Can we still use the #DarkSiders2 hashtag? I know we're all sad about THQ and what went down with Vigil, but it's still the best way to describe how I feel about Scorpion in Injustice. That mix of shameful embarrassment and stunted-adolescent excitement. Look at this ridiculous trailer and tell me the big dumb 13 year old wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle T-shirt in you isn't smiling.
He looks stupid. He looks great. In one of his moves he summons a skeleton from below to grab his opponents feet and then face-stomps the poor bastard into hell, and that's just his regular throw. It's the silliest/best thing I've seen all week. I think debuting him alongside the horrible zombiefied Black Lantern Superman (who despite a rotting decomposing face and blind white eyes, still quips off like your friendly neighbourhood spit curled hero) was pitch perfect. NetherRealm is perfectly aware how dumb all of this is, they're just hoping you're having too much fun to really care – and it looks like it paid off.
In the current doom and gloom milieu of studios closures, flopped console debuts, and the miasma of negativity from the gaming community, it's nice to hear a success story; and that's exactly what Injustice is shaping up to be. With the fighting game genre rapidly cannibalizing itself back into extinction with a tidal wave of new titles, updates, re-makes, and re-leases in the past few years, even the mighty marketing potential of the DC licence didn't necessarily guarantee huge sale numbers for Injustice. Mortal Kombat 9 did very well for itself, reviving the dormant franchise after so many years of irrelevancy with huge sales, but it didn't stick like a lot of fighting games. A year after its release and the MK9 hardcore community is a very niche thing compared to stalwarts like Street Fighter 4 and Marvel vs Capcom. One could be forgiven for chalking up MK9's success as a one-off, a flurry of sales spurred by nostalgic casual fighters who quickly abandoned the game after playing through the story mode once and seeing how scary real live fighters online can be. There was some concern that the same audience wouldn't come out again for Injustice, that NetherRealm couldn't tap into the same goodwill from the casual audience while pro players would leave it to die in the crib.
So far, those predictions have been beautifully wrong.
Not only did Injustice sell surprisingly well (especially for a fighter pooped out in the middle of a dead season near the end of this console life cycle), but so has the DLC. People haven't ditched Injustice after two weeks like they dumped MK9. The response has been so great that NetherRealm has all but confirmed that they will be doing a second set of character releases. Maybe I'll get my mitts on Zatanna after all, she seems to be doing great in the "unofficial" poll Ed Boon put out there.
And perhaps it's anecdotal, but Injustice seems to be killing it with the community. I think it's a very telling thing that when I watch tournaments online, the most hyped game that has everyone in the audience on their feet doesn't seem to be good ol' Marvel anymore. The big excitement that gets everybody going is there for Injustice now.
I know some people might think it's a little grungy to get excited about a games sales figures or it's plans to release more DLC. But despite the knee-jerk hate we're all supposed to harbour for any kind of DLC, I can't help but be excited. Not only am I happy to see a well made game and a hard working team rewarded, I actually like what these new characters are doing for Injustice.
I think it's fair to say that since Injustice's release, zoners (characters heavily reliant on projectiles and controlling the screen space) have been fairly dominant. Characters like Deathstroke and Sinestro are reviled in the community for sticking themselves to the back of the screen and hurling non-stop crap at their opponent. Even characters with potentially great rush-down ability like Batman or Nightwing are frequently played from full-screen, throwing thousands of dollars of custom tooled batarangs into the wind each round. For some characters, this very simple strategy can be shockingly tough to beat. Poor old Bane, and yes, even my boy Lex Luthor among others can find themselves stuck blocking projectile after projectile waiting desperately for their opponent to make a mistake.
Scorpion seems custom engineered to to beat that tactic. His super fast teleport-punch moves him away from projectiles and fist-first into the enemy's nutsack. It can be turned into a solid combo punish if he burns a little meter, meaning anyone who relies on tossing out mindless projectiles will have to learn a new tune fast. His Hellfire pits will roast players who like to stay in one spot, forcing them to move or burn. It's the time of reckoning for all the frauds out there. I wouldn't be surprised if Deathstroke players started dropping him left and right after running afoul of a few Scorpion players.
- Scorpion dancin' all over your established meta-game
[img]http://2damnfunny.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Mortal-Kombats-Scorpion-Does-The-Underworld-Dance.gif[/im]<br /><em>- Scorpion dancin' all over your established meta-game.</em><br /><br />I'm not planning on abandoning Lex to play as an undead-skull-ninja anytime soon, but I like seeing the ripples in the meta-game. Releasing Scorpion into the <em>Injustice</em> ecosystem will may well help cull the number of projectile flinging Deathstrokes and Ravens around. The more people that drop those characters, the stronger Lex gets. Maybe he'll still be a bottom tier character, but he'll see fewer of his [/img]
This could just be the salt talking, but I like these little shake-ups. It keeps the community from becoming complacent, and releasing a character that jostles the meta-game a bit has a lot of potential as an elegant balancing alternative to patching in buffs and nerfs that never seem to please anyone.
