INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US

Injustice: Gods Among Us debuts as a bold new fighting game franchise that introduces a deep, original story featuring a large cast of favorite DC Comics icons such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Solomon Grundy and many others. Set in a world where the lines between good and evil are blurred, players will experience heroes and villains engaging in epic battles on a massive scale.

Interview with blind Mortal Kombat and Injustice player Carlos Vasquez

Back in September we had the opportunity to interview Carlos Vasquez about his life in the fighting game community. I’m sure you have read many interviews with top players, the thing that separates Carlos from any of them is that Carlos is blind…and good…Really good.

Q: Feel free to discuss as little or as much as you would like about your blindness.

A: I began gradually losing my sight since I was 10 years of age. It is caused by close Angled Glaucoma, which generates massive amounts of liquid in the back of the eye, resulting in an increase of pressure and severe pain in the eyes, and permanently damages the optic nerves. It all started with me having trouble seeing things very far, followed by blurred vision for several years, and now I’ve recently become completely blind.

Q: How did you get your start in the fighting game community?

A: I began by following streamed tournaments after discovering that there were actual organized events where you could compete in your favorite fighting game. Since Mortal Kombat began to be featured in these events, I really wanted to participate and compete, but I did not have the means to do so. I began to follow known names in the community via twitter in order to keep up with the scene and vicariously live the hype moments. And so it happened that I was being followed on twitter by James Fink aka jamessmk. After seeing my tweets and realizing my passion for Mortal Kombat, he got me in contact with the Kombat Houston crew in order to train and understand MK from a competitive standpoint. And on his show he publically announced that he would like to have me attend Evolution 2013. Since then, I began to train harder at home and with the Kombat Houston crew to really level up.

Q: Describe your process when it comes to practice.

A: The very first step I take is by listening and memorizing the sounds of the game in general to get used to the characters and their special moves. There are a lot of resources out there that make it possible for someone who is blind to practice. The way I go about it is by reading the moves list online since I cannot directly pause and look at the moves list on screen. Luckily there’s always someone out there who takes their time and does this for everyone. Once I memorize the moves, I have someone at home read me the layout of the options practice mode menus in order to have access to all of the practice modes, dummy block, wakeup attack, jump, crouch block, and so on. This way, I am able to practice punishing, block strings, anti-airs, and things like that. Another source I use is YouTube videos and fan sites. When it comes to learning combos, I first browse to find these combos described online in fan sites, along with strategies and frame data written by usually high level tournament players. After memorizing all of this material, I go on YouTube and listen to them being performed in order to hear the written information in real situations. Then I go into practice mode to learn to execute everything that I’ve heard. It’s always a plus when players actually include commentary in their videos while they are showing what’s happening on screen.

Q: You play with the Kombat Houston team. How did they help you prepare for your EVO Run?

A: The KombatHouston guys helped me by being very descriptive about how certain things that I was doing would not work against certain characters and things of that sort. With them I learned more about my main character that I did not know or understand while reading the forums on fan sites. They also played against me with their respective main characters in order for me to obtain the matchup experience. What made it even more interesting for me was that they would describe the visual things that would happen on screen in order to better understand move and combo properties. Most importantly, they were very accommodating. Since they realized that I play with sound, they would give me a headset to use and listen to the game so that I was able to play properly.

Q: What did it feel like to make finals of your pool and play Tyrant and the eventual EVO winner DJT?

A: When I realized that I made it to winners finals in my pool, I felt a mixture excitement and nervousness. I was excited because I honestly doubted that I would be able to defeat anyone since this was a major tournament and everyone was out to win no matter what. Yet there I was, waiting to finally fight a top player in winner’s finals. And, that’s where the nerves totally kicked in. When I went on stream, I simply got so nervous that I was not reacting properly. If I would’ve been more concentrated, I believe that I could have done at least a little better. Considering the circumstances though, at least I took a round from Tyrant, who is also an amazing player. And although I got babied twice in a row by DJT, I felt that it made a point that I could have been a threat if allowed, so he wanted to make sure he babied me to ensure his dominance. At least that’s how I felt. So there was not any bad blood after that really. I was hoping to at least make it out of pools though, so when I lost I was completely disappointed at myself. But that is just me always trying to push myself beyond my limits.

