Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is the source of mixed emotions. I am a huge Mortal Kombat fan and was part of the group who was against Midway “censoring” Mortal Kombat so that they could use the DC Universe license. After going through the game my feelings remain unchanged. The story mode of this game offers two different perspectives. You can go through the story and experience it from the Mortal Kombat perspective or the DC Universe perspective. The choice does not matter that much as there isn’t much story to begin with. The basic premise is that the worlds of Mortal Kombat and DC are merging because of some evil power. Going through the story you will find out what that evil power is and attempt to stop it. The dialogue is incredibly cheesy and made me roll my eyes more than once. Basically, I couldn’t wait until I was done with it. Fortunately you can make it through the story mode in only a couple of hours.
The overall fighting mechanic seems to work fairly well. It can be a little sluggish at times but overall it works. I liked how the combat felt and how easy it was to pull off moves as long as the 360’s d-pad didn’t screw me up. There is a practice mode that you can utilize to try and get the timing down, however, if you don’t feel like going through that you can always access the move set by pausing the game. That list will tell you how to do your respective character’s normal moves as well as their special moves. There is also aerial combat which is basically button mashing before your opponent so you can slam them into the ground and get that extra amount of damage. It’s a cool concept but has a tendency of getting old after a while. The standard “Test Your Might” mini game is in here only this time you are slamming your opponent through walls and you need to button mash to try and inflict as much damage as you can. There is also a kombo challenge mode where you can try and practice your timing so you can nail some of those tricky combos. There are ten sections per character for you to master in kombo challenge and you get an achievement every time you completely master a character’s full combo set.
Next there is your standard arcade mode. This is a little bit more traditional Mortal Kombat as you pick your character and then fight your way up a tower. You can choose to fight only the Mortal Kombat characters, only the DC Universe characters or a mixture of both. I believe there is an achievement if you beat arcade mode with every characters. This mode works the same as previous Mortal Kombat titles. You fight the person at the bottom of the list and work your way up until you defeat them all. After the fights you will get a chance to perform either a Fatality or a Brutality, depending on who you are playing. Although the Brutalities would kill your opponent the same as a Fatality would. It is just one example of a whole bunch of contradictions found throughout the title. Hopping on to Xbox Live I didn’t quite know what to expect as online play seems to be hit and miss with fighting games. Some games seem to nail it while other games are completely broken due to lag or any number of other issues. You have your standard ranked and player matches here as well as “chat rooms” where you can see the status of the other players and see random announcements if someone in there is getting on a winning streak or something else noteworthy is taking place. You can also see some leaderboards and things of that nature.
Overall this is a competent fighting game. I like the feel of the rebuilt fighting system and I liked some of their new ideas. Unfortunately, from a storyline standpoint, using the DC Universe license really hampered them and basically only succeeded in delivering us a watered down version of Mortal Kombat. The fatalities are pretty lame and can feel like a slap in the face if you are a huge Mortal Kombat fan who used to revel in all of the ways you could “finish him”. While playing this game online should definitely add some versatility to this title, I will definitely be waiting for when we have a “real” Mortal Kombat hitting our consoles.