It makes me wonder if fighting games even need full on sequels anymore. What if in the next generation a game like Injustice just had seasonal updates? A few new characters and stages for $15 instead of another essentially meaningless boxed copy? What if instead of waiting a year or two for the next big change, fighters had smaller but more frequent roster expansions and mild balancing patches every few months? Similar models work for games like Leauge of Legends, new champions keeping the gameplay fresh and the community engaged. Fighting games are very different things from MOBAs and I'm not saying the exact model could be applied, but I think there might be a few lessons that could be adapted to the fighting genre.
Unless they plan on releasing a character that counters out Lex. In that case the entire idea is garbage.
This month's bloggers wanted prompt is something we stole. You see, by stealing this idea, you have no idea how truly inept I actually am. By pretending to know what I'm doing, I have clearly used my ill-gotten status to meet such big-time celebrities as Darlington Woolie "Pie Stealer" Madden or Sara from [insert pixel indie game studio here].
This month's bloggers wanted was inspired by the internal enjoyment we had at reading TheBlondeBass' promoted blog on faking conversational anime knowledge. And now it seems as good a time as ever to pretend to know what's going on since the new Fate/Grand Order game launched and qtoid is talking about it. I am a big fan of the character design of Artoria in the blue dress, or Artoria in the suit, or Artoria in the red dress. But seriously, we enjoyed the format so much that we want to ask the community for their own ideas at faking it at all sorts of things.
But this prompt is not just for anime, of course. The video game industry is fractured with all sorts of niche interests that only an insane rich person with no job could realistically know everything about. This month's bloggers wanted is about taking a subject you want to offer advice on faking knowledge about in order to help the greater community, for better or for worse. If this doesn't sound serious, don't worry, you're not supposed to take it seriously. You don't have to be an expert in whatever you talk about any more than Bass is an expert in anime.
I seriously don't know if that was a compliment or an insult.
Offer advice on anything you can expand your mind on. Want to help people get into character action games? The more Ss you put into its grading system, the cooler it is! Want to convince people to get into the Neptunia series? Just say "Nep-Nep!" and you're all set to convince people of your technical knowledge! Can you get someone into RTS game by just talking about your APM? Someone's bound to believe some random technical jargon you made up!
To get started, start a blog and title it "Faking it: [your blog title here]." Then you can be as serious or facetious as you want as you provide advice on any number of things: learning how to play fighting games, trying a long-running franchise you've probably neglected, or even explaining a game's timeline. Heck, you can probably seriously try on that last one and we still wouldn't believe you.
Good luck this month. Only true cowards rely on facts. Real heroes pretend to know what they're doing!
Good Morning/Evening/Yesterday, my Friends/Robots/INSERT WAIFU HERE,
More or less a week ago, the Master Gaming List turned one year old. I had a speech prepared, but the blog editor ate it four or five times over the last few days, so I'm kind of winging it now.
Despite all of the threatening and cajoling I initially made to get you all on the list, I never imagined I'd still be adding names a year later (and by "you all", I mostly mean GajKnight). It was kind of a ridiculous undertaking at first, trying to make a semi-permanent, easily-updatable list of everyone's contact info. I'm not even sure what everyone was being hyped over last year that got me to do this.
That said, I'm glad it came together, and this list has lead to many other things for me on Destructoid; whether it was me becoming our laziest, cuddliest Community Manager, or our laziest, cuddliest Reviews-type-person, I have always enjoyed the full love and support of this community.
In thanks, and with the assistance of quite a few others, I've gathered up a number of game keys to give away to you all.
I've never run a contest before, so let's keep things simple. Write me a haiku about your favorite game.
1. The haiku must not include the title of the game.
2. I will accept any other form of structured poetry if you are unable to haiku but can iambic pantameter (you monster).
3. Please state what key you are going for, and a backup if that one is taken (admittedly, it's quantity over variety here)
4. The tentative end date of the contest will be August 13th, and will be bumped at least once during that time.
-Aporia: Beyond The Valley (Multiple Keys)
-Citadel: Forged With Fire (Multiple Keys)
Thank you to all 282 of you who have made the Master List a successful project over the past year! I will continue updating it into the forseeable future.
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