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There's something instantly cathartic about mashing buttons after a gravelly voiced ringmaster shouts'Fight!' and winning a match with no technique whatsoever. This is, after all, what most of us do when faced with a fighting game and MK vs. DC has enough of a casual approach to the fighting genre to pull unsuspecting newbie's in whilst appeasing the hardcore with a complex system of combo's.
It was a tough ask to merge the two worlds of Mortal Kombat and DC Universe together into a successful game and it's a surprisingly successful attempt. Thanks to an entertaining, by-the-numbers story, the single player mode sees the merging of the DC Universe Earth with the MK Earth-Bound planet. This causes all sorts of screw-ups as characters get teleported from one place to another and you eventually see everyone getting a good'ol dose of Rage - the special condition which overcomes all the characters leading to'oh my god, fanboy nerd-gasm alert!' - Superman fighting Batman and so on.
In a fighting game you expect a certain amount of ham and cheese.
In any other setting this might be considered a clunky and clumsy mechanic to get characters to do certain things, and that's certainly how it came across to me, but in a fighting game you expect a certain amount of ham and cheese and it proudly delivers that in spades. Once you've stomached the humourless first half of the story it actually turns into an entertaining experience and I soon forgot how gut-wrenchingly bad the dialogue was until my better half wondered why I was watching something meant for 13-year olds.
There's an impressive depth to the combo system.
But all that faded into insignificance when the big letters of'FIGHT!' appeared on the screen and I dove into the impressive fighting engine with something approaching wilful abandon. This is because MK vs DC is, perhaps surprisingly, a really impressive fighting game with all your actions carrying a brutal weight that's immensely satisfying and combat that's easy to understand. With all the characters having appropriate and special move-sets there's an impressive depth to the combo system. It even had a greenhorn like me running to a game guide and desperately trying to figure out how to make a D-pad do the things it's supposed to.
There's no doubt in my mind that hardcore MK fans will be appalled at the lack of gratuitous blood and limb-severing which Mortal Kombat has always been about. But everyone else will find an entertaining fighting game that will help answer all those playground battles about whether or not Wonder Woman really could totally take out Catwoman.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: