Review – Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe [Xbox 360]

Pure awesome? Or WHAT WHAT WHAT?!?

When the announcement was made about this game, the first thing that came to mind was that it was a complete hoax. There was no way that the brutal and sometimes comical violence that was everywhere in the Mortal Kombat series would be paired up with the DC Universe Characters.

After playing the game….you know what?

It actually works.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the DC characters actually out shine the MK roster. Now if that’s only because they are the new guys in the neighborhood or if they actually made a good game with comic book heroes in it, I don’t know(could be because I love comics too). All I do know is, I like what I’ve seen. So let us begin with the story shall we?

The story mode is the best part of the game for me. I was Impressed to hear that they actually hired a pair of comic book writers to develop a story for the game, it kind of needs a good story in order to merge two universes together. At the beginning you get to choose from which side’s perspective you want to see the story unfold. Then you play through the story of that universe with only the characters in the respective universe. There is a chapter per character but not all of the characters get their own chapter, but everyone shows up and plays a part in the main story of the game. From the very first cutscene I felt like I was watching a movie the whole time I was playing through it. Here’s a taste:

The only draw back is that I wish the story would have been longer than it was. Since after you’ve already beat both sides to the story mode there’s really not much of a reason to go back through it.

However, the story mode isn’t the only reason to play the game. The gameplay is great, it’s solid, and just feels like a Mortal Kombat game. I’ve felt that the recent additions to the Mortal Kombat titles have been different form the original concept of the series, the new games just felt too different than the earlier games that got me into the series. With this new addition of MK vs DC I feel that the gameplay has gone back to what it was somewhat. Sure, there are a few new fighting mechanics like
Free-Fall Kombat

Klose Kombat


but they feel apart of the same idea as “test your might” was. In the old games test your might was a clear cut stop in between the endless fights you went though, but now test your might is partly the same, it’s only in the middle of a fight. Whenever your close enough to the edge of a certain stage you can hit/kick/whatever your opponent through the wall and as you buttonmash all four buttons on the controller you smash him through wall after wall racking up the damage. Now your opponent can do the same thing in order to reduce the damage which can be reduced to zero if you don’t work for it or as much as 17% or more.

The other two mechanics actually make a big difference in a fight, especially the free-fall kombat. I have been on the losing end of a fight (online) a few times where a free-fall kombat was the thing I needed to swing the round in my favor. The free-fall kombat and klose kombat features are both pretty random in nature, you press one of the four face buttons and your opponent tries to guess which button you press and match that button press. If you match the button pressed you either switch places in free-fall combat and become the attacker or you counter an attack with your own in klose kombat and end it early while doing some damage in return.

A big part of the story mode is something called “The Rage,” which also is a new component in the actual game. After you’ve beat someone up enough or taken enough damage your rage meter builds up. There are two bars that need to be full in order to trigger rage mode.

Rage mode lets you fight without being stunned, some of your attacks break through blocks, and all of your attacks do more damage. I’ve found the best way to deal with someone in rage mode is to…..you guessed it…run away! When the person can really decimate you in rage mode you just need to dodge/jump/run away and soon enough the rage meter will have worn out and you can get back to the action without the threat of getting beat to a bloody pulp in a split second. But you can also choose to use one of the two bars you filled up as a combo breaker, basically when someone is just demolishing you with a 10-hit combo you can, at anytime, break the combo up by punching the other person back in the middle of their combo using one bar or half of the rage meter and save yourself a massive loss of health.

There are also pro-moves which I wrote about earlier.

The roster includes a decent amount of people from both universes totaling 22 fighters evenly split from both sides.

The MAJOR downside is there are only 2 unlockable characters, considering this is a Mortal Kombat game I expected more characters to be available. There is the possibility of downloadable content/characters which could add some more playability to the game. The characters that they did put in the game are definitely polished and you can tell there has been a lot of work done on them. Which speaking of the characters they look awesome(well most of them anyway)! You can see the fabric of their outfits man! The Unreal 3 engine is pretty sweet, there’s no doubting that.

Now for probably the biggest let down for Mortal Kombat fans…….the lack of real fatalities. I never understood why when your game is known for something, something special and unique, why would you go and mess it up? Now I realize that they wanted a T rating for the game, that’s fine, what I don’t get is the real lack of imagination for some of the fatalities. Take for example: Baraka the guy is a beast and the best thing they can come up with for a fatality is to have him slash someone two times stab them in the gut and throw them over his head to land on the floor behind him. ???? Seriously??? I’ve seen more brutal things on cartoons on T.V. probably for kids who are 7yrs old. Now that’s not to say that some of the others aren’t that bad. One of Superman’s is a pound the other guy into the ground heroic brutality (call it what it is, a fatality) is reminiscent of the old Superman movie.

Now, I’ve played a decent amount of matches online and it’s pretty fun. When you play a ranked match there’s no talking allowed, but for regular player matches there is, which can be cool to talk to someone while your playing it’s like you have a buddy right there playing with you. After you win or lose a player match you can choose to play again or not, it’s up to the both of you. There are also chat rooms where you can challenge someone to fight and they can politely decline or you load into a fight. It’s pretty basic and simple to get into. Playing online has made me seriously think about trying to get a 360 arcade stick controller because the D-pad on the 360 controller can be in-accurate at times. I’m proud to say I have a winning record in ranked matches which is all that matters right?

Over all, if your an MK fan I think you’ll like the throw back to the older style of gameplay with the addition of new mechanics. Most of the core characters are included so you should find someone that suits your style/tastes. For anyone who’s a DC fan I think you’ll love the game even more, this game is a great comic book game in my opinion. There is a decent spread of characters from the DC universe and they all have moves that are specific to that character which makes each character unique. So for anyone interested in the idea of being Scorpion harpooning Superman in the chest or Batman opening up a can-o-you-know-what on Sub-Zero then this is definitely the game to pick up. Absolutely a must buy for any fan.

(Plus Midway could use the $)

Comments

  1. Looks like some fun can’t wait to play it. 🙂

  2. No fatalities is a bummer. Can Scorpion at least toast someone to a crisp?

  3. Great post!

  4. @ Tony – Yep, Scorpion burns um to a crisp as always. The burned texture looks like the picture in the post with Lex toasting Scorpion.

    @ Bobster – Thank you very much.

    Hopefully this review let’s everyone know that this a good game, best ever no, but still worthy of attention.

  5. Likely they did not have fatalities thanks to DC Comics. They like to keep their licensing veto powers well-exercised.

  6. @ Zack Hiwiller – I agree. I can understand not wanting to have their characters (Batman and Superman to name a few) do something completely against what they would do in the comics like… killing someone. It makes sense. But some of the fatalities/brutalities were just lacking in imagination.

  7. reptile fan says:

    I was wondering why reptile wasnt in the game

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  1. […] single-player’s story mode is very similar to the most recent Mortal Kombat or DC vs Mortal Kombat AKA – the first Injustice […]

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