Posted November 3, 2012 by X Pacaud in Gaming

Before You Play Justice League:Earth’s Final Defense… (and a Review)

Justice League: Earth’s Final Defense is a new app game specially made for DC Comics by Netmarble (Korea) and Mobicle. It’s available for both iOS and Apple device. JL:EFD, or EFD, is a third person beat-em’-up that allows you to play primarily as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, and later as The Flash and Green Lantern, against super villains threatening the Earth. It uses the usual point system to allow you to upgrade your game.

The Flash and Green Lantern are unlockable characters. You might wanna get either one first before you buy anything else with your free 1500P

Things to remember FOR YOUR FIRST PLAY:

  1. CHOOSE A FOURTH CHARACTER- Buy Flash or Green Lantern before doing anything else. You have 1500 credits in the beginning which is exactly the amount you’ll need. Credits are earned after each mission and it’ll take forever to earn a new character if you don’t get one right away, since each mission will only earn you between around 25-70 points.
  2. SUPPORT CARDS- These don’t call hero helpers. These are just special cards you attach to heroes to improve their performance.
  3. CHECK YOUR STATS RIGHT AWAY- Even before playing, you’re given stat points to distribute to your character’s attributes. You also have an extra skill to pick right away. The next time you get to do this is when you level up (with that that green ring fills up as you fight).
  4. LEARN HOW TO RUN – The game’s villains mostly use weapons, so realistically a duck or block isn’t gonna help, (plus you pretty much can’t anyway) but running does. Flying helps too.
  5. STAY STILL TO HEAL- As long as there are no bad guys, you can stand still to heal up your health and energy counters.
  6. VIOLENCE SOLVES EVERYTHING- Even if Cyborg asks you to fix some cores or tinker with the Joker’s satellite, just focus on knocking the bad guys unconscious. That finishes the level. Also during boss fights, try to focus on pounding the boss and not the minions. They’re a distraction and never run out. Once the boss falls though, you’re done.

A new spin on The New 52 designs

Finally! Official DC manga-style game art. Though it’s only one of two places you’ll see Aquaman in the whole game.

The graphics are a mix of 3-dimensional art and hand-drawn styles which could remind one of a cruder version of Marvel VS Capcom 3 style. The heroes are rendered in “anime” inspired designs- the second “New 52” anime rendition to be seen after Kotibukiya statues’ designs. The maps recall previous Marvel hits like the multi-platform Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and the recent Iron Man and Thor iOS games.

Wonder Woman kicks serious butt with her Lasso of Truth and bracelets.

Quick-play Interface

The game is a brawler with RPG elements. Thus you have rather intricate menus. The menu is accessed when you hit pause. Here you can change a character’s costume to their iconic versions (classic) or other special versions. You can also distribute additional points to your character’s attributes,- strength, focus and will. Under skills you can choose which five of six skills come into play, add additional passive attributes to your character and make upgrades. Your collection of special support cards also go here, and can be upgraded as well. As you level up you’ll eventually be able to add three cards that add extra support to your characters skills and attributes.


That Batman guy. He talks to bats.

The in-game interface allows you to see health (red bar) and skill (blue bar). The skill bar allows you to see if you have enough energy to power your skills, accessed through buttons beside your attack button. Fill up the red and blue bar by gathering crystals found in crates or boxes in each level. The green ring is the level-up counter. The more action you get, the more it fills up. Level up to gain points to jack up your character’s attributes.

The interface is easy to read and easy to use. Like Alliance, attacks gravitate to the nearer opponent or object. Thus you can look at the TV screen if you have to while button-mashing. You will need to read your opponent’s movements somewhat, especially the lead villains’, for patterns of attack in order to run, fly or move away before getting hit.

A Story for Comic Fans

Yes, League. You are quite screwed.

The game is very faithful in its adaptation of its heroes and villains. The first ever villains you battle are Ares’ magic-laced roman warriors and modern warfare foot soldiers, which explains why Superman would have some difficulty taking them down. It also explains why the immediately-following battle, which is a night-time underground sewer battle with Joker’s minions, could also be somewhat dangerous for the Man of Steel.

Beside the run of-the-mill foot soldiers in the form of Qwardian Weaponers, Sinestro brings along a couple of surprise friends.

In the story you’ll be faced with a Legion of Doom of sorts, led by Lex Luthor, with members like Ares, Killer Croc, Joker, Sinestro, and King Grodd. They terrorize the (empty) streets of Metropolis and Gotham before hijacking the Watchtower. Later on they’ll take the fight to the Hall of Doom.

Gorilla Grodd (lookin’ a whole lot like the new King Grodd) confronts the Man of Steel aboard the Watchtower.

We Can Be Heroes

Green Lantern has a fantastic set of constructs that are fun to see in action.

The heroes present have been given six active skills that highlight their most iconic powers, moves and skills. Superman has flight, heat vision, super breath, and immensely strong hits. Batman has his Batarangs, bat bombs, grapplers and the ability to call on bats by sonar Wonder Woman heals herself, uses her lasso and bracelets and has some amazon moves. One wishes she could also fly but then again, the first few years of The New 52 portrays her as flightless. The Flash is animated in heightened speed and his skillset capitalizes on that even more. The Green Lantern of course has construct-based attacks. His set of weapons is incredibly fun to use including a hammer, fist, sword, machine gun, drill and a vise. Oh yes, he has a lantern battery too, which allows him to jack up his energy levels. Reading through their passive skills you can see the developer worked elements from the comics into their depictions. Batman has intimidation, Green Lantern has energy depletion, Wonder Woman has gods-given abilities among so many other features.

The alternate costumes as of ver 1.0.2. (Click to enlarge)

Also, all the heroes have the ability to switch to their pre New 52 suits. Some have civilian costumes, others have Red Son or Beyond suits and some have other Elseworlds suits- even the armor from Justice. Each suit has its own special properties- ala Arkham City Lockdown. Supposedly there’s a surprise as well for collecting all thirty support heroes.

A Well Thought-out Game

Superrman uses heat vision. Also among the buttons are super breath, a mega pound of sorts, and flight.

Having read reviews prior to the game, I was made to believe this was a mindless button-masher, but it’s more than that. Despite the seemingly repetitive bad guys (which is pretty much a staple of RPGs), the characters behave like they should and the mechanics are quite faithful to the comic. The game keeps going, despite only having (as of now) four major levels because there are multiple goals to achieve. You can play to gain more skills and have an impressive (and totally awesome to watch) array of super powers unique to each character. You can also play to gain more character cards or additional costumes for your heroes.

An underground battle so soon after being exposed to magic Superman? That’s living life on the edge right there bro!

My only gripes with the game is the “expensive” point system and the fact that Aquaman isn’t anywhere to be found, despite being prominently displayed in the game’s art. However, the setup of the game  lends to the possibility that more maps and levels will be available as well as more characters (and support heroes) in future updates. Updated games after all are one of the best things about iOS.

The game’s truly a dream for real DC fans. If you’re a DC fan with an iOS or Android device, then this game is a must-have.

X Pacaud