So Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe is coming out in less than a month, and while I didn’t expect to find myself saying this, I am looking forward to it.

I like Batman and Superman, and I do have a personal soft spot for the Mortal Kombat series, as it launched my gaming career back in the ’90’s.

I am surprised by the mixed reaction to the game, as if it is such a ludicrous concept. Perhaps it would have been, had Marvel Vs. Capcom never seen the light of day. But somehow, Batman Vs. Sub-Zero is a harder concept to swallow than say, Jill Valentine Vs. Thanos, or Spider-Man Vs. Mega Man.

*blink*

I’ve taken a real “Wait and see” attitude with the game. To be honest, Midway’s let a lot of their beloved franchises fall by the wayside in terms of quality, and I was concerned that this might be another, but press reaction, once they got over their initial disbelief, has been pretty positive overall. With seeming good reason. The graphics look great. The character roster is great (so glad they stuck to the MK1 and MK2 line-up. I guess they finally figured out that’s who most fans really care about), and while it’s a bit of a risk to try a “T” rated Mortal Kombat game, perhaps that very direction can get them to pump out some original finishing moves. For a game that prides itself on its shocking blood and gore, it seems more tame and blase in comparison to other offerings out on the market now.

The press is calling this the best Mortal Kombat since Part 2 (MK3 will always be my favorite of the series, though), and considering that Midway games don’t seem to receive the level of enthusiasm that they used to, this news is encouraging.

Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe seems to be a positive “return to basics” approach for not only the series, but one that Midway itself desperately needed. People can balk that the presence of superheroes dillutes the “seriousness” of the game, but the game has always had goofy content strewn throughout all the blood (Babalities? “Toasty”? A billion limbs flying out of one person?)

I hope Midway takes this as a sign as to where they needed to go: Back to the arcade: This title would not have been out of place in an arcade, and considering how “King of the World” Midway’s influence used to be in the arcades of the 1980’s and 1990’s, they need to take a real long and hard look as to why they were successful then, and why they’ve been floundering so badly through the 2000’s.

They need to quit being so “epic” with their games. They don’t have the people who seem to be able to grasp the scope of what these types of games entail. With this recent neo retro craze going on, they need to either start thinking more downloadable games (which they haven’t touched at all on the Wii, and seemed to have stopped doing on XBLA), or learn from games like Space Invaders Extreme and Pac-Man: Championship Edition. Take Gauntlet of out the online RPG and back in the maze. Put Rush back to fast-paced driving craziness without all the “yo yo yo” attitude. Certainly, they can bring back Blitz to its playful over the top plays without having to inject steroids in players or pull out the raunchiest profanity they can think of. Midway got too “hip for the youngsters” for its own good, and has lost its way. It needs to go back to the arcade, and bring those experiences to the digital and console domain.

Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe, seems to be that first tentative step back “home” for them. For their sake, I hope it works.

I also still hope for a Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

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