Look at you, you mighty morphin’ Power Rangers Battle For The Grid, all grown up and a sexy little beat ’em up jam-packed with Power Rangers heritage for all to play – if you’re prepared to unlock each season.
Originating in 1638, the Power Rangers series is pretty old now, and you may have come across it in your history books at school, or perhaps experienced a version of it growing up.
I was never a fan. It felt it was overdramatic, corny storylines and incessant gestures that had a Japanese influence and didn’t translate to Western audiences. I did fancy the pants off Kimberly Hart, mind.
Power Rangers Battle For The Grid Review – PlayStation 4
So, with contempt for the series, you’d think that my bias will dismiss Power Rangers Battle For The Grid almost instantly. Not necessarily. The core gameplay (the actual fighting) is excellent. Movement is fluid, attacks are easy to perform but have enough weight to string combos and strategies.
Except for the original Power Rangers and Tommy, who’s now a baddie in this timeline – Lord Drakkon, I haven’t a clue who’s who, and it doesn’t help noobs when playing the Power Rangers Battle For The Grid as you will continually swap roles with the good and bad guys.
My first playthrough was the story mode to get it done, flirt with the roster and learn the style of play. This mode was a bit like Injustice: Gods Among Us in that you play a large number of characters and despite looking relatively similar with their full-on cycle gear and helmets, they all handle differently.
The story itself is told over three acts, but is so incoherent, I promptly zoned out. Between fights are dialogue sections similar to playing a visual novel and occasionally, you’re treated to a Ken Burns animation sequence, but these sections are more disruptive than entertaining.
Most battles are team-based where you can tag out another player, either having them swap with you, or jump in for some quick bonus hits, plus you get an ultra mode with one of those over-size robots either shanking your opponent or booting them in the face with their size 2000s. Unlike Injustice: Gods Among Us or the Mortal Kombat series, these setpieces don’t drag and slowdown gameplay and you can continue to attack while the move is going on.
Power Rangers Battle For The Grid is most like the Marvel Vs Capcom series in its speed, tagging out players, and doing special moves with enough flair that it takes over the screen. Ignoring the story elements, matches are smooth and swift; they don’t feel rushed but have urgency – especially if up against online players with their unpredictable behaviour.
Where it comes to characters, in Story mode, you are forced to play with such as Ranger Slayer and Jen Scotts, who suck arse, and I hated every minute with them. Interestingly, they are locked out from the roster unless you purchase the season pass. In fact, of the 20 characters ‘available’, seven were locked out.
The base price of the game is very reasonable, but by the time you fork out for the other individual characters, you’ve got a full-price game on your hands. Is it worth it? If you’re a fan of the series, perhaps, but the Power Rangers Battle For The Grid is much like the Fortnite model and features new seasons as time goes on. From what I understand, there’s a huge roster of characters from the Power Rangers universe, so it could get costly.
A Classy Act?
By the time I got to act three and got lumbered with another crap character, I switched to the Arcade mode in frustration, selecting three characters for my team with RJ as my primary choice.
Again, the dialogue sequences occur, but during an actual fight. It was bad enough in Story mode with the interuptions, but just as I was in the middle of a fight, a static screen shows up with:
‘Surrender, Dai Shi. Maybe… take a break from wiping out all of humanity’.
Oh yeah, THIS is why I wasn’t into the Power Rangers the first time. As I skip through the dialogue pressing the X button, the round restarted/a new one formed and instead of playing as RJ, I’m now fighting him with my remaining two characters. This was literally in the first round and utterly ruined the experience.
Power Rangers is a surprisingly decent fighter. When you get to fight. The frequent interruptions and being forced to play certain characters that are locked out in other modes is infuriating and spoils the enjoyment of a game with so much potential.
Despite nWay’s mobile background, Power Rangers Battle Of The Grid is very much suited on the PS4, but the paywall and gameplay mechanics are so off-putting. More so on the gameplay. Even if it had a full roster for the base price, the frequent interruptions and swapping of characters were infuriating and spoil an otherwise solid fighter.