Games

‘Injustice 2’ Reminds Us That It’s OK to Like Games You’re No Good At

Today’s open thread is a fun-for-Friday discussion about games that you don’t need to completely click with to get a kick out of.

by Mike Diver
May 19 2017, 1:45pm

Screenshot courtesy of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

I've just started Injustice 2's story mode, and it's appropriately batshit. At the beginning, you, as Batman, beat down your Justice League buddy Cyborg, because… Well, because. I'm still not sure of what the story here is, exactly, a handful of fights into proceedings. Superman is bad, unless he's not and Batman is. Robin doesn't like Batman anymore, and he's killed a series bad guy to prove it. Harley Quinn is in league with Bats but she's making eyes at Poison Ivy, but she's hanging out with that gas-bag Scarecrow, and Brainiac is eating cities or something. Part of that might've been a flashback, actually. Haha, Flashback, because it's DC, you see? Comics!

But I don't much care that it's all about as sensible as a weekend spent apple-bobbing with your mouth wired shut, because I'm having a just perfect amount of fun, thumping superheroes and villains alike into submission. Sometimes I'm successfully connecting combos and special moves, making these titans of our time look the part; but mostly I'm just whaling on them with all the precision of a whole-day-sodden, whiskey-stinking bar brawler. And not an especially good one (thanks, "easy" difficulty).

When I started, I was trying—really trying—to get to grips with Injustice 2's array of hard and harder attacks, its special move cancels, its juggling and its throws. All of that stuff. I flicked my Xbox controller's stick back and forth, back and forth, trying to nail that action in the middle of a face-button combo: X, X, Y, quick-left-to-right, A. Something to that effect. The demo of it looks simple enough, with Bats decking the practice-dummy Superman before him, but my timing? Oh boy.

Nope. Not happening.

I might be able to hold my own in the odd online Street Fighter match-up, but Injustice 2's singular move set just isn't going in. Apparently, this isn't unusual—peers who are genuinely into fighting games tell me that NetherRealm-developed titles like this are hard to truly get down pat.

There are videos going in depth on how the animation of the Injustice and Mortal Kombat series (which needs reading in order to time blows together), sucks, basically. Of course, there is a huge audience for both, who've cracked the code of when and how to tap what and why—but I don't see myself joining their ranks anytime soon.

And again: that's okay. Because the way I'm playing Injustice 2 right now, as a bonkers comic-book story mashing all manner of DC icons together, yet still somehow emerging as a hundred-times more coherent than Batman v Superman, works for me. It reminds me that you don't have to be good at a game to have that game be good for you.

Yes, I'd get obliterated if I took myself online here—but I'm not going to. I'll leave that to those who come for the competitive side. Me, I just want to punch a talking gorilla in its villainous mouth and watch a goofy cutscene about why that was important.

So, now it's over to you. What games have you played, recently or in the more distant past, that you know you've kinda sucked at, but that hasn't mattered a damn because they were still so much fun?

Head to our forum to share your stories.