Saturday 1 June 2019

Power Rangers Battle Of The Grid ★★☆☆☆

‘Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid’ is the first video game from the franchise since ‘Power Rangers: Super Legends’ came out in 2007, which I think is quite surprising considering that it’s been back on our screens properly for a while. The game is a 3-on-3 tag fighter with a four-button combat system, and now involves online play where you can either go solo or create teams with friends.

At its core, without thinking about anything else, the combat in the game feels quite good to play. All of the combos and special moves are easy to pull off, so the barrier for entry you would usually have in these sorts of games is much lower, allowing for enjoyment from a much larger audience.

The problem with ‘Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid’ is that everything else in the game is unfortunately very limited and mediocre. It’s generally expected within these types of fighting games to have loads of different play modes.  Even older games have this – you’ll remember that the ‘Tekken’ series even from the beginning had Arcade, Time Attack, Vs, Story, and eventually Bowling and other modes. With games like ‘Mortal Kombat’ coming out with countless modes and a deeply fleshed out story, ‘Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid’ unfortunately has hardly any modes in the game, with it being pretty much focused around Arcade and Training. This could be forgiven being that it costs the bargain price of around £20, however it did leave me feeling like it could have been so much more and I felt myself getting bored after a while.

The biggest problem is that this not only shortcoming. There are less than 10 fighters to play and not much variety within the stages.  There’s just not that much to do, giving another reason as to why I felt bored, and without an expansive list of characters to unlock I just didn’t feel motivated to keep playing. The Vs. mode should be where the entertainment really kicks in but it wasn’t as encompassing as other online games which are out at the moment, and with so many to choose from there really needs to be something that sets the online mode apart if the developers want to gain a lot of players.

Graphically the game isn’t great to look at, and I wouldn't blame you if you compared it to a free to play mobile game.  The U.I looks like something that is more suited to a couple of generations ago and the general style of the game feels a bit stale – I certainly wasn’t drawn to it like I have been by other games out recently.

If I’m truly being honest, I'm just not sure who this game is aimed at – it seems too simple and easy for hardcore fighting game fans (and even the not so hardcore ones), so is probably better suited to kids. I’m sure it would take some time and skill to truly master it, but the question I’d pose is whether anyone would actually stick with it that long in order to do so. It’s also managed to come out in the same year as ‘Mortal Kombat 11’, ‘Super Smash Bros’, and ‘Dragon Ball Fighter Z’, giving these fans of the genre plenty of other options to choose from. 

The main ideas and mechanics of the fighting are quite good but the game really needed a bigger budget and more scope to fully achieve what it’s trying to accomplish. Get it in a sale or second-hand if you’re that big a fan, but it’s probably not worth it at full price. 

Hannah Read

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