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.
Inspired by a recent viral Tweet by Andy Bush, I want to know what games Kotaku readers finished first. Was it a massive RPG? A small platformer? An action game? A 90s era shooter?
The first game I ever beat was Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movieon the Sega Genesis. It was a beat’em up where you controlled the Power Rangers and fought waves of enemies. You also occasionally got to control their Zord, a giant mech. These segments were very annoying because only one player controlled the mech. So we would argue over who was better at fighting as the mech. It was usually me, I was older, but I honestly wasn’t that much better.
One day, I think it was later in the evening, we were sitting in the living room playing the game. Something clicked. The final fight was on the moon (because video games in the 90s were amazing) and I remember my heart racing as I fought the final boss alone as the giant robot. Then suddenly I won. My robot jumped off the Moon and some text flew by and the game was over.
It was odd. I remember at the time being excited, we had won and finished the game, but I also remember being sad. Wait, I thought, is that it? No more game to play? We ended up playing it again the next day, but I don’t remember beating it again and I’ll always remember that being the first game I ever completed.
Power Rangers (and its Japanese predecessor, Super Sentai) is no stranger to additional rangers joining the team mid-show. The latest entry in the series, Beast Morphers, is no exception—and io9 has your very first look at its new Gold Ranger in action, as well as a chat with the man himself!
io9 can exclusively confirm that Abraham Rodriguez—who plays Grid Battleforce tech genius Nate Silva on the show—will officially be stepping up to join Devon, Ravi, and Zoey as the Gold Ranger. Nate will step into the shiny supersuit in this week’s episode, “The Cybergate Opens” and you can see the first moment he dons the suit in a new clip below, making its debut here on io9!
To celebrate the occasion, we spoke to Rodriguez over email to get a hint of what Power Rangers fans can expect from Nate’s transition from team support to full-time superhero.
io9: How long have you known that Nate’s journey would lead to him joining the Beast Morphers—what was your reaction the moment you found out yourself?
Abraham Rodriguez: The same day I found out that I booked the role of Nate, our phenomenal executive producer, Chip Lynn, called me from New Zealand and told me my character would become the Gold Ranger in the eighth episode. At first, I was just speechless that I booked the role. Then it hit me that I was going to be the Gold Power Ranger and be a part of the special Gold Ranger legacy forever. From the moment I arrived to our studio lot and began working, I was eager and excited to read the script to find out how my character becomes the Gold Ranger. I will never forget the high level of excitement I felt when I was finally handed a hard copy of the eighth episode. I started reading the script immediately and went through so many emotions. It was everything I dreamed it would be and more. I was so excited and ready to become a Power Ranger.
io9: Tell us a little bit about the day on set you shot the moment Nate became the Gold Ranger. What was that like for you?
Rodriguez: The day I shot the scene where Nate becomes the Gold Power Ranger will forever be one of the best experiences and memories of my life. I remember getting more and more anxious and excited as the day drew closer. Once the day finally came, I woke up so hyped, happy, and ready to film such an epic and life-changing scene for Nate. I knew that from the moment Nate became the Gold Ranger, his life would never be the same. He would never go back to being just the child genius and lead scientist, but he would also become a part of the Power Rangers team, fight against evil, and protect the Morphin Grid alongside his best friends. It was a huge character arc for Nate. I was ready to give it my all and enjoy every second of this epic and legendary transformation. I had an absolute blast filming this scene take after take. It will forever be one of my favorite scenes and always hold a special place in my heart.
io9: Judging by the clip we’re showing off, Nate’s choice to become the Gold Ranger seems more out of circumstance than his grand intent. How will such a momentous decision impact him and his role in the Grid Battleforce going forward?
Rodriguez: Nate is always thinking about how he can help his friends help the world, fight against evil, and protect the Morphin Grid from Evox, so becoming a Power Ranger himself, has helped him understand from a different perspective what it’s like going face to face with the enemy. It will also help him better develop more weapons and plans the team and himself can use to defeat Evox. Nate has an advantage of knowing the scientific realm along with now being able to fight the enemy himself with all the knowledge he has from various years of working in Grid Battleforce and developing new weaponry and tactics. He is no longer the boy behind the computer, but now also front row in the battlefield fighting evil and saving the world.
io9: You’re joining a very special legacy, not just of the Power Rangers, but one of the series’ legendary “sixth ranger” archetypes. What’s it like being in the same group of characters like Tommy Oliver’s Green Ranger all those years ago?
