Out of the four DLC characters we are getting for Injustice: Gods Among Us, Batgirl is the one I was least interested in. With Batman, Nightwing (Dick and Damien), Joker, Harley Quinn, Catwoman and Bane, the last thing the game needed was ANOTHER Bat character. Why not Fire, Ice, Starfire, Vixen, Black Canary, Power Girl, Zatanna, Black Orchid or someone else to fill the spot? Well, it is what it is and Batgirl is here to stay. The important thing is how she PLAYS. Here now are my first impressions on Batgirl after spending some time with her.
1. Hmm. The costume is purplish. It looks more like Stephanie Brown’s Batgirl costume that Barbara Gordon’s. Overall the character model is nice looking and she’s definitely smaller and more lithe than the other Injustice characters.
2. The opening footage for her has her sweeping down off a batline and saying, “You don’t stand a chance!” Wow. Not at ALL the voice I would ever put with Barbara Gordon. She sound far younger than even Yvonne Craig as Batgirl. Kind of high pitched and nasally. Not really the voice you’d pick for a hardened crimefighter. Especially when she says, “I’m kind of a pain in the ass, huh?”
3. Batgirl’s Character Power lets her switch between Punch Blades and Electrified Knuckles. Punch Blades do extra damage with all special and normal attacks, while Electrified Blades do more damage when an opponent blocks. Interesting options.
4. Batgirl is fast, but not as fast as Flash or Nightwing. She’s not as damaging either so she’s definitely a lower tier character.
5. Batgirl does have some fun moves though. Smoke Bomb for example is a vertical version of Scorpion’s teleport move, which will really throw off gamers at first. Batarang is her projectile. Bat Bolo ties an opponent up. Flying Bat is a Jax like punch that sends her partially across the screen. Batwheel is Sonja Blade’s cartwheel kick. Redemption is a six hit combo that ends with the opponent being knocked down and Bat Evade lets her spin backwards and away from the opponent ala Kano. Some interesting stuff, albeit it much of her moveset is a mix of things from various Mortal Kombat 9 characters. In the end, nothing super impressive and again, confirms my feeling she’s going to be a lower tier character.
6. Batgirl’s ending pose is VERY similar to Batman’s, where she leaves the screen and then can later be seen standing on the edge of a building at night. I was hoping for something more unique.
7. It’s interesting to note that Batgirl’s Super Move does not seem to work. I don’t mean it’s hard to pull off. I mean the game simply refuses to recognize the standard command for the move. Pressing L2 and R2 simply changes her stance rather than activates the move. It’s only after a lot of fiddling that you’ll figure out it can only be done mid-air. Whether that is on purpose or a bug I’m not sure as it would be the only mid-air exclusive Super Move in the game. That’s going to either throw a lot of gamers off or be a real changer in how things are played when Batgirl is used. I’m not sure which yet.
8. The best part about Batgirl is she has some really nice combos. It’s just too bad she does such little damage outside of these combos. Still, you should be able to figure out several six-ten hit combos just by button mashing. Time a Retribution at the end of one, and you’ll have an easy to pull off 12-15 hit combo with a guaranteed knockdown. That’s something I guess. I mean a skilled frame counter should have no problem pulling off combos that do 20-30% damage, but with her standard level of damage being so low compared to other characters in the game, and the fact you’re going to have to really have an opponent in the right spot with split second timing to do the higher echelon combos, she’s going to be one of those ones that people either give up on right away or stick with her until they can do her biggest combos blindfolded.
9. Batgirl’s ending for Battle Mode is just weird. In this world she was Oracle first but became Batgirl after Superman murdered her father, Commissioner Gordon. Yes, not only does that hurt my head continuity-wise, but she doesn’t get an actual ending. She just gets an origin story instead. I don’t know what to make of that. That would be like beating Street Fighter II with Ryu and getting an ending that shows teenage Ryu and Ken meeting each other for the first time or Pepsiman’s ending in Fighting Vipers as the discovery of Pepsi-Cola. Another instance where I’m just not happy with the character in the game.
10. So what to make of Batgirl? She does the least amount of damage out of all the characters with standard moves. She’s fast, but there are several that are faster AND that do more damage. She doesn’t have a super move that works like anyone else’s in the game (whether that makes her a misfit or diamond in the rough will only be known with time and a lot of practice) and most of her special moves are ripped from MK9 or are variants of other people’s moves. Unlike Lobo, who is a beast and brings something new to the game, Batgirl feels like a throwaway character that Netherrealms just pieced together rather than giving us someone that gamers asked for or that would actually see use in the game. Even as a Birds of Prey/Batgirl/Oracle fan, I went into this thinking Batgirl wasn’t a character that was needed for Injustice: Gods Among Us nor one I actually wanted from the legion of female super heroes DC had to offer that would have been more interesting choices. Unfortunately, even going into this character with a bit of pessimism, the reality was even worse than I had feared and Batgirl remains a character not worth using unless you’re a SNK style fighting fan. With General Zod and Scorpion being two characters I’m not especially enormed with either (Unless Zod is voiced by Terrance Stamp), Lobo looks to be the brightest spot in the Injustice DLC and I don’t know what to make of that.