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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Fighting

 

Publisher

Midway

 

Developer

Midway

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

November 16, 2008

 

 

- Enjoyed playing as some of the DC universe characters for the 1st time.

- 22 selectable characters;11 from each universe

 

 

- Balanced characters would have been nice – not equal powered, BALANCED!

- Some of the surroundings are just lame – who knew Oa had a ticker board?

- No blood? Why call it Mortal Kombat?

 

 

Review: Soul Calibur IV (360)

Review: TNA Impact! (360)

Review: Dead or Alive 4 (360)

 

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Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

Those amongst us who have been faithfully playing the Mortal Kombat series are used to the absurd story updates that we get every generation of an MK game. The story writers kept in that vein to explain the power balancing of the DC heroes and villains. Really now, does anyone believe that the Joker could do anything in a fist fight not involving the spitting up of teeth?

 

mortal kombat vs dc universe          mortal kombat vs dc universe

 

The primary 10 Kombat characters are the usual suspects: Shang Tsung, Liu Kang, Scorpion, Sub Zero, Raiden, Kano, Jax, Sonya, Kitana, and Baraka (no relation to the President-elect); whereas the DC Universe brings a group that will bring some arguments over those left behind – Superman, Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman,

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Green Lantern, and Captain Marvel for the heroes, Lex Luthor (in his ‘70’s power-armor), Catwoman, Deathstroke, and Joker for the villains. After spending all this time power-balancing everyone they could have just brought in villains NOT from the Rogue’s Gallery – Lobo, Parallax, Solomon Grundy, Doomsday or about another dozen or so villains more interesting.

 

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Anywho, those interested in the plot can play “story mode”.  You can choose to follow the  perspective of either of the two factions as the universes are combined – in the end, the two universes figure out that they should work together to defeat Dark Khan - the combination of Shao Khan and Darkseid (because a bear with a gun is scarier than just a regular bear). For completing the game for a faction, you unlock an extra character, so assuming your spirit is still strong you can go back and get the other one. Otherwise the plot has been beaten to death, you now can either play Kombat alone or do what you’re supposed to do with a fighting game – kick the crap out of your friends.

 

The control system hasn’t changed from earlier incarnations – a pseudo 3-D world, technically a 2-D setup with the ability to sidestep; one quick adjustment and you’re lined up again. Beginners hammer on keys until something cool happens, Intermediates rely on power moves, Advanced players chain power moves, and experts will leave you a desiccated corpse if you miss your block.

 

The DC characters quickly separate into their own group of nasty – Batman, Superman, and Captain Marvel are vicious in the right hands but the use of Wonder Woman should be classified as a war crime in friendly games – an experienced user will quickly leave his opponents throwing their controllers in fury. Not because they are any more damaging, they just take twice as long to finish their animations and they all are easily chainable. Besides the usual moves and exchanges that we’ve come to know, a new grappling sequence has been included – when started, the person who initiated can pile damage on the enemy, but the enemy can counter for significant damage themselves. How is this done you ask, a button pressing mini-game (insert eye-roll).

 

mortal kombat vs dc universe          mortal kombat vs dc universe

 

Battle arenas have a few interesting transitions available – some levels have lower areas and to transition to them, the characters fight for position in free fall until getting the chance to slam the opposition unceremoniously into the ground. Others have breakable transitions which become the test for might challenges where proficiency at button slamming can either increase or reduce the damage taken. The arenas themselves are a mixed bag – some look decent, some wretched. When I saw that the Green Lantern home of Oa has a ticker board saying “Welcome Green Lanterns!” I asked my opponent if we could choose a different level due to my extreme disgust at such a stupid idea.

 

The game graphics are alright, certainly not as polished as other fighting games this generation and definitely not a challenger against the Soul Calibur series. It bears to mention that the T-rating was achieved by removing much of the blood and gore present from preceding games. (I don’t recall a swath of frozen bisecting after earlier games, but then again the DC universe probably wouldn’t be happy with their pre-eminent characters being horribly mutilated.) In game sounds are ok, character dialogue – bleh. How many DC universe cartoons have there been? Choose one set of voice actors. Bam, done. Will this be a game that gets played very often in my collection? Possibly when the larger groups come over and a fighting tourney or ladder gets started, otherwise, can’t say I have any desire to continue slogging through the single player missions again.

 

- Tazman

(January 5, 2009)

 

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