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Monday, April 22, 2013

Injustice: Gods Among Us Review Super Fun For Fans

by Jonathan Bilski Editor of TTDILA

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Superman Noooooooo!!!!!!!!! A fantastic doorway opened up to the null dimension of the Phantom Zone, a prison dimension like Purgatory for Kryptonian murderers and monsters. Before Superman's soul seemingly left his body I see his thoughts of all the people he cherished and loved and all the memories of his heroism, but he's not strong enough to escape as a demon pulls his mortal form in. I whimper out, "I just killed Superman", a mistake so great in error there is no justice to make it right. I'm Damian Wayne and I'll rule this world now!

Now that's an emotional roller coaster of both to much happening at once and fanboy dreams. If you're a fan of DC you'll enjoy Injustice: Gods Among Us . If you're into fighters, you weren't coming to the party for story anyway. That  sad scene of villainy  took place in my first jaunt into classic mode, which was frightening because I thought I killed Superman for a second there or sent his soul to the Phantom Zone or expelled and evil demon from him. In any case it was a delight to see and this game is a delight to play for anyone who reads DC comics.

Many other reviews have discussed that the writing could have been better for the main story mode, oh it could have been. Moments shine through like cracks in the ceiling after Wonder Woman fights Bane. After a catastrophe caused by the Joker on a different Earth in another dimension, stay with me I know it's silly, Superman goes evil destroys all other governments and unites earth's governments as One Earth. The superheroes and villains he forces under his control become the regime. Those who don't follow him become rebels and that brings us to Batman. So now we have the setup of why super heroes will be fighting each other. Here's where the writing packs some punches. When the Justice League of the still doing fine Earth get sent to the twisted bad version of Earth they get into a guessing game of where they are. Is it the future, a simulation, another dimension? They've dealt with it so often it's normal to them. That's how it would be in the comics, it's a common occurrence.

There's more great moments and confrontations with characters meeting evil version of themselves, but then there's the stupid stuff that reminds you it's still from the people who make Mortal Kombat. There's some extreme violence in the story towards the end and it works, but was tacked on and overkill.

Some of the dumbest moments are the mini-games during story mode. Bane shooting a gun at Wonder Woman was way out of place and I'm sure no one bothered to research why Bane just wouldn't do that. One of the mini-games catching green arrow's arrows had it's place, but throwing in Superman's heat vision at the last minute was the wrong choice in this game of being a fighter.

What NetherRealms did was a triumph at the destructible three-tier fighting arenas. Nothing is more satisfying then knocking Solomon Grundy through a building, watching him go through multiple floors and seeing some office drones looking and wondering what's going on. Same goes for the Fortress of Solitude or Arkham Asylum. The only regret is not all levels are multi-tiered. Even after having the game for a week, playing with a friend and beating story mode I haven't gone to every section yet, I'm missing one end of Themyscira. Though knocking people down stairs is fun the levels have other plenty of fun nods and jokes for fans of the series. NetherRealms captured some iconic places to fight that will make you want you to fight a friend again just to knock them into a colossal fight with giants  Giganta and Atom Smasher. Arkham Asylum is just crammed with Bat-jokes a poison flower from Posion Ivy, a freezing pipe for Mr. Freeze.

Ohh, I say Superman let's have a round of fisticuffs! It's much more than simple punches, these heroes and villains have powers. Be it constructing rockets to shoot in your face, crushing you with evil magic or simply using laser vision to obliterate you off this earth fighters have plenty of variations to learn to take each other down. None of the moves are that hard to master. It's an easy game to pick up. If you want to master moves like any fighter game you can.

When I saw Sinestro and Green Lantern on the roster I thought here comes the clone move set, but they are very different fighters with different feels. Joker is such a different fighter, tricky and comical, but he can stab you and take a piece out of you in comparison you have the undead hobo zombie of Grundy whose more about strength and pummeling you. Each character is unique with attacks that are fun to see knock someone on their butt. You can get some complex combos in that look insane.

