Monday, November 13, 2017

Real Name: Raphael
First Appearance: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (May, 1984)
Fight Club Ranking: #156

Featured Fights:
- vs THE SHREDDER: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (May 1984)
- vs COMPLETE CARNAGE: Savage Dragon #22 (Sep 1995)

Injustice 2 has unveiled its third (and presumed final) DLC Fighter Pack, and as reported on Mortal Kombat Online, it comes with a big four-for-one special deal! Atom and Enchantress were expected presences in the reveal trailer, but stepping from the shadows are the surprise package of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Requested by some, but expected by few!

Typically you're either going to love or hate guest characters in fighting games. There's always the argument that they don't offer much for brand legacy, and the assets could be better spent building up in-house properties.

Ultimately, it's an argument of creative versus commerce that TMNT will inevitably further for the latter. The multimedia darlings hit the sweet spot for Millennial gamers who've aged alongside the heroes in a half-shell, and will gladly buy-in en masse.

Guest fighters as downloadable content has meant players can customize their experience for a price, selecting their character purchases individually, or as part of value (and instant gratification) incentives. Past examples reinforce the fact that the audience is embracing the novelty, making guests the most lucrative post-script option for Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment.

The fact that DC Comics already permeates through so many mediums means the intrusion of guest characters stings a lot less than Mortal Kombat's awkwardly generated movie maniacs.

Injustice 2 has also done a pretty good job of plumbing from natural wells, sourcing Sub-Zero and Raiden from the developer's Mortal Kombat franchise, and independent comics icons Hellboy and the TMNT. All four have history crossing over with DC Comics in the past, with Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles among the most recent examples!

Personally, I prefer my fighting games straight and complete. Street Fighter V hasn't hit on a winner with every new addition, and the piecemeal approach to basic functions has been pretty lousy, but I like their constructive strategy for DLC characters.

If guest characters must happen -- and at NetherRealm Studios, that's the case -- I can dig a novelty like the Ninja Turtles. The TMNT fit right in with the fighting game format, offer a lot in terms of gameplay and presentation, and are just pretty radical. Cowabunga, dude.

It's going to be interesting to see how a quartet of characters functions in the game. We've seen characters like Atrocitus flanked by support options before, but there's a bit of mystery surrounding the heroic foursome. Injustice's Gear System could let players pick their turtle of choice, but this may also be the game's first fully fledged example of tag mechanics! Something for MK11 to consider?

Like any fan, I've got my favourites. I'm a little disappointed we didn't get to see Bronze Tiger, Martian Manhunter, Hawkman, or Steel make the playable cut. They all have interesting arguments, and will probably show up in a future sequel. Steel seemed particularly natural, however, given the heavy emphasis on the Superman Family, and the game's armor aesthetic and customizable Gear.

By and large, Injustice 2 has been an improvement on the first game, bolstered by an excellent line-up of new additions! Don't believe it? Check out Hero of the Week entries for: Supergirl, Reverse-Flash, Black Canary, Cheetah, Doctor Fate, Firestorm, Gorilla Grodd, Red Hood, and Black Manta!

Still not up on the comic book origins of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Be sure to hit the featured fight links at the top of this post, or character tags littered throughout. You can also find a whole lot more from DC Comics by diving into the Secret Archive!

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