The Power Rangers Fighting Game Adds Three New Rangers And A Story Mode

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is a solid little fighting game in desperate need of strong single-player content and more mighty morphin’ combatants. Developer nWay attends to those needs today in a batch of free downloadable content featuring three new fighters, a full-fledged story mode, voice-overs from series cast members, and more.

Battle for the Grid’s biggest problem during last month’s launch for PS4, Xbox One and Switch was its laughably small roster of fighters. With more than 25 years of Power Rangers history to explore, the three-on-three tag-team fighting game launched with only nine fighters. That’s just sad.

Now it’s three fighters less sad, with the addition of Dragon Armor Trini, Udonna and the Cenozoic Blue Ranger.

That’s three more Power Rangers to play with. I love having a beefy character that’s actually a girl in a Zord suit. You go, Trini.

Then there’s story mode, which the developers originally said would be in the game at launch but ended up not making it in. Well, it’s here now. It’s based on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Shattered Grid event from Boom! Studio’s comic series, written by comic scribe Kyle Higgins. When Lord Drakkon, an evil, alternate universe version of Tommy Oliver the Green Ranger, sets off on a universe-spanning campaign to destroy all Power Rangers, teenagers with attitude from across time and space band together to stop him. Sounds like a good reason for a fight.

Best of all, the new content also includes voice work from several key Power Rangers actors, including Jason David Frank (Tommy Oliver), Austin St. John (Jason Lee Scott), David J. Fielding (Zordon) and Kerrigan Mahan (Goldar). I will feel so much more motivated with the real Zordon telling me what to do.

All of that, plus four new arenas to do battle in, for free. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is still a far cry from the massive celebration of teens in color-coded suits that I imagine it could be, but it’s a great deal closer now.


Here’s Why Team Sonic Racing Doesn’t Have Other Sega Characters

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, like Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing before it, contained a number of characters from outside the Sonic universe. Wreck-It Ralph, Football Manager Man, and others all battled for racing supremacy with the titular blue hedgehog and his friends, but the next game in the series, Team Sonic Racing, eschews these supplementary characters.

“The reason we [dropped non-Sonic universe characters],” explains Sumo Digital’s studio design director, Derek Littlewood, “was so we could dive into the Sonic universe in more depth, and tell a canon Sonic universe story, with our team adventure mode. That was very important for us.

“It was a difficult decision for us, but we feel like that was the right direction to go in. Because it’s allowed us to create a very new kind of unique experience for Team Sonic Racing that I think people won’t have had with the previous titles.”

The move has other advantages, too. Ben Wilson, designer on Team Sonic Racing, says it has made team interaction more viable: “Because this game’s set in a universe with characters who have relationships already, it’s let us do a dialog system where they’re on track and they’re yelling at each other, and they have familiarity with each other and make references to history, which we wouldn’t have been able to have done really [had other franchises’ characters been present]. Or at least, not in as smooth a way. So it’s let us do some additional stuff as well.”

Later in the interview, Littlewood says many members of the Sumo team are “old-school Sega fans [who] are really keen to continue doing the All-Stars aspect of the game.” When pressed by GameSpot on whether there’s more All-Stars content in the pipeline, Littlewood was coy: “There’s nothing we have to announce, or even anything that is currently on the cards. But it’s something that we would love to be able to go back to.”

Team Sonic Racing launches for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on May 21. For more, check out our feature on how, with Crash Team Racing and Mario Kart Tour also on the way, kart racers are making a comeback. You might also be interested in the new Sonic the Hedgehog live-action movie trailer.


What does Cox’s ‘Elite Gamer’ internet service really do?

Internet provider Cox Communications is running a limited trial of a new gaming service. Called Cox Elite Gamer, the $14.99-per-month subscription promises to “automatically find a faster path for your PC game data.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently did away with regulations that prevented internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating against certain kinds of internet traffic. Many believe that the repeal of so-called “internet neutrality” will eventually open the door to tiered bandwidth plans, where customers will be required to pay a premium for “fast lane” access to certain websites.

