Sunday, November 23, 2008

MK v. DC

There's a new video game out for your popular home console systems. It's called Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Those who don't speak geek may be confused about what the DC Universe is. It is the universe in which Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman all reside. And unless you've been living under a rock for the last 15 years, I'm sure you know Mortal Kombat is. Okay, it's a video game franchise that sparked controversy when the original installment showed realistic characters and (gasp) blood.

Some time ago I heard that they were working on a game that would bring together the mythos of Mortal Kombat and the classic heroes and villains of the DC Universe. Last week, the game was finally released to the public. I got my hands on a copy and initially thought it was awesome.

Being the first fighting game to feature DC characters since the uber-lame Justice League Task Force, it holds a huge attraction for someone like me. For years, the Marvel super-heroes have been showcased in several games that have been very well done. I guess I've just been jealous of how cool the people at Capcom were able to make Spider-Man and Captain America look. When would Superman get a turn? All of his games are stupid at best.

So I'm thinking, here's someone's chance to do it right. I mean, the last few Mortal Kombat games have been great. But to be honest, I've been a little disappointed with this installment. A lot of people have complained that this game would be a lighter version of Mortal Kombat. They complained that you wouldn't experience the same kind of thrill you got from past games. After all, Superman and Batman don't kill their enemies. This seriously detracts from popular fatalities where someone gets decapitated or has their spine ripped out. That's not my problem.

My problem comes in one of the game's concepts. Is it really believable that Liu Kang could possibly take down Superman? Could Scorpion's spear really pierce Superman's chest to drag him over for a quick uppercut? The plot of the game tries to explain this away with Superman's vulnerability to all things magic. But does that mean that every character in Mortal Kombat is a magical being? I don't buy it.

The graphics are almost what one would expect for a PS3 game. Not up to the standard set by some other games, but pretty good nonetheless. I will say though, that Wonder Woman looks completely ridiculous. It's like her face was animated way wrong.

I just don't get it. DC Comics is a subsidiary of Time Warner, right? You'd think, with all that backing, they'd be able to do other media the right way. So far, the only thing they seem to have gotten right is the new Batman franchise. Superman can't catch a break on the big screen. Wonder Woman has been put on hold so many times, she's probably hung up her golden lasso for good. And what about all those other characters they've got? If Iron Man can get a decent movie made, why can't The Flash? Okay, Iron Man wasn't decent. It was freakin' phenomenal.

Apparently there's a DC video game coming out that's some kind of online role-playing game. Hopefully it'll turn out better than this. Don't get me wrong, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is a fun game. It'll be nice to take control of Green Lantern and hit Sub-Zero with a giant hammer every now and again. But I think it could have been so much better.

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