MK vs DC Review:
2 worlds collide for the better!
©2008 Arthur Kotsopoulos:
It’s brutal, violent and still holds that MK charisma
Well its been a long wait for the first next-gen Mortal Kombat (MK) game, and for many fans like myself the announcement of MK vs DC Universe was something of a surprise and shock. Our beloved MK characters battling the heroes and villains of DC? What did this mean for the brutal+violent Mortal Kombat?
It meant a more toned down version of what we had come to love over the past decade. Less graphic/gory fatalities by every MK character and the inclusion of a proper, more believable storyline.
Many thought at first that it wouldn’t work, that it was “doomed to fail” and so on. Though Midway have ensured that it may be less graphic and violent, it still possesses that quirky charisma and corny voice acting, the staple of every MK game.
Jax is still the macho metal arm swinging enforcer, Sub-Zero and Scorpion still have their quarrels to settle and so on, and while the fatalities are more toned down, certain character moves are still funny, eg: Liu Kangs fatality consists of a MK Arcade machine falling on his opponent.
With all this change and new direction you need to ask yourself, how do the Game play, graphics and controls pan out? Like almost every second game to grace the 360, MK vs DC uses the Unreal 3 Engine to produce what I have to say is one of the best games to utilise the engine.
Many other games that use Unreal Engine 3 suffer from texture pop in and cases of frame rate drops, yet with MK vs DC everything is stellar.
Now while it does not come close to Soul Calibur 4 in graphics it most definitely holds its own. Characters from both universes are modelled to perfection, from Batman’s utility belt to the Joker’s smile.
On top of just creating the character they have added personality to them which makes this game all the more enjoyable to play. So with the inclusion of some personality to each character, the story mode has been specifically crafted around both sets of fighters to create flow and easy transitions. Both story lines feature an almost identical premise, major bad guy gets owned.
In the MK storyline Shao Kahn gets lightning blasted by Raiden while he tries to escape in his portal, switch to DC and swap around Raiden for Superman, Shao Kahn for Darkseid and lightning with laser. Sure it’s simple but it serves its purpose for the game. After these strange occurrences the Mk characters magically swap places with the DC characters, with their eyes starting to glow yellow and so on.
Both story lines consist of around 9 chapters which give you the chance to basically fight with almost every character in the roster and get a feel for how they fight. What I must commemorate Midway on is the transition from character to character during both story lines, it easily flows between each character universe.
It’s not a stellar Oscar winning storyline but then again this is a fighting game so the focus is on the fighting more than story, and Midway don’t disappoint. Gone are each characters 3 different fighting styles and back is the easy 1 style fits all, so every character has their own pros and cons.
Jax, while being strong is slow at close combat, Liu Kang is the all round easy to use fighter with good close/long range attacks, while The Flash excels at close range but does less than normal damage. This is where that level of strategy comes in that makes the game work well.
For the hardcore MK fan it will still be a challenge to dish out combos and master the game but for the new gamers to the series it will be easy to pick up yet still provide a challenge. What amazes me the most is how easy the fighting works as a whole.
You can dish out all the brute strength you want but in the end your opponent will always find a way to counter and win. So as you bust through story mode, make sure you utilise each characters potential. Try different things, different strategies as when you take yourself online you will experience who works best against who.
Mk vs DC’s online lobby is so simple to use, enter the menu for Xbox Live, join a room and then your set. Challenge any person you please in the room you join and off you go, engaging in a fight till the death. Everything works well and is easy to navigate, but the only and biggest problem is connectivity. If like myself you are from Australia then versing an opponent from America or anywhere else, it is going to lag badly.
Which is why you need to either have gamers on your friend list that have the game or frequent forums to gather Aussie players. If not then don’t expect many fights on MK vs DC online as all the hard work and strategy gets ruined by the latency problems. Other than this problem there is nothing to be worried about as you will find players to verse fairly regularly.
So while fighting online can be a bit of a nuisance nothing is taken away from the experience to be had with the new Mortal Kombat game. It plays well, characters are exactly like their comic counter parts, fighting has been simplified yet still provides a challenge. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to buy this game just for The Joker and Batman? Seeing them go at it head to head is worth the $120 it costs, ok well maybe that’s a bit to extreme…
Regardless of the excessive RRP, there is a lot of fun to be had with MK vs DC, Midway have outdone themselves and brought the MK universe to the era of next-gen gaming, so for that I applaud them for going in a new direction yet still maintaining what MK is all about, the fighting.
©2008 Arthur Kotsopoulos:
Mortal Kombat V’s DC Universe Media Blowout:
Filed under: 3rd Party Games, Console gaming, Events, Microsoft Games, New Game Information, Press Release, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 Game Reviews, Xbox 360 News Tagged: | "The Jocker", DC Universe, Flash, Green Lantern, Jax, Lis Kang, MK V's DC, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat V's DC Universe, Raiden, Scorpion, Shao Kahn, Sould Calibur 4, Sub-Zero, Superman, Wonder Woman