Cox maintains that Elite Gamer isn’t creating a fast lane for gaming, at least not on its network. A representative for the company characterized the offering as having more in common with a virtual private network, but those differences may be largely semantic.

The test of Elite Gamer is currently available only in Arizona, and only for Cox customers already paying $59.99 per month for a 100 Mbps internet plan. Marketing materials promise 34 percent less lag, 55 percent fewer ping spikes, and 45 percent less jitter (also referred to as packet loss). Users can install software on their gaming PC, and Cox takes care of the rest.

According to Todd C. Smith, executive director of media relations for Cox, Elite Gamer isn’t actually Cox’s own product. It’s a rebranded version of another company’s existing technology. Founded in 2009, WTFast offers the exact same service for the exact same price to everyone, regardless of who their ISP is or how much bandwidth they’re paying for.

Smith says that even though customers are required to sign up for a 24-month plan, Cox is only selling Elite Gamer for the next three months. It’s a test, and will only be continued based on customer feedback.

Most important of all, Smith said, this isn’t the creation of a fast lane for gaming.

“This offering would be permissible regardless of regulatory environment,” Smith told Polygon via email, “as it does not alter speed in any way nor does it prioritize any traffic over others on our network.”

The phrasing here — “on our network” — is important. WTFast’s technology prioritizes certain internet traffic over other traffic, but it does it outside of Cox’s own infrastructure. The act of creating a more concise pathway for consumers to reach game servers is, by its very definition, the creation of a fast lane. What’s important for Cox, however, is to be able to say that it is not the one creating that fast lane. It’s merely charging for access to a fast lane, one that someone else has already built.

Cox Communications marketing for Cox Elite Gamer highlighting Fortnite, Overwatch, and Apex Legends
Cox Cable’s marketing for Elite Gamer specifically mentions that PC players of Fortnite, Overwatch, and Apex Legends will see a difference in the quality of their connections.
Cox Communications

“This service does not increase the speed of any traffic, nor prioritize gaming traffic ahead of other traffic on our network,” Smith clarified for Polygon. “Cox Elite Gamer solves a problem with deficiencies in the public Internet, NOT our network. No customer’s experience is degraded as a result of any customers purchasing Cox Elite Gamer service as an add-on to their Internet service.”

If you end up signing up for Cox Elite Gamer, drop Polygon an email to let us know how it goes.


May Xbox One Game Pass Lineup Revealed

May is almost upon us and Microsoft has announced a new slate of Xbox Game Pass titles joining the subscription line-up over the course of the month. As usual this initial burst of announcements covers the first half of May, with more announcements likely to come later and fill out the remaining days.

First, on May 2, Game Pass subscribers will get access to Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. The first-person shooter inserts you deep into Nazi-occupied America with a cast of colorful characters at your side. That same day the service will also add Wargroove, the retro turn-based strategy game reminiscent of Advance Wars.

On May 9, the service will add the resource management sim Surviving Mars and Tacoma, the sci-fi narrative adventure game from the makers of Gone Home, along with the MMORPG Black Desert. The strategy RPG For the King is being added as well, and while it officially launches on May 10, Game Pass subscribers get it three days early on May 7. As detailed in a separate announcement, the rogue-like Descenders will also leave early access and launch on Game Pass (and Steam) on May 7 as well.

Finally, on May 16, Game Pass will add tough sci-fi Souls-like The Surge along with the notably more family-friendly Lego Batman 3.

This month will also get a little bonus benefit outside of the slate of included games. Rocket League, which is already included in Game Pass, is launching an Xbox Customization Pack with in mid-July. Game Pass members get the pack early, and free.

Xbox Game Pass is an all-you-can-eat subscription service for $10 / £7.99 / AUD $10.95 per month, offering full game downloads. This is separate from Xbox Live Gold, which just outlined its own free games for the month of May. The two also recently got an “Ultimate” bundle that packages them together. If you haven’t tried out Game Pass yet, you can sample it for cheap for a limited time. The offer gives you 3 months for just one buck.

