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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Midway Games
Developed By: Midway Amusement Games
Genre: Fighting
Players: 1-2
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: November 16, 2008
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty






The creative minds over at Midway have always envisioned making their Mortal Kombat franchise appealable to all audiences, while at the same time not selling out to its hardcore supporters. Capcom was able to pull it off successfully with the Marvel vs. Capcom series of titles, which graced both consoles and arcades alike. With Midway, they opted to bring the worlds of Mortal Kombat and the DC together in an all out slugfest. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is Midway Games attempt at expanding their franchise to a broader audience, while still giving hardcore fans what they long for, total annihilation of ones opponents.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe features 22 fighters, both from the Mortal Kombat universe and the DC universe. Unlike previous Mortal Kombat games where itís good versus evil, within MK vs. DCU itís all about good and evil teaming up in order to protect their very existence. While most would look at this title as a gimmick Midway is doing to capitalize off of the DC licensing, there is actually more to the title than meets the eye. There are several new combat features utilized with this title including Klose Kombat, Free-Fall Kombat, Test Your Might and Rage Mode. While each of the 22 fighters have their own distinct fighting style and special moves, these gameplay enhancement add an additional touch to the well polished gameplay mechanics.



To initiate Klose Kombat, simply tap the L1 button. If pulled off successfully, your player will grab their opponent and pull them in close for some intense hand-to-hand combat. When in Klose Kombat, the controllerís face buttons appear on the bottom of the screen for each kombatant. Once this happens, its all up to the opponent to attempt to press the same button as the attacker at the same time in order to avoid taking damage, often times countering his attacks. The next feature on the list is Free Fall Kombat, which allows you to continue to fight your opponent while falling from a cliff. Just like with the Klose Kombat mechanic, once you initiate Free Fall Kombat, itís all about attacking your opponent with random button presses, while your opponent is trying to guess the same button presses in order to reverse and/or counter your attacks. Once you build up an attack meter on the side of the screen, you can perform a special attack by pressing R1, which causes massive damage to your opponent while colliding with the ground.

While Klose Kombat and Free Fall Kombat allowed players to take the action to the next level, Test Your Might allows you to put your opponents through several walls, while inflicting massive damage on your opponent. Test Your Might can be performed on only three levels: the Throne Room, Gotham City and Metropolis. Once this attack is initiated, a damage meter will appear across the top of the screen, showing just how much damage is being inflicted on your opponent. While the attacker is pressing all the face buttons to increase the damage dealt out to his opponent, the same thing is done by the opponent in order to prevent massive amounts of damage from being administered. Finally there is Rage Mode. The driving force of the Story Mode, Rage Mode allows you for a few seconds; administer double the damage on your opponent, while taking little to non yourself. When inflicting damage on your opponents, you build their Rage meter, and vise versa. If you block attacks, you aid in building your own rage meter. When only one bar of the two bars system is filled, it can be utilized as a Kombo Breaker, allowing you to stop your opponent in mid-combo. However, once both bars are filled, simply press L2 and R2 and ďitís on like Donkey Kong.Ē



Within the Story Mode of MK vs. DCU, you have the choice of fighting on the side of DC Universe or the Mortal Kombat Kombatants. If you decide to fight on the side of MK, the story mode starts off with Raiden and Lui Kang. For the DC Universe fighters, you start off with Superman and Darkseid. Unlike typical story modes within fighting games, you are required to utilize several of the different fighters on each team in order to flesh out the story and find out why the two worlds are merging and while everyone has a case of the ďRAGEĒ going on. I nice feature about this mode is that there are no loading screens at all. In between each battle, there is a story-based cutscene filling you in with bits and pieces of the overall story. The only drawback to this mode is you loose the ability to perform Brutalities and Fatalities on your opponents.

From a visual perspective, both the Xbox 360 versions and the Playstation 3 versions look practically identical. All the character models are highly detailed and move with some fluidity. The battlefields are immersive and partly destructible, allowing players to be put through destructible walls or free fall from one level to another. Special effects are pulled off rather well, whether it is ice effects, electricity, fire, etc. Overall, very solid visuals on Midwayís part. The only drawback that comes to the visuals is the character fighting motions, which seem a bit clunky with characterís swinging and kicking in odd motions. Is this due to the limited knowledge of the Unreal Engine, which Midway has gone on the record about, or was it simply a choice in style of hand-to-hand combat.



Beyond the relatively six hour story mode, the only mode that will flesh out a lot of gameplay value would be the Kombat Challenge Mode, Extras Mode and Online Mode. Within the Kombat Challenge Mode, players are allowed to test their skills by performing several different complex combos designed by the developers. While it can be frustrating at times, once you have mastered these combos, they will aid you in battling opponents online. Within the Extras Menu option, you are able to look at the biographies for all the players within the game. You are also able to see the ending cutscenes that you unlock once you complete the game within the Arcade mode.

With the Online mode, you can do battle with any of the 22 characters against people on your friendís list or random players across the internet. If you decide to join a room, there are five different ones to choose from. There is a Gotham City, Metropolis, Netherealm, Outworld and Rank rooms. If those are full, or if you want to create your own rooms to compete with your friends, you have the feature as well. Your wins and looses are tracked against your friends on your friends-list and other players around the world. In regards to the actual online mode, itís rather stable with solid framerates across both the Playstation Network and Xbox Live. I will admit there was a match here and there where the framerate suffered a bit, but it wasnít enough to cause you to loose a battle, or even be disconnected from the battle.



Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe isnít the fighting title that will make gamers drop whatever they are playing in order to pick up and play this title, but it certainly does pack more of a punch than most titles. Though plagued with a few issues due to the Unreal Engine, the game still boasts solid visuals, an interesting story and diverse roster of fighter. While many may be hesitant to go out and buy this title, I recommend that you pck up this title and prepare to do battle with some of the hotest characters from the DC and Mortal Kombat rosters. You will be surprised by how much you enjoy the experience.

7.5/10


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