The only character any game really needs.
Derek: I’m sorry, are we talking about the NBA playoffs here? This is just such a slam dunk in Marvel’s favor. Mortal Kombat hardly has what one would call a unique art style. Really, it looks like every other game released today. It doesn’t leap off the screen to me. No, the graphics aren’t bad, but they also aren’t gripping. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is simply visually striking. It looks like a moving comic book. You can tell that half of the roster is comprised of comic book characters because it looks like a comic. It’s unbelievably colorful in a console generation that seems to hate bright, glorious colors – unless you’re on the Wii – so it feels like something you can’t get anywhere else. Even as graphics continue to get more eye-popping, Marvel’s visuals will continue to look absolutely incredible. The same cannot be said for Mortal Kombat.
Drew: Cel-shading is so old hat these days. Big deal, you can create a convincing visual effect that notably reflects that of your typical comic book. You know what, Mortal Kombat’s art style mimics something that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 fans never experience: the real world. No, not the reality show with a bunch of spoiled kids running amok in a highly supervised housing environment, I mean that thing you witness when you leave the dark embraces of your man cave and go outside. Given, the game might have enhanced everything with a grit filter and simultaneously an awesome filter, but my point remains. Making the realities of the world pop off the screen is a lot more impressive than providing wish-fulfillment to mouth breathing Spiderman fans.
Drew: Mortal Kombat is a practical cornucopia of features, whereas Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is mostly just corn, and no ‘copia. Not even cob to be honest, just pure unorganized specks of yellow littered on a plate of vast emptiness. Playing through the lengthy story mode of Mortal Kombat is one thing, but once you’ve wrapped up that loose end you are greeted with the challenging and compelling challenge tower and a Krypt mode loaded down with more unlockable goodies than a masochistic pleasure palace. All of that is available at no cost to the outstanding online multiplayer mode where, and this is a concept, you can actually connect to matches. No more diddling around on the main menu praying for the waves of the internet to bring me one blissful matchup where I get beaten faceless by one of the millions of Sentinel players for this writer.
Perhaps most glaringly in Mortal Kombat’s favor as far as content goes is the endings they have prepared for arcade mode. I’d love to know the website where Capcom stole its lifeless, miniature clip-art drawings it proclaimed to be worthy of capping off your single player experience. I’d also love to know how much the writers got paid for writing three entirely random and irrelevant lines very loosely related to anything to ever take place in the known universe.
Derek: Some people would say Mortal Kombat has the edge as far as content is concerned, and from an “at-launch” perspective it absolutely does. It offers a ton of different modes to play in as a single player just in case you don’t always want the pressure of fighting living, breathing humans. That said, Capcom’s business model lately has been “we’ll add more stuff in later!” Sure, at the beginning content might pretty much be “Okay, good, you played single player. Now, uh, go do mission mode and get better or play online!” but slowly more stuff is being added into the game. The event mode gives you purpose to go through some single player stuff (as well as the several online events) and while it may be light on the reward stuff, it does give you some bragging rights on your player card. Plus, it’s a fighter. Fighters are never known for their single player content. Mortal Kombat might have more to do right now, but if it can’t keep people hooked via multiplayer madness then it will ultimately be deemed a failure.
Drew: One would think that Capcom has the eternal edge in this category, but one would also think they would create a fighting system that at least resembles some semblance of order instead of taking on the uncanny likeness of a Jackson Pollack disasterpiece. Mortal Kombat may not be the classiest affair, and the characters might not be the most balanced bunch, but at least you have a reasonable ability to divine what is taking place on the screen. Wave after wave of madness ensued in every battle of MvC3, with the division between haves and have-nots in the game’s competitive scene being decided by who could best divert their attention away from the unbelievable amounts of garbage flying around.
It also helps to have a game where randomly pressing buttons doesn’t produce better results than actual strategy. All of my Marvel vs. Capcom wins were produced by selecting Wolverine and just randomly hacking away at my Xbox controller in the desperate hopes that the desired results came about. At least Mortal Kombat requires me to step back from action for a few moments and plan out my next strike.
Derek: Oh Zahd, this is easily in MvC 3′s favor. When you are playing online and you know what you are doing, you will easily beat any button mashing, flow-chart shotoing child. Drew might have won by mashing, but he may not have been playing anybody good. I’ve had some real heated battles on there. Heck, even the complaint about online not working isn’t true. Simply go to arcade mode and choose FIGHT REQUEST ON. You will never beat the first battle before a challenger appears. Yeah, it does suck that clicking the online option doesn’t always work, but it’s easy to fix. And honestly, Marvel 3′ gameplay isn’t too cluttered or too fast. If you’ve ever played a Marvel game, it’s at about the same speed, if not slower. The 3-on-3 mechanics of Marvel are still incredible and I’m still addicted to it. Mortal Kombat has always struck me as a violence first, gameplay second type of game. I admit, this rendition of Mortal Kombat requires a bit of strategy and is fun. I will say right now, I actually like the game a lot more than previous entries in the franchise. That said, I see it as a title people will play for a couple of months and then forget it exists. Marvel 3 will be a game people will be playing for years. Marvel 2 lasted 10 years, Marvel 3 can last at least 5 I would think. Prove me wrong MK, I want to see some variety in EVO for years to come.
We’ve arrived at the end of our very first Dueling Robbins, with one Derek freshly skewered and a Drew rightly thrust to sibling supremacy. Stay tuned to New Game Plus for more sensationalist debates of this nature in the near future – and even indirectly participate by feeding us topics you want to see as the subject of one of our arguments! Send any and all suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time…
“The world has room for only one big boss!”