Q: What is the best sound touch in Mortal Kombat and Injustice?

A: The best sound touch in Mortal Kombat is the stereo panning of the characters as the fight takes place. For instance, if I initially start the round on the left side, my character sounds can be heard on the left speaker. If for some reason I teleport or my opponent jumps over me for a cross-up, the character’s sounds switch places accordingly. So then, my character can now be heard on the right speaker. This helps a lot in keeping track of your location on screen at all times. Note that this is also the same for Injustice. In addition to that, however, Injustice has another great sound touch in the character select screen. When you browse and highlight each character, there are sounds associated with that set character. For example, if I am looking for Batman and I get lost on the select screen, I go through the characters until I hear the sounds of bats, which lets me know that I am currently placed on Batman. This is also useful to let me know if I am the first or second player since the first player always lands on Batman and the second player always lands on The Joker.

Q: What is something that all games could do better to improve playability for blind players?

A: A thing that developers should consider and it’s already happening, is to apply more sound cues to allow blind players to be able to identify and keep up with what’s happening on screen. For instance, one of my biggest problems that I had to adapt to was meter management since I didn’t know if I had meter or not. In that case, a beep could be heard every time a bar of meter is gained. And, the more bars of meter are gained the higher the beep could get in order to let you know that you’re building more and more meter. The way I overcame this problem is learning what moves or strings build meter, so then I had to go by trial and error and attempt an enhanced special or a combo that required meter. Another thing that could be done is talking menus. This would help blind players to have access to the main menus, general options menus, and practice options in training mode to prevent from always depending on a sighted person to read the menus for you. And it could be optional so that sighted players would not have to deal with unwanted sound cues. Injustice has another example for using sound cues for better playability for blind players. Interactable are simply impossible to identify as a blind player since it is hard to guess whether you’re next to one or not. However, if a sound cue is used to identify their locations, they would be identifiable and able to be utilized during a match by a blind player.
In the blind community there are games that are designed only with audio. It’s like playing video-games but without the images. Many of these 3d audio techniques are being utilized to identify locations and sense of direction in the games. It would be a major breakthrough for blind gamers if more and more sound cues become more utilized in the mainstream gaming industry. So far, fighting games are the only mainstream games that are by far the most accessible to blind gamers in general. And I’m a firm believer that NetherRealm Studios has amazing sound designers that have been taking game audio to the next level when it comes to their games.

Q: What is next? Do you have any tournaments coming up? Where can Mortal Kombat/Injustice fans find you?

A:I am planning to attend EVO next year and participate in Injustice if it is featured again. I plan to stay active in the community as much as possible though because I’m meeting new people and I’m having the opportunity to play casuals with other players rather than just playing random players online. I can be found on twitter @OBSKHRattlehead. My YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/Chvasquez86 if anybody is interested in checking out my gameplay. And finally, my PSN is DEATH_RATTLEAD.

If I do not respond to the friend requests right away, I apologize as I usually have to wait on someone sighted to help me out with that. However if anybody wants to play right away, message me on twitter and send me a direct invite in the meantime and I can actually accept that on my own.



We had a chance to chat with Carlos about the sound cues after the patch.

Q: How are you enjoying the new sound cues for interactable objects?

