If you asked a five-year-old me what he wanted to be when he grew up, he’d answer instantly “a Power Ranger”. Yep, they were the dreams I had as a young whippersnapper, watching the Red Ranger kick ass each week, before a turbulent time when Rita Repulsa managed to recruit Tommy as her evil Green Ranger. They were the days.
So you can imagine my shock and disgust when I discovered they were not actually real, and being a Power Ranger wasn’t a genuine profession. Didn’t stop me from buying the Green Ranger dragon flute though on a drunken night out in Wetherspoons so I could pretend to be one once again though. Still, the best £40 I ever spent.
Anyway, that dragon flute isn’t the only recent nostalgia trip I’ve taken back to my childhood, I’ve also recently been checking out Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid Super Edition. A fighting game that was initially released in 2019 and developed by nWay Inc. it is still going strong, following a vast number of updates and expansions that have been made available over the last two years.
Like many games nowadays, Battle for the Grid features season passes that unlock new characters with each new one released. Whilst these address many concerns of gamers and critics alike that there were too few fighters at the original release, it does suck a little that you have to purchase the extra content. Especially when some pack so very little content.
The three season passes and additional content included with the Super Edition of Battle for the Grid include:
- Season Pass 1: Lord Zedd, Jen Scotts, and Trey of Triforia, with warrior skin for Jason Lee Scott, Red Dragon Field;
- Season Pass 2: Eric Meyers, Anubis ‘Doggie’ Cruger, and Dai Shi, as well as warrior skin of Tommy Oliver, MMPR White Ranger;
- Season Pass 3: Robert “RJ” James, Lauren Shiba, and Scorpina, with warrior skin for Dai Shi, Phantom Beast.
- Additional Content: Street Fighter Pack containing Ryu and Chun-Li, Helmetless Crimson Hawk Ranger Skin, Tommy Green Ranger V2 Skin, Lord Drakkon Evo II skin, and Kimberly pink Ranger Skin.
I mean, that’s a lot of content right there for the Super Edition. But you can understand why fans and critics alike would’ve been annoyed with so many key figures missing. And a fourth season pass has also been announced, but whether that will be available to Super Edition holders of Battle for the Grid remains to be seen. It is believed the content they will have access to will be limited up to that released so far.
Booting up the game for the first time, I jumped right into the story mode. I mean, if I’m going to take a trip down memory lane to visit my good friend nostalgia, what better way than seeing what my old Rangers were up to. Besides some random bloke called Lord Drakkon talking nonsense on my screen, I am soon transported to the Power Rangers base, where Zordon is there in all his glory and Jason and Kimberly are sparring with one another.
Then we’re soon interrupted by Lord Drakkon and his minions, who all look like the Black Ranger. From here, the story lost me, I mean, I kind of know what is going on? But it all seems so random. I’ve no idea why it is all happening, what caused it, and because as I pass through levels it keeps switching characters, I’ve no idea whose side I’m on. This isn’t totally bad though it does force you to try and play with a variety of characters each with their own fighting style. Rather than just sticking with the same Power Ranger all the time.
It was on this journey through Battle for the Grid’s muddled story I noticed a pattern, the game is so muddled up anyway. Because I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Despite a story mode usually being an introduction into a fighting game, you know, to give you a feel for it and an idea of how things work, there was no tutorial. There was an easy to access move list, but I had no idea what button was what. I was literally button mashing for my life, and no word of a lie, it probably took me close to two hours to complete the prologue, that being a total of six stages.
During that time, I was introduced to numerous fighters, many of which beat me to a pulp repeatedly as I struggled to face long-range attacks. I was also introduced to tag-team situations and assist attacks, a really nice feature that works when you bash buttons (that’s as helpful as I can be sorry), and also a special attack where your Zord helps you out. Now, this is only available on certain levels (no idea why) and once again, is activated by smashing buttons. There probably is a set way of doing it, but when Battle for the Grid doesn’t tell you, just smash buttons until things work.
It was incredibly fun, especially learning about some of the new Rangers following on from the ones I left behind when I was young (Turbo was probably the last series I caught). However, for a fighting game that is surely aimed at kids, or maybe big kids like me, I found it incredibly difficult. I mean yes, it was hard not knowing what to do, but once I figured it out, I still struggled. If I was facing a team of two or three enemies, I would die numerous times before I overcame them, and that was by barely surviving.
I got better the more I played Battle for the Grid, and slowly picked up an understanding. I learned to block long-range attacks and wait for them to come close. I learned moves that would help me move quickly and build power for my Super moves. I began to learn to time things properly so that I didn’t waste attacks and end up being thrown to the floor myself.
As much as I enjoyed Battle for the Grid’s gameplay though, the graphics were a bit of a letdown. Not necessarily in the fights, because one aspect I really did like with the graphics though was the likeness of what the TV show was like. Strike someone with a sword, and sparks fly. God knows why it happens like that, probably just to show contact was made. But as a kid, it was brilliant. And I love to see that this is still the case when Power Rangers fight in combat.
But Battle for the Grid’s cutscenes. They were short comic-like scenes with voiceovers. The voice acting wasn’t too bad, in fact, they got them spot on from how my memory remembers them. But the images of the rangers, mainly out of suits, looked nothing like their original selves. That was a little bit of a letdown for me.
I know there were originally Power Ranger comics, so Battle for the Grid’s artwork may be more true to those, but I feel let down having grown up on the TV shows that they didn’t match all that much. In fact, one character who has been announced as part of Season Pass four was first seen in Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers #9 comic, and that was the Gravezord. Another character that will also appear alongside Gravezord is Poisandra, whose gameplay footage has already appeared for, and she looks deadly.
Overall thoughts of Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid – Super Edition
I’ve really enjoyed playing Battle for the Grid, I feel what I am experiencing though is what people should’ve received when the game was first released. A packed roster full of favourites from across the numerous Power Ranger series. Instead, it seems they were sold short, and I’ve swooped in to find the game that should’ve been.
Battle for the Grid is by no means perfect, and it is much more difficult than I would’ve expected, but I don’t shy away from a challenge. It was worth checking out for the nostalgia trip alone, and it’s nice to have a fighting game that isn’t all about bloody violence, ripping out the spines of your enemies.
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid – Super Edition is developed by nWay Inc and is available to play now across all major platforms. Check out more of our game reviews by clicking HERE.