Last time we checked in on Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid we asked ourselves whether the first Season Pass was worth it or not. Now, with the release of a second Season Pass and what the developers are calling Version 2.0, we are once again looking to see what more has been added.
Right off the bat though is the new menu music: gone is the original music that was a slower, calmer piece. Now it is a roaring guitar-driven arrangement and feels very much like the Power Rangers I grew up with – guitar solos all over the place. It’s great.
Originally, our review of Battle for the Grid was very complimentary on the combat having a older style feel to proceedings, where punches and kicks felt more damaging than later fighting games, where juggling opponents in the air was the key to victory – though this is still very possible. Our biggest criticism came with the lack of content, story and graphics. Two out of these three have since been corrected and, well, that ain’t bad.
Without going down the route of using this as a forum to discuss the practice of post-release updates, Battle for the Grid is in a much healthier position than when it first released. In the following months since release, a story mode was added that was a retelling of the successful Shattered Grid comic book series, featuring voice talent from some of the original cast. Then there is the first Season Pass that included three new characters and unique outfits that were separate from the free updates.
With the release of Version 2.0 and a second Season Pass, the number of characters in total is now 18, or 12 if you only count characters that aren’t paid extras. Considering the game launched with only nine characters, these are both certain improvements.
The number of arenas has also dramatically increased. Having previously been able to see everything the game has to offer in terms of locations in three or four fights, there are now nine distinct arenas and, just like the roster, these take inspiration from all iterations of Power Rangers, including the underrated 2017 reboot movie.
There is even an extra Megazord added: the Delta Squad Megazord can be used to turn the tide of the battle in your favour. It is still disappointing to not see these in their full and humongous glory however.
Season Pass 2 launched in September and included the characters Anubis ‘Doggie’ Cruger from Power Rangers S.P.D., Eric Myers from Power Rangers Time Force and Dai Shi from Power Rangers Jungle Fury. The second helping manages to space out the cast a little bit more, especially as it was a bit top-heavy with original cast members.
These characters actually make a very well balanced team when used together. Doggie uses mainly sword based attacks and is quite swift on his feet, and Eric Myers can attack from a distance with blaster attacks. Dai Shi though is all out melee; slightly slower than the other two but far more heavy hitting, and yet can still perform elaborate combos when necessary.
By comparison then, Version 2.0 feels a little less substantial to what has come already, but these changes help compound the game into a much more fleshed out experience. The amendments also feel weighted towards the recent eSports announcement for Battle for the Grid.
The inclusion of PlayStation 4 crossplay and cross-progression is a welcome one. Having already integrated PC and Nintendo Switch players to bolster the online players, V2.0 also adds PS4 gamers to the mix. This is across all forms of online multiplayer: Ranked, Casual, Direct or in the new Lobbies.
Lobbies allow up to eight players to come together and play against each other. They also introduce Spectator mode where you can watch the other players in your lobby take on each other, before then facing one of them yourself. If you fancy a bit more privacy and want to face off against your friends, you can also set a passcode for a Lobby to prevent any unwanted randoms joining.
There is also the new League mode which is ultimately leading up to crowning the first Battle for the Grid champion, but if you have a copy of the game you can straightaway be considered a contender. There are online weekly tournaments held in-game – as well as various local tournaments that take place across America – where you can earn Grid Points and a spot at Evolution 2020 in Las Vegas in August! For more details on this, check out their website.
It is expected that this V2.0 release is the last of the post-release updates, but the team at nWay have beefed up Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid on the Xbox One into a very good beat ‘em up. It always had the potential to be, but now it also has the content to back it up. The future of the game appears to be in eSports, but this should usher in a new set of players to the game. In addition, it should entice a more hardcore crowd into the online lobbies which should keep this game alive far longer than it would have been with Version 1.0.