Saturday, May 9, 2009

New School Review: Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe

Mortal Kombat decided to pull a page out of Street Fighterʼs book in this game, and pit its recognizable fighters against even more recognizable comic book heroes. Street Fighter has already used Marvel Universe, so the obvious twice for the Mortal Kombat franchise was DC Universe, the home of both Superman and Batman.

The game features all of your favorite Mortal Kombat characters (even the ones that I thought were deceased after Deadly Alliance) as well as many of the most popular characters from the DC comic books. But is it a worthwhile game? Does it stand up to all of the other games in the Mortal Kombat franchise? In some ways. In others, Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe seems to have made some incredibly poor choices that seriously hampered its gameplay.

The Good:


The graphics arenʼt the best youʼll find for todayʼs fighters, but they are perfectly competent, and fit really well into the style of the Mortal Kombat Universe.

Parts of the Gameplay

The rage counter bars were a really well thought out part of this game, and added a level of strategy. You could either save up until you were able to go into Rage mode, which made you a lot more difficult to block, or you could use a single full bar in order to counter an enemyʼs attack. You have to pick right, because if you choose wrong you could find yourself flat on your back, or worse yet, on the receiving end of a Fatality. Secondly, close fighting worked really well for me because that is the way sometimes fighting would work. Getting in close to punish your enemy. The ability to change who was getting hit by pressing the right button gave you just enough control to be able to turn this part of the fight around to your advantage.


For those of us desperately waiting for the release of Batman Arkham Asylum (and I assume thatʼs all of us), Mortal Kombat Vs, DC Universe gives us the chance to take control of the Big Bat, and take out not only the Joker, but Catwoman, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero.

Story Mode:

The Story Mode did a pretty good job of explaining how these two universes met each other, and how each side handled the collision of the world. Further, it did a great job of explaining how it made sense that Batman could be taking on Superman, or how Joker could possibly beat Green Lantern of the Flash in the best of three rounds. Unfortunately, this mode got a little repetitive because it was always just a matter of beating your next opponent. There were never other more interesting types of challenges, nor could you ever choose which character you would use for any of those challenges.


Fatalities have always been what sets Mortal Kombat apart from other games, and like previous games this give Mortal Kombat a bit of an edge over other fighters. Yeah, itʼs fun to knock out your opponent, but itʼs a lot more fun to deep freeze your opponent and then shatter his or her body into a bunch of fragmented little pieces.

The Bad:

Limited Number of Unlockables:

Unlike Deadly Alliance, which was my favorite Mortal Kombat game of all time, there were only two characters that you could unlock in the game. Further, you could only unlock endings for each of the characters in the game. I wanted to be able to unlock so much more: like different suits, styles, extra endings, more characters. The way it worked in Deadly Alliance was really well thought out, and I wish that Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe had done the something similar.


Something just doesnʼt sit right with me about being able to play Superman, and getting beaten by Catwoman or the Joker. The Story Mode helped to explain this a little, but still I didnʼt buy it. Superman would have been better served as a character at the end, whom you had to try and beat, rather than as a playable character, but I suppose fans would have rebelled if Midway had tried to pull that off.

Some of the Gameplay

Parts of the gameplay in this game just didnʼt work. One of the prime examples of this was in the air fighting. You could pummel your enemy, and then he could flip you at the last minute, and you would receive all of the damage! This is like saying that those hits you landed didnʼt even hurt. Midway could have fixed this very easily by splitting the damages depending on who got flipped, and when, but they didnʼt, I assume because they got a little lazy. Test your might was also just boring, but it doesnʼt happen as often, and the damage is usually considerably less so I wasnʼt as annoyed by this add on to the game.

Heroic Brutalities:

I understand DC, that you donʼt want to let Midway take your heroes, and make them killers. But, who cares? Itʼs not as if Batman actually does the killing, or Superman for that matter. We would be the killers, and we understand that. We donʼt want to attack with bats, or drive a guy into the ground with these characters. When we win with Superman, we want to rip someoneʼs arms off and beat them to death with them. Thatʼsthe formula that has always worked for Mortal Kombat, and its the formula that should remain, no matter who is on the roster.

No Weapons:

Weapons added a new level of strategy to the Mortal Kombat games, and the lack of them was sorely missed in this game. Again, their absence from the game felt like laziness on Midwayʼs part. Adding weapons would have added a desperately needed extra layer to the gameplay in this game.

Bottom Line:

Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe will be fun on your own for a few days, especially as you play through the story mode, but once you defeat the game with all the characters and both story modes youʼve run out of things to do. Online play, or having a friend or two to join you, will help with this problem, but wonʼt completely solve it, especially if youʼre like me, and youʼre internet connection isnʼt stellar.

Graphics 8/10
Sound 8/10
Gameplay 7/10
Lasting Appeal 6/10
Overall: 7.5

Final Say: Definitely rent this game, but donʼt buy unless youʼre a huge fan of the Mortal Kombat series.

1 comment:

  1. It is by far the best combat game ever, I was waiting for this game for a long time, the fights and the combos are incredible. The day that I bought the game was the same day that my cousin told me to buy some Generic Cialis because he wanted to tested.