Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe Xbox 360
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Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe Product Details
Released on 21/11/2008
For the first time ever Scorpion, Sub-Zero and the Mortal Kombat warriors battle with Batman, Superman and other popular DC Universe Super Heroes. Choose your side and challenge your opponents with a new fighting system including Freefall Kombat and Klose Kombat along with dynamic multi-tiered environments. Plus, pick your favorite character from MK or DCU and pursue a fighting adventure in the new single player mode with an intertwined storyline and two unique perspectives.
Round 1 - Storied Reputation
Fighting games like Tekken and SoulCalibur have enjoyed an unprecedented resurgence over the last two years. But before Mitsurugi's katana skills and Paul Phoenix's extreme hairstyle came into style, old-school gamers were playing The Way of the Exploding Fist and Yie Ar Kung-Fu on their humble ZX Spectrums and Commodore 64s. These early fighters - which were inspired by martial-arts films - then paved the way for the most important fighting game of all time.
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior kick-started the golden era of fighting games in the early nineties. It achieved this with a cast of eight international fighters and an epic (and allegedly accidental) combo system. Street Fighter then matured into a globally adored series and inspired everything from Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct to Virtua Fighter and Dead or Alive. But when the genre fell into decline in the years following the turn of the millennium, it seemed like the honeymoon period was finally over.
Round 2 - Re-enter the Dragon Punch
This all changed when Capcom pulled the pin on a grenade labelled Street Fighter IV in 2008 - because not only did the ensuing explosion revive the genre in spectacular style, it made it the strongest it's ever been. SFIV kept all the iconic characters and special moves from Street Fighter II, and by reworking the classic 2D controls with the new Focus and Ultra systems, it offered accessibility and depth in equal measure. But while Street Fighter IV set the benchmark, its 2010 follow-up, Super Street Fighter IV, smoothed out the kinks and offered unrivalled diversity.
SSFIV could have been a lazy update. Instead it offered ten new faces and a choice of two Ultra Combos. This allowed each fighter to be played in two distinct styles. But Super isn't the end of the story, as it was ported onto Nintendo 3DS as Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, and on June 7th, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition will be released. The inclusion of Yun, Yang, Evil Ryu and Oni will bring the roster up to 39, making Arcade Edition the definitive Street Fighter.
Round 3 - The New (and Old) Challengers
Street Fighter IV was the game that led the charge, and in its wake, other fighting games followed. A particular highlight was BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger in 2009. This beautiful 2D fighter was the spiritual successor to the intense Guilty Gear series, and much like its eccentric forbearer, BlazBlue was brimming with innovation. It featured a rapid tempo and an ingenuous Drive system which made each fighter unique. Then, when BlazBlue: Continuum Shift tightened up the gameplay in 2010, BlazBlue established itself as the hardcore fighter of choice. An accomplished port of Calamity Trigger is also available for the PSP.
But the award for “most accessible fighting game” goes to the long running Vs. Series. This Capcom-developed series began in 1996 with X-Men vs. Street Fighter. After a long hiatus, it returned to Europe last year with Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars on the Wii. But while Tatsunoko is massively popular in Japan, it only has a niche following in the West. So when Marvel vs. Capcom 3 launched earlier this year with its familiar cast of celestial wolves, bionic commandos, thunder gods and less-than-jolly green giants, it stole the show in style. Its rabid tag-team combat and X-Factor system also allowed for many astonishing combos.
Round 4 - Fatal Fantasy
Another classic that made a comeback this year is Mortal Kombat. This brutal fighter was on a slippery slope after switching haphazardly to 3D, but with a series reboot having just been released on the 360 and PS3, Mortal Kombat is back in the realm of 2D gameplay where it belongs. We get the classic Raiden torpedo dive and Liu Kang bicycle kick, as well as a new super gauge that allows for gory X-Ray attacks. But Mortal Kombat's crowning achievement is the variety of content it offers, because even after finishing the seven-hour Story Mode, a Tower of 300 challenges awaits.
