From a gamer’s perspective, there is nothing I enjoy more than to see producers reviving games that enriched my childhood. The Street Fighter series receives two titles through Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD and Street Fighter 4, while Beast Rider – the sequel of the famous Golden Axe, is unfortunately a total disappointment for old-school fans. Moreover, Ed Boon wants to surprise us with Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, and not necessarily by launching a new Mortal Kombat title, but because the fighters who have attended the famous tournament so many years in a row must now confront the heroes from another universe.
Ed Boon’s decision to continue the series was a surprise from the beginning and I must admit that I never had too high expectations when the first trailers were presented, in which Scorpion and Batman were engaged in a ferocious battle. I say this because the last title that I consider worthy of being mentioned as part of this series is Mortal Kombat III, whereas Trilogy didn’t bring any innovations and the transition to 3D was a total failure.
Unlike competitors Namco and Sega, famous for the Tekken and Virtua Fighter series, Midway did not have the inspiration needed to take a step forward with the transition to 3D to meet the demanding fans. Therefore, the big difference between this title and the ones we are used to is that the violence has been toned down to make the game more accessible to a wider range of players.
At first glance, the story doesn’t seem very imaginative: the enemies of Rayden and Superman have merged together in a single being, more powerful than anything that has ever existed, Dark Khan (don’t be scared, Shao Khan and Darkseid are still present). This new entity aims to destroy the universe in a sodomist way and create portals that allow travel between worlds, so that the two worlds can fight at will.
But how does the diabolical Khan convince the most notable representatives to confront each other? He didn’t ask them nicely, of course, but used a magic called Rage to turn them into pitbulls ready to fight.
This is what you’ll find in the Story mode, where you can choose which side of the barricades you want to start your adventure and the final offence to the final boss. If you expect a very complex story you’ll be a bit disappointed, but if you are familiar with Tekken or Dead or Alive, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Opponents do not show up in a simple order, as in the titles above, since the story is divided into small sections for each character and every conflict is preceded by a movie showing the meeting with the opponent. Both the story and the two endings are very interesting for both sides, so although you probably won’t replay it very soon, this mode shouldn’t be missed.
Besides Story Mode, you have the classic Arcade Mode, which doesn’t bring anything different than any existing fighter on the market. It’s worth mentioning the fact that you can choose your enemies’ universe, so if someone wants to fight only with the servants of Rayden or the super-heroes from the DC Comics, he is free to do so. I was pleasantly surprised by the Training option, quite used by fans of combos and complicated moves. Although not as complex as the one in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection or Soul Calibur IV, the training mode is a plus point brought to the game.
Those who believe that they master very well the characters can test their skills in Practice Combo, an option that allows the execution of certain sets of combos in a specific order. I recommend this training also to gamers specialized in a particular character as they learn to link combos more efficiently. Unfortunately, the single-player modes end here, because there are no hidden characters or secret arenas to be unlocked.
In Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe we have 20 fighters, 10 from each universe. Perhaps some will think that this number is too small compared with other titles, but I assure you that they are sufficient, reminding us of the famous Street Fighter 2 Turbo, the uncrowned king of the fighting genre, which offers only 16 characters. Mortal Kombat universe does not miss the consecrated warriors, such as Liu Kang, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Kitana or Rayden, but unfortunately one of my favorites from the second part of the series, Kung Lao, is not present.
There aren’t big differences regarding their fighting styles. Scorpion has his famous spear, Sub-Zero can do miracles with ice and Kitana’s fans can still be fatal in the hands of a skilled player. Baraka suffered an important change in the sense that he can fight with or without the blades which made him famous. It’s the gamer’s choice if he decides to use them or not, like Wolverine from X-Men series.