Alright, so while everybody was either watching the trailer for the new John Wick movie or the Mortal Kombat 11 gameplay reveal, Hasbro quietly announced a new sentai fighting game called Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid.
The announcement trailer (below) is uh, well it’s kinda sparse, as far as like, showing that many characters, or what any of the game looks like beyond a few animations. It sorta feels like, maybe this is all there is to show at the moment? Which is fine, games get shown off in early stages all the time, but the trailer also says that Battle for the Grid comes out in April, and that’s barely three months from now.
So, I have some questions.
Question #1: Wait, what?
A new Power Rangers game? In 2019? Is there another movie coming out this year? Nope, no movie this year — just the first console Power Rangers fighting game in 24 years, announced via YouTube in the middle of a Thursday afternoon. I maybe woulda made more of a big deal out of it, but you do you Hasbro!
Question #2: Does this game actually exist?
Unless, of course, Hasbro is pointedly not making a big deal out of it, because the game doesn’t really exist yet. That trailer shows three character models and some attack animations, but no menus, nothing of the user interface or any of the actual, like, video game parts of the game.
The game’s official website doesn’t explicitly say how many characters are planned, but the character information page does have space for 15 fighters. There’s copy on the site that calls the game “easy to learn but hard to master,” and says that “new and classic Rangers and villains” will fight in “team battles,” but beyond that, no information is available about the mechanics or systems at play in Battle for the Grid.
Are there super meters? EX moves? How does blocking work? Do the Zords factor into anything? If Rita Repulsa is involved, can she make her monsters grow? The trailer definitely implies assist characters, but in what form? Is this a 1v1 game with assists, or a full-blown Dragon Ball FighterZ-style tag-battle situation? Does this game even exist yet?
Question #3: Can This Game That May or May Not Exist Yet Be Pre-Ordered?
You bet your shiny green spandex booty it can! Why wait for basic information about your game to be available before you start selling it? The website offers pre-orders for PC, Switch, and Xbox One versions of the game, meanwhile PlayStation 4 pre-orders will “start shortly,” for some reason.
Pre-orders are available in two tiers, regular and “Digital Collector’s Edition,” both of which come with varying levels of digital bonuses. One might think to glean further information about the game from said bonuses, but unfortunately, they raise more questions than they answer.
Question #4: What Is a ‘Lord Drakkon Evo II?’
One of the bonuses that comes with the Digital Collector’s Edition is a “Lord Dragon Evo II” skin, and all of those words were foreign to my mighty morphin’ ears before I starting writing this article.
I did some research though, and it turns out Lord Drakkon is a recent villain from the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers comic book series who’s being folded into the rest of the continuity, since fans love him so much.
The long and short of it is that Drakkon is an alternate universe version of Tommy Oliver, aka the Green Ranger, who chose to stay evil after freeing himself from Rita Repulsa’s control. Drakkon absorbs the powers of the Rangers that he defeats, which in turn makes his outfit fancier. These are his “evolutions,” so “Lord Drakkon Evo II” is a costume for his second form.
Okay. Asked and answered. That’s not the only pre-order bonus though. Not by a long shot.
Question #5: Does This Game, Which as Far as We Know Is Three Characters in a Junkyard, Have a Season Pass?
Hell yes it does!! The Digital Collector’s Edition comes with a “Season One Pass” according to the website, which includes “three new characters, their Arcade story, and a new warrior skin.”
Three new characters, y’all! We’ve only seen about 30 seconds of the characters that even supposedly exist for this game, but you can sure as heck spend an extra $20 to guarantee your ownership of three more! Whoever they may be! Whenever they may be released! Who even knows what a warrior skin is! Is a warrior different from a Ranger? Why can’t I feel my hands!!
Question #6: Hold Up, Is That Tommy?
That is Tommy.
Fine. I’ll play it. But I’m not happy about it.