Batgirl DLC character outed for Injustice: Gods Among Us on XBLA

One of the remaining three DLC characters for NetherRealm Studios’ Injustice: Gods Among Us looks to be Batgirl, after it was spotted on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Does anything ever get announced properly anymore? In a bid to follow the common trend, the next character to be added to the Injustice roster may have been revealed following an XBLA boo-boo.

The download option, which was visible both on the marketplace itself and via the in-game Injustice menus, has now been removed but it’s safe to say another Bat-related character is coming to the Injustice stable.

Injustice: Gods Among Us
Looks like Bruce is getting a new ally in the Injustice saga.

If you’re looking for a DLC character that HAS been officially announced, you can pick up Lobo on May 7 via the Injustice: Gods Among Us season pass, which costs 1200 MS points or £11.99 on the PlayStation Network.

So, if the leak proves to be true, will Injustice’s Batgirl be the classic Barbara Gordon character, one of the many Batgirls that followed or a parallel version that better suits the game’s storyline. If you’re looking for Injustice related goodness, check out our recent review, and our exclusive Fighters Guide parts one and two.

Injustice: Gods Among Us | A Fighter’s Guide – Part Two

In Part Two of our Fighters Guide for Injustice: Gods Among Us, we take a look at some of the core pillars of its destructive gameplay. Whether it’s mastering the art of transitioning between levels or knowing when to use your Super Move, we give you the lowdown on becoming a Super Hero or Villain in the world of DC. If you missed Part One, fear ye not, it’s right here.

The Super Metre

Similar to the Ultra bar of Street Fighter IV, dealing or receiving damage will grant fill your Super Metre. This metre is broken into segments, and can be used in a variety of ways. You can press RB/R1 or LB/L1 just after a basic combo to increase its damage, but this will consume a whole segment of your metre. Use these enhanced combos to break your opponents flow if you’re at a disadvantage – don’t become reliant on them, otherwise your metre will always be empty.

Every character has a unique supermove that can be a game changer, if used correctly.
Every character has a unique supermove that can be a game changer, if used correctly.

You’ll also use your metre in a ‘Wager’. These are usually initiated when you or your opponent perform a block during an opposing combo. Each player can choose to ‘bet’ a certain amount of their Super Metre against your opponents own gamble. If you’re bet is greater you’ll either receive a partial health regen (usually in the region of 25 per cent) or deal your opponent a similar amount in damage – depending on whether you’re defending or attacking in the clash will determine the bonus or damage you’ll receive. If you’re bet matches your opponents, the clash will be tied. Don’t always feel you need to bet in a Wager; sometimes it’s better to take a strike and turn the tide later with a well-timed supermove.

Supermove time

Supermoves are just one of the many ways Injustice adds a cinematic pause to the furious action of a match. Some moves look genuinely cooler than others (Green Lantern, Batman and The Joker are among some of the best), but they all deal a similar amount of damage. As with each facet of the game, knowing when to use your supermove is key to taking the advantage in a match. If you’re getting your arse handed to you in a bout, you may have time to use two of them, but most matches will see you using just the one. If you manage to max our your Super Metre, the character-specific log above it will start to glow – pressing RT/R2 and LT/L2 together will initiate your characters supermove.

Hawkgirl's supermove is suitably bone-crunching. Poor old Flash.
Hawkgirl’s supermove is suitably bone-crunching. Poor old Flash.

In a frustrating feature of the games mechanics, all supermoves can be blocked or evaded. Most AI can be caught in the trap of a supermove, but a majority of players are savvy enough to evade them. Initiating a supermove launches a brief animation, so only use a supermove when you’re close enough to a player, or when your opponent is mid-animation, to ensure it connects. There’s nothing worse than a whole Power Metre wasted for nothing.

Use those destructibles… wisely

Love them or hate them, the many interactive elements of each arena are as much a part of a bout as both fighters. While you can turn these elements off, most bouts online will take place with them available, so learn to adapt to their presence. Power characters like Superman and Black Adam will pick up a destructible element from the background and destroy them completely (such as Doomsday throwing the Bat Signal, or Lex Luthor smashing a garbage bin). Other characters like The Joker or Batman will leap from an object to create some distance, or prime an object to explode.

