You must defeat my Shoryuken to stand a chance.
Xbox One, Switch, Stadia
Type: Single-player, Multiplayer
Genre: Action, Fighting
Developer: nWay, INC
Publisher: nWay, INC
Release date: 25 May, 2021
Power Rangers X Street Fighter
Power Rangers Battle for the Grid Super Edition is the brand new Version that encompasses everything released up till now, including the crossover Characters Ryu and Chun-Li from Street Fighter. It’s not their first Rodeo in the Power Rangers Franchise (Link to short film).
Power Rangers Battle for the Grid is a 3v3 Tag Team fighting game in the vein of Marvel vs Capcom and Dragon Ball FighterZ but with a more grounded spin on the genre. You should keep in mind that this is made on an indie budget though.
Fruit’n Doggie already touched upon a prior version and I’m going to build upon it as a second opinion on a slightly more technical side of things, plus the new content that got added with the Street Fighter pack.
On a side note, at least part of the development team are actually fighting game players such as Daniel Maniago, who is known for running Strider in MvC2/3 and Shady_K. In addition, Justin “The Chun-Li player in Evo Moment #37” Wong helped in the balancing part as well. Ergo, you can expect it to have a solid gameplay.
Power Rangers Multiverse Battle for the Grid
In an alternative universe, the Green Ranger never managed to split up from Rita and he’s taken upon himself to rule the world as Lord Drakkon. He built up an army of Morphing Grid (hence the name of the game) goons and brainwashed rangers to accomplish his goals. Thus the great battle between Power Rangers begins…
Honestly speaking, it sounds much grander than it is because it has a paper-thin story. Though the playtime takes about 3 hours, most of it is just fights after fights. If I had to estimate the actual content, it would be around 30 minutes.
The biggest issue is the lack of substance. You know nothing of the characters, there’s no character development or any noticeable interactions between them despite it being a huge event. It simply exists as an excuse to throw you into fights.
People who aren’t fans will have an extremely tough time identifying with any of the characters because most of them are non-characters in terms of the story. It’s a shame that the licensor didn’t use the opportunity to offer something to introduce the different Power Rangers Franchises to the players.
The Street Fighter Pack
The most notable thing about the two Street Fighter characters is their breakout Arcade Modes that have a full story from beginning to end of their run, unlike the others who only have something to say at the last 2 fights. Ryu for example appears as his Angel Cove incarnation fighting through the opponents without the Morphing power until he finds his coin at the end.
There’s nothing much worth talking about but it’s nice to see that they did get something extra at least.
Arcade: Play 7 Matches against random CPU opponents.
Story: Play through 3 Acts and see what awaits the Power Rangers in the fight against Lord Drakkon.
Versus: Play against another local player or CPU.
Tutorial: Either go into the training room to lab things out or go for an introduction to all of the mechanics in 18 steps.
Online: Play Ranked and Casual matchmaking or look for lobbies to play against other players.
23 Unique Characters with a few alternative costumes via the Super Edition.
Since this is made by fighting game players for fighting game players, rollback netcode is a clear must-have and it even comes with crossplay. The online netcode performance should be a non-issue since it’s a good implementation and enables more players across the globe to play each other.
The Tutorial shows the bare minimum in 18 lessons by going through all the basics of the game such as movement, attacking, defense, and all the unique mechanics.
Yes, it’s now possible to change difficulty levels. The catch is that the game will kick your ass at Normal. Unless you’ve spent some time in the Training Room to optimize your combos and setups, there’s very little chance that you will be able to beat your opponents. I know because it happened to me.
Also, the Story Mode is even more difficult because the opponents are utilizing illegal team combinations that are not possible in normal gameplay, and more often than not you’ll be playing with fewer characters than the opponent.
Unfortunately, things haven’t changed much when it comes to content outside of Ryu and Chun-Li and even then it’s pretty basic. There are no combo trials or other additional single-player content either so you’re stuck with Arcade, Vs, and Story.
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is a full-on competitive fighting game where you’ll find most of your playtime fighting against other players online. The catch is that the beginners have pretty much left the game and you’ll most likely only find a shark tank full of hardcore players that inspire you to get either better or crush your spirit.
In defense of its perceived low amount of characters, it is an indie budget game and for comparison’s sake, indie brethren Skullgirls had only 8 characters in the beginning even though it has the preferred option of 3v3 but offered some slick handcrafted animation. Dragon Ball FighterZ started at 24 with the devs painstakingly recreating real moves from the Series for all of their attacks.
The controls appear to be simplistic with 6 buttons with two of them reserved for calling your teammate to either attack or switch out with a double-tap. Special moves are fixed to a special button and change depending on the direction you press with it.
Invincible special moves that cost 1 bar of 3 require either two specific buttons or a macro. Throws, dashes, and Megazord assist follow the same two-button patterns though with different combinations.
