In the world of gaming journalism you will find opinions based on truth, biased opinions, and bought out lies. I think of myself as a man of opinions based on truth. I do not sugarcoat BS, and do not accept bribes in exchanged for a biased opinion. I'm what you'd call a freelance journalist with no official ties to anyone. I strive to bring to you news, and reviews on the latest industry offerings, and try to keep you in tune with what is going on with various products. I consider that part of my job, and obligation. This of course brings me to the point of this particular article. It seems that someone (I'm not going to call out names) took it upon themselves to crown a particular fighting game as the official "Fighting Game of the Year" for 2013. Having played the game on two different consoles prior to the claim I could tell you without hesitation that the game in question was rubbish in some very significant ways.
The game I speak of is none other than NetherRealm Studio's superhero showdown, "INJUSTICE: Gods Among Us". I'll be the first to admit that I fell for the hype not once, not twice, but three different times. I ponied up the dough for the Xbox 360, and PS3 versions along with paid season subscriptions for each.You would have thought I'd have learned my lessons last year, but damned if I didn't go, and buy a brand spanking new copy of the PS4 port. I was in desperate need of a next-gen fighter, and INJUSTICE seemed to be the only option at the moment. I figured it would at least have smoother gameplay, if not slightly improved graphics.
Oddly enough the gameplay in offline INJUSTICE was impressively fast. It felt amazing, and brutal at the same time. It was something that took getting used to, but it was a welcome sight to a gamer who had said goodbye to the last generation versions. The added fact that the graphics were ramped up a bit, and that it was an all inclusive version with every extra piece of DLC from last year's money mooching offerings made my $50 purchase seem like a good one. Sadly though, I just as many of you have found out the hard way that the PS4 port suffers from the same hacking, and lagswitching BS that last years console versions did. The difference this time around is that you get beat a hell of a lot more quicker than you would have if you were playing the PS3, or Xbox 360 versions of the same game.
Keep in mind that while I'm no Diego, I'm still no noob (pun intended) when it comes to INJUSTICE. My w/l ratio was consistently in the positive on the Xbox 360, so there's no salt here. In fact my skills with the nerfed Scorpion of yesteryear rivaled a lot of my online competition back in the day. Speaking of "Scorpion" you'll find that this overused, and overly exploited denizen of the damned delivers rage inducing wrath like never before. I for one have witnessed what a lagswitcher using Scorpion could do, and it was not a pretty sight at all. The added fact that the remaining handful of gamers that still play INJUSTICE are mostly lagswitchers with a ridiculous w/l ratio, and a tendency to use the most exploitable DC superheroes/superheroines only further adds salt to the already gaping wound. I saw the same thing in the leaderboards, and online last year, and it is no different in 2014. I promise you that.
Considering all the first hand gameplay that I experienced I can honestly say that whoever said "INJUSTICE: Gods Among Us" deserved the fighting game of the year nomination needs to lose their credibility as a gaming journalist. No one should believe this person/s, and should definitely not take their shared opinions at face value. A fighting game with an unbalanced roster of zoning heavy characters, exploitable characters, and an unfriendly online netcode should not be considered as "Game of the Year" material, especially in the fighting game genre. I get that the offline story mode was Awesome, but what people turn to a fighting game for is fair competitive play whether it be online, or off. INJUSTICE does not offer that, and in my opinion might as well be considered an action/adventure game instead of a true fighter.
I just hope to hell that NetherRealm Studios learns to make a proper roster of characters, and a proper fighting game before their next release, because it's obvious that they don't have a clue as to how to go about it. You can slap fancy themes on the screen, you can offer enhanced visual effects, and you can make a game attention getting. Unless you do it right though you will lose your audience, and will eventually turn away those who have grown to like you for what you offered in your golden days. Like CoD, and "Tekken Revolution" you will end up attracting a crowd of gamers that will run off those who made your game great in the first place. If you are wise you will realize that. If not, you will fail with all the other gaming studios that are dropping like flies due to poor choices. I think I'm going to close the article on that note. Feel free to leave a comment, or drop me a line on Twitter (@OtakuDante). I do like knowing what you guys, and gals have to say about things.
As for me it's a hard lesson learned. I bit the bullet this time, and took a $50 hit to the wallet. Don't make my same mistake, and take my word about INJUSTICE as I'm only telling you the truth. If a developer offers a noteworthy experience I'll say so. If they don't I won't. It's as simple as that.
Your Last Samurai,
Brad Carver (OtakuDante)