Friday, April 26, 2013

IPAD ACCESSIBILITY REVIEW: INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US


IPAD ACCESSIBILITY REVIEW: INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US



    When I saw Injustice Gods Among Us available for free on the iPad, I couldn’t resist. It’s one of the hottest games out this season, and I’m always up for a good comic book-based fighting game. I get to punch people? As a superhero/villain? Sign me up. At best, it will be almost as good as the home console version. At worst, it’ll be a cheesy knock-off, littered with pay-to-play content that I‘ll just avoid like Kryptonite. I don’t have instant access to a home console so for me, this was too good to pass up. It makes me want to try the home console version!
 
A short tutorial explains the basics of combat. To my surprise, it isn’t really turn-based combat; but neither is it exactly real-time. Rather there seems to be an amount of time attacks can take. The rest depends on tap speed and swipes for “hard” attacks. The most difficult for me is to block, which requires pressing two fingers down quickly on the iPad. Typically, I solve this by turning the iPad more towards me so that my two fingers register, instead of my two fingernails. But, as reaction time is a factor, it’s still an issue, but I’m learning ways around it. I guess you could say, one advantage of the iPad version is that the characters are usually in fixed positions, unless knocked down or performing a superpower. This, for me, is advantage; I don’t worry about moving AND attacking. But, it is obviously a limitation of the iPad game, and I’d like to see the “real game.”

   Thus, it’s not really a fighting game, but then few iPad games are. It’s more like a fighting game/role-playing game, where you buy equipment, and level up to improve stats, attacks, and superpowers. The superpowers are fun to watch! And you unlock more (Up to three.) as you level up. Mercifully, characters can be gained by winning fights, but it’s a bummer that all characters aren’t readily available. Unless…guess what? You pay or get in-game points! No thanks, I‘ll wait to get Batman and Superman; even though that’s HALF the reasons anyone will GET the game. So, finding out my starting roster was Green Arrow, Green Lantern, and Solomon Grundy…yeah, I was a little mad. But, my faith in the game was renewed when I unlocked Catwoman after 2 fights. I never claimed that this was better than the actual game; I just wanted to see the superpowers and the fights!

   The superpowers are activated by tapping the superpower bar once you’ve dealt enough damage and it fills up. Now, here’s where some accessibility issues come in for me. Obviously, I’ve got to do swipes for hard attacks, but that’s not too difficult, although probably any other game I would’ve been more harsh on, but I just love a good fighting game/comic book throw-down. I can usually get away with just tapping as fast as I can, and then attempting a swipe at the end, for a knockdown blow. The superpowers on the other hand require different motions to deal more damage; but they typically do a lot of damage regardless if you increase the damage with the motions or not; plus, they’re fun to watch, and add some strategy to the game as to when to use them. There’s a tag-team system (three heroes each fight) where you tap on a character to bring him/her in. And idle heroes heal, too, when not fighting…so it adds a little more accessibility, in that if things get tough, just bring in the “Tank”; or use a superpower for a knockdown and tag out.

     For example, two of my favorites right now are Green Lantern and Catwoman. Lantern’s “Turbine Engine” superpower (He rams an engine of green ring energy into the opponents face!) increases damage with rapid taps. Catwoman’s cat claws increase damage with vertical and horizontal swipes. Of the characters I have, Green Arrow’s “Electric Arrow” is probably the easiest, and usually does about 53 damage regardless. When activated, a cross-hair appears, and it just says, “Tap to shoot”. Well, okay then! I can do that. The hardest and most powerful thus far is my Solomon Grundy, but, he’s obviously a “Tank”. Catwoman is DPS. I’ve won fights just by tapping really fast with the cat claws. Each fighter has their own strategies, but if you play RPGs…it’s easy enough to handle.