A: The sound cues in Injustice have changed the game significantly for me. The feel of the overall game presents itself as a brand new game. I can tell exactly where each interactable is located as soon as I approach one. I’ve been able to create setups as well as learn combos involving them. It’s a good thing I found a guide that literally described each interactable in every arena because I can now utilize them exactly like my sighted counterparts. One of the major things that caught me by surprise was the concept behind the sound cues. For instance, when player 1 happens to be near an interactable, the pitch of the cue has a slightly low pitch to it. When player 2 happens to be the 1 next to an interactable, the sound of the cue switches to a higher pitch. This helps a lot to determine who is nearby the interactable, allowing me to adapt to different situations. Obviously this concept has always been there for the sighted players, but now that the sound cues are available, I feel that am at a fair advantage. Also, this clearly illustrates that NRS sound designers really understand how sound can have a major impact in how the games present themselves. When the patch came out, I literally spent 12 hours hitting the lab to practice the game using interactable during a match. So far, I’ve only played online matches, and it has been a major different experience. Now I’m hoping to test my Scorpion and Green Lantern offline against high level players. A final thought, I would like to add that it makes me glad to know that now in the settings menu there’s an option that says “Accessibility Mode.” This marks the first time a major video game company has catered to blind players. I hope to see this continued in future titles.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition coming November 12th

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Announces Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition for PlayStation®4, PlayStation®Vita, PlayStation®3, Xbox 360 and PC

Original Game Content and All Downloadable Content Included in One Package for Hours of Fun

BURBANK, Calif. – Oct. 7, 2013 – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced the launch of Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition. Developed by award-winning NetherRealm Studios, Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition debuts in the Americas Nov. 12 and Europe and other global territories beginning Nov. 29, with the comprehensive version of the 2013 best-selling fighting game franchise. The game will be available for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system and platforms, Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft and for Windows PC. Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition will include all original game content as well as all downloadable content (DLC). Valued at more than $120, the game will be available at a suggested retail price of $59.99 for PS4™ system, PS3™ system and Xbox 360, $49.99 for Windows PC and $39.99 for PS®Vita.

The DLC included in Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, includes fan favorites Lobo, Batgirl, General Zod, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, as well as Scorpion, a character from the Mortal Kombat world, as reimagined by Jim Lee, Co-Publisher at DC Entertainment. In addition, more than 40 extra character skins and 60 S.T.A.R. Labs Missions, originally offered as DLC, are now available from the start of the game. Also packaged with the Americas version of the game will be its music soundtrack featuring an exclusive track from Jane’s Addiction titled “Another Soulmate” and 11 songs from popular artists ranging from Depeche Mode to AWOLNATION. Remastered for next-gen technology by High Voltage, the PS4™ system version will feature Touchpad functionality, video sharing and streaming, and will link to players’ PlayStation® Network Feed page during match wrap-ups and pause menus. High Voltage is also bringing the PC version of the game to hungry fans.

The PS®Vita version, which is adapted for the handheld experience by Armature Studio, will feature touch controls for mini-games in the story mode and S.T.A.R. Labs Missions, Ad-hoc and Wi-Fi multiplayer, collectible hero cards, and all DLC released to date. Debuting in April 2013, Injustice: Gods Among Us is a bold new fighting game franchise that introduces a deep, original story featuring a large cast of favorite DC Comics icons such as Batman, Harley Quinn, Solomon Grundy, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman and many others. Set in a world where the lines between good and evil are blurred, players will experience heroes and villains engaging in epic battles on a massive scale.

For more information and the latest updates, visit www.injustice.com or find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/injusticegame.

MORTAL KOMBAT KOMPLETE EDITION NOW AVAILABLE FOR DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

The Extended, Award-Winning Fighting Game is Available via Steam and other Digital Retailers

Burbank, Calif. – July 3, 2013 – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition is available for PC from Steam and other digital download portals. Originally developed by NetherRealm Studios, led by Mortal Kombat co-creator and creative director Ed Boon and adapted for PC by High Voltage Software, the game will also be available through select North American retailers on August 6 for Windows PC.