Stringing destructible elements with ranged moves can be a deadly combo.
Stringing destructible elements with ranged moves can be a deadly combo.

Some elements are fixed and can be used indefinitely. The helicopter on the Gotham City rooftops level, and the Bat-computer in the Bat Cave are examples of this. Simply clicking LB/RB or R1/L1 (depending on whether you’re working left to right or vice versa) will initiate any of these moves. Forcing your opponent towards an interactive element, destroying them in the early stages or evading them as a zoning character are just some the tactics to focus on.

Transition time

Some arenas only have a single level, but others have multiple tiers that can be transitioned between depending on the position of a character. In the tradition of Mortal Kombat, performing a strong strike (such as Back and A/X) will smash your opponent (or you, if you’re on the receiving end) into another themed level of the arena. So by selecting the Arkham Cell Block level, you can make a transition into Joker’s Asylum belief.

Unlike many other fighting games, it’s also possible to transition back to the original level. If you transition from Gotham City into the Slums below, you can smash your opponent into a petrol truck and blow them back onto the Gotham rooftops you started on. A well-placed combo can drive an opponent to a transition point, so always keep an eye on the chance to strip your opponent of some more precious health.

In the zone

Injustice has some traditional ‘large’ characters, those that are slower but deal greater damage with their strikes or throws. But don’t be fooled by a characters size – many of the highest ranked players online use big characters like Bane, Solomon Grundy and Lex Luthor. Grundy in particular has a 12-hit combo that’s absolutely deadly in the right hands.

Transitions are brutal, but they can only be initiated at the edge of certain levels.
Transitions are brutal, but they can only be initiated at the edge of certain levels.

Characters are divided mainly into Power and Gadget characters, which both exist alongside more traditional types such as zoners. So a character like Lex Luthor may be slower than Catwoman or Harley Quinn, but he’s considered a Gadget character due to his use of grenades and drones. He also has a game-changing air and ground dash that bring him in close for some serious damage (which, essentially, makes his character a zoner, too).

There are just some of the foundations you’ll need to get started in Injustice: Gods Among Us. With five varying difficulties of AI opponents to practice against in the Battle modes, you should have enough practice space to hone your Injustice skills before you enter the pantheon that is the Online mode. Be warned, a good proportion of the players online are merciless, so get practising those combos and learn your arena layouts or you’ll get humbled, endlessly.

Fancy picking up Injustice: Gods Among Us? Give our review a gander. Oh, and check out the trailer for upcoming DLC character Lobo!

Injustice: Gods Among Us | A Fighter’s Guide – Part One

The new beat-em-up from NetherRealm Studios may have divided critics, but we recently reviewed Injustice: Gods Among Us and loved it’s bold decision to do something a little different. So, whether you’re a seasoned fighter or a newbie to the scene, we’ve put together some tips and tricks to get you swinging like true meta-human.

Arcade Stick or Controller?

It’s the age-old question when it comes to beat-em-ups, but there’s no one true answer. It’s all down to personal preference. Yes, using a fight stick might seem the ‘pro’ way to do it, but many of the world’s best pro fighters use a standard PS3 or 360 controller. When choosing between either peripheral, try to strike a balance between comfort and ease of button access. You’ll be tensing your hands a great deal more with a fighting game so choosing the right controller is central to improving. If you do settle on a fight stick, you don’t need to pay the earth for one either.

Do your research before sinking some cash into a fight stick
Do your research before sinking some cash into a fight stick

You can pick up a Datel Arcade Pro Joystick (£37.38 – Amazon) or a Hori Officially Licenced Fighting Stick Mini 3 (£34.99 – Amazon), both of which are reasonably priced and a great entry-level device for novices or intermediate players looking to make the shift to a stick. Don’t just plump for a stick because it’s branded; know your brand and look around for buttons or sticks if you want to customise your pad.

Know your character

While it’s easy to get caught up in a big roster (Injustice currently has 24 characters to choose from, with another four to be added as DLC), settling on one or two fighters is key to improving as a player. The Story Mode is a great place to try out a few of the characters on offer, but use Practice mode and Single Battle to test out a fighter’s style and move list. You might dream of being Batman, but more obscure characters like Deathstroke or Raven could be the one for you.

