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Can DLC and Cross Play Save Battle for the Grid?

Battle for the What?

Video game developer nWay Games best known for their award winning iOS and Android fighting game, Power Rangers Legacy Wars, released a fighting game for home console in Spring 2019 with Microsoft Windows and Google Stadia ports coming later this year. The game was called Power Rangers Battle for the Grid and offered a story mode adapted from the Power Rangers: Shattered Grid comics by Boom! Studios.

To the surprise of many nWay hired fighting game legends Long “Shady_K” Tran and Daniel “Clockwork” Maniago with Justin “Jwonggg” Wong called in to consult on combat mechanics. Having veteran talent on board and an IP that has gone through 26 seasons and 20 variations should sound like a no-brainer. Launching the game was met with delays, three characters missing from the roster (later added as free DLC) and a litany of bugs/glitches. The only saving grace was the absolutely insane and rewarding combat. Battle for the Grid is a 3v3 versus fighter in a similar spirit as Marvel vs Capcom 2 and Capcom vs SNK. 

The combat is the focus of this game but more so than any fighter of its style. Each character on the small roster feels unique and powerful which is hard to do in fighting games of any kind. Basic combos can yield large amounts of damage and most characters have touch of death combos. Teammates can be swapped at will and if someone dies, Megazord supers act as a comeback mechanic that only adds to the chaos.

 

The Plot

The story for those not well-versed in Power Rangers lore is this. Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger in an alternate timeline joined the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers as he did in the 90s television sensation. Unlike the series many grew up on, Tommy never lost the evil in his heart after falling victim to the spells of the wicked Rita Repulsa. This darkness led him to wage all-out intergalactic war with Power Rangers across time and space.

The Power Rangers that fans know and love get caught in the fray and a story unfolds about what it means to be a Ranger, friendship, and fighting for what you love. NetherRealm Studios of Mortal Kombat and Injustice fame are the only developers to offer a more robust story mode. In addition to addicting combat the campaign offers more lore in a digestive and dynamic way with motion comic art and voice overs from Power Rangers actors like Jason David Frank and Austin St. James, the original Green and Red Rangers respectively.

 

 

 

Characters

The playable characters in Battle for the Grid span a small portion of the Power Rangers pantheon so far and the Morphin’ Grid lends you the strength of:

    • Jason Lee Scott – Might Morphin Power Rangers Red Ranger
    • Tommy Oliver – MMPR Green Ranger
    • Gia Moran – Super Megaforce Yellow Ranger 
    • Kimberly Ann Hart – Ranger Slayer/MMPR Pink Ranger
    • Kat Manx – S.P.D. Kat Ranger
    • Lord Drakkon – Alternate dimension Tommy Oliver Green Ranger/White Ranger hybrid
    • Goldar
    • Mike Corbett – Power Rangers Lost Galaxy Magna Defender II
    • Mastodon Sentry – Alternate dimension MMPR Black Ranger
    • Trini Kwan – MMPR Yellow Ranger (Free DLC content)
    • Cenzoic Blue Ranger – Power Rangers 2017 Movie (Free DLC content)
    • Udonna – Mystic Force White Ranger (Free DLC Content)

Season One Pass Characters 

    • Lord Zedd 
    • Jen Scotts – Time Force Pink Ranger
    • Trey of Triforia – Gold Zeo Ranger 

What Changed

With all of the bumbles and fumbles of the launch, nWay got hard to work fixing matchmaking net-code, releasing bug fixes and overall balance changes across the board. To top things off, they announced cross-play between Xbox One and Nintendo Switch versions of the game. This change left PS4 players upset with Sony for tuning out yet another shared gaming experience for users.

The World Cup of fighting games, EVO is at the beginning of August and this game has been picking up traction over the past few months. The tight-knit community organizes casual matches on discord and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Battle for the Grid showing up at more major events in side tournaments. Keep your eyes peeled for more from nWay and Power Rangers. Feast your eyes on the brand new characters entering the fray until then.

 

Follow Daron on Twitter @scottfree__. He’s always up for a chat so come say hi!

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