Rodriguez: It is such a special feeling to be a part of the Gold Ranger legacy. To be in the same group of characters as Tommy Oliver is just unreal and super awesome! It’s an honor to be a part of a special and unique group of Rangers. GO GOLD!!!
“The Cybergate Opens” hits Nickelodeon at 8 a.m. ET/PT this Saturday, April 27.
For more, make sure you’re following us on our new Instagram @io9dotcom.
The colorful, spandex-clad martial artists of Power Rangers are the perfect subject for a basic but enjoyable three-on-three fighting game like Battle for the Grid. But with 26 seasons of television featuring more than 140 different heroes, the starting roster should at least be in the double digits, and not nine.
I was super excited whenPower Rangers: Battle for the Grid was announced for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and (eventually) PC, imagining a game overflowing with Super Sentai characters from throughout the show’s 25-year history. It’s developed by nWay, the studio that made mobile brawler Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, and that game’s got dozens of rangers in it. Surely, I thought, Battle for the Grid would follow suit.
Nope. We’ve got nine fighters. There’s rangers Green and Red from the original series and Yellow from Super Mega Force. Magna Defender drops in from Lost Galaxy. Also from the original series are Kelly as the Ranger Slayer, the evil Goldar, Lord Drakkon, and his Mastodon Sentry henchman. Since Lord Drakkon is an alternate reality version of the Green Ranger, that means 22 percent of the starting roster is Tommy Oliver.
It’s a nice little group of characters, but still a little group. Were this a one-on-one fighter, nine characters wouldn’t be so bad. Street Fighter II launched with only eight, and that was fine. But each round in Battle for the Grid features two teams of three characters each tagging in and out of battle. Seeing the same facemasks over and over again gets old quick.
Roster aside, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid isn’t a bad fighting game. nWay built it to be accessible for players of all ages and skill levels, so it’s relatively basic. There are normal attacks of three strengths, throws, and special moves. Each character has an appropriate super attack that can be activated when the super meter is full. It’s a three-on-three affair, so characters are constantly jumping in for assists or swapping out. Each team also gets to select a giant monster or mech (a Zord, that is) they can call in when things look dire, to help even the odds.
The stages aren’t great, with bland flat textures in the backgrounds. The face of Zordon is especially lifeless in the Ranger base level. One would think he’d react to the battle at hand, but he just hangs there like a wall sconce. These are little annoyances that would be much easier to overlook if the game’s roster were packed with many more color-coded upholders of all that is good and teenagery in the universe. Instead, it feels empty.
It’s not just the lack of characters, either. In an interview with the PlayStation Blog in January, nWay’s Chris Peralta said the game would launch with a story mode. It did not. There’s an arcade mode, which is a series of seven battles, but that quickly runs into the “too few characters” issue as well.
There’s more coming, at least. A season pass available right now includes three future downloadable characters. The official Battle for the Grid Twitter addressed the lacking or missing content on Twitter prior to the game’s launch on Xbox One and Switch this week, saying that the concerns “regarding characters, story mode, DLC, etc.” would be addressed “as soon as we’re ready to share details.”
Hopefully, once nWay irons out some of the online play bugs and makes sure everyone’s codes for the game work, the studio can start building Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid into the ranger-packed celebration of colorful costumed fighting it has the potential to be.
When Hasbro got the Power Rangers license, as a lifelong fan, I started wondering what they’d do. A cartoon? Closer collaboration with the show’s Japanese counterparts? More movies? Perhaps the Power Rangers heyday of the 1990s would return.
Well, all of that could still happen, but in the meantime Hasbro is doing something even more ‘90s than that. That’s right, it’s roadshow time. As reported by Power Rangersfan site Morphin’ Legacy, Hasbro is taking the costumed heroes on tour, for what Hasbro’s press release calls “a live stage experience intended for Power Rangers fans of all ages.”
This takes me back. Remember when stage shows were a regular part of the childhood pop culture experience? And you’d ask your parents to take you, and they’d say no, and then you’d pretend it looked too cheesy anyways and you never wanted to go in the first place?