Each character has a little extra with their circle button attack. This is hit or miss for me. Superman's extra strength and Green Lantern's power up were just not needed. The move is suppose to be specific to the character and I guess they couldn't think of anything that wouldn't have made Superman that strong and cheap. The Flash gets the power to slow down time for a few seconds which can work perfectly to your favor. So you have to learn if it's worth it to even use  this power for some fighters.

Your life is but two meters. You have a two full life meters to take down, making fights last longer. The fight stops for a few seconds when you or your opponents meter runs out. It's an odd choice, but you've seen it in Mortal Kombat before. It does stop the action, which I don't like.

Punching you into outer space and then back down I do like. When you pull off your most powerful attack it's beautiful to watch. Just like watching a section of the Earth getting destroyed in Dragon Ball Budokai games it's great to see a pull out shot of the Earth to describe how powerful Superman's attacks is. Not every attack is that powerful, but seeing your enemy get run down by the Batmobile as Bats jumps backwards to safety is pure fan bliss. Doomsday's final must have been inspired by the exact opposite of Superman's and it's both painful and hilarious.

The catchphrase then awesome amount of power shown-off event in fights is a wager system of built up energy you have that you use for your super move. I thought it would be more of a button mashing thing, but the end result means your opponent can get back health if you already used up your energy meter for your final super attack. This may mean deeper strategy for those intense players.
There's a few other modes to check out, but really it's for those who like fighters and want the challenge to keep going back and doing STAR Lab missions.

As I fan of DC I wanted to give my opinion on the roster as so many others have. Here's a simple breakdown of why certain characters made it into the game in my opinion.

As with plot choices for this titles so do character choices make me you ponder why. Why is Killer Frost in this game? Killer Frost is in this game because NetherRealms loves Sub-Zero and wanted more boobs in the game. Killer Frost is a terrible character, not in game play, but to be chosen. She never appears in the comics and is a C-lister. She's not even a main arch-enemy. She was put in top down Justice Leagues Heroes for the same reason which is having boobs and was forgettable in that too.

Martian Manhunter is in the game... as part of the background! He just monitors the watch tower and stares into your soul as you fight as Cyborg. I'm sure this was DC's call. They had the Cyborg car at the LA Auto Show too because Cyborg made his way into the Justice League now. He still just isn't that popular. Once again not a bad character to play as, it just should have been Martian Manhunter. I see you in the background of a level too Atom.

Wonder Woman get's Aries ... meh. I guess this was chosen before the story arc going on in her comic now or the game director just liked Aries from her past. Would have liked to see Cheetah. I know she's similar to Catwoman, but they could have had different fighting styles.

Talking about Catwoman, we're joined mainly by Batman enemies including The Joker, Harlequin, Bane and levels devoted to the dark night more than anyone else. The Arkham series was given much love in this game, but there are a lot more DC characters to let shine NetherRealms.

Raven came out of nowhere to me. She's loved by fans of the Teen Titans, but this is not the version they grew up with. If they wanted some more fan love Tara Strong would have been an easy call for the voice actress.

That reminds how I think other than Wonder Woman every female character is voiced by the same women. I'm not sure if that's true, but they sound so similar it's eerie. Of course, getting Kevin Conroy and Superman's voice actor from the cartoon series will always be the right choice. Joker's voice actor does fine, remember Mark Hamill retired from doing it.

Amazo, Mongal where are you? Perhaps DLC will have to see, but fans will be debating who should be in or out forever. It just goes to show that a sequel or growing roster would not be missed by fans.

Injustice is a great step forward from WB Games to use it's DC properties both for fans and  avid players of kicking butt. It's a Justice League game fans have wanted since Cartoon Network's Justice League cartoon and it does pay off. A super fighter with plenty of fighters to learn, levels to bop enemies on the head with and fling them off the Earth. Now I just hope Lois doesn't hate me forever for sending Superman to the Phantoms Zone. I still feel bad about that.

The video game was provided by the publisher for review. PS3 Version.