Xbox Game Pass Games For May

  • Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus (May 2)
  • Wargroove (May 2)
  • For the King (May 7)
  • Surviving Mars (May 9)
  • Tacoma (May 9)
  • Black Desert (May 9)
  • The Surge (May 16)
  • Lego Batman 3 (May 16)


Xbox Game Pass adding Wolfenstein 2, The Surge, and Black Desert in May

Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get access to at least eight new games as part of the service in May, starting with Bethesda Softworks and MachineGames’ first-person shooter Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus and Chucklefish’s strategy game Wargroove. Both titles will join the Xbox Game Pass lineup on May 2.

On May 9, Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get three more games: Paradox Interactive and Haemimont Games’ space survival simulation Surviving Mars; Fullbright’s sci-fi narrative adventure game Tacoma; and Pearl Abyss’ fantasy online role-playing game Black Desert.

May’s lineup rounds out with tabletop-roguelike-RPG For the King on May 10, and on May 16, the sci-fi action game The Surge and kid-friendly action game Lego Batman 3. Microsoft will likely announce additional Game Pass games for May.

Microsoft promises more than 100 games as part of Xbox Game Pass, which costs $9.99 per month. Microsoft is running a promotion that offers the first month’s membership for just $1. The full list of games available on Game Pass is on the Xbox website.


Korean Pop Idols’ Fashions Are Exploding In The Sims 4

BTS accepting an award at the Billboard Music Awards.
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

When I was a teen, I expressed my fandom for the bands I loved by cutting pictures out of magazines and pinning them to my walls. Today, fans of Korean boy bands and girl groups express that love by recreating their outfits for The Sims.

I got into Korean pop hard during the final few years of college, fostered by all my housemates getting into it with me. We were Big Bang and 2NE1 stans, and as those groups fell apart, I left my Kpop fandom behind. Now it appears to be chasing after me. Korean boy band BTS made an appearance on Saturday Night Live a couple weeks ago, and ever since then I’ve had their catchy-as-hell music stuck in my head, and have even branched out to girl groups like Loona. Now, when I’m looking for custom content for my game of The Sims, I sometimes squint at a particular t-shirt or hair style and think, “Did Jungkook wear that?”

More and more I’ve been discovering that yes, Jungkook (who is a vocalist for and youngest member of BTS) did wear that. I’ve been exploring the scene of Sims custom content creators that recreate outfits their favorite idols have worn. Over on The Sims Resource, a popular site for people to upload and download custom content, this recreation of Jungkook from BTS’s hair has been downloaded over a hundred and fifty thousand times. This Thisisneverthat t-shirt once worn by Jungkook has been downloaded nearly sixty thousand times. These patterned shirts inspired by BTS’s music video for “Fire” have been downloaded over twelve thousand times.

Matt, a Kpop fan that I occasionally chat with in Twitter direct messages, told me that he’s tried to make some of his favorite idols before, in particular Wheein from Mamamoo, but they never quite turn out the way he wants them to. Still, he keeps trying.

“I don’t really know why I do it,” Matt said. “I think it’s because it’s a person I’m familiar with so I know what they look like, so it seems easy to create in a way.”

I’ve done similar things in the past. I’ve mentioned before that I made myself marry a Conor Oberst Sim that I’d made in The Sims 3, and I’m determined not to let anyone forget how fucking lame I was. At the time, my love for the band Bright Eyes was so all encompassing that making a Sim of Oberst, the main songwriter and face of Bright Eyes, seemed like the only way I could get close to him.

These Kpop fan Simmers take it to a whole new level, though. Sims 4 Custom content creator Weakey indexes all her Kpop looks by band, and includes a reference photo to show where the outfit is from. Want your Sims to have that Supreme X The North Face jacket that BTS’s RM made on Jimmy Kimmel? Well, Weakey’s got you covered. Fellow Sims 4 custom content creator Trillyke also recreates outfits that the stars wear, like this Versace skirt that was worn by a member of Kpop girl group Black Pink. She also has a whole category of clothing that’s just generally inspired by the glamour of Kpop.

