Power Rangers fans have been clamoring for a fighting game based on the ultra popular franchise for as long as it has existed. We kind of got our wish on the Super Nintendo with The Fighting Edition, but no matter how fun that game was, it didn't quite scratch that itch. This desire only increased over the years, so fans were elated to see that Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid would be tapping into the Marvel vs. Capcom tag-team formula for its big fighting game debut. It seemed like Power Rangers fans would finally be getting a solid fighter. But things didn't quite go as expected.
Battle for the Grid debuted to a largely negative response last March. While fans found the fighter to have good bones, it was lacking a meaty experience overall. That's all changed with several updates over the past few months, making Battle for the Grid feel like it's capitalizing on its promise.
But you can't talk about Battle for the Grid's current state without comparing it to what's come before, so unfortunately it means confronting its bare initial release. The game came with nine characters at launch from across only four different seasons of the series. The game had an arcade mode, and the online play was solid, but there were no other options to really mess around with. You couldn't even play your friends outside of local couch play.
There were no real battle effects, no voice acting, and noticeable visual hiccups. But the fun fighting system (at a notably budget price) kept fans coming back for more. Slowly but surely, the game started to build itself around that fighting system. Dedicated fans kept playing, and soon they were able to gauge the major changes through updates.
Sparking effects were added, voices were added (with even some cameos from famous Power Rangers actors like Jason David Frank), the first part of a story mode was added, and three more characters were added for free. The 12-character roster might seem like it pales in comparison to other fighting games out today, but if memory serves, plenty of fighting games start out with 12-to-15 characters in their starting roster (Arc System Works' BlazBlue being a notable example). So with these continual updates, Battle for the Grid was beginning to fit right in.
Recently, there was a new update to the game that brought it to what finally feels like the game developers nWay wanted to make. The story mode, featuring elements from the critical darling Shattered Grid comic run, has rounded out its last few chapters, you can now play your friends online (though this still has some wrinkles to iron out), and the season pass beefs up the roster with three more paid characters.
There have been updates to the actual fighting too. Characters used to have some glitchy moves leading to odd hitboxes and outright broken combos. This broken system had its charm, but the adjustments have made a marked improvement to the fighting itself. These changes, additions, and evolutions have been very welcome over the last few months, and Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is at a much different place now than it was at launch.
Most importantly, Battle for the Grid feels like it's growing at our fingertips. It's getting better, faster, and stronger with each big update, and it feels like a well of potential is beginning to build. Clearly there's a team hard at work here, and it's resulted in an experience that most definitely rules.