June is the month to get your business organised. Enter today.
Midway Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
Check your brain at the door and you'll enjoy this campy, ludicrously over-the-top fighter.
- Feels like a true Mortal Kombat game, Freefall and Klose Kombat bring variety, low learning curve, online mode has little lag
- No alternate character costumes, uneven visuals (particularly environments), some infinite combos and imbalances, gore is somewhat toned down
Though far from a technical fighting game, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe exceeds expectations by delivering a solidly enjoyable casual fighter. The Mature-rated gore is missed, but the core combat here feels more confident and energetic than it has in years.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
There are several ways to judge a game like Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. One way is to compare it to top-tier, tournament-grade fighting games such as Soul Calibur IV, Tekken 5, and Virtua Fighter 5. The problem is that Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is miles away from a technical fighter — it's not even remotely trying to compete with those games. To judge Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe on its technical merits is to miss the point entirely, as this is a fighting game designed to be played by a broader, more casual audience. Taken in this context, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is largely a success.
When Worlds Collide
The storyline is laughable, yet retains a campy, bumbling charm that can be hypnotic. In the opening cinema, a battle between Superman and Darkseid triggers a kind of "resonance cascade" scenario in which several dimensions begin to collide, with predictable brand-crossover results. Now warriors from the Mortal Kombat universe, including ninjas Scorpion and Sub-Zero, are prowling the streets of Gotham City and Metropolis looking for trouble. Making matters worse is that the DC and MK heroes are being possessed by "Rage," a mysterious affliction tied to the merging of the two worlds, which makes them uncontrollably attack friend and foe alike.
The Story Mode is a minor innovation in that it enables you to play from the perspective of either the Mortal Kombat or DC characters as they attempt to set their universes straight. And while the plot and dialogue are ludicrous in both storylines, the two distinct perspectives do provide genuine incentive to replay the single-player game -- a rarity in the fighting genre. Voice acting in the cinemas is a hit-and-miss affair, with characters such as The Joker and Batman sounding dead-on, and others sounding just, well, dead. Series villain Shang Tsung has a particularly eye-rolling vocal performance — the graceless voice actor croaks and wheezes his lines like Marcus Fenix after a night of hard drinking. Depending on your sense of humor, you'll either find these moments to be hilarious and endearing, or painful and embarrassing.
Despite the presence of DC Comics characters such as Wonder Woman and The Flash, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is firmly rooted in the gameplay tradition of Mortal Kombat. The fights are a blend of both the old and the new from the MK series, combining the simpler 2D pleasures of the early games (jumpkicks and fireballs galore) with the deeper combos and strategies of the later 3D titles such as Deception and Armageddon. The resulting gameplay feels fast, fluid, and fun, and it's definitely a step in the right direction. It's not the deepest combat system ever, but the barrier to entry is low and you can pick up a character's basic techniques in under a minute. The result is a game that's perfect for parties and lazy Sunday afternoons — you won't have to strain your brain to enjoy this fighter. Perhaps most important of all is that MK vs. DC feels more like Mortal Kombat than the Tekken-ized 3D trilogy that graced the PS2 and Xbox.
MK vs. DC also introduces a few splashy new gameplay wrinkles, and the results are visually impressive but easy to perform. The first is called "Klose Kombat," and it's executed as a special grab move. In Klose Kombat, the camera zooms in tight while the characters pummel each other at close range with headbutts, elbows, and knees. Klose Kombat looks snazzy, nicely showing off the detailed character designs, but it's a gimmick that's easily countered by matching your opponent's timed button presses. "Test Your Might" returns as a mid-match button-tapping frenzy, as you smash your opponent through a series of walls and attempt to inflict maximum damage. Finally, "Freefall Kombat" fares best of all, enabling you to bash your opponent off a cliff and whack away at him in mid-air. It's during moments such as these, with two characters struggling for the upper hand as they soar hundreds of feet through the air, that MK vs. DC shines brightest. Freefall Kombat has some balance issues that crafty players will surely exploit online, but the premise is fresh and exciting, and a natural step forward for this storied series. I hope to see it return for the next Mortal Kombat game.
The Death of Death?
MK vs. DC is the first Mortal Kombat game to carry a toned-down Teen rating, which means that the series' infamously gruesome fatality moves are off limits. But MK vs. DC pushes that Teen rating to its breaking point, and the result is a game that's far from squeaky-clean: Broken necks, blood spurts, and full-body incineration are all present and accounted for. Though many of the new finishing moves -- fatalities for MK characters and DC villains, "heroic brutalities" for DC heroes -- are disappointingly tame, there are a few gems to be found (especially if you pick up the European PS3 version, which has less censorship). None of the finishing moves are nearly as impressive as Sub-Zero's spine rip from the first game, but considering how unremarkable the fatalities were in Deception and Armageddon, the finishers in MK vs. DC come off rather well in comparison. The good news is that Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon recently told me that future MK games will likely return to the bloodier Mature rating. In the meantime, MK vs. DC's cleaned-up presentation is less disappointing than many (myself included) had feared. If you're a more casual fan of the series, you'll barely notice the difference.
It Has Begun
There's no escaping the fact that some longtime fans may be disappointed by the game's new Teen rating and the introduction of DC Comics fighters. This is to be expected. But the ultimate paradox is that by stripping away the signature spine-ripping gore, Mortal Kombat made a surprising discovery: its identity. MK vs. DC isn't the best Mortal Kombat game, not by a country mile, but for the first time in years this series feels relevant and energised. It's silly, it's frivolous, and at times it's downright unbalanced, but it's also unapologetically Mortal Kombat. As long as you keep your expectations firmly in check, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is good, goofy fun.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
- 2 Nokia 8 Sirocco review: A unique flagship that's more of a mutation than a market-leader
- 3 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 4 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Peak performance from a home entertainment heavyweight
- 5 Sony Xperia XA2 review: One last hurrah for OmniBalance
Latest News Articles
- Nvidia to bring Shield TV to Australian market
- Upcoming Overwatch Contenders Finals set for Melbourne Esports Open
- League of Legends to headline Melbourne's first Esports Open
- E3 2018: Every big game announcement and trailer
- Computex 2018: CoolerMaster have new a mouse that can count your kills
PCW Evaluation Team
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
- Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
- Computex 2018: Nvidia launches new AI-focused hardware and software platforms
- Computex 2018: Everything you missed at Asia's biggest tech tradeshow
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?