What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game is rated "Teen" instead of "Mature" because Midway has decided to make the violence less graphic. It's still a fighting game and there can be blood splatter (which can be turned off) and each character can perform finishing moves called "fatalities" (or "brutalities" for some DC characters) that results in a dramatic conclusion to the fight, such as a backbreaking snap, stabbing, or slow-motion kick to the head. As with past games and comic book characters, the females are wearing revealing clothing and have exaggerated breast proportions.
What's it about?
Consider it a battle between two billion-dollar franchises: Midway's Mortal Kombat warriors -- such as Scorpion and Sub-Zero -- face off against DC Comics' iconic superheroes including Superman and Green Lantern. Now available for the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3, MORTAL KOMBAT VS. DC UNIVERSE is a fighting game that features signature attack styles and special moves, multiple solo and multiplayer game modes, and more than a dozen environments (including the Batcave). More importantly for comic book enthusiasts, perhaps, is an intertwining story line penned by the Mortal Kombat creative team in collaboration with celebrated comic book writers Jimmy Palmiotti (Painkiller Jane, Marvel Nights) and Justin Gray (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, JLA Classified).
Is it any good?
We loved the concept, but how does it play? Well, for the most part. Controlling the 22 characters is fairly simple on the surface, allowing you to jump, kick, punch, and perform deadly finishing moves, but skilled players can take advantage of more advanced moves and combos for added depth. In other words, you can "button mash" and win a few rounds, but in order to really get into the game, you'll need to learn moves such as Batman's "Ducking Gut Punch" (down arrow on the d-pad and the X button on the Xbox 360 controller), the "uppercut" (down arrow on the d-pad and Y button) and "Vengeance" (X, X, Y). Players can also modify the game controls in the Options menu, if desired.
Multiple game modes will also keep players busy. Single player options include Story, Arcade, Practice, and Kombo Challenge, the latter of which allows you to tweak your skills with a favorite character by performing increasingly tough combo moves. Two-player modes are even more fun, whether you're against someone sitting next to you or over the Internet. Some new game-play additions are met with mixed success: "Free Fall Kombat," for example, has players matching an attacker's button moves displayed on screen to become the victor rather than the victim, but this minigame of sorts feels out of place from the main fighting mechanic. Overall, though, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is a decent fighting game that, while not groundbreaking, successfully blends these two worlds and delivers an intense and attractive combat experience – especially for fans of Mortal Kombat.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether or not this Mortal Kombat game is as fun as its predecessors despite the less graphic violence. (We think so.) Perhaps other "Mature"-rated franchises could follow suit?