Release Date: 11/16/2008
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I’m not going to lie when I say Mortal Kombat is my favorite game franchise of all time mainly because it was the first game I ever played when I was 2 years old. I love the gore, the characters, the story, the secrets, and inside stuff that true MK fans know about, but adding DC characters was a bit dicey, but surprisingly works. The game’s story is pretty straightforward with both universes colliding and each side’s main villains turning into one and controlling everyone else through a type of berserk mind control. You can play as various characters in separate story modes, but it’s nothing special.
The Arcade mode is where it’s at with all your favorite MK characters and DC characters such as Batman, Superman, Catwoman, and even Captain Marvel. Each character on the DC side has their signature powers and they are awesome to play as. The game’s combat system is more like it’s rooted in stripping away combat styles, weapons, and complicated combos with just fast-paced fun. The animations are smoother, controls respond better, and the game really packs a punch.
Of course, it’s hard to please both sides of the fence, but the MK side takes a hit with no gore. I guess Midway couldn’t get the DC guys to allow Sub-Zero to rip Superman’s head off so the Fatalities are pretty lame. They feature no gore, but just really brutal deaths, and the DC guys never kill so they are Heroic Brutalities…yeah what BS. This really screws the MK fans, but the DC guys are very tight-arsed about everything, and that’s why I still think this should have been Marvel instead (the last Wolverine game was gory as sin). Some DC HBs are OK at best. Joker’s one of my favorites with him shooting a fake gun and dancing around in his silly fashion, but most are pretty lame like Green Lantern just running around a character a lot until they die…yeah really exciting. The MK characters are a little more retro with Scorpion turning characters into char so this is OK. I just wish the game would have been gory, but what’s here is good enough.
The MK guys really captured the characters of the DC personalities like Catwoman’s slinky sexy movements, Joker’s maniacal pranks, Batman’s precision martial arts, and Superman’s brute force. It makes MK fans really want to try DC characters without sticking to their favorites. Of course, the roster could have been a lot bigger, but thanks to Midway tanking extra downloadable characters will never happen as planned.
There are some nice new features to the game such as a test-your-might type mini-game during Free Fall Kombat and Klose Kombat which allows you to grab your opponent but the camera zooms in and you press buttons to trick them until getting every hit in for 30% damage. Freefall is the same except you have to hit RB before you hit the ground to unleash an attack on them. This changes up the fighting and adds a nice touch, but could have been a bit more. The new Rage mode allows you to take advantage of this berserk mind control and makes you nearly invincible for a certain amount of time. Along with this combo, breakers return, but that’s about it.
The game looks really good and is the first MK game on a next-gen console. Characters are rendered in sharp detail and have more detail than ever before. Each DC character has their signature costume and looks amazing, but the music is very lacking. The levels are great and wonderfully designed, and the multiplayer is what will make you keep coming back. While the game lacks the MK gore the fact that two highly unlikely worlds collide makes it great enough to play.
Note: Kollector’s Edition: If you want to shell out the extra $20 you can get a nice new cover drawn by Alex Ross, a making-of DVD, and a 16-page comic book penned by series creator John Tobias. While it doesn’t seem to entice it’s great for MK fans or fans of comics.