     Overall, my biggest letdown is that you have to unlock characters/skills with points and (No thank you.) real money. I’ve been imagining these fights forever in my head, as I imagine most others have. My fantasy battles though didn’t exactly include Solomon Grundy vs. Nightwing. I wanted to see Superman vs. Batman, like everyone else! But, the game is so engaging to me, that I’m willing to get through it all, and unlock them. I’d be more harsh on the game’s block mechanism, if I didn’t like seeing the fights so much. My own bias, but there you go! I’m going to have some great DIY physical therapy with the game’s fast-paced battles. There are a few dexterity issues such as superpower moves, but I’ll learn quickly, or else just outsmart the iPad and hold it at different angles. That said, I really like the game, but would prefer it had more heroes and more fighting-game elements than RPG elements. Injustice, indeed!

    In conclusion, I’m mostly satisfied with the game because I get to see comic book fights. But, I’d rather not spend points and money for equipment, skills, and characters. (Though I don’t know if that also applies to the home console versions.) In addition, I’ve developed my own strategies around some iPad accessibility issues; and I WANT to master them! Which is saying a lot. But, in my opinion, one of the advantages of a 100% fighting game is being able to dive right in and fight, even if you just button mash. Some say cheap, I say accessible! So, in the end, it’s a great game visually, with some dexterity issues, and some iPad limitations. Some of these (like fixed fighting positions.) are good; others (like blocking and supermoves.) are difficult, and still others (like pay-to-play content.) are unforgivably unjust!

   But, I can learn ways around the difficult things. In fact, I want to. It’s a small obstacle for having this great little comic book fight simulator in my hand. I just have to work at unlocking characters and finding out which combos of hero teams works best. If the game has a Kryptonite though, it would be not letting me start the game with Superman and Batman! And I haven’t even unlocked Superman…so perhaps I should say…yellow ring? No, it’s just not the same!  Also, all the heroes profiles are represented by cards. Why’s everything in an RPG have to be a card now? I blame Magic: The Gathering. Still have to see the “real game”!


FINAL GRADE: C+ (Great visuals, but…Pay-to-play content; multiple dexterity issues; RPG
elements/micro-managing.)

ACCESSIBILITY GRADE: C (Can tag-out to heal at least; use superpowers for knockdowns, hold at different angles to make sure fingers touch screen.)

FORGIVENESS FACTOR: C (50/50. Unlimited continues, but limited starting roster. Fixed positions, but no difficulty settings.)

TOUCHSCREEN CONTROL: B (Rapid taps/swipes; two-finger blocks, swipe-based attacks.)







WHY IS EVERYTHING A CARD?





                                                  (Performing Nightwing's hard attack!)




                                         (Green Arrow attacks with his bow, for some reason.)





(Cat claw superpower!)


6 comments:

  1. Im going to get the ps3 version bro and ill let ya know how badass it is when i kick the shit out of superman with my boy The Dark Bat.

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  2. I was enthralled by the graphics.. but bored after just five fights. It's truly all the same: tap tap tap, swipe swipe swipe. I despise the fast tap manoeuvres in particular: after a hard day slaving over the keyboard, my fingers are too sore to get tapping fast enough.

    The pay-off isn't worth the drudgery.

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  3. Yeah, the game's not particularly accessible (Hence,the C grade.) maybe especially for those of us with sensitive fingers, but I would say that it could've been a lot worse. I'm glad they didn't include a virtual joystick. Really though, "tap tap tap, swipe swipe swipe" is just how an iPad works in general. Sadly, accessible games...particularly on the iPad medium are few and far between. I don't know, maybe I should just review Angry Birds or something. I have yet to find one iPad game to get an A grade from me. Not even X-men and I love X-men! Still more accessible than anything on the Wii though. Like I said, it made me want to play "the real game"...that way you don't have to drudge through all that unlocking nonsense. Get straight to playin' as Superman! Thanks Rob!

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  4. Awesome post! I will keep an on eye on your blog. Keep up the good work!
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  5. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)

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