Video Game Review: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Comic characters take on inter-dimensional martial artists in this new fighter.

Nov. 28, 2008— -- The "Mortal Kombat" series holds a special place in the hearts of many video game fans. It certainly wasn't the first game to let players duke it out digitally, but it's a series that, time and time again, has managed to remain fresh yet true to its roots.

Unfortunately, some of the more recent entries have failed to thrill, so Midway went totally outside of the box for "Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe" (MKvsDC), bringing the world of Mortal Kombat and some of DC Comics' most beloved characters together for the ultimate comic-book video game fantasy showdown.

In addition to the usual suspects from the "Mortal Kombat" universe like Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Jax, players can take on the role of classic DC heroes like the Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman or one of their favorite bad guys like the Joker or Lex Luthor.

The traditional punches, kicks and leg sweeps are all there, but it's the characters' signature moves, unique to each and relatively easy to pull off, that really give the game some style. The fighting styles of the DC heroes and villains are what you'd expect, with characters like the Joker using misdirection and the Flash taking advantage of his super-human speed.

And a Story to Boot!

The weakest part of fighting games is usually the single-player campaign but, surprisingly, MKvsDC does a great job of giving players a cohesive, if far-fetched, story line that's fun if not engaging. Even the dialogue offers up a few chuckles from time to time and feels very comic book-like. Players get a chance to jump into the shoes -- or boots -- of virtually all of the games' playable characters and try them out against a variety of foes.

Far from a game-changer, the real thrill of MKvsDC is the chance to take hold of a DC character, either by the reins or the throat. Though certain moves at specific times will take the fight out of the ring and into a freefall battle mode, the game really doesn't break from the classic fighting game model.

Gamers who are fans of the "Mortal Kombat" series and/or comic books will not be disappointed by MKvsDC. Aside from being a fun, fresh new entry into the fighting genre, think of all of the arguments this game could settle. We can finally know once and for all who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman. (My money's on Superman.)

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 video game consoles.