Getting to know a character's speed, moves and characteristics is vital
Getting to know a character’s speed, moves and characteristics is vital

Each character also has a Power Trait, which differs widely across the roster. Batman can summon a swarm of robotic bats that can be fired at an opponent or spun into a deadly attack. Nightwing has a fighting stick that can be used whole or broken into two electrified batons. Doomsday and Lex Luthor can increase their armour, and Superman can briefly increase the damage he can deal out. These traits are another great facet to this game, so have a little mess about with the roster until you find the character that suits your play style best.

Health bar tactics

Unlike many fighters, Injustice doesn’t use a ‘round’ system. Instead, each match up is simplified into a single fight, with each character starting with a red health bar and a silver armour bar. Once an armour bar has been depleted, you’ll see a familiar echo effect and hear your character taunt their opponent. They’ll be a brief pause before the action resumes, so use this to regroup your strategy.

The dual health bar of Injustice is one of its calling cards
The dual health bar of Injustice is one of its calling cards

Keep in mind that the damage from a single move, supermove, transition or combo does not carry across the two health bars. For instance, if you’re opponent’s armour bar was almost depleted, and you hit them with your supermove, the damage will only extend as far as the health bar your opponent is currently on. So a move that would normally deal 33 per cent damage, could net as little as 5 per cent. Use your power move or a strong strike to force your opponent into their second health bar before switching to a move or combo that uses your Super Metre.

So that’s just some of the things you can do to get to grips with the over-the-top madness of Injustice: Gods Among Us. In a few days we’ll be posting Part Two of our Fighters Guide, where we’ll discuss using the Super Metre, Super moves and turning transitions to your advantage.

[Video Source: Gamespot]

Feature | The Rise, Fall & Rise of the Beat-Em-Up

With Namco Bandai’s Tekken Tag Tournament 2 less than week away from its console release, infinite robots celebrates one of video games oldest genres and looks to the future of this once dominant force in gaming…

Very few genres can fit into the life of a gamer as well as a beat-em-up. You could achieve glory with a single round of combo-juggling glory or spend hundreds of hours battling fighters around the world with a hardcore elitism. And with so many different franchises floating around on the current generation alone there’s a style, fighter or discipline to suit any player’s tastes. Tekken, Street Fighter, King of Fighters. These names are as synonymous with the legacy of videogames as much as Mario, Sonic & Grand Theft Auto are.

A History of Blood & Glory

Since video games have been around since the mid-seventies there are plenty of generations that still play them.  For those who started their gaming odysseys in the eighties & nineties there were two genres who made or broke a modern console. Platforming was the weapon of choice in the console war between Sega & Nintendo, with two certain characters becoming the long standing mascots for each company. The beat-em-up, however, was a far more versatile beast.

Remember when twelve characters was considered a lot?

Capcom’s Street Fighter franchise became their most bankable in both Japan & the States with its distinct cast of global characters & fighting styles. Ryu, Chun Li & M Bison became household names as gaming fever gripped the world. In the West, Mortal Kombat became an instant arcade hit with its rotoscoped character models & gratuitous amounts of blood. It may not have had the depth of SF, but MK was fun & an instant classic.

Sadly the super popularity of the genre was always going to reach a critical mass at some point. Too many sequels & not enough innovation collided head first with a shift in consumer tastes. Gamers became more interested in Mario’s exploits in a 64-bit universe & the wet-dream inducing gymnastics of Lady Croft. The genre still maintained a consistent following in Asia, but in the West guns were becoming more in vogue than fisticuffs.

A Dojo Divided

But for a genre that was once at the very top of the videogame pile, how did the beat-em-up manage to transcend from market leader to a niche existence? The answer depends on whether you’re looking at the mutually exclusive markets of Asia or the West. In Japan the beat-em-up remains a relevant and consistent part of Eastern video game culture. The age old franchises such as Capcom’s Street Fighter & SNK’s King of Fighters were born from Japan’s deep & instantly recognisable pool of creativity and their connections to Manga & Anime gives them a constant revitalisation in the eyes of Japanese & Asian consumers.

