Category Archives: Gaming

Injustice: Gods among us

Let’s make a couple of things clear:

  1. Fighting games are really boring. Outside of the Mario exception1, I’ve never enjoyed a fighting game. I did put a serious number of hours into Mortal Kombat for the SNES way back when, but then my entire game collection would consist of two games at any given time, so I would play what I had and like it.
  2. Super heroes are stupid. They’re a kind of enjoyable stupid when they get to stay in their own unique worlds, but when they start sharing a world, the stupid becomes brain-achingly bad.

In other words, there’s nothing to indicate that I will find even the tiniest sliver of enjoyment in Injustice: Gods among us.

But it was on sale and it has Lobo in the banner2, so I bought it anyway. I’m a total sucker and why did I ever give Steam my credit card.

I hate this game.

That was to be expected, but after playing it a bit, I also hate it for a number of other reasons.


I’ve played this with a wired Xbox 360 controller, and I’ve found the controls to be flaky as hell. I frequently jump when trying to move backwards or forwards, and a number of combos are all but impossible to do intentionally. When going through the tutorials, I had to skip a number of moves because even after several dozen tries, I simply could not get the keys listed on the screen to do what they were supposed to.

Thankfully the fights are easily winnable with just basic moves and the occasional incidental special move.

The animation

For a game that is all about throwing bodies around, these guys are surprisingly and inconsistently badly animated.

In the actual fights, the animations are mostly good. I rarely see anything obvious enough to bother me. It’ll do.

But the cut scenes. Oh dear god the cut scenes. People are bending at the waist, not at the hips. The corners of the mouth are going straight out to the sides, not bending back along the teeth. The insides of mouths are lit by an unknown light source, rather than being dark. Wrists bend all wrong. Eyelids head into non-Euclidean space whenever somebody blinks. These are all common problems, and they are all terrible.

Wonder Woman

I know the characters in this game have stylised bodies. They have fantasy bodies, and as long as they’re consistent, that’s fine. But there’s stylised, and there’s … Wonder Woman.


I don’t even understand what’s going on with her physique. Waist down, she’s fine, if perhaps a bit on the slim side for the amount of muscle she should have.

But from the waist up? Nope. Not unless she’s had breast and shoulder enhancement surgery. That upper body does simply not belong with that lower body.

The other women in this game do not have this problem. They are stylised and idealised, but at least their halves look like they belong together.

As for Wonder Woman’s metal bra… It’s so low-hanging fruit I won’t even bother with further comment.


The character that made me purchase this damned thing isn’t actually in the story. He’s a DLC, and is only included because I got the Ultimate Edition.

… but I kinda like that bit

The story

As much as I hate super heroes in a shared world, the story going on here is pretty clever. I like it as much as I can like a story where I hate the setting. We all know this game exists purely because super hero fans want to have a great big melee with random heroes and villains beating the crap out of each other, and with that in mind I’m even more impressed with the story.

The graphics

The stages are gorgeous, both to look at and to play. There is a perfect amount of interaction with the environment. The transition between stages is excellent.

The characters are beautifully distinct. Each character’s moves are excellent and feel appropriate, and even such small things as a character’s walk is on target. Their super moves range from badass (Hello, Batman!) to slapstick (Hello, Green Lantern!).

Little things like the power meters are just right.

Depeche Mode

Unexpected, but appreciated.


Lobo is just as loud, crude and rude as he should be. Taking a shotgun to Batman’s brooding face and stomping on Green Arrow’s is satisfying. Oh Lobo, you alone are worth my €4.99.


I hate this game. But Lobo. Oh, Lobo. I’ll let you beat up random super heroes any day.

  1. The Mario exception is as follows: Even if a given genre of games is all stupid and boring, the Mario game in that genre will still be entertaining. So racing games are dull, but Mario Kart is great fun. Fighting games are boring, but Smash Bros is amazing. 
  2. Also Wee Hughie undercover as Zod

From the feminist armoury

It’s International Women’s Day, and I have, unfortunately, been far too ill to join the protest march downtown. It’s an important one, as our new government is trying to casually restrict access to abortion, hiding it in the language of “rights” and “conscience,” and telling women we “don’t understand” when we protest. Thankfully I would have been just one voice among many, had I been there.

Over ten thousand people showed up at Youngstorget to protest.
Foto by Ingunn Andersen for NRK.

Instead I’ve been home, playing Diablo 3. Which is somewhat ironic on this day, as the game contains Blizzard’s usual helping of sexism, racism and lack of original storytelling (hello Kerrigan, I mean Sylvanas, I mean Leah). And yet … the game won’t let me forget.

Chivalry Blocker
Chivalry Blocker

I present to you the feminist shield of choice, the Chivalry Blocker. Anyone who has experienced street harassment will appreciate the added resistance and reduced damage from melee attacks, and extra intelligence is always useful.

May your abortions be safe and legal, and all your days free of sexism, benevolent or otherwise!

Shoot your music

  1. I love the basic idea of “riding your music” in Audiosurf, although I’m so bad at the puzzle bit that I’ve given up on driving anything but Mono.
  2. The Guardian Legend is one of my favourite games of all time, so I’m definitely up for some good vertical shooter action.

Now, here is Symphony, a vertical shooter that lets you shoot your way through the songs in your music collection. I am sold.

At first glance, Symphony is a very basic game — casual even. You can’t die (you just lose points and keep going), and your basic weapons can handle anything the game throws at you. If you only play a handful of songs, your impression will be that this is an easy game only good for killing a few minutes here and there.

Your impression will be wrong. For a game where you can’t die, Symphony gets hard fast. The points you lose when your ship explodes comes out of the same pool you buy new weapons and upgrades with, so if you progress up the difficulty levels too fast, the game will be harsh.

Not again.

Symphony is also more complex than initially indicated. Your ship can be customised quite a bit: It has four weapon slots, and you choose which weapon go in each slot, which direction they point in, and how you fire that weapon. The different weapons aren’t just for show, either. A setup that works well on a regular level can and will prove painfully useless when a boss shows up.

The story in Symphony, is, well, basically an excuse to shoot your way through your music collection. There’s not much to it. It’s silly, but the game doesn’t really need much of a backstory, and it backs up the heavy use of musical terms through the game.

On the technical side, Symphony supports a nice range of formats. MP3 and OGG are equally welcome, and if you keep a lossless music library, it handles that too. I do wish there was more filtering options than just “By Artist” and “By Album” in the game — finding what you want in a large collection can be cumbersome.

I would recommend this game if you like shooters, like the music gimmick, like games that require fast reflexes with an easy learning curve. I especially recommend shooting your way through Ugress.

You can get Symphony through Steam.

Friends do not let friends buy Ubisoft

Oh, Ubisoft. You sell your games on Steam. You’ve previously screwed over the people who have bought your games on Steam. You remain completely oblivious that Steam itself functions as DRM, instead putting in one of the most useless and hostile third-party DRMs in your game:

Anno 2070 is protected by 3rd-party DRM: Solidshield Tages SAS and has a 3 machine activation limit.

You do not deserve my money, Ubisoft. You do not deserve my friends’ money, either. Please stop making games I want; the shitty DRM alone is worth contempt, a game I _want_ with shitty DRM is pure hate.