Lastly, some specific mechanics require 3 button presses like a counter-attack that you can activate on block (also known as Alpha Counter in fighting games due to the first appearance in Street Fighter Alpha) or an invincible special attack that forcefully switches in a specific character from the opposing team.
It’s important to notice that the light attacks are used to make the opponent recover to set up so-called resets aka stopping the combo to put them into a favorable situation where they have to decide on a defensive option.
Inspired by Marvel vs. Capcom
Marvel vs. Capcom and to be more specific 2 and 3 have made their marks in the history of the tag team hyper fighter genre and inspired games such as Skullgirls and Dragon Ball FighterZ with their own spin on it.
It’s no surprise that Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is also one of its offspring’s as it shares mechanics such as Push blocking, assist calls, basic button layout, forced character switch, etc. Though this game is a little bit less hyper when it comes to movement and attacks.
There’s a special juggle limit mechanic to prevent infinites instead of a dynamic hitstun scaling system. But there are ways to combo past the limit using special attacks that have a minimum amount of hitstun. Here’s an example of how to combo past the juggle limit.
One of its unique mechanics are the Zords that come in two flavors and has its own gauge that builds up as you take damage. One of them is the traditional Alpha Counter that you activate from defense and costs 1 bar.
Zord Ultras might be the more interesting option and can be activated with 2 bars but lasts longer with 3. Why is it more interesting? Because you can separately activate their attacks like stomping, drill tail, or sword slice to create different situations. Once you’re used to how they work it’s very possible to execute a Touch of Death combo aka get one hit and the character dies.
Simple on surface level and an AI that shows off combos
Make no mistake, despite having mechanics such as Easy Input Specials and auto-attack strings with each button there’s a real hardcore game waiting underneath the surface and has a steep learning curve. Yes, it’s easy for beginners to just push buttons and see things happening but if you try to be at least competent in the game things will get rough real fast. There is no real tutorial in the game, there’s another way to find some clues within the game itself by playing against the AI. Even on easy it’ll show you some 30% damage Bread & Butter (BnB) combos and on higher difficulties and ranking AI battles I could see setups in how to open up your opponents.
A steep learning curve
One of the biggest issues of 3v3 Tag Team fighters is the steep learning curve due to the high amount of freedom via assist calls. Not only do you have to learn 3 characters, but you also have to find out how to create synergy between them with mix-ups to crack open your opponent’s defense or extending combos. Not all assist call attacks are created equal as they are fixed attacks and thus some will be better than others. Skullgirls for example lets you set your own attack while Dragon Ball FighterZ added 2 per character later on to create a level playing field between the characters.
That’s only one part of the equation. The next part is basic higher-level lengthy BnBs that require some ingenuity and comes with long air juggles and re-jumps like this https://imgur.com/InvRlG2 . You could probably make a fast-quick sandwich while somebody does such a combo on you. Is it bad? Not at all, it’s just a particular taste and if you don’t like this kind of gameplay then there’s a high chance that you won’t like it at higher level play.
If you do find a liking to it, then take a look at the Mizuumi wiki and start your journey from there.
Ryu and Chun-Li
Both characters require some special coverage as they are different from the rest of the cast. They are inspired by their MvC 3 counterparts but with a special spin. Unlike other characters, their special moves are done using their classic quarter-circle inputs, etc. They also have multiple strength versions of their attacks including EX Versions that deplete 1 special bar. What happens with the special move button? It becomes the launcher button like in MvC3.
Chun-Li for example keeps her air dash j.d + Medium OTG and Kikoken crumple from MvC3 while getting new versions of their attacks like Lightning Legs having a launcher on the ground and ground bounce in the air follow up. She might also be the only character that has an air dash that is not a special move.
Ryu keeps his basic move set and his Joudan Sokutou Geri (Donkey Kick) has become a follow-up for his Tatsumaki Senpukyaku (Hurricane Kick) instead.
Graphics and Sound
What you see is what you get. The game isn’t a looker but the effects are kept on the more decent side to not intervene with the gameplay. The animations look alright and some of them are certainly inspired by other fighting games. It’s nothing to write home about but you can’t call it ugly either, serviceable is probably the best word for it.
Outside of the main menu (typical Power Rangers jingle), none of the OST is memorable. I’d go as far as to compare it to MK and Injustice, it’s there but you won’t notice them.
The voice acting within the gameplay is good as they are just battle cries anyway. I’m not sure the same thing could be said for the Story Mode as it feels like a mixture of trying hard and bored.
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid Super Edition does very little to assuage the shortcomings of its single-player content and doubles down on its gameplay. If you liked or disliked the prior versions this new edition will do little to change your opinion. My recommendation is to start with the base game and see whether you like it or not and go for the upgrades it pushes the right buttons.
For the casual players, it’s more difficult to recommend even if they are fans as it’s a fighting game first and foremost and therefore shouldn’t have that much fanservice. Considering that it has admirable solid gameplay I’m awarding it a Save for Later.