Kpop has reached the point of cultural saturation in the United States that it’s now not uncommon to meet young people who can’t get enough of boy bands with upwards of five members with impeccably manicured hair. I shouldn’t be surprised to see this crossover into The Sims. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that if a horny teenager can’t find the thing they want, they’ll just make it. Now I’ve gotta go check in on my husband, Conor Oberst.


Is It Faster to Ask a Digital Assistant or Just Do It Yourself?

This video contains repeated uses of the Amazon Echo trigger word “Alexa”. To prevent your Echo from responding, watch with headphones.

The Amazon Echo and Google Home have all sorts of abilities. But is asking them something out loud actually faster than doing it yourself?

To find out, we enlisted our friends at Gizmodo (who have an Echo) and presented a challenge with Lifehacker’s very own video producer, Abu. We timed how long it took to ask Alexa a question, and waited for her to complete the task. At the same time, Abu looked up the information on his phone (and, in some cases, performed the action IRL).

The verdict? Well, it depends. Certain answers Alexa gives are wordy, meaning a task like reading the day’s headlines is faster if you’re just glancing and scrolling. But if you have smart home devices hooked up to voice control, you could shave off a few seconds, say, turning on a light. And the biggest win for the digital assistant? Doing basically anything with dirty hands.


The live-action Sonic movie trailer is finally here

Sonic the Hedgehog is getting the live-action movie treatment, whether you like it or not.

Sonic the Hedgehog has been speeding our way for some time: A character poster that revealed Sonic’s muscular physique arrived in December, to various reactions. In March, a marketing deck with the full version of Sonic leaked — also to various reactions. No one was quite sure how the beloved Sega character would actually look when translated to the big screen.

But now, with this first trailer, we finally get to see the speedy blue hedgehog in action. He runs! He talks (with Ben Schwartz’s voice)! Seeing him in the hairy blue flesh makes the disconnect between the classic game designs and the frightfully realistic posters a little more palatable.

It’s not just Sonic who gets a chance in the spotlight: Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik also makes an appearance in the trailer. We got a first glimpse of Sonic’s arch-nemesis in a leaked photo yesterday, but the footage showcases the wackiness Jim Carrey brings to the role of Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik.

Rounding out the cast are James Marsden as Tom Wachowski, the sheriff of Green Hills, and Adam Pally as a fellow cop. The plot of the movie, directed by Blur Studio veteran Jeff Fowler, will follow the two small town cops as they journey to San Francisco with Sonic to defeat Dr. Robotnik.

Sonic the Hedgehog comes out on Nov. 8, 2019.


Fortnite Adds Another Marvel Skin, Star-Lord, And Other Items

Epic’s popular free-to-play battle royale game Fortnite has added another Marvel skin. Joining the Black Widow skin is the new Star-Lord Outfit based on Chris Pratt’s appearance as the Guardians of the Galaxy superhero.

The Star-Lord outfit and related Back Bling are sold together in a bundle for 1,500 V-Bucks. There is also the Dance Off emote (500 V-Bucks), the Guardian Axe (500 V-Bucks), and the Milano glider (1,200 V-Bucks) that are also available to buy. Here’s a video of the outfit and the dance, while you can see more in the image gallery below.

In other Marvel/Fortnite news, Fortnite has a new “Endgame” mode available now where players can side with Thanos and his Chitauri Invaders or the Heroes trying to stop them. There is also a set of Fortnite Endgame challenges to complete, which will unlock more Avengers-inspired cosmetics.

Additionally, Season 8, Week 9’s challenges are available now, which means the current season is likely coming to an end soon. If you need any help, we’ve rounded up tips for the trickier tasks in our complete Season 8 challenges guide.

