Henshin Daaaaaa! Oh wait, this is the American version. Let me try again.
It’s Morphin’ Time!
Much better. Okay, so, anyone who knows me knows I adored Power Rangers as a young man, and as an adult, I found the Japanese “Super Sentai” franchise, thanks to Mike, one of my best friends since Middle School. There’s still a part of me that loves it and won’t deny it. And with two new games and a new film? My hype is building to uncomfortable levels. So when I was asked to play Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, I informed my boss that not only had I been playing it for a day, I was at that time, undefeated. I’ve only lost three times since the game came out, pretty proud of that too. But I’m willing to look at this without rose-coloured glasses on, because while I love this game, there are some things that need work, or are not so perfect. That’s okay though! There’s only one perfect game and that’s EarthBound; that’s just how life is. So the important question is: What is Power Rangers: Legacy Wars?
It’s a 2D fighter in the same vein as Mortal Kombat on mobile, except you have two allies to jump in and assist, a’la Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Marvel’s not dead, guys! It’s just turned into Power Rangers! And isn’t that better? You have Lead Characters, and Assists, and most of the cast has a version of both. I haven’t seen an assist Tommy Oliver [Green, White, Zeo 5, Turbo Red, Dino Black], but most of them I have! You can tell which is which because the Lead Character version is zoomed in on the helmet. You unlock characters by opening boxes, which have a timer on them [unless you spend money, those unlock immediately], and when you have enough shards for them, you can unlock them in the Roster Menu. Typically the higher the rarity, the more shards needed, as well as for upgrading them. So yes, keep farming shards! If you get the appropriate amount of shards, you can use coins to level up the character, increasing their stats, and you really really want that. More damage, more overall health won’t make you win, but it certainly won’t hurt your chances. It still comes down to skill. But you can’t just pick whatever you want, or rather, you shouldn’t. There are three styles of characters, Balanced, Attacker, Defender. I prefer to have one of each, my Lead is a Balanced, then my assists are Attacker/Defender, and there’s also a Rock-Paper-Scissors aspect to be aware of. Defense Moves [Blue, Move, I’ll get to that] beat Regular Attacks [Yellow], and Breaker Attacks [Red] defeat Defense Moves. You can use Defense to stop Regular Attacks, but not Defense. It’s important to note that Attackers “can” defend, but Defense characters have a better chance of doing so.
You can also move back and forth by swiping and personally I tend to immediately move back at the start, see how they react. From there, I build my strategy! As time goes on, even if you’re under attack, your meter builds which has a number assigned to it. The abilities characters have also have a cost, which you use your meter for. Thankfully, Defense is a 0 cost move. Your goal is to get the other team to 0 hp, and it’s even easier if you can pin them into the corner and juggle them up the screen because there’s no Burst, no Break Out, other than hoping you have a Defense skill. You don’t recycle skills, either. If you can’t use them, you can’t gain new ones. And if you pin them into the corner, and keep bouncing them, like using Green Ranger’s “Kickin’ It”, which is a vile, powerful combo move [that I love, by the by], follow up with Dragon Quake, or another one of his moves, and hopefully you’ll be able to continue stomping them. Their obvious response is going to be to defend as soon as they can, and you wait, hoping for a Red Attack. That’s why Balanced is best, they have a nice variety of moves. Your assists are also expensive [4-5 at least], but they can make up for whatever you lack on your main character. The combat is fast, the matches are short, and the point gains have been pretty good. I gain on average 33-34 on a win, and lose 15-16 on a loss. So I don’t feel like a single loss will crush me.
There are Leagues, and each League unlocks more characters. Well, it unlocks the ability to unlock more characters. I do like the cast that is currently in the game, and I’m glad the film characters are in it, but why not the original movie suits? Those would be interesting, but also I do admit it could convolute the list of names even further! I’d still like it though. I’m grateful that the list of playables is so varied, but there are some that I’d like to see that aren’t in yet. Magna Defender, Koragg the Knight Wolf, the entire team from Hurricanger/Ninja Storm. . . That’s the good thing about a game like this! There will always be characters to add! I do love that there is such a variety though. All they have to do is reach out and I’ll gladly give more suggestions, as well as rarity and attacks! I’ve got you guys. One day, my love of Sentai will be an asset! The game will give you chests as you progress, like the Corruption Chest [daily] which is unlocked by dealing damage! I love that concept, and it can drop some pretty great shards. Alpha 5 will give you chests throughout the day, but those are generally just common shards, coins, and power crystals. But I am grateful that those free chests also give Coins/Crystals because it’s a way to buy stuff without spending real money. A slow way, but a way nonetheless!
Now here’s the hard part. I love this game, but it’s definitely not perfect. Winning matches gives you chests, like Noble Chests, and they can definitely give you Rare, useful shards for your team. But. . . the better that chest is, the longer the wait is. Some of them are 8 hours. So you can either wait or use 12 or so Power Crystals to unlock immediately. Thankfully all chests give Coins and Crystals, so you can in theory just unlock them immediately. But if you’re lacking, you will have to either wait or spend money. The game does go faster if you spend money, but I don’t think “pay to win” is the way I’d classify it. Definitely, the potential for pay to go faster, though. They also offer bundles, generally for about 10 bucks, that gives you a huge pile of in-game currency [Power Crystals], Coins, and at least one powerful, rare character. When the game first came out, they had one for a Rare, Balanced Tommy Oliver [Green Ranger]. Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic is the order [but that’s what it is for all games!] and it was definitely worth it. The leveling system is kind of busted, having to crack chests to unlock more shards. I just wish there were an alternate method, like using Coins or Power Crystals or sacrificing other team members. I’ve had this talk before, and some people say that it’s bad for you to spend real money on a free game, but I think if you love a game, and want to support it, you spend money as long as it’s not a pay-to-win concept. This is not one of those times. The thing I detest, though, that really upset me: There’s only one Defense move. There are plenty of other moves, but I’ve only seen one Blue move, so it’s my hope that that gets fixed up in the near future.
Magic Wand, Make My Hype Train Grow! 4/5
I love this game! I normally don’t play mobile fighters, but hot damn, this has everything I want in one place: Sentai/Rangers, cool moves, team building. I stand by it not being pay to win, but I could see an argument for “Pay to Start”. I’d be willing to pay for this game if it started you with a better character than it did. But buying a bundle at the start definitely helped me, because you don’t start with such a powerful character, and the bundle gave me Power Crystals to both buy boxes, and unlock boxes for winning much faster. But it won’t make you good at the game! That only comes with understanding how the game functions and acting/reacting swiftly. It’s fun, addicting, and climbing feels rewarding. The chests improve as you go on, and so do the characters you can play with. Normally when I review a mobile game, it just disappears from my phone afterward but this is not one of those. I can pick it up for a few minutes, body some fools, and then go about my day. If I could figure out streaming from my phone, I’d probably stream it too, if possible! I’m so glad that the developers of this game and sponsors for it have a real love of the content, and I feel like it shows in everything. The only other complaint: Not enough of the real music from the shows! No “Combat”, no “Tengu-Bye-Bye”, nothin’! If you love fighting games and want to get your fix with some Power Rangers, you’d do well to give it a swing!