We Got Game: Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe Review
Before there was GTA, parents of video gamers united against one game: Mortal Kombat. It was bloody, violent and infectious. The first game you could see the blood flying off your victim and yourself. The first game that included the graphic “Fatality” in which you did the right combo, you could pull out your victims skeleton, burn them to a crisp, blow them up with blood and guts against the wall, and well you get the picture. In other words, righteous fun.
Soon Mortal Kombat became rote to Tekken, Dead or Alive, Soulcalibur and then came Grand Theft Auto which flipped the script. All the while, MK would take a backseat and Midway would wait to show once again why their brand was one of the most dominant in the business. Then they found a strange bedfellow in one of the most established companies in comics today, DC Comics. What birthed was Midway’s first Mortal Kombat next-gen game, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe.
More after the jump.
For all MK fans, do not despair. It looks the same, it feels the same and it’s still as bloody as ever. You still need to learn the combos and you can still chain a a vicious 10 hit combo and your opponent will wobble while you giggle with glee with what you’re going to do to them. Most of all, fatalities are still present. Even though, after all this time, Midway is finally having some out and out pure fun with them. Every character has two fatalities except the DC heroes (they are heroes after all) and they have two heroic brutalities. While I hear the MK faithful screaming “foul!” in the background, again do not despair. The brutalities are sometimes more fun and lethal than the fatalities.
Senior developer, Ed Boon, should be praised because the graphics are incredible. Still look like MK but with even more definition and the wounds show up on both combatants. Superman’s tattered uniform and bloodied face after a battle with Scorpion is all you need to know. And MK fans, you should know the upgrades to the game not only fit perfectly, they are fun to execute. Klose Kombat is when you pull in your foe and the camera gets in close to witness the carnage you inflict. A series of four buttons at your discretion can cause major damage, but be warned, if your opponent guesses right, they block and dish out a lethal dose of punishment on you.
The blocking in MK has always been a source of contention but this time they got it perfect. There are still unblockable moves but the fun part is “Rage” mode. When your “rage” meter is full, you can go into rage mode. You can still take regular damage but everything you throw is unblockable. And the throw technique takes on new life with two new additions, “Test Your Might” and “Kombat Freefall”. Kombat Freefall is when you launch your opponent out of the initial arena to a new one and still attack on the way down. Like Klose Kombat, if your opponent matches your button mash, they flip you around and start dealing out their own punishment. Test Your Might is fun also. You throw your opponent into the wall and then bumrush them through a series of walls while you button mash all four action buttons repeatidily to see how much damage you can inflict. When playing against someone they can mash back to limit the damage. I’ll pick up more on that in a while.
You have story mode, arcade mode, practice and kombo challenge. Each mode has a significance. Story mode can be played on both sides and you get a bonus upon completion – unlocking characters. Darkseid for the DCU and Shao Khan for the MK faithful. Kombo Challenge makes you follow a string of combos, each more difficult than the first. Practice is practice and arcade is of course, eight random foes (you can choose from only MK or DCU foes or a mix of both) and then you unlock the ending for that specfic character. It’s here you can perform your fatalities, brutalities, combos, etc. It doesn’t hurt that both PS3 and X-Box gives out their versions of trophies upon completion of certain tasks.
Now MK vs DCU isn’t perfect. The story is cute but long. You can’t opt out of the cutscenes. You don’t have a choice of who to use in the story mode (you have to use eight characters and the last is either Raiden or Superman). Of course, some characters are more top-heavy than others. Superman is a gimmie and will become an instant fan fave with all his powers. Personally, I like Captain Marvel and the Joker because of their combo and powers. Wonder Woman is a combo queen She can string a twenty hit combo on you before you know what happened. The good thing about story mode is that you get to master a couple of players in relatively short time. Each character has a chapter and then around three to four battles, with each battle more intense than the last. It’s almost like a tutorial and practice to get you up to speed for the arcade mode.
Not only can you go mano a mano against your buddy, but now you can do it online as well. You and a random person can match up and go to war. Just beware of “cheesers” – those you rely on the same move over and over. Here’s where your blocking works because if you block at the right time, you can reverse the tide and go on offense because you parry a blow. While each character has both close and long range attacks, some prefer one to another. It’s up to you to choose how you deal with them. Also, the realism kicks in when your fighting certain characters. Superman, Raiden, Jax, Captain Marvel, Sonya Blade are more straight ahead bruisers, while Batman, Deathstroke, Liu Kang, and Shang Tsung are more martial arts fighters and will move differently. Fighters tend to circle while bruisers lean towards fighting you straight up.
Midway has scored huge with Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. Stop reading this and go get your fight club on. Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe is available for Playstation 3, Playstation 2 and XBox 360.