Warming Up to Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid

Source: NerdJosh

The bar for fighting games in modern times is higher than ever.  From AAA efforts like Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, and Mortal Kombat 11, to indie titles like Skullgirls and Pocket Rumble, the genre is now packed with games that are built with smart combat mechanics, accessibility, depth, balance, and tournament viability in mind. Even licensed games like Dragon Ball FighterZ headlined the EVO main stage while outselling previous Dragon Ball fighting games by making a title that appealed to both fans of the show and the hardcore tournament crowd.

Though I’ve had my concerns about the upcoming Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid due to it being a licensed game and featuring mediocre graphics, the fact that Justin Wong was working on the game as a balance consultant gave me hope that this might not be a cash grab. After watching the game’s first live stream, I have more hope that this will reach the standard set by other competitive fighting games on the market.

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What I Want to See in an ARMS Sequel

Having sold over two million copies and ranking as the 8th most played game on the Nintendo Switch in 2017, the odds of the ARMS franchise returning in some form are pretty high. While we may not see a sequel for quite some time based on Nintendo’s track record of generally releasing only one game of each franchise on a platform, here’s a few things I would want to see in a successor to ARMS!

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Blade Strangers Review

Even before Super Smash Bros. Ultimate hit the scene, the fighting game market was getting pretty crowded on the Nintendo Switch. From the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary CollectionBlazBlue: Cross Tag BattleARMS, Dragon Ball FighterZ, to the slew of classic Neo Geo fighters in the eShop, getting your pugilistic fix wasn’t much of an issue.

One of those pre-Smash titles that jockeyed for position was Blade Strangers by Nicalis. With a roster comprised of indie game characters from different franchises, it aimed to carve a niche for itself with a unique roster and a streamlined combat system. Does this fighter have the chops to stand as a worthy challenger?

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Blade Strangers – Shovel Knight Arcade Mode Playthrough

Shovel Knight breaks out of his 8-bit world to star in the anime crossover fighting game Blade Strangers! Watch him fight his way up the arcade mode ladder! Full review coming soon!

Also, here’s a bonus highlight of a viewer sharing their love story!

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Initial Thoughts on What We’ve Seen of Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid So Far

Admittedly, I haven’t followed the Power Rangers since their original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers run in the early 90s. Having said that, I know the franchise continues to thrive with new stories being told in that universe all the time on TV, in comic books, and even in the theatres. As far as games go, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars has been a popular mobile fighting game for some time.

Now the Power Rangers are jumping back onto home platforms, and hopefully leaving the most broken fighting game character of all-time behind. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is a 3v3 tag fighter that stars a whole bunch of rangers from different generations. I have my concerns, but I also have hopes that this won’t be terrible.

I like the idea of this being a tag fighter. The Power Rangers fight as a team, so of course they would team up. This looks to borrow the basic framework established by the Marvel vs. Capcom series, where you control one “point” character, while the others can be called upon to perform assist moves.

From the little we’ve seen in the trailer, it looks like the game is going to make good use of this mechanic. In this one GIF above, the classic red ranger does a move that allows him to dash behind his opponent, while his yellow ranger assist continues to hit him from the front. Classic tag fighter tactics right there.

However, the animation of the game gives me pause. Movements look stiff in a way that is jarring to my eye. Combine that with the game’s overall pedestrian presentation, and I’m a bit concerned with how the game is shaping up.

At the very least, I’m glad to see the developers taking this game at least somewhat seriously. Fighting game legend Justin Wong has announced that he’s involved in the project in a consultant role. Not sure what his abilities are as a fighting game designer, but he’s phenomenal at playing them, even if he did lose to me once (and no, I will never let him live that down). Hoping his expertise helps take the project to the next level while possibly opening up more career opportunities for him!

We won’t have to wait too long to see how Power Rangers: Battle of the Grid turns out. The game is set for release this spring. Fingers crossed that it shapes up to be a quality fighter!

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Fight of Gods – Jesus Combo Video

Christ has risen! Jesus breaks out of the cross in order to wreck shop in this Fight of Gods combo video!

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Fight of Gods Review

On the third day he rose again…to fight? Jesus stars in Fight of Gods, where he and other religious figures partake in immortal combat for reasons that are never fully explained. The core concept behind the game was intriguing enough for me to give it a try. Does Fight of Gods provide an otherworldly fighting game experience?

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The Parallels Between Overwatch and Street Fighter

Up until my time with Overwatch, shooters for me have been primarily an exercise of precision shooting. In games where each character is only really defined by the gun they wield, differences in weapon and equipment don’t really do much to separate one player from another. Especially in games where players can hold multiple guns and carry different equipment, the only real differences are the players themselves. I know there will be hardcore shooter players that will call shenanigans on that statement, but let me continue. Even in a game like Splatoon, where shooting isn’t necessarily the goal of the game, you still all play as the same default characters with adjustments to equipment. I have enjoyed a number of shooters in my day, but most of them haven’t really sunk their teeth into me.

Until Overwatch. Granted, Team Fortress 2 did it first, but Overwatch stands out from the pack for straying beyond the default soldier with different weapons approach. The term “hero shooter” exists thanks to games like Team Fortress 2, Overwatch, and Paladins. In a lot of ways, my reasons for loving Overwatch are similar to why I love Street Fighter and other types of fighting games.

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Notes from the Mortal Kombat 11 Gameplay Reveal Event

First revealed at the 2018 Game Awards, Mortal Kombat 11 had its big coming out party at a January 17th event. We got our first real glimpse at its gameplay, expanded variation system, story prologue, and more! Not going to provide a comprehensive rundown here, but I’ll highlight a few notes that I thought were worth noting!

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Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Live Stream Featuring Lots of Arcade1Up Street Fighter II Talk

We play Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection as a jumping off point for an extended conversation about what I liked and didn’t like in the Arcade1Up Street Fighter II machine. I wanted to like it so much, but the issues I had with it were too hard to ignore. The short story is the video at the top, and the full stream is below where I also answer questions and share my overall thoughts on the arcade cabinet!

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