Featuring all of the previously released downloadable content (DLC), Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition for PC includes fearless warriors Skarlet, Kenshi, Rain, and the nightmarish Freddy Krueger, as well as the 15 Klassic Mortal Kombat Skins and three Klassic Fatalities (Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Reptile).

Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition for PC delivers action-packed single player gameplay through the full feature length story mode and the Tag Team and Challenge Tower modes. Multiplayer modes, including traditional 1 vs. 1 matches and King of the Hill mode, allow players to choose from an extensive lineup of iconic warriors from the Mortal Kombat legacy and challenge their friends to intense competitive showdowns. The Mortal Kombat Tournament Edition Fight Stick and gamepad functionality are supported on Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition for PC. Players will also be able to access achievements and leaderboard stats online on www.mortalkombat.com.

Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition for PC Announced!

Experience the legendary adrenaline pumping action as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announces Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition for PC.

Players enter the realm to face the Kombatants in Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition for PC, delivering all of the downloadable content (DLC), including intrepid warriors Skarlet, Kenshi and Rain, as well as the notorious dream stalker Freddy Krueger. Additionally, the game offers 15 Klassic Mortal Kombat Skins and three Klassic Fatalities (Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Reptile).

Originally developed by NetherRealm Studios, led by Mortal Kombat co-creator and creative director Ed Boon and adapted for PC by High Voltage Software, the game will be available for digital distribution on July 3, while the physical edition will release on August 2 for Windows PC.

Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition for PC features dynamic gameplay including Tag Team, Challenge Tower and a full feature length story mode. Players choose from an extensive lineup of the game’s iconic warriors and challenge their friends in traditional 1 vs. 1 matches, or gamers can spectate battles and interact directly with Kombatants online during the King of the Hill mode. The game supports the Mortal Kombat Tournament Edition Fight Stick and delivers full controller capability. Players will also be able to access achievements and leaderboard stats.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment launches Injustice: Gods Among Us

Experience an Epic Original Story and Battle as DC Entertainment’s Favorite Heroes and Villains. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment announce the North American launch of Injustice: Gods Among Us for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer system and the Wii U™ system from Nintendo.

Developed by award-winning NetherRealm Studios, Injustice: Gods Among Us introduces a new franchise in the fighting game genre and a brand new story created in collaboration between NetherRealm Studios, DC Entertainment and writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti. As the story unfolds, players will experience the power, gadgetry and unparalleled strength of some the most popular DC Comics heroes and villains, such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Aquaman, The Joker and others, as they engage in epic battles in a world where the line between good and evil is blurred.

“NetherRealm Studios was dedicated to making Injustice: Gods Among Us An immersive, action-packed experience,” said Ed Boon,Creative Director, NetherRealm Studios. “ We've created an original game with an all-new story filled with iconic characters DC Comics and gaming fans will appreciate.”

Injustice: Gods Among Us Features numerous locales pulled from DC Comics lore including Arkham Asylum, Metropolis, Atlantis, and more. The arenas are multi-tiered, destructible, interactive playgrounds in which players can unleash each character’s unique superpowers, individual move-sets and environmental interactions to beat their opponents. Fan can also extend their experience by playing the S.T.A.R. Labs missions, which offer players a wealth of additional content and unique gameplay that are outside of the game’s story mode experience.

Bringing these characters to life is a cast of actors, including Stephen Amell, star of the CW Network’s hit action show, Arrow, who reprises his role as the Green Arrow in the game as an unlockable “Arrow” version of the character, which players can choose to use in-game. Also featured are Kevin Conroy, as Batman; Tara Strong, as Harley Quinn and Raven; Neal McDonough as The Flash; George Newbern as Superman; Adam Baldwin as Green Lantern; and Alan Tudyk as Green Arrow (regular version).

Players Looking to extend their gameplay experience can buy the Injustice: Gods Among Us Season Pass now for Xbox 360 and PS3 and receive four upcoming downloadable characters for the price of three, as well as a bonus Flashpoint Skin Pack featuring alternate costumes for Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Deathstroke. The Season Pass is available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 1200 Microsoft Points and on PlayStation®Network for $14.99.

