as I may have been with Battle for the Grid, it’s still a good game. As a fighting game fan and as a person that grew up with Power Rangers, I enjoyed my time with this game. Despite the game’s flaws, this was not just a cheap cash grab by an obscure indie developer. The team worked hard to grab inspiration from other successful fighting games and take its own unique spin on it. Some of the issues that I mentioned have been addressed by the developers on Twitter and are on their way to fixing key issues at the moment. Three characters have even been announced as free DLC! For a $20 game made by a group of passionate developers, I can excuse many of the glaring issues in the game because of its fantastic gameplay. After playing Battle for the Grid, I am very enthusiastic about nWay’s future in the fighting game genre. With a higher budget Battle for the Grid could potentially be taken more seriously as a competitive fighting game. As it stands now, Battle for the Grid is a flawed, yet fun experience that is missing some vital fundamentals that make other fighting games successful. The game is not meant for everyone as the game’s lackluster single player content and complex mechanics may deter casuals away. Which is why I highly recommend this game for fighting game enthusiasts that want a different taste on the 3v3 combat from Marvel vs Capcom, Skullgirls, Dragon Ball Fighterz, etc.

Rating: 7/10

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