reviews\ Dec 9, 2002 at 7:00 pm

Justice League: Injustice For All - GBA - Review

I was so happy to see the Justice League back on TV. The Cartoon Network brought the heroes back, and without the goofy Wendy and Marvin or ludicrous Wonder Twins! They dropped that "Super Friends" tag and made the stories more in line with the DC Comics from which they originate. So, when I saw that they were releasing a version of the series for play on the Game Boy Advance, I jumped at the chance to try it. 

Justice League: Injustice for All challenges you to save the world from Lex Luthor's evil scheme to control the minds of us mere mortals and gain world dominance. He has enlisted a who's who of enemies based on the heroes themselves. It follows the Cartoon Network's series very well. They haven't thrown in any villains that wouldn't appear in the show. In addition to the elusive Luthor, you battle the gangs of The Joker, The Shade, Felix Faust and Solomon Grundy among others. Each villain has their own dangerous perils to navigate-- with a good amount of thugs and/or weapons to slow you down and try to eliminate you from the game.

This played a lot like Mario Brothers with super powers. That's not a bad thing, but there were enough passages, pipes and doors to explore to give me that feeling. Collecting "coins" (JL icons) along the way added to this flashback. It's a platform game in which you are given mission objectives, and along with a specifically chosen super-partner, you must get through the traps and bad guys to destroy a mind control orb and eventually a boss. Same scenario, different game. There are crates and other objects hiding goodies like valuable keys, so smashing things around helps you get far. 

Each character has been awarded their own genuine powers, though I found some were missing that could have helped more. Flash can run at almost the speed of light, Wonder Woman can fly and use her lasso, Batman is a great fighter, Green Lantern's ring helps him fly and shield himself, The Martian Manhunter flies and fights, Hawkgirl flies and fights, and Superman..... well, he's Superman. The JLA consists of seven heroes, and you must use them all. There are various mission levels to complete, and you are paired with other team members-- not of your choosing (darn). In most cases, you must use both characters to get through a level. IE: There are some places Batman can not reach, so you launch The Flash into action and watch him zip up a wall to reach the target. This is done by pressing the "select" button. Your players will switch places. Also, if a player gets beaten too badly, the switch occurs automatically. 

At the end of a level there is a large orb that must be smashed. It's a mind control device placed by Luthor. Then, the obligatory boss must be defeated, and more information is given upon completion. The bosses love to talk-- even without always using the golden lasso! They all say the same thing: "I was hired by Luthor to distract you and slow you down". 

That's the crux of the game, and it is an easy one, for sure. I went through several levels before sustaining enough damage to warrant a continue. That's rare for my sloppy playing style for this type of game. The thugs and distractions are not much of a challenge. You just plow through them and look for hidden passages and portals to other rooms or sublevels. Therein will be hidden valuable keys and power-ups like extra lives and health restores. The bosses are easy to beat, and do not require much strategy. This was an amusing revelation. I planned to utilize each hero's unique powers to maximize the damage, but found (in most cases) I could just wail away on the boss the old fashioned way and beat them. Supe's heat vision is too short, and I don't think I used the Batarang once!

The game looks good, and I am impressed by the level of detail for the small platform. Though there were some perspective and dimensional issues to overcome, things moved along easily and objects were mostly clear. There are cut scenes between action, and though there is no movement, it is nice to see characters looking like they do on TV. The sound is good, and even better with headphones. The music was not annoying at all, and the environmental sounds were effective.

This is an overall fun game to play, but I finished faster than any game I have played in years. Kids will get more out of it than seasoned gamers, but even then, it may fall short on replay value. I loved playing the various characters, and the feel was great, but having completed it-- I don't feel the need to pick it up again and start over. Maybe in a few days. Your level completions are timed, so I guess I could go back through and beat my times, but I otherwise don't have a replay challenge calling me. A great game for a few hours of fun, but I think even kids will get through this wa too easily. Wonder Twins powers-- activate!! 

Gameplay: 7
Very easy to pick and start without touching the manual. Your missions and the storyline are laid out for you as you go. The moves are straight forward, as everyone punches, and some can fly (poor Batman). It was a familiar game, even with not having touched it before. 

Graphics: 8 
Stylish and clear for the most part. There were some issues with buildings and where you could, and could not, go. No clear separation from non-passable objects to the ones that you can walk by. Some of the mounted laser cannons are hard to see. You feel and hear them, but they are so blended with the wall that they're tricky to locate quickly. I don't think that was by design. The characters looked good, even in motion. However, Wonder Woman's lasso whips out so fast that you can't tell what it is!

Sound: 7.5
The sound is good; better with headphones (I always say that, but it's true). There's the occasional laser-fire sounds and the typical grunting and punching as you beat your way to the bosses. The characters don't really have any unique sounds. The Batarang sounds like the  Golden Lasso. 

Difficulty: Easy
I think only NASA could make this game easier. It was not much of a challenge in any way. It's easy to pick up and start playing (without consulting the manual), as you are told what to do as you go. The thugs are not much of a threat, and can be jumped or flown over and just avoided in many cases. If your character is low on health, switch players until your find Health, then switch again to give the drained player the power-up. No-brainer. 

Concept: 6 
It's a side-scrolling platform game with TV heroes. There's nothing new or exciting about the way it's laid out. Bosses and things to get in your way. Working as a team when needed, otherwise just punching and flying your way to success. I did not experience anything unique enough to set it apart from every other game like this. 

Multiplayer: N/A

Overall: 7
I really could give this a lower rating, but though it was short and easy, I did have fun playing it. I enjoyed seeing the heroes in action, and felt some satisfaction beating the bosses and finding hidden objects encased in crates. There is also the challenge of knowing how to complete an objective using your partner's powers when you fall short. But, I went through three of the twelve levels in less than 15 minutes. You get the idea. What game time there is, is fun. I think a young player will have fun, and get enough playing time out of it to make it worth their while. For comics geeks like me, it's a must-have. If you're seeking a long, in depth platform challenge, you won't find this very fulfilling. But, at least there is not Wendy and Marvin to mess it up!!


About The Author
In This Article
From Around The Web
blog comments powered by Disqus