Injustice 2 Adds Some Turtle Power

All reviews are my personal opinion and do not reflect the views of any person or organization.

Here be Spoilers. Enter at your own risk.

Recently Injustice 2 added their newest DLC. This time it was the lean, green, fighting machines known as the TMNT (or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and all I can say is “Cowabunga!”

The character models reflected the classic look of the Turtles while having a slight modern look which made them look like live-action cartoon characters. And the programmers did an excellent job of incorporating the Turtles teamwork and humor. NetherRealm also did a great job with the taunts and on-liners; they sounded and acted just like the Turtles do in comics and various series. The Ninja Turtles will high-five each other, eat pizza, and more.

It did take me a while to figure out how to switch between characters. Other Injustice 2 characters are single characters, not a team, so there was no previous experience to fall back on. It took me about 20 minutes going through just about every option and list to figure it out. I also took to the Internet trying to see if someone had a video or comment about it. I finally figured out that I had to change out their weapons in the gear/character customization section.

I liked how each character had one move that was theirs, such as Mikey spinning on his shell or Leo slicing through the foe. Also, each character had a different throw animation. For instance, Mikey would whack the foe with his skateboard or another Turtle would appear and Raphael would shove the opponent into the waiting brother’s shell causing the foe to bounce off it.

I would have preferred if the TMNT had more offensive moves. I felt like most of the moves were defensive, like the turtling move. This was especially true with Raph where it seemed like all his moves were defensive; it seemed kind of weird that the most aggressive Turtle had the most defensive moves. But my favorite move was the shellocopter, which upgrades to the shell slide. This move is a great way to get across the arena for an attack or a retreat.

While I really enjoyed that each TMNT member got their own character move and each one fits their personality really well, I felt that Donnie and Raph got the short stick.

Donnie throws down a device that basically acts like a vacuum mine that pulls the opponent towards it. It does make up for this…”awkwardness” by also having an electric/stun attack. The gadget doesn’t harm the foe but does give Donnie some breathing room.

Raph’s character move is a series of combo attacks which are more powerful the more pumped/amped up he is. The trouble is you have to pump him up. You have to time the pumping up just right as it leaves him vulnerable for a second.

But, I think my favorite character move has to be Leo’s. He can call in the Turtles for help; I just really like the teamwork idea and wish that NetherRealms would do it with other characters (but not as a character switch/tag team battle); for example, Batman teaming up with the Bat-Family. You could play as Batman, Batgirl, or another character and certain attacks would have certain team attack animations. Or they could add other teams, like the Power Rangers.

My one problem with Leo’s move is that it is almost too powerful. You get three Turtles to call in with individual meters that recharge quickly. I found myself spamming the character move because I could call in Mikey, Raph, and then Donnie and by the time Donnie was done, Michelangelo was recharged and I could repeat the process.

To be honest I was about to trade in my copy of Injustice 2 but then they announced TMNT coming and I thought, “Nope, I’m keeping the game,” and the Turtles did not disappoint. I’m now looking over my schedule to find some more “Turtle Time.”

Atom’s Bite-Sized Punch

All reviews are my personal opinion and do not reflect the views of any person or organization.

Here be Spoilers. Enter at your own risk.

Since the subatomic superhero Atom was added to the Injustice 2 roster, I decided to give him a try.

First, I like to say how I enjoy it when game developers, or movie/show developers, take an underdog/unappreciated character, such as Atom, and make them interesting. It shows a lot of creativity. Instead of just saying “Oh he’s too lame” or “He’s abilities wouldn’t work in this situation,” they came up with ways of making the character fit, and did so without forcing it.

The developers were able to make it so Atom could stand his own with the others in the roster but also not make him ridiculous or seem like they were stretching his powers. I liked the addition of him being able to lift heavy environmental objects by growing the size of his arms enough to give him “super strength.”

I enjoyed the visual appearance of Atom’s attacks, making him look like a glowing dot. Also, his character move (shrinking and attacking) recharged fairly quickly. When the timer run out, Atom was vulnerable to attack as he tries to fix his short-circuiting bio-belt. This added some humor and believability as this version of Atom is a newbie.

I enjoyed such attacks as when he buzzes around the opponent while the foe tries to swat at him (or is just staggered). I also enjoyed his grab attack where he shrinks down and goes in the opponent’s head. The game sound even becomes muffled like you are walking around in a head.

With Atom’s super-move, even if the opponent dodges, he comes back around for a second try. The series of attacks are visually enjoyable as it shifts from a scene of “dot” Atom knocking the foe around followed by a series of close-ups as Atom attacks. He then goes giant to finish the move. The move goes through various sizes and camera angles, making it almost movie-like.

My main problem with Atom was when I fought fast characters such as Flash or Sub-Zero. They moved so fast I had trouble landing a hit. I also had trouble with higher level fights because the gear drop for Atom was so small at first. I’d have no gear but had to fight a stronger foe. This caused some frustration until better gear finally did drop.

Atom’s Battle Simulator “ending scene” brought a nice touch of humanity to the game. It brought some “street-level” motivation. Atom didn’t use Brainiac’s technology to take over the world or fix things or travel the universe; Atom just wanted to find his friend, Ray Palmer (the original Atom).

And on a final note, Atom is one of the few characters I’ve taken the time to level him up to at least level 10.

All in all, Atom makes a good addition to the team and I’m looking forward to the other releases.