An Injustice: Gods Among Us Free-to-play mobile game for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is available on the App Store and debuts original combat gameplay made especial for the platform and connectivity to the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game. It features a collectible card mechanic and engages players in 3-on-3 tag team combat that pits many of DC Comics most popular icons such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Aquaman and more against one another. Fans who also own the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions will be able to unlock content in the console versions that will be available in the mobile game, and vice versa, by registering for a Warner Bros. ID (WBID) account and playing the game. The Injustice: Gods Among Us mobile game is available from the App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch or at http://appstore.com/Injustice

Injustice: Gods Among Usfor Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii Uis rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB, and priced at $59.99.

About Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, is a premier worldwide publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of entertainment content for the interactive space across all current and future platforms, including console, handheld and PC-based gaming for both internal and third party game titles.

About NetherRealm Studios NetherRealm Studios is a leader in the development of interactive entertainment, and the creator of the billion dollar Mortal Kombat franchise. Mortal Kombat has spawned two theatrical films, multiple television series, and has sold over 28 million games to date. Located in Chicago, Illinois the award-winning NetherRealm team has been working and creating games together since 1992. Additional information about NetherRealm Studios can be found at www.netherrealm.com

INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US© 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Developed by NetherRealm Studios. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

MORTAL KOMBAT NOW AVAILABLE FOR PLAYSTATION®VITA SYSTEM

Burbank, Calif. – May 1, 2012 – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and NetherRealm Studios announced today the exclusive release of Mortal Kombat for the PlayStation®Vita handheld system in North America. Making its debut on the new handheld device, the acclaimed fighting franchise delivers lethal action to gamers on-the-go, priced at $39.99.

“Mortal Kombat for PlayStation®Vita allows us to bring the best possible fighting experience to our loyal fans - anytime, anywhere,” said Ed Boon, Creative Director, NetherRealm Studios. “The game runs at a seamless 60 frames per second, and provides unique gameplay modes and features that take advantage of PlayStation®Vita’s exciting new hardware capabilities. Mortal Kombat for PlayStation®Vita is the ultimate portable fighting game and provides hours of fun for mobile gamers.”

Batman: Arkham City Lockdown App Available Now

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced that the Batman: Arkham City Lockdown App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is now available on the App Store. Based on DC Comics’ core Batman license, the app brings the Batman: Arkham City™ franchise, one of the most highly acclaimed and best-selling videogame releases of 2011, to the App Store for the first time featuring stunning graphics and original combat gameplay created exclusively for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Developed by NetherRealm Studios, creators of Mortal Kombat, Batman: Arkham City Lockdown features several of Gotham City’s most dangerous criminals, including The Joker, Two-Face and Solomon Grundy, as well as iOS-exclusive character Deathstroke, and engages players in one-on-one combat as they seek justice in a variety of Arkham City environments.

Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection Now Available

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announces the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection is now available for download on PSN in North America. In honor of this new collection, which offers players a chance to go back to the beginning and check out the first three games in the legendary franchise, the team is releasing an all-new trailer featuring a glimpse into the downloadable title's classic Mortal Kombat gameplay. The Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection will be available tomorrow on Xbox Live and on PSN globally. The PC version will be coming out next month.

For $9.99 on PSN, and XBLA and PC for 800 Microsoft Points, the Mortal Kobmat Arcade Kollection offers fans the first three games in the series – the original Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 – and online play, leader boards, achievements and trophies, as well as the chance to play through the games in their original arcade state. Developed by Other Ocean in conjunction with NetherRealm Studios, this collection marks the first time all three games have been brought together in one package.

For more information about Mortal Kombat, please visit http://www.themortalkombat.com and find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mortalkombat or on Twitter @MK_Mortalkombat