|System: Wii U, PS3*, Xbox 360|
|Dev: Netherrealm Studios|
|Pub: WB Games|
|Release: April 16, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence|
The minimalistic approach to button input isn’t the only thing that irks me about the controls. Injustice has a single minded devotion to mid-90’s fighting game mechanics. For instance, many of the buttons I talked about earlier are only short cuts. You can trigger a throw, for instance, by pressing the light and heavy attack buttons at the same time. These types of simultaneous button presses were essential back in the day, when there weren’t enough functions for buttons, but now that gamers are using controllers with a lot more buttons, it’s POINTLESS. They even allow you to change stance using these simultaneous commands. Allow me to repeat, they have two ways in the game that you can CHANGE YOUR STANCE. It DOES NOTHING. These button combinations are not mentioned in the game’s tutorial or manual, making me wonder if NetherRealm Studios didn’t program them in for nostalgia reasons instead of functional ones.
The game also has a couple of balance issues. For instance, some stage hazards are far too powerful. One stage has a dumpster which cannot be blocked. It can also be thrown for massive damage and is really hard to avoid. This dumpster literally prevented me from winning a tournament.
Certain character powers are also wildly imbalanced. Some of the powers are simple, like Superman’s strength buff. Some are not. Deathstroke can make his projectiles unblockable! Uneven combo damage between characters and a number of infinite combo loops also add to the game’s lack of fairness. A good zoning character on a stage with a decent hazard can win nearly any match. As fun as Injustice is, it won’t be able to be played with any kind of seriousness on a competitive level.
That being said, I still spent hours playing Injustice and I plan to spend hours more. Every time Superman knocks an enemy into orbit or Batman destroys an enemy with the Batmobile, I can hear my inner comic book geek squeal with delight. Despite the unbalanced gameplay, the cinematic, spectacle filled matches make me feel hyped every time I play. I don’t claim to understand every decision NetherRealm made with their new DC inspired fighter, but even with all its flaws, Injustice can’t help but be a crowd pleaser. Even if sometimes it’s more fun to watch than it is to play.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: April 16, 2013