If you’ve already judged Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe based solely on the fact that it’s a Mortal Kombat title -- or that it isn’t technically as rich or deep as other fighters -- the game (and this review) is not for you.
There’s no way you could compare the game on any technical or competitive level to any number of Capcom vs. [Marvel/Care Bears/Whatever] or SNK fighters; if you do, you’re missing the point. MK vs. DCU certainly seems to be meant for a more casual fighting audience, with a focus on two important points – ease of play and ridiculous, frivolous fun.
So before you click any further, I have to ask that if you fall into that camp -- and that's fine, I understand -- don't even bother clicking through and reading the review. This is not for you. Here is a Tatsunoku vs. Capcom trailer; please enjoy it. Save the energy you would have used to comment on this review for the inevitable bitching about how Capcom screwed up the Street Fighter II HD remake because Ryu has an extra pixel on his toe.
For everyone else, hit the jump.
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
The game’s explanation for this unlikely mash-up is preposterous, and delivered by an in-game Story Mode that’s both absurd and brilliant in its presentation. Comic scribes Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray must have thought long and hard on this one, with a battle between Superman and Darkseid triggering some kind of inter-dimensional world collision, bringing both universes together. (It involves a portal, Superman’s heat vision, if you must know.) Confused, characters from both universes began to question one another’s motives, which leads to, er, kombat. To make matters worse, both sides are being possessed by “Rage,” which makes them act like a belligerent, drunken frat boy, ready to pointlessly pummel things at a moments notice.
But when you step back and look at what you’re watching -- conversations between Batman and Sub-Zero, for Christ’s sake -- it’s hard not to feel a tinge of giddiness, particularly if you’re a longtime fan of either universe. Presentation-wise, it’s an incredibly smooth experience, with cut-scenes and dialogue transitioning seamlessly into fights. It’s easy to hope Midway knew what they were doing here, going for a b-movie campiness that’s just as fun as it is face-palm-inducing. Whether intentional or not, if you go into it with a sense of humor and checked expectations, you’ll find it difficult not be amused.
Score: 7 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)
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