The King of Fighters franchise remains a Japanese favourite

Another undeniably important factor is the strong presence of arcades in Japan. Back in the 8 & 16 bit eras, the arcade was the place around the world to taste the newest games before they hit consoles. In the west the arcade has now returned to the dusty fruit-machined corner from whence it came as developers & publishers find new ways to deliver content faster & more effectively. In Japan & other Asian countries the arcade remains a fantastic environment for fighting game developers like Capcom & Namco to test their codes to audiences that give instant (& often critical) feedback.

In the West, the rise of the shooter is one of the clearest reasons for the downfall of the beat-em-up. Whist the revolution of 3D did give us such stellar franchises as Tekken or Soul Calibur it gave third-person & third-person shooters the tools to reach new heights of mayhem & destruction. As the generations passed & online play became a common place thing in the home, the rise of franchises with cinematic budgets like Call of Duty & Grand Theft Auto forced beat-em-ups further & further into a niche status.

Can the new Tekken match the critical success of Street Fighter IV?

A Warrior’s Return

So can the beat-em-up really make the comeback of its dreams? Sadly, the beat-em-up is unlikely to be as dominant as it once was. It seems it’s once glorious time at the top is seems directly linked to the fact the medium was only just finding its feet in the world & the constraints 8 & 16 bit tech placed on developers. The quality of games like Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo & Mortal Kombat 2 is undeniable, but 2D was definitely its glory days.

Tekken returns with the popular Tag System in tow…

But the recent rebirth of Street Fighter, with its flawless combo system & a design style that perfectly walked the 2D highs & 3D lows of previous games showed the beat-em-up was far from dead. Even the slightly hollow Mortal Kombat series made its purest incarnation since MK2 with a balanced arcade fighter that embraced the difficulty of its forbears rather than watering it down. After a slightly wonky port of Tekken 6 to consoles, the time is right for Namco Bandai to bring a crisp, deep & more importantly fun Tekken back to our disk drives. The code for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 that’s been circulating in Japanese arcades for a while now is incredible, if it ports well & does away with the issues of lag that dogged its predecessor then one of the genre’s flag bearers could take it to new heights of violent goodness.

So, what’s your fighting game of choice? Will you be picking up a copy of Namco Bandai’s Tekken Tag Tournament 2? Infinite robots will be so keep the site bookmarked for our upcoming review! Keep it infinite!

Furian Fridays | Alone (or with a friend)

Now that consoles are offering online services that make multiplayer quick, easy & accessible, is it curtains for the good old-fashioned single-player campaign? Editor Dom Reseigh-Lincoln spits forth his ten-penneth…

Once upon a time, when I was but an over-weight teen with a penchant for black, I was ALL about the single-player portion of a game. Growing up in the boom of the 8 & 16 bit eras meant that multiplayer gaming was resigned to a few mates huddled round a little 14-inch TV with Mario Kart or Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo on the SNES. In this almost forgotten era, multiplayer gaming wasn’t an online lobby full of silent or feed-back inducing kids. Continue reading Furian Fridays | Alone (or with a friend)

Live-action Street Fighter series announced at Comic-Con 2012

Capcom USA have teamed up with the aptly named production studio Assassins Fist Limited to bring a new live-action series based on the uber-popular fighter franchise.

Current Street Fighter head honcho Yoshinori Ono made the announcement at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, confirming ‘Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist’ will arrive worldwide in 2013.

Continue reading Live-action Street Fighter series announced at Comic-Con 2012

Nightwing and Cyborg announced for DC beat-em-up Injustice: Gods Among Us

Mortal Kombat developer NeverWhere have today announced the addition of two brand new characters to its 2013 beat-em-up Injustice: Gods Among Us, former Batman protégée Nightwing & the less evocatively named Cyborg.

Continue reading Nightwing and Cyborg announced for DC beat-em-up Injustice: Gods Among Us

Retrovania | Tekken 2 (PSOne)

Welcome to Retrovania, infinite robots new addition to the virtual roster. Every fortnight we’ll be taking a look back at some of gamings greatest achievements, and some of the hidden gems just waiting for a decent dust off.

This week we’re taking a mosey on back to 1995 and the first true king of 3D fighters, Namco’s mighty Tekken 2.

Continue reading Retrovania | Tekken 2 (PSOne)