Well, now you’re an adult, and you can go to whatever ridiculous live events you want. So far, Hasbro hasn’t released dates or cities for the tour, which will be run by company Kilburn Live and Koba Entertainment, alongside Hasbro. But one thing’s for sure: you’ll finally be able to fulfill your dream of meeting a Power Ranger, stealing their morpher, and running away, not once looking back on the life you left behind.
Toys and CollectiblesAction figures, statues, exclusives, and other merchandise. Beware: if you look here, you’re probably going to spend some money afterwards.
You know the drill, ranger fans: a new show, a new team of rangers, and a new bunch of zords to combine and transform into the Megazord. With Beast Morpherson the way, that’s happening all over again—but there’s a bit of a twist on the toy front this time, thanks to the arrival of Hasbro’s era of Power Rangers.
[Full disclosure: the Power Rangers franchise was created, and previously owned, by Haim Saban, who has ownership interest in Univision Communications, which itself currently owns Gizmodo Media Group, the network of websites io9 is part of.]
Ahead of New York Toy Fair, the company has been revealing its plans for the Rangerverse of toys in bits and parts, from roleplay accessories to action figures, but io9 can now exclusively reveal what is sure to be one of the highlights of the first waves of Beast Morphers merchandise: the transforming Zords you’ll be able to collect to form the mightiest weapon in the Beast Morpher team’s arsenal: the Beast-X Megazord and Beast-X Ultrazord.
Arriving in Fall 2019, the new Zords fit into two categories: three of them are dual converting Zords that can transform between vehicle and animal modes, while two are triple changing Zords with vehicle, animal, and individual Robotic modes of their own.
Let’s kick off with the three dual-changing Zords, which will retail for $25 apiece. The Blue Ranger’s Beast Wheeler Zord can turn into both a mechanized Gorilla and a “wheeler” truck form, while the Yellow Ranger’s Beast Chopper transforms between a Jackrabbit and, you guessed it, an attack helicopter. They’re joined by the mysterious Beast Jet Zord, which can switch between Scarab and Jet modes.
The two triple changing Zords will set you back $30 each—the Red Ranger’s Beast Racer can transform from bike mode to a Cheetah form and its very own Robot mode, forming the base for the Beast-X Megazord. Meanwhile, the Gold Ranger’s Beast Wrecker can transform between Robot, mantis, and a construction “wrecker.”
While each separate Zord has its own play functions, the real morphinominal magic happens when you merge them all together: combining the Zords of the Red, Blue, and Yellow Rangers will form the Beast X-Megazord, which you can check out below, while adding the Beast Wrecker and the Beast Jet Zord into the mix will allow kids to form the ultimate Beast-X Ultrazord.
Got a younger kid (or are a kid at heart yourself) and want to introduce them to the wild world of Power Rangers Zords? Well, it’s not Beast Morphers, but we can also exclusively reveal the next Zord in Playskool’s line of Power Rangers Heroes Zords for young fans: the legendary Dragon Thunderzord from later seasons of the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
Clocking in at a whopping 14 inches tall, the Playskool Dragon Thunderzord includes lights, sounds and moving arms and wings, all activated by pressing down on the Zord’s tail. If you place the included 3-inch tall version of the Red Ranger (complete with famous Dragon Shield) on the Zord, he’ll activate a secret pop-up projectile launcher to barrage any unfortunate foes with!
The Playskool Dragon Thunderzord will also release in fall alongside the other Beast Morphers Zords, and set you back $30. Looks like later this year is gonna be a hell of a time to be a Power Rangers fan!
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Coming in April from nWay, the developer and publisher of mobile fighter Power Rangers Legacy Wars, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid pits rangers and villains old and new against each other in battles across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and eventually PC.
nWay’s teamed up with Hasbro and Lionsgate to tap 25 years of Power Rangers history for Battle for the Grid. According to the official announcement, the fighting game eschews complicated controls in favor a more simplified system, stating “the depth is knowing when to strike, not how.” Sounds like a variation on a mobile fighter to me.
The game will launch in April for the Switch, Xbox One and PS4, with cross-platform play enabled across all three platforms and a PC version coming at a future date. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid will cost $19.99, with a special collectors edition with extra skins running $39.99.