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  • Chad Myers

Game Review #319: Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Chad M.

Developer: nWay Inc.

Publisher: nWay

Category: Fighting, Action, Multiplayer

Release Date: 3.26.2019

Price (at time of review): $19.99 (digital - base) | $39.99 (digital - deluxe) | $59.99 (physical - regular) | $89.99 (physical - deluxe)

Buy Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Pre-order the Standard Edition of Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid from Limited Run Games here.

Pre-order the Mega Edition of Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid from Limited Run Games here.

Go Go Childhood Fighting Games!

When I was in middle school, I couldn’t rush home quick enough to watch Power Rangers after Batman and Gargoyles. Not sure why, but I really connected with those first two or three seasons. Sure, they suited up and fought monsters and called upon their Dino Mech companions, but to me, it was just a Sci-Fi action version of my favorite show at the time, Saved by the Bell. You had the cool guy in the group, you had bullies, story arcs that dealt with friendship, Power Rangers just spiced it up with tights and a crazy lady with dreadlocks trying to kill them—which I guess would be Mr. Belding; but I also felt Zordon could’ve been Mr. Belding too, maybe his lighter side, and the side that was always trying to bust the kids would be the darker side—hmm... I might be reading into this a bit too much...

Well, to hear that something I care for quite a bit—for nostalgic reasons—is coming to the Switch in the form of a fighting game, I was immediately excited to see how it was going to stack up; but I was also highly skeptical, since it was coming from an indie studio and looked to be at least a gen behind in the graphics.

Audio & Visuals

So, as I said, the graphics do look like something that would’ve been on PS3 or Xbox 360 in the early years. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it still pulls off all the characters perfectly, and they all look great, though I was a little underwhelmed when I saw there were only five levels—though the ones that are there are done well—my favorite level being the Power Rangers’ lair with classic Zordon in the background.

The music is very lackluster, soft-rock-type music that might have fit back in the 90s, but seems out of place in this new game. The sound effects were decent, but again, I was let down that there was no voice acting by any of the classic actors—who I know would’ve done it in a hot second, so not sure how they fumbled that one—as it would’ve been great to hear them call on the Megazord. They do, however, make up for it very slightly by actually having the flute that Tommy plays when summoning his special, but the audio and visuals are a gripe--even if a minor one—with the larger issue coming up in a bit.

Mighty Morphin Marvel vs. Capcom

So, with the audio being a little underwhelming, and the graphics being decent but not great, I was worried. A fighting game lives and dies by three things in my opinion, and those are: controls, gameplay, and fighting mechanics. Boy oh boy was I wrong, as they all are done in a stellar fashion that any Triple A game would receive. This is clearly where they poured their heart and soul into the game, and it shows, as the controls are crisp and tight, gameplay mimics a successful franchise—and I’m not mad at them for it—and the fighting mechanics are simple, but still won’t turn away fighting elitists.

You can go to town configuring the button layout how you see fit with light, medium, heavy, and special attacks. Then we have specials, throws, and tags, leaving the controls very easy to pick up on. Yes, I said tags! This feels very similar to a Marvel vs Capcom game with tags, assists, and specials; and it feels like a natural fit, not one that was forced.

Now I’m gonna complain again for moment, so bear with me. Now, nWay did not fumble the ball, and in fact, delivers the best Power Rangers experience I’ve seen in years, but I can’t help but notice the lack of content and the paywall to receive more content. As I said before, there are only five levels. Also, there are only nine characters from which to choose, and this, more than anything, felt so undercut, as I couldn’t remember the last fighting game that had such a small roster. After a few hours in, I had already used every character, and felt like I’d done and seen just about everything.

It’s so good you want to just keep playing and trying different modes—especially online—but I can’t help but feel that the season pass idea was very unnecessary, and actually hurt the overall experience. The game itself is $20, and gives you what feels, content-wise, like only a portion of the game; and you have to pay another $20 for the season pass, which, at the moment, is three unnamed characters and a skin for the red ranger. So, for the price of the entire game, you get three characters and 1 skin, which seems like an overreach and an unfair deal. I’d much rather the game have been $30, and then just include all the characters and skins into the deal, rather than build this pay wall.

Outside of that, the game has multiple modes with which you can have fun. You can jump into training to sharpen your skills, versus for couch one-on-one matches, Arcade Mode for the non-existent story that is very weak—which is crazy for a franchise with such deep storylines—and finally, there is the Online Versus Mode, where you can battle it out online against opponents in ranked and casual matches.

I had a good time no matter the mode, as the fighting is so fluid and fun. The online ran smoothly, though I’d heard of issues with certain blocks not working in Online Mode, but I didn’t experience these issues. I had a lot of fun playing, when I found a match. With the current price point, I feel like the online community will grow, and you won’t have issues finding matches online.

It’s A Wrap!!!

For a franchise that was once very near and dear to me, I was initially worried—but quickly put at ease—about what ended up being this well-crafted game by mWay. Now, it’s certainly not a perfect game, as it feels a little last-gen—and also has the feeling of a game that’s lacking some content—but what matters is the so-called meat and potatoes of this game, which is done very well and feels very polished. I think going in and knowing what you’re getting, you’ll be very happy with this game; and die-hard fans may even want to jump onto the season pass, even though I feel it’s a tad overpriced. That being said, I still recommend this game to add to your collection on the Switch.

Important Free DLC Available Now!

After I had already played and reviewed the game, we received information letting us know that new FREE DLC was incoming for the fans after being highly requested. To know that mWay actually heard the fans and delivered is very impressive. I waited so I could get my hands on the new update and see how the developers addressed the issues and how the new content looked. I’ll include what’s here in the free DLC update: the DLC will introduce several new elements requested by players, including a new “story mode” by the acclaimed writer Kyle Higgins, in addition to new characters, battle arenas, and voiceovers from original cast members. This is awesome! It’s awesome to hear Tommy yell out a battle cry from the series after kicking some butt!

The controls felt great, and the few issues I was having before aren’t there anymore, so it seems the developer has worked out most of the kinks. I’m glad they addressed concerns I had, making this a title all Power Rangers and fighting fans should grab for their collection.

Also, right now Limited Run Games has a Standard Edition ($59.99) and Collector’s Edition which has a steel-book ($89.99)—for those of you who collect these bad boys—up for preorder. The physical will not only have the new free DLC update, but will also have all the other DLC that’s in the more expensive digital version including skins, with more characters coming like with a season pass.

Score: 8.5/10

Buy Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Pre-order the Standard Edition of Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid from Limited Run Games here.

Pre-order the Mega Edition of Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid from Limited Run Games here.

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Battle for the Grid




*Review Code Provided by Spark PR

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