If a fully fledged narrative isn't surreal enough, how about a PSP fighting game based on Final Fantasy? Dissidia Final Fantasy is a 3D fighter that brought together the heroes and villains from Final Fantasy I through to Final Fantasy X. This allowed RPG fans to fight battles between Sephiroth and Squall using a unique combat system that centred on HP and Bravery attacks. The recent sequel, Dissidia 012 Duodecim Final Fantasy, included more characters - including Tifa and Yuna from Final Fantasy VII and X - as well as a significantly expanded single-player mode.
Round 5 - Fight for the Future
When you add all these excellent games to the likes of Tekken 6, The King of Fighters XII, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny, it's clear that fighting game fans are being spoilt for choice. But what's next for the genre?
In the coming months we'll see the release of Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus on the Wii and PSP (May 6th), the manga-inspired Arcana Heart 3 on the PS3 and 360 (June 24th) and Dead or Alive Dimensions joining Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition on the new Nintendo 3DS (May 20th).
After that, we have the Capcom-developed Street Fighter X Tekken to look forward to next year, as well as the long awaited Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and the Namco Bandai-developed Tekken X Street Fighter. All in all, there's never been a better time to own an arcade stick!
NetherRealm Studios creative director and series creator Ed Boon told the official PlayStation Blog that the PS Vita version of Mortal Kombat will retain all of the content seen in the PlayStation 3 edition, including its downloadable characters.
New to the handheld version will be an additional Challenge Tower with 150 exclusive challenges, including stages that specifically take advantage of PS Vita's unique hardware.
For example, in some levels players can tilt their PS Vita to affect gravity, while throughout the game they will be able to execute gruesome Fatality moves using swipes on the touchscreen.
Mr Boon confirmed that the new game will include a full online multiplayer mode and will run at the same speed as its home console brethren.
The Mortal Kombat series is to make a dramatic return to the big screen in 2013, courtesy of Warner Bros and New Line.
A new feature film based on the popular fighting game franchise has been put into production in the wake of the barnstorming success of this year's Mortal Kombat reboot for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Filmmaker Kevin Tancharoen has signed up to helm the new movie, having proven his chops by creating the recent Mortal Kombat: Legacy, a lavish nine-part web series that proved a big hit with fans earlier this year.
This series was commissioned on the back of a short film made by Tancharoen called Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, which was designed specifically to sell the concept of a gritty new Mortal Kombat film to Warner Bros.
Mortal Kombat previously hit the big screen in 1995 courtesy of director Paul WS Anderson, with the sequel Mortal Kombat: Annihilation following in 1997.
Having gone on the back-burner for much of the last decade, the franchise is now healthier than ever, with NetherRealm Studios' 2011 Mortal Kombat game selling more than three million copies amid glowing reviews.
I kan't believe it's not awful!
We've seen some curious crossovers in the fighting genre over the years, from cartoony Marvel heroes battling classic Capcom characters to the recent appearance of Yoda and Darth Vader in ye olde Duel 'Em Up Soul Calibur IV. But this one takes the title for the most unusual.
And yet, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe somehow works. It's all about as silly as a Seth Rogen film of course (actually, in many ways it far surpasses Pineapple Express for narrative sense and emotional involvement – but nay, we digress), but what you basically need to know is that, by some unholy act of fate (not to mention commercial licensing), the MK and DC universe's have collided, creating a balance between the powers of each faction that enables them to square off and decide who's really got the right to wear the tightest fitting pants... or something.
Ironically, by being less over-the-top and more lifelike, Fatalities are actually more disturbing.
So, in case you were wondering (we know we were) that's how Kano can face Superman and not get battered to Smallville and back. Makes perfect sense to us! [Errr, it does? – Ed]. Especially when the fighting itself is so much fun.
