More Games Should Be Like Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid

Rather than sticking to fighting game tradition, Battle For The Grid manages to master the fine line between beginner-friendly and complex mindgame-based fighter. nWay has managed to foster a friendly and competitive community with fan interaction and feedback response, something not a lot of developers can say.

More Games Should Be Like Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid Cover

I absolutely love Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid. Maybe it’s because I grew up on the show, but if you know me, you know I love Power Rangers. Taking fans by surprise when it was first announced, it’s come a long way since then. Given this, I absolutely jumped at the idea of a fighting game featuring characters from different seasons across the series. Being a fighting game lover, I expected the game to be very basic, akin to something like Smash Bros. Boy was I wrong. What I got was a labor of love made in collaboration with some serious fighting game veterans, assuring that it would have a spot in the pro scene. 

How It Feels

Have you ever played a tag team fighting game? I’m talking about something like Dragon Ball FighterZ or maybe one of the Marvel vs. Capcom titles. These games are known for their flashy combos, assists, animations, supers and overall feel. Battle for the Grid does all of this, with a brand of flashiness that pulls straight from the spark-filled fights in the show. How nWay has managed to pull off this great looking and feeling game is no secret, thanks to the help of industry veterans like Justin Wong himself. Even without the help of pros, nWay has always paid attention to what the fans want, assuring the game would be in its best state regardless.

As far as flashy supers go, Lord Zedd takes the cake

As far as flashy supers go, Lord Zedd takes the cake

All of this attention to detail helps the game feel and play like butter. You have beginner-friendly mechanics like light, medium and heavy autocombos: a series of attacks that come automatically just from tapping the same button repeatedly, making the barrier of entry extremely low. Anyone can pick a character up, and get a feel for them by testing these out. For those that want to get more serious with it, there are combos you can pull off on the ground, follow in the air, continue in the ground with assists, and finish with a super.

When you hear “easy to learn, difficult to master”, this is the game that should come to mind. I was able to easily pick it up and rank up to gold, and then I started to get matched up with real players. This inspired me to get to training, research combos, match-ups and the entire game’s mechanics just to get better. I did get better, and the satisfaction that comes from a corner-to-corner combo is incomparable. 

Small Studio, Big Love

Right now the game is in its third season, and it’s a completely different beast than when it first came out. The developers have taken fan feedback and striven to make positive changes with each update, even if it means overhauling entire systems. The aforementioned zord mechanic got revamped, making you reconsider doing that big damage combo because you’ll fill up your opponent’s bar. This is the bread and butter of Battle for the Grid‘s mindgame-based combat. You can cash out your lenghty combo to kill a character, or you can swap them out, effectively lengthening the match but denying your opponent the zord meter gain. Very often I think I’m steamrolling someone, until I see that their comeback mechanic is full, which lets them ultimately defeat me. 

Season 3's DLC characters

Season 3’s DLC characters

Back when their latest character was released, fighting game personality Maximilian Dood steamed himself testing him out in training. One of nWay’s developers showed up and stuck around in chat to answer questions about the development and mechanics of the character! This is the kind of closeness to fans that can only come from a small studio, where a whole DLC character was worked on by one person. While being small does limit the quality of, say, graphic detail, that doesn’t mean the game is made worse by it. Far from it; every DLC character (and skin) comes with a brand new set of animations and special effects. The developers have even taken the time to go back and sometimes revamp an old character’s looks so they stay up to par with new releases. 

In Conclusion, Morphinominal

The fact that this game has rollback netcode, something most triple A fighting games lack, is mind blowing by itself. You’re telling me Capcom can’t put in the effort despite being an industry goliath, but small companies like nWay and Fantasy Strike’s Sirlin Games can? This game is clearly a testament to what developers can achieve if they focus on making their game better for the players.

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid - RJ Gameplay Trailer | PS4

Battle for the Grid’s developers clearly aren’t afraid of making huge changes if it means the game will improve in their eyes, and that’s a fearless attitude you don’t really get in most released games. I really hope that nWay keeps getting the praise they’ve earned, and that they inspire other developers to take bigger risks. The pro scene for this game is pretty vibrant (thanks to nWay’s constant League online tournaments), so I’m excited to see what touch-of-death combos I can fail to do next time I hop online.

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