(Editor’s Note: 2 Generations Gaming is back with a celebration of all things DC Comics over the next couple of weeks due to our enjoyment of the new Wonder Woman movie. Next month is Spidey and Marvel!)
I believe I’ve mentioned the mobile version of MKX in one of my reviews recently. Even if I haven’t, just know that I’m not overly impressed with the game. Look, I know that it can’t be an exact port from the console versions to mobile, but I just felt that it could be so much more. Against my better judgement, I fell for the advertisement in MKX and downloaded Injustice 2 for the phone. I’ve heard good things about the console version. However, as a cheap old gamer, I don’t have either of the current gen consoles required to play it. Also, Kevin crushed my dreams by telling me that it would not be released on Steam. Therefore, I have to wait until another price drop or two (and Chris told me that one is imminent!) until I’m able to play that version.
As a result, even though I’m deeply disappointed in MKX and Injustice 2 is done by the same studio, I took the chance. Part of the reason is that Wonder Woman released this month and I had plans of doing a DC spectacular on the podcast and I needed some DC games to fill in the gaps on the web page. Just like the movies (more on that Friday), there haven’t been many decent DC related games other than the Arkham series. I remembered the Injustice name from the first game and, as always, hold out hope that things will get better.
Let’s start with my primary complaint about MKX. Combat, frankly, is boring. As I mentioned earlier, it is mobile, so it is unrealistic to think that an exact port is possible. However, I feel they could have adjusted the game to take advantage of the unique nature of mobile gaming and make it more strategy based than just tap, tap, tap. On a related note, I’ve found some additional strategy with the block mechanic, but even that is very limited. Injustice improves upon that.
Adding to the basic/combo attacks and block maneuver, each character has a jumping attack, a crouching attack, a rush attack, and even a ranged attack. Each of them is activated using a unique motion. The variety of moves makes it feel so much more like an actual fighting game than MKX. I will be investing much more time into Injustice 2. I’ve already weaved it into my regular rotation as I wait for cooldowns to expire in MTG:PQ and Sim City.
So, the move set is more complete. Big deal. Hey, as far as I’m concerned, it is a big deal. That alone makes it work the price of admission. By the way, that price is free for both games. It’s a metaphor, okay?! However, that’s not all. There are several other reasons that Injustice 2 is a vastly superior game to MKX. Let’s explore them.
There are more and a wider variety of game modes. Alongside the campaign mode, arena (which is similar to faction wars), and resource missions (sort of a ladder style mode that is somewhat analogous to Shao Khan’s tower), there is also a robust story mode, operations, and something called challenges. As of this writing, I’ve played all of the modes at least once.
I’ve only played through part of the story, but the cut scene that I watched was entertaining enough to keep me interested and I will probably play through more eventually. Right now, I’d much rather play the other modes as they offer much better loot. Area pits you against random teams put together by other players with the computer as your actual opponent. Operations are a completely different way to play the game. You choose one (so far the only ones I have unlocked are one) of your characters to go on a “mission” which awards various prizes depending on the mission. It is not terribly interactive, but I appreciate the attempt at doing something different. Plus, they’re part of the daily objectives that award you hero shards to unlock a new Wonder Woman.
The last improvement that I will discuss is the concept of class advantage. This may exist in MKX. If it does, though, I’m not aware of it. Injustice 2 makes it abundantly clear that even a noob like me can not only know about it but also have a basic understanding of the Rochambeau nature of the mechanic.
I probably could go on, but I’m blanking on other specific parts of the game that have impressed me. It’s just overall a vastly improved game over MKX and very much what I expected a mobile fighting game would be without having any actual expectations the first time that I played MKX. Does that make sense? Probably not, so let me try to unpack it.
I hoped that MKX would at least be a decent emulation of the console version. In the graphics, animation, and sound departments, it was. For everything else, it was hopelessly not. I played the game because it kept me entertained for about 5 or 10 minutes (my usual attention span when it comes to mobile games), but I wished for more. Having my expectations somewhat diminished by the disappointment of MKX, I went into Injustice 2 figuring that it might just be the same and I’d end up deleting it from my phone in a month or two to make room.
Obviously, that hasn’t happened. I’m playing Injustice on a regular basis and it has now moved past Sim City as my second most played game after MTG:PQ. I don’t see it surpassing that game as, no matter how much it frustrates me, I really enjoy that one. I’m not sure what a game would need to do to become my favorite over MTG:PQ. It is just a solid mobile game with that MTG flavor that I enjoy so much.
In closing, I really, really like the Injustice 2 mobile app. There are a wide variety of characters with a complete move set. Several game modes keep the game feeling fresh even if mobile isn’t exactly the best way to experience a fighting game. It’s free and the virtual currencies are easy enough to obtain that I haven’t found myself considering a purchase at all. We all know that I will usually make my 10 or 20 dollar purchase to support the developers, but I haven’t figured out what that will look like for this one yet. So, download it and give it a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.