"Tarnished Legacy": Power Rangers: Legacy Wars Review
I’ve had a spotty history with mobile games since I’ve only had a smartphone for a few years and I’ve mostly avoided mobile titles like Angry Birds, but what I have played have mostly felt like hollow experiences that give you the incentive to keep playing early on, before slowing advancement to a crawl. Attempting to con you out of your hard-earned money to advance quicker. However, as a fan of the Power Ranger franchise, and the recent 2017 film, I thought it would be worth checking out their new mobile title, Power Rangers: Legacy War.
Power Rangers: Legacy War mixes the 2017 film reboot with the Power Rangers television continuity, but doesn’t seem to have any official place in either universe. With the game being online only, the plot isn’t important. All you need to know is that you’ll be facing other players in combat against their teams of three. Your main fighter and two support characters, which can be chosen from a roster of 40+ characters.
Gameplay takes place as a traditional style one-on-one fighter, however, since this is a mobile title, movement is accomplished by sliding your finger left or right. Attacking and blocking is handled by clicking one of three icons on the bottom right of the screen. Attack are categorized as either a strike, a breaker or defense. The game handles these in a “rock, paper, scissors” fashion. Strikes are fast but are stopped by defensive movies, breaker moves are slow but can penetrate defense, breaker attacks are stopped by the much faster strikes.
This system works well in practice, and unless you’re having issues with lag, you should be able to counter your opponent’s attacks. This system keeps things fresh as each time you use an attack it's replaced by another in queue this, of course, means you may not always have an attack type you need in a given situation, adding a small level or strategy to the game, as you’ll want to be aware of what is available to you at all times. Simply rushing in and charging your opponent with whatever is at your disposal will likely result in a quick loss.
The strength of these attacks increases as your characters are leveled up. The size of your life bar also changes based on your current team configuration on their levels. Unfortunately, this brings about another of the game’s flaws, as those with the ability (or willingness) to spend real world money will find it much easier to advance their characters. While you can earn coins and power crystals through grinding and opening Morphing Boxes, but they are obtained at an incredibly low rate, stalling out advancement for all but those willing to dedicate endless hours to facing opponents with little reward.
When you first come into the game, you can see that its visuals a pretty strong for a mobile title, at least the character models. Though, these models seem to suffer from sharing a similar character model, each featuring a different skin, causing many of the game’s characters to have a very similar feel in their movements and overall appearance. Of course, this attention to deal with the character models means that the backgrounds suffer in the visual detail, with many of them have very bland visuals with little going on. The locations themselves are from either the recent movie or locals for the TV series including areas like Lord Zedd’s Palace. While the areas from the classic show offer up some great nostalgia, I couldn’t find much else to get me excited about them.
The audio department doesn’t fare much better, as Legacy Wars is void of any audio to connect it to the Power Rangers universe at all. Battle sounds are all generic grunts and groans, with no audio taken from the film or series for any of the characters. The same can be said of the music because, while having a stage set in Lord Zedd’s Palace is awesome, without the "Emperor of Evil’s" theme song playing in the background, the game lacks that Power Rangers feel. The music that is present is simply generic sounding rock music that simply can’t capture that vibe, instead sounding like something you’d hear from a middle school rock band.
Power Rangers: Legacy Wars epitomizes everything I dislike about mobile gaming. The game gives you unlocks at a rapid pace when you first begin but quickly slows to a crawl as you struggle to gain meager amounts of in-game currency to continue powering up your characters. Couple this with passable visuals and a completely generic soundtrack that fails to connect it to its source material and Legacy Wars doesn’t offer much reason for players to come back after a few hours unless they’re willing to pay up or spend countless hours grinding against human opponents. A barren title with a deceptively small roster, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars is a bare bones fighter that doesn’t offer any reason for mobile gamers to spend any time with it.