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Gaming, Tech, Nerd Stuff. Also there's a cartoon.
19 May

Gaming Gutcheck: Injustice 2

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Fighting games are notorious for being in the realm of those with ‘l33t skillz’. As the kids say. Said. 10 years ago. Anyway. I am definitely *not* of of them. As a result the world of fighting games has always been at arm’s length, an impenetrable bubble. What little time I did spend with them was one of the Soul Calibur games — I don’t even remember which one but probably PS/2 era — with friends on the couch and adult beverages.

What I know of myself and the way I play games means I will always be *mostly* a button-masher, but with a few nods towards intention, and that’s why I was pleased to find that Injustice 2 can be a fighting game for people like me.

I can’t quite pin down what compelled me to pick it up — the praise for it in the games media was certainly a factor, but the combination of superheroes and welcoming to new & low skill players was a real draw.

As an illustration of just how bad I am at these games, I had serious trouble even getting through the tutorial. Some of the advanced moves appear to require more fingers than I possess. In the heat of battle any info about combos/defense/offence just flies out of my brain and I just press the offense and hope I luck my way into a win.

Even on Easy I was having trouble clearing the first couple of fights but then I saw the “Very Easy” setting and it got a lot better. I don’t know if I’m imagining things but I think the AI may be adaptive to your skill level. Sometimes if I was having trouble in a fight, after a couple of losses I feel like the AI was learning my panicky patterns and letting me score some hits, which is great for people like me. Nothing is worse than banging your head against a wall in a game, but I feel like Injustice 2 wants to let everyone play it, regardless of skill.

While I’m mostly Marvel-centric these days I will always have a place in my heart for the DC roster, and the wacky over-the-top version of the world that Injustice 2 inhabits helps elevate the characters out of the grimdark swamp DC has been mired in.

The loot/level mechanic is extremely appealing to a RPG fan like myself. While there is a heavy sniff of “loot box microtransaction” here, I don’t feel it’s too heavy-handed and isn’t required to enjoy what the game has to offer.

Next time we podcast I plan on getting the lads on the couch for some local multiplayer, which I think is where the game will really shine. More on that when the time comes. On the whole I’m glad I picked it up. If there’s ever a fighting game that could be my onramp to the genre, this is likely it.

Incidentally if you’re like me and have been intimidated by the world of fighting games, friend of Operation PUG Real Soviet Bear and collaborator Colin Dettmar have the podcast series Neutral Game specifically to demystify and help introduce people to the genre. Their intro episode embedded below.

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