Star-Lord Outfit Set

No Caption ProvidedGallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4Gallery image 5


New Mortal Kombat 11 Patch Out Now — Here’s Everything It Adds And Changes

A new update for Mortal Kombat 11 has arrived, and it’s a big one. The new update, which is available now on PC and PS4 (and is coming to Xbox One and Switch soon), fixes exploits and issues, makes changes to matchmaking, introduces some AI adjustments, and a lot more. You can see the full patch notes posted at the bottom of this story.

In addition to the update, today marks the release of developer NetherRealm’s response to the Mortal Kombat 11 microtransaction controversy. The studio maintains that it does not want to artificially push people toward spending money on microtransactions.

And in a “thank you” effort and a measure of good faith, the company is releasing a free in-game currency bundle for all Mortal Kombat 11 players. This bundle–which includes 500,000 Koins, 500 Hearts, 1,000 Souls, and 1,000 Time Crystals. The bundle is coming to PS4 with the new update today, and should arrive on other systems soon.

You can see the full patch notes below, as posted by NetherRealm on Reddit.

“There’s a diverse roster of interesting characters and playstyles, and the story mode is an entertaining romp,” Edmond Tran wrote in GameSpot’s Mortal Kombat 11 review-in-progress. “The unfulfilling approaches to the game’s dynamic single-player content and progression may feel like they’ve totally whiffed (at least at this early stage), but Mortal Kombat 11 hits where it matters.”

Mortal Kombat 11 Patch Notes:

• Fixed an exploit that allowed for more than one variation of a character to be set as default, which could then result in an online desync when trying to select that character

• Fixed a rare issue that occurred if the user lost internet connectivity while customizing their character, which would sometimes result in that variation being saved with some items being locked

• Fixed a rare issue that was affecting some user progression after using Kenshi’s blindfold in the Krypt to fully drain their Soul Fragments

• Move list and frame data corrections

• Integrated launch day gameplay server-side data

• Tweaks to online matchmaking

• AI adjustments

• Fixed a rare crash involving trying to use quick moves list in story mode

• Fixed a rare crash in the Totem Pole tower in The Gauntlet

• Fixed a crash related to pausing and unpausing the game

• Corrected some incorrect instruction text in tutorial mode

• Enabled Dev Slayer functionality

• Kitana’s Fans will no longer sometimes remain invisible if she is interrupted out of Edenian Fade with specific timing

• Hotfix server data will no longer sometimes become invalid when the game is booted up online

• Fixed a rare crash involving using a consumable near a chest in The Krypt

• Increased rewards for breakables in The Krypt

• Adjusted rewards from AI Battle mode

• Increased Koin rewards for winning Ranked Matches

Towers of Time Adjustments

• Adjusted AI difficulty curve

• Further opponent health reductions in higher level Towers

• Performing a Fatal Blow while standing in an active modifier will no longer sometimes cause unexpected behavior or a crash

• Ice based modifiers will no longer attempt to freeze players during invalid states

• Adjusted and removed modifiers from many Daily Towers

• Increased Koin Rewards for kompleting Towers and Tower Platforms

• Increased Dragon Challenge Koin rewards

• Increased post fight Koin rewards

• Increased amount of Hearts earned from Fatalities, Brutalities, and Mercies

• Lowered modifier damage for many modifiers

• Adjusted the lifespan of several modifiers

• Dramatically increased cooldowns on Tag Assist modifiers

• Fixed a missing Reduced Damage modifier in The Gauntlet

• Several Gift/Curse Modifiers are now considered projectiles allowing them to interact with moves that effect projectiles as intended

• Adjusted Gauntlet difficulty and progression requirements

• Disabler Konsumables now work with all intended modifiers

• Improved targeting for several Konsumables

• Sektor Hunter Killer Protocol Modifier is now disabled by the Rocket Disabler Konsumable

• Corrected some multipliers on Augments for some characters which were inconsistent with others

• Fixed incorrect Armor interactions with some Modifiers

• Decreased Konsumable cooldowns for players