The PlayStation Store is known to be constantly having themed sales with amazing game titles, and they have two currently going on right now: The Big In Japan and Games Under $20 sales. While there are plenty of quality deals, there is perhaps no better deal than the standard edition of Injustice 2 for $5.99 as part of the Games Under $20 sale. As a huge fan of fighting games, I had been interested in picking up the game at a discount during quarantine and ironically bought the Legendary edition (which comes with 10 additional DLC characters including Hellboy, Starfire, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) for $20 at Best Buy only a few days before the sale began. After playing the game for a week or so, I would highly recommend it for those looking to jump into the fight game community.
Taken from a screenshot on my PS4
Fighting games have always been intimidating for people to break into because put simply, they can be pretty hard. An extensive number of moves and combos need to be familiarized before gameplan and strategies can even be implemented, and countless frustrating hours must be spent in practice mode to get to an above-average level. However, while Injustice 2 is by no means “easy”, it has a much more simplified set of game mechanics and button layout with no dual button inputs required and is played on a 2D plane of motion. The timing on combos can be tricky at first but each character has plenty of moves that allow players to perform strings to their own comfort. The game’s roster is filled with some of the most well-known names from DC comics, so there is no worry of feeling out of touch with its backstory and lore. It also has an uncommonly wide tutorial library to get you acquainted with everything you need to know about the game, including character-specific lessons. The tutorials even break down the meaning of frame data which, even as a mild veteran of fighting games, I had never been able to understand before.
Injustice 2 also goes easy on the first thing that drives most people away from fighting games: the move lists. Every character has a move list of around 50 or so commands, some of which are different variants of the same strings. The largest move list I have come across so far is Poison Ivy’s at 53 unique moves. This may seem like a lot at first but is incredibly minute compared to other fighting games. For example, my two favorite series are SoulCalibur and Tekken, which play on a 3D plane of motion that is generally more intricate. Tekken is infamous for its difficulty, and the simplest characters in Tekken 7 (beginner-friendly Kazumi and Shaheen) have 65 moves in their tool kit. The character I main, Lili, has 91 moves and represents more of the standard character; however, many characters’ move lists reach triple digits, as longtime, jaguar-masked poster-boy King has an astounding 179 moves thanks to all of his different chain throws.
I was surprised to find that SoulCalibur VI move lists were just as extensive as Tekken 7’s, given that it is much less complicated to me and incorporates a lot of elements from 2D fighters. I main a rather complex character in Tira and was shocked to find that she had a staggering 177 moves in her arsenal. For comparison, I learned the fundamentals of Injustice 2 with Supergirl, who technically has 56 moves, but 10 of those are just different directional inputs for her laserbeams. While there is a learning curve to the Special Move inputs for each character, every move list is short and concise, allowing you to truly master their repertoire over time.
Another thing that turns away people from fighting games is their emphasis on online play. It is inevitable that beginners will run into experienced players online, and it can be very demoralizing to get beat up in a match when just starting out. While some fighters severely drop the ball in offline content (*cough*cough* Tekken 7), Injustice 2 has so much offline content that I haven’t even cared to go online yet. The single-player options include a Story Mode, which can help beginners get acclimated to the game and find a character they like; a Single Fight mode where you fight a normal match against an AI opponent (great for getting live practice in with no risk), and the Multiverse mode. Multiverse is something like a traditional “Arcade Mode” and challenges the player to a series of specialized bouts that update day-to-day. Completing these challenges earn rewards in the form of gear, which can be used to customize characters’ appearance and enhance their attributes. I’ve spent the bulk of my time in the Multiverse collecting gear to show off before I test the online waters. And since there will be many new players buying the game for its low price, there will be plenty of other beginners online who will be learning it with you.
Taken from a screenshot on my PS4
Injustice 2 is a great entry point to fighting games because it foregoes the inclusive nature of the genre and optimizes its accessibility and offline content to spark interest in newcomers. For just $5.99, it is the best way to enter the rapidly growing fight game community. But hurry, PlayStation’s Games Under $20 Sale ends on the morning of May 13th!
If you are even more interested in fighting games or are already a fan of the genre, the Big In Japan Sale has several other titles for sale at around $20 or less! That sale ends this Friday, May 8th!
SoulCalibur VI (Standard) – $17.99 (my favorite!)
Street Fighter V (Standard) – $7.99
Dead or Alive 6 (Standard) – $20.99
BlazBlue: Central Fiction – $17.99
Guilty Gear XRD Rev 2 – $11.99
King of Fighters XIV – $19.99