Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Guest Post: Video Game Review - Injustice: Gods Among Us by Evil

Welcome to yet another awesome Guest Post here on Needless Things! I really appreciate the Phantomaniacs who are willing to help me out in my time of need (and here I thought I was needless – HA!).
Today’s post is from my old pal, Evil. We’ve had many adventures together, but this is the first time he’s contributed to the site. Or any site, for that matter. I’m proud to be the first to publish his words.
What follows is a review of Injustice: Gods Among Us, a fighting game that looks sort of interesting but features some of the most hideous character designs I have ever seen. It’s like the producers looked at the Schumacher Batmans and thought, “Nah – too reserved.” I suck at video games and I’m really bad at fighting games, but I was definitely curious about this one. I mean, no matter how much DC Comics may suck right now, I’m still a DC guy. Evil answered pretty much all of my questions and piqued my curiosity. I might have to buy this thing now.
Thanks, fucker.

To start out let me say I didn’t plan on buying this game. Between three kids, a busy work schedule, and a DVR that I keep waiting to start deleting itself because it knows I’ll never watch all of it, I just don’t have a lot of time to play video games. I still haven’t finished Borderlands 2 and I love that game. I had played the previous fighting game from Netherrealms, DC vs. Mortal Kombat, and while I liked it, the game didn’t get a lot of play. I liked the idea of a straight fighter with comic characters but probably not enough to put down the money (with how much toys and comics cost these days, I throw enough money away on these characters already). Then I saw the pictures of the of figures Mattel would be putting out.

What the hell is that? That has to be one the worst Batman figures I have ever seen. So besides being confused by Mattel telling us they can’t afford new sculpts but putting this garbage out, the designs of the characters just really turned me off and pretty much guaranteed I wouldn’t be picking it up. But then I had a really rough day at work, and like a teenage girl, decided buying something would make me feel better. I decided to go with the PS3 version, which is different as I usually prefer the Xbox but the PS3 is hooked up to the bigger TV in the living room, and I figured if the violence wasn’t too bad, I could play it with the boys (they’re nine). So how is it? Lets take a look.

Story
The game is set up with a story mode and the regular fighting mode. I’ve played through the story mode and while entertaining, it’s pretty ridiculous. The basic story is that the Joker drugged Superman and made him think Doomsday was destroying Metropolis. Superman flew Doomsday into space and killed him. But surprise! It wasn’t Doomsday, it was Lois and she was with child. Also she was linked to a nuclear bomb so when she died a nuke went off and destroyed the city. Let that sink in for minute. This game is about Superman going crazy after killing Lois and his unborn child. Fun!


So Superman goes all Justice Lordsy, and through intimidation, gets all the heroes and villain’s, who get reprieves, to take over the earth. This also involves getting costumes with more armor and lights for some reason. However, someone had a plan in case Superman went all crazy. Who was it? The Martian Manhunter. Hahaha - just kidding. They didn’t even put him in the game except in the background. Poor guy; DC put out a “Justice League” with Vibe and then left Manhunter out of the game. Of course it’s Batman. He has made special pills out of Krypton DNA or some nonsense that allows a character like Harley Quinn take on Green Lantern by upping their strength and stamina. It’s silly, but at least they gave a reason to why she just wouldn’t have her head ripped right off by a green baseball bat. Batman’s plan involves bringing over heroes from “our” DC universe that he needs to complete his plan to take down Superman. So he brings over Batman, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman. Joker gets pulled over on accident too. Over the course of the game other heroes are brought over too but I don’t want to spoil all the story.

The story mode is broken down into chapters in which you play as one of the heroes to complete part of the mission. You fight three or four battles, with pretty long cut scenes interspersed between the fights. It’s a pretty good set up and kept my interest the whole time. There are also some cuts where you have to push buttons at a specific time to complete a goal, like shooting arrows at Grundy to keep him away. They provide a nice break up to the game but I’m glad there weren’t too many of them. The story goes about like you would expect, but there are some good twists with characters not being who you thought they were and others switching sides.

So while the story is entertaining enough, it’s pretty ridiculous. Superman knows it was the Joker that tricked him but he still goes through with all of it to protect the earth. Also I forgot to mention he punched through the Joker’s chest in the beginning when he finds out, while yelling “I am a man!” Seriously. With the cut scenes going straight into fights, it makes it hard to put down, because you’re always going for one more fight, and there is never a stop to push continue or anything, so you just keep going. The story mode took me about 6 hours to complete. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back through it again, but I got it just to be able to do a few fights when I had time so that’s OK.

