Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid Had the Biggest Glow Up of 2019
When we reviewed nWay’s Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid earlier this year, we felt the game was promising, but overall lacking substance. Despite scoring a 6.5 out of 10 from us, we definitely recognized nWay’s commitment to improving the game. So much so, we even nominated it for Best Fighting Game with our Epic Win Awards. Over the course of the year, the game has had improvements left and right, and it’s time we spotlight them.
First, let’s talk about how Battle for the Grid launched. When it first came out, the game had a cast of nine fighters, five stages, and online play. Despite having online play, fans couldn’t play with their friends. While the gameplay was excellent, the overall game was in desperate need of content. Over the last few months, the developers have been working hard to release new updates and DLC. While some of this is paid DLC, there have been a ton of free content updates too. We’ve now just finished Season 2 of the updates, and that has drastically changed the game.
Even before we got into the first season of content, nWay dropped a nice free update including three additional characters to the roster. The Cenozoic Blue Ranger, Udonna the White Mystic Ranger, and the original Yellow Ranger Trini in Dragon Armor were all additional free characters to pad out the roster. Two new stages, the Cenozoic era Earth and Corinth City, were also added for free. The game also received more content with the new Story Mode, with new artwork and a new narrative. While the story was only two out of three parts, it was great to see Kyle Higgins from the Boom! Studios comic writing it. We would have to wait for the final part of the story to release in a later update.
Perhaps the biggest upgrade from the free content update was the addition of voice acting. Actors like Jason David Frank, Austin St. John, and David Fielding returned to reprise their roles. This would get even better as more characters joined the roster later on. Adding voices to the game gave it a lot more soul and character, really bringing the spirit of Power Rangers alive. While the Story Mode didn’t use voice acting at every moment, it was much better than the silent Arcade mode segments. It really gave the presentation a boost to make the Battle for the Grid far more enjoyable.
A bit later, Season 1 content began releasing for those with the season pass. The characters Trey of Triforia and Jenn Scotts had their reveal and release at the same time. Then there was a tease of Lord Zedd for an eventual release. Even though this was paid content, the reveal of Lord Zedd brought new life back to the hype machine. Many fans of the series remember Zedd from their childhood and he was an essential addition to the game. Those same fans had little trouble paying for the DLC just to play as the villain, after all, who wouldn’t want to summon a Putty army to wail on your enemies?
A big part of the Season 1 content update was also the addition of cross-platform play. The nWay Play network launched, allowing Nintendo Switch and Xbox One players to play against each other. Unfortunately, PlayStation 4 players couldn’t take part due to some restrictions from Sony, and the PC version had yet to release. Luckily, now that the PlayStation 4 cross-play beta has ended, this is likely going to change soon. Also with the nWay Play network update, players could finally play with their friends online.
Several balance changes have been made throughout the game’s life, adjusting and fine-tuning the game. Among these updates, there’s been an improvement in visual effects, both essential to gameplay, like clearer invincibility frames, or even damage sparks. Still no explosions from finishing off an opponent, but maybe one day we’ll get there. Surprisingly, the game still doesn’t have character move lists included, which would definitely help to understand more complex fighters.
And the fighters definitely got more complex. At the end of Season 2 content, we now have 18 characters on the roster. The three additional characters, Anubis Kruger, Eric Meyers, and the recently released Dai Shi round out a pretty respectable list. Even better, Daniel Southworth reprises his role as Eric Meyers, the Quantum Ranger. Since he voices Vergil from the Devil May Cry series too, people might find similarities to his Marvel vs. Capcom counterpart. This update added yet another stage with the Delta Base, and even an additional Ultra Attack with the Delta Squad. The game also has a new theme song for the main menu.
The game has improved significantly since release, and if we were to review it now, it would likely be more like an 8 out of 10. That being said, there are still things that can improve. There are a few bugs here and there, and the game could use some new modes. A singles or doubles mode, or even a Megazord battle mode would be great. It would be great to get music for the credits too, though it’s a minor complaint. Either way, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid really had a glow up this year, and nWay seems very dedicated to improving it.