Comic books, and their superheroes, are difficult to translate to video games. Even though they have often spoken to a similar market, and feature many of the same running themes, comic books have notoriously been bad on consoles. Of course, there are always exceptions, including Capcom’s recent string of fighting games, and Spider-Man for the original PlayStation, but by and large, comic book games suck.
Unfortunately, Midway’s newest comic book game, Justice League: Injustice for All
, is more like the classic blunders of the past. In fact, in many ways it’s almost an homage to the games that came before it. Problem is, that’s not necessarily a good thing.
In case you aren’t a comic book person, the Justice League is made up of a hodge-podge of slightly mismatched superheroes. We get crowd favorites like Superman and Batman, and a couple obscure heroes with notoriously bad names, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter spring to mind. The Flash, Wonder Woman, and the Green Lantern round out this gang of crime fighters.
Injustice for All is set up to allow players to choose which levels you’d like to play, and the order. In each stage you take two characters (of their choosing, not yours) into the enemy filled arenas. For example, you may take Superman and Hawkgirl over the skies of Metropolis, or Batman and the Flash through the streets of Gotham City.
Each city is controlled by a different evil figure, eventually weaving them together in one extremely large sinister plot. The story here is second rate, for the most part. It manages to offer that over-the-top dynamic that comic books are known for, but won’t win over any fans who are expecting a decent story. For the most part the levels are used as diversionary tactics, and in hindsight almost seem unimportant.
The game begins to unravel almost as quickly as it starts. The very first level, which takes Superman back to Metropolis, manages to resemble Taito’s 1988 Superman arcade game in just about every way. In fact, outside of a number of special attacks, this is almost exactly the same game. Superman employs the exact same moves he was using well over a decade ago, punches, flying moves, and an eye beam that I’m sure has a more sophisticated name than I’m giving it credit.
Having said that, Superman manages to control well, and flying around is a real asset when fighting goons. Actually, you don’t really notice how good flying is until you use a character that is bound by gravity. The moment you play as, say, Batman or the Flash, the game becomes a generic 2D sidescroller, hampered by poor controls, and terrible graphics.
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