Press Start: December 2008 -- How Much is the Wii Station 360?

Before time runs out for gift giving, Peter "The Rizk" Rizkalla makes the case for Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Ninjatown, Mirror's Edge, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World and Left 4 Dead.

It's now that gift giving season, and as I once again climb up that unstable termite hotel that I call a ladder to hang my Christmas lights, I am hoping that Santa (my wife) leaves a bunch of games for me under my fresh, evergreen, plastic tree that I picked up from Target over the weekend. I've checked out a few little goodies this month that would all make awesome stocking stuffers.

Would you know it? Despite the economic downturn, the videogame gods are smiling down upon us. Right now the Nintendo Wii is the king of sales and the Wii library is slowly getting better. The Xbox 360 is definitely keeping its title as the hardcore gamer's system and the Nintendo DS is where the indie devs roam. It's been a while since we've seen a good RPG or realtime strategy game and we got both of those and more in this month's edition of "Press Start."

Finally, Midway has put together a fighter like Mortal Kombat vs. DC. This is the first new MK title to hit the current generation of game systems, so immediately you notice the outstanding character models. 

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360; Publisher: Midway; Developer: Midway; Release Date: November 16, 2008; ESRB Rating: T for teen; Genre: fighting; Players: 1-2; Support: N/A; Online: 2 player matches

Oh No, Mr. Boon!

Lift your arms in a triumphant fashion, point your voice to the heavens and, at the top of your lungs, yell out… Mortal Kombaaaaaaaat! Then before you bring your arms down, in a very low voice say "versus" then scream out… Deeeeeee Ceeeeeeee! I've done this so many times that I can't feel my throat anymore. Back in the day, the, ever so popular, Marvel universe teamed up with a slew of Capcom characters like Mega Man, Strider and a variety of characters from Street Fighter to create some of the most outstanding fighting games known as the MK: Armageddon the gameplay focused around long combos that each character could perform by combining attacks from two or three different fighting styles. Now rather than have long, pre-set combos, the fighting system has been limited to each character having a handful of three or four-hit combos. Players can then chain these smaller combos into special maneuvers, which is something that could not be done before. Also, characters can now set up opponents for juggles and air-combos which would let you create your own combos by chaining together multiple three or four hit sets into one huge custom combo. In a nut shell, players can now be creative with their combos instead of just being given pre-created combos by the developers. New to MK are the melee grabs which players can perform by grabbing their opponent and hitting the face buttons in any order. Opponents can then counter (or should I say Kounter) the melee grab by hitting the same button as their attacker. The Test Your Might mini-game has been changed and added to the actual fights; players now pick up their opponents and run them right through multiple walls. Mashing the face buttons will cause opponents more damage by the end of the mini-game.

Everything in MK vs. DC has been improved from the last MK games especially the fighting system which is the most balanced system ever produced in a Mortal Kombat title. © Midway.

MK vs. DC gives you gameplay modes such as the traditional MK Arcade mode as well as a story mode which explains how the two worlds have intertwined. The story mode takes place somewhere between the end of MK 2 and the beginning of MK 4 where by some freak accident Shao Kahn and Darkseid have been merged together to create Dark Khan. The dialogue in the story mode might not be the greatest in the world but it will, sure as heck, make you laugh. Going online is the best part of MK vs. DC; players can go online and tear each other apart with almost zero lag, which is amazing considering fighters have always had problems with online play.

What Happens in the Netherrealm Stays in the Netherrealm

Everything in MK vs. DC has been improved from the last MK games especially the fighting system which is the most balanced system that has ever been produced in a Mortal Kombat title. It would have been great to see the return of Konquest mode, which was a stand-alone adventure in previous MK titles but the story mode compensates for that. I mean hey, in MK: Deadly Alliance the Konquest mode was just a bunch of matches which is exactly what you will find in MK vs. DC. Little bonuses like Kart Kombat and Puzzle Kombat would have also been nice. The one thing that is the most obviously absent would have to be the Krypt. A characteristic of recent MK games was the Krypt where players could unlock all kinds of little extras such as art galleries, soundtracks, playable characters and funny videos and pictures. To be honest, these are small problems that don't really compare to how great MK vs. DC is all around. The addition of Shao Khan and Darkseid as unlockable characters is a huge plus. Basically, the game is extraordinary and the new fighting system will make you stop playing other fighting games to play Mortal Kombat vs. DC.

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