MK fans will be right at home in Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, with its chunky characters and over-the-top violence. It lacks the multiple fighting styles of Armageddon, so no switching between unarmed martial arts and weapons – but, it's still typical Mortal Kombat, with fan favourites like Lui Kang and Shang Tsung, trademark moves like Scorpion's 'Get over here!' spear, and of the course those renowned Fatalities.
Finish Him... or not.
Except, they're not how we remember 'em. Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe has toned down the gore, from anime-style limb removals and blood-gushing beheadings to less elaborate stabbings, impalings, neck snaps, squashings and, probably the most graphic, foes being fried or burnt alive. Ironically though, by being less over-the-top and more lifelike, Fatalities are actually more disturbing.
Meanwhile, Superman, The Green Lantern and co. boast Heroic Brutalities instead that see them batter their opponents into unconsciousness. It may not sound particularly MK-esque, but it's a good decision. Showing Batman cutting someone's head off just wouldn't be true to the character. That said, The Joker and co. all feature more gruesome finishers guaranteed to make fans wince. Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe definitely deserves that 15 rating.
The way it ties the two licenses together, the dialogue, and the scenarios it produces, are all so delightfully daft that you can't help but smile.
It's still Mortal Kombat, then – just, not quite the way it used to be. To that end, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe's also introduces mid-bout minigames. Air Kombat has fighters tumbling to an arena below, frantically hammering a button to ensure they aren't the one that gets landed on. Test Your Might has you bashing all four fascia buttons to do as much damage as possible as your character pelts through a wall carrying your opponent. And Klose Kombat sees you grab an opponent and pummel them – unless they time a button press right, dodge, and counter attack.
Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe presents Arcade and Kombo training modes, but it's the Story that proves most rewarding. It's really not deep, epic RPG-quality stuff, but the way it ties the two licenses together, the dialogue, and the scenarios it produces (battling in the Batcave is too cool for words) are all so delightfully daft that you can't help but smile.
Sub Zero vs Batman!!
The 'just one more fight' factor is also truly staggering. There'll be times where you're intending to put the game down, only to get a matchup that you can't bear to turn off. Scorpion vs Superman? Sub Zero vs Batman? Sonya vs Catwoman? For former kids of the 90s, every fight will be a geeky wet dream come to life. It's every bit as thrilling online too – where some imbalanced abilities across the roster are, on the whole, made up for by almost flawlessly lag-free net code.
Of course, next to some of its fighting competition, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe can't quite compete. It's not as fluid as Soul Calibur, as sophisticated as Virtua Fighter or as balanced as Street Fighter (and don't even get us started on the lack of precision in the Xbox D-pad!). But then, Mortal Kombat has always been more tongue-in-cheek than its rivals. This may not be one for the fighting hardcore then, but everyone else should enjoy its caricature, fast-paced novelty fighting fun.
- Fast, fun, chunky special move filled fighting that MK fans will know and love.
- Some of the coolest matchups in fighting game land and a story mode that's so daft it's brilliant.
- Near flawless online fighting.
- Not the most fluid, sophisticated or balanced fighter around by any means.
- Downplayed Fatalities will not please some hardcore MK fans.
- The Xbox d-pad is so rubbish you'll stuggle to pull off your special moves (not really a problem on PS3).
The Beat 'Em Up Resurgence (01/04/2012)
In the years following the turn of the millennium, it seemed like the honeymoon period for fighting games was finally over. But Tekken, SoulCalibur, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat have all come back…
PS Vita-exclusive features for Mortal… (23/01/2012)
Mortal Kombat fans have been provided with the first details of some of the exclusive new features that will be included in the forthcoming PlayStation Vita edition.…
New Mortal Kombat feature film announced (03/10/2011)
The Mortal Kombat series is to make a dramatic return to the big screen in 2013, courtesy of Warner Bros and New Line.…
Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe Review (27/11/2008)
I kan't believe it's not awful!
We've seen some curious crossovers in the fighting genre over the year…
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