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whatshot Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 9.0
Graphics 9.0
Sound 9.0
Value 9.2
Distributor: Red Ant
Classification:
M15+
Review Date:
December 2008
Reviewer:
Andrew Bistak

9.1


Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

It's great to see the Mortal Kombat franchise alive and well on next-generation consoles and best of all, developers Midway have continued to revamp the franchise with improved gameplay and graphics. However, the biggest inclusion or change to the franchise is the introduction of DC Universe characters that include greats such as Batman, Superman and Darkseid.

Features:

  • Choose your kombatant! Kombat forces friends to fight, worlds to collide and unlikely alliances to be forged. Mortal Kombat warriors and DC Universe heroes engage in battle for the first time on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. In the ultimate Elseworlds story, players can now explore what would happen when Sub-Zero faces off against Batman, and much more.

  • Signature Attacks. Each character on the Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe roster will feature character-specific moves to take down opponents in their own signature style. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe will also feature distinct finishing moves, tapping into the true Mortal Kombat experience

  • All-New Fighting Mechanics. For the first time in Mortal Kombat history, players can face off with two all-new fighting mechanics, Freefall Kombat and Klose Kombat. Freefall Kombat allows players to battle in mid-air while falling from one arena into the next. Klose Kombat, a brutal up-close fighting mechanic, gives players the ability to grasp the gritty dark tone through progressive damage that is inflicted on fighters during battle though visible bruises, torn clothing, and more!

  • New single player mode. Players choose their storyline experience beginning with either the Mortal Kombat or DC Universe. The unique storyline intertwines both the Mortal Kombat and DC Universes and characters into an exclusive dynamic fighting adventure

  • The Ultimate Fighting Arenas. Players will face off in various iconic arenas like Metropolis and Gotham City from the DC Universe side and Hell and Graveyard from the Mortal Kombat side, as well as several never-before-seen combo arenas that blend the two universes together!

  • Top Writing Talent. The game’s dark, realistic tone is created through the collaborative partnership of top comics writing team Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray (Countdown. Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters) along with veteran Mortal Kombat team members.

  • Take the battle online. Players will have the ability to choose sides, challenge friends and take the fight online!

For those unaware of the "DC Universe", it's one of America's longest running comic companies who have spawned a variety of the world's most recognizable characters. Thankfully for fans of Mortal Kombat, all the characters of this universe return with their over the top moves and classic one-liners.

What sets this game apart from its predecessors and competitors is the ability to play one of two story modes that include either Mortal Kombat or the DC Universe. Although both stories are linked, you can easily play it again via the other "side" which adds to the overall story of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. When both universes are threatened by an amalgam of both universes' worst entities, it's time for both sides to attempt to put their differences aside as they not only battle for their own universes but also that of their counterparts. I love the rich DC history that Midway have included in the game such as references to the Green Lantern Corps and even the Guardians of the Universe which is pure fanboy.

The game itself is reminiscent of a simpler time, when the Mortal Kombat franchise was at its best and in terms of playability, it's as good as Mortal Kombat 3, however includes a variety of new next-generation console additions. Although you can successfully complete the title as a "button masher", provided you have lowered the difficulty level, to excel, you really need to use the combo attacks or special maneuvers.

Each of the playable characters in the game have their own special combos, whether it's Superman, Sub Zero or Wonder Woman. If you do get stuck with a character's combination, you can pause the game and bring up a move list. Even though it may seem like a button smasher, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is too entertaining to complain, especially the super heroes powers.

Control wise, the game is perfect on the Sony PlayStation 3 controller with the developers ensuring that nothing seems too forced or difficult. The game plays quite fast and you really need quite a good memory to memorize all the maneuvers which is actually an improbability due to the amount of characters at your disposal. The developers have added some mini-maneuvers to assist with the gameplay as you attempt to battle your way to victory. For instance, the "Test Your Might" cutscenes has you or your foe challenging the other as you push them through walls or different areas in order to maximize the damage, whereas your opponent must attempt to "block" these attacks and counter-attack.

The developers have ensured that "Test your might" mini-scene uses both familiar environments from both universes. Whether you're jumping in the air, kicking, using uppercuts or finishing your foes with your of your special maneuvers, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is easily one of the best fighting games available on the PS3 due to the sheer entertainment of the gameplay and both universes flawless integrating. Exhilarating!

Fatalities are still an integral part of the Mortal Kombat universe, however these are not available in the story mode which would of course effect the overall tale. It's great to see DC characters with their signature powers fighting either each other or Mortal Kombat characters and if I could be so bold, this is easily one of the best DC Comic games available as everything is perfectly done.

Although the arcade mode will keep you busy for almost an unlimited amount of time, the story play mode will take around 5 hours to successfully complete (provided you have some breaks). In the story mode, gamers get to play all the main characters of both franchises as they battle their way through a variety of stages, areas and characters in order to uncover the nefarious plot that threatens both the Mortal Kombat universe the DC Universe.

In arcade mode, each of the fighters that you play has a different ending (Not like Tekken, but a brief history on the future of that character) which is great and gives you added incentive to complete the game for all characters. If you want pre-rendered cutscenes, you need to play the story mode which flawless integrates this with the gaming environment.

Graphically, the title is quite impressive on the PS3, although at times, the graphics do seem a little sparse, probably because this is a multi-platform release. The texture details on the characters are quite realistic as are the pre-rendered cutscenes.

All the characters move with a human-like grace, even the Superheroes who have been flawlessly recreated and move quite well with the environment. The backgrounds look a little Spartan, however some of the DC Universe environments are very impressive and when you're in Themscryria or Gotham City, you really know where you are. Needless to say, you need to play this game on high definition TV to thoroughly enjoy it.

The audio of the game is brilliant and all the DC characters have been faithfully voiced who do sound like their comic book counterparts (ala Justice League Unlimited). The world of Mortal Kombat sound great too as do the overtop voice acting of some of the characters but this is what the franchise is all about. The soundtrack is pure Mortal Kombat and suits the genre perfectly.

In conclusion, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is a very impressive fighting game that melds two great franchises into one. For DC fans, this is as close as one will get to playing a real DC Comics game and for lovers of Mortal Kombat, all the class has returned in this latest edition to the franchise. Great graphics, good gameplay and a decent fighting game makes this a must have for lovers of this genre.

Definitely the best fighting game of 2008!

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe line-up

Mortal Kombat

Scorpion
Sub-Zero
Sonya
Jax
Shang Tsung
Liu Kang
Raiden
Kitana
Kano
Baraka
Shao Kahn

DC Universe
Batman
Superman
Catwoman
Green Lantern
The Joker
Shazam
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Deathstroke
Lex Luthor
Darkseid





 

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