Characters


The game comes with 24 characters, with more to be available later as downloadable content. On the hero side you have the new 52 Justice League, which includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg (suck it Manhunter!). You also get Captain “My Name Will Never be Shazam” Marvel, Green Arrow, Hawkgirl, Nightwing, and Raven. All good choices, but rather than Raven I would have liked Vixen. Her powers would look and play great on the game. On the villains side, you get Joker, Lex Luthor, Catwoman, Sinestro, Solomon Grundy, Black Adam, Ares, Deathstroke, Bane, Doomsday, Harley Quinn, and Killer Frost. Of those the only one I think I would switch out would be Killer Frost for Cheetah as the villains are lacking on the speed side.

The characters play differently with both the kinds of moves that they can do and how they interact with the environment. Stronger characters have the ability to pick up objects to smash others with it, while the smaller, faster characters can jump off of them.

The balance of character is pretty good, so there isn’t one character that you can use to dominate, which was a problem with the previous game. For example while Superman has some moves that will take away a lot of health, they take a few seconds to pull off so you have time to block them. I’ve found myself using Nightwing and the Marvel characters the most, but I’m guessing who you prefer will just depend on how you play.
The biggest surprise to me was that the designs actually look pretty good in the game. That Batman from above still looks awful, but the Batman from the other side has a great costume, so I’m not sure why Mattel went with that design. Same goes for Supes. The only other design I didn’t care for was bad guy Flash, who is all armored up and has weird lights/lighting armor sticking up. Because when you are fast, heavy armor is what you need. This goes along though with the current Nu52 designs though with little pieces of armor over everyone (I could write for pages what I think about those so Ill let it drop).


One more quick note, is Wonder Woman’s boobs. It was actually distracting during the story mode. I know its mostly guys playing this game but really? She looks like she should be airbrushed on the side of a van riding a griffin. (Note to self, look into airbrush artists and current van prices)

Controls
The controls on this game are great. I don’t play a lot of fighting games but I was able to pull off a lot of moves; there are also more complicated ones for people who play a lot more. The controls are your basic fighting game moves that anyone who grew up with the arcade fighters know, so it makes picking the game up and just starting easy. The characters all use the same combos of buttons for special moves so it makes it fun to try all the different characters out.

The best thing they did with the controls were the characters big moves. You fill up a meter and when the little icon lights up you just pull the two triggers and you get the big cut scene move. This is great, as it takes away the frustration of knowing that there is a super awesome move that you will never figure out how to do because you aren’t a thirteen year old with thousands of hours of free time and fingers that haven’t been slowed by time. My favorite is fighting in the Watchtower in space and having Batman call his Batmobile to run someone ever. Man - that guy plans for everything.


Graphics
The game looks great. The environments are one of the real stars of this game and you can tell that a lot of time went in to their design. You have 12 different arenas, each with another area you can knock someone into if you hit them in the right place. You have all the major spots you would expect with the Hall of Justice, the Batcave, the Fortress of Solitude, and Ferris Air. The backgrounds are great with Easter eggs, destruction, and other characters doing their own thing (don’t make eye contact with the Martian, it just makes him sad). The best part though is how you can interact with the backgrounds. There is tons of stuff to throw, break open, or swing on with the push of a button.

Final Thoughts
This game is a ton of fun. I was surprised how much I enjoyed playing the story and am looking forward to being able to pick it up and having a quick couple of fights. We had people over the other night and everyone really liked it and easily picked it up enough to enjoy playing. I’ve played with the boys a couple of times and honestly its probably a little too violent for them. There is some language too that really isn’t necessary, and just seems stuck in to make them look more “bad” but really just ends up sounding stupid. I was hoping there was a way to turn off the blood, but no it’s just there. Ill probably let them play it some but never the story mode.


Overall I give the game a
4 out 5

Graphics and game play are great, but at this point for $60 a game has to be amazing to get a 5. I would recommend waiting to get the game used, at $40 it would be totally worth it.

There will, of course, be more characters and environments to download later so there is more to look forward to. The first announced will be Lobo, who looks great. I can’t guess who else we will get but I bet it won’t be Martian Manhunter. Screw that guy.

-Evil

Thanks, Evil! And also:
Side Note: Toys R Us currently has Injusitce on sale for $35. So I guess I'm going to buy it. I don't think I'm going to let Lil' Troublemaker play it, though.

-Phantom

6 comments:

  1. "Nightwing and the Marvel characters the most" is wrong. I think he meant "Mortal Kombat characters."

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    1. He is not wrong. He was referring to Captain Marvel and Black Adam. "Marvel" characters. There are no Mortal Kombat characters in this game.

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  2. Yeah I can see how that would be confusing. But I still refuse to call him Shazam.

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    1. His Super is kinda disappointing. I was expecting something more spectacular than "throw a guy from the sky". Following the throw with a diving smash or a "SHAZAM"/lightning bolt combo would've been awesome.

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  3. I picked up a copy today. I was on the fence until I saw the Toys R Us sale. I don't think I would pay full price but thought it'd be worth $35.

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    Replies
    1. I should probably buy this. But it sounds too violent and EDGY for Lil' Troublemaker.

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