Inside Pulse 12

10 Thoughts On…Injustice: Gods Among Us’ Batgirl DLC (Sony PS3)

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.

  • RGDUbz

    SWAMP THING!!!

  • SolidusGodzilla

    Made an Impressions video on Batgirl and the rest of the DLC released today for those still on the fence. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHtZYCr3CjQ

  • d3v

    I guess the author hasn’t found out about her practical infinite or her inescapable vortex. Batgirl is definitely not low tier. Lobo on the other hand is still bottom tier in Tom Brady and REO’s latest tier list.

  • Those two things you mentioned won’t last though. Not by a long shot. Just like how update 1.03 edited a few things you know Netherrealms will remove those with the General Zod or Scorpion updates. That’s like when Guile had his double redizzy combo in the original Street Fighter II. Plus the average gamer won’t be able to pull either off for the short time they exist.

  • d3v

    That still doesn’t really affect BatGirl’s core strengths which is her insane offense and her ability to easily get in. She has more resets and vortexes outside of the stuff I listed. Sure people will point to low combo damage, but damage in combos is just part of the equation. Look at Catwoman, she does average meterless combo damage, but she’s still considered top tier since her neutral is godlike and she has easy 50/50s mixups that lead to her combos.

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  • Alexander Lucard

    The problem is that for the majority of fighting gamers, combos are the extent of what they can do aside from memorizing a few moves and doing them ad nasuem ala the old SHINGO KICK or TIGERTIGERTIGERITGER from the 90s. Batgirl has exploits, but you just listed Catwoman who I also find to be a better character overall. She’s faster than Batgirl, has better combos (by better I mean more damage per button press and her lower hit combos deal far more damage), has an easier Super Move to pull off, does more damage overall and as you said, has an awesome neutral. So she lives up to her potential, you know? Meanwhile Batgirl has some crazy crap she can do, but only if you’re in the right spot at the right time and you can do the really long button strings it takes for her to reach her full potential.
    Basically as I said in the post, Batgirl is only going to be awesome is the hands of a SNK fighting gamer who counts frames and has the hand-eye coordination needed in that series. The average MK/Injustice gamer won’t be used to the style of gameplay needed to maximize Batgirl and so between the “fixes” she’ll be getting and what exactly she needs in order to be a contender I don’t see her making it out of mid-tier. It’s one thing to discover crazy things you can do with a character when the opponent is just sitting there as a dummy, but it’s yet another to actually pull them off against an actual seasoned player, you know? Trust me, I don’t disagree with your feelings on Batgirl AT ALL – I just think it’s going to be a rare gamer that actually can begin to bring her up to say, a tournament winner and because of that she’s going to be lower tier.
    A lot of the people doing tiers these days are going by what is the absolute maximum potential a character can have in the hands of the best fighting gamers out there. I guess I’m still stuck in the KoF era when we did tiers based on what the average person playing can do with the character. Most gamers, especially those used to only MK style fighters, will choose someone easier to use overall. Kind of like in MVC2 Cable was top tier for a while not because he was some unstoppable juggernaut but because we was easy enough to use that even a newish fighting gamer could pull his stuff off and hold their own.

  • d3v

    Because tiers are always done to represent what a character’s ranking is at the highest level of play. Doing so otherwise doesn’t make any sense since it’s at the highest level of play that these things matter.

    And in any case, the overall opinion of her is that Babs is upper mid/lower high tier (A tier) as she stands now.

  • Many months later… :P
    I really enjoyed using Batgirl. I thought your review of her was mostly fair, but her moves are great for flying around the screen and fitting in some great combos. The down-down-X move (PS3) is a great anti-spam, and has definitely won me a fair amount of matches along with Raven and the Grundster.

  • Michael Bennett

    Oh how wrong you were aha, Batgirl is one of the biggest beasts in the game