Most helpful critical review
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, even without ultraviolence.
on December 2, 2011
Despite being a T game that necessarily has to censor extreme blood and gore, this is an excellent fighter with a healthy roster of favorites from each side and a bunch of nice little touches that make it special. The stage-specific special moves are very well done, particularly the free-fall battles (note that your opponent can see your own button presses during these, so don't keep mashing the same one and risk getting the tables turned with you ultimately on the ground instead...people online don't seem to realize this, to my huge advantage). The fatalities (called Heroic Brutalities for good guys, who don't kill but instead just hurt you a lot) are pretty boring, but it is a T game, after all. They're not all bad, and maybe Catwoman's second is the most brutal. The button layout and responsiveness are both excellent, and pulling off moves isn't too difficult.
Online lag can definitely get frustrating, unfortunately. While you can see the connection strength against any given opponent, it doesn't seem to be very accurate, and changes frequently. This means that, during the match, you'll see moves happening that should absolutely connect (or not connect), and yet still do. You'll see punches thrown from three yards away that somehow hit, and uppercuts that somehow miss despite being right up against an unblocking, standing opponent. Getting countered on something like this is really frustrating. Blocking suffers as well, so even if you see an attack coming, blocking might not trigger in time, or any other button. It's not so bad as to be game-breaking, but it can be frustrating and might mean the outcome of the match.
One thing I want to complain about is balance. Let's just be honest here: There are a few S-tier characters here that are clearly better than all the others. Expect to face Scorpion more than half the time online, spamming his unpredictable inferno and charge-uppercut combo to infinity. If you're not against the ultra-newb-friendly Scorpion who can spam his dashing uppercut nonstop--which can't be countered, only broken, and is almost impossible to make a counter-hit on except with a projectile--then expect his brother or whatever, Sub-Zero, who will do nothing but throw ice at you and counter everything you do--which, unfortunately, includes *any* contact, including grabs. But neither of them are as bad as the shameless The Flash, who is mind-blowingly fast to the point where it is absolutely impossible to keep up with him. He's by far the fastest character in the game, and has stunningly high-damage attacks that are very difficult to block or predict. Worse, there's almost zero time to counter after he does one of his specials, meaning he can simply continue beating on you, even if he missed or you blocked it. You'll notice that the highest-ranked players are *all* Flash players. They'll brag nonstop about how great they are, but that's like Germany bragging to Poland about how much better their tanks are. It doesn't matter, you're The Flash, which has nothing to do with skill, just spamming special moves.
If you want to be just as cheap as them and end up facing a Scorpion or Sub-Zero player who spams the same moves over and over, learn how to play Lex Luthor and punish them hardcore, probably for a flawless victory if you do it right. Luthor's deadly forward missile is massively powerful and obviously can't be countered by Sub-Zero, who will get nailed in the face for it. He's also good against Scorpion for the uppercut for the same reason, as he can either do his 26B or 24C immediately after dodging or blocking it for a beautiful punishment. He will obliterate either of them, but he'll unfortunately not fare quite as well against The Flash, who is far, far faster than him. The Flash, unfortunately, has no bad matchup, so you're SOL either way if your opponent picks him and has any idea what he's doing. Even Superman can't take The Flash *even if he's flying*, since you can get hit in the air by The Flash's best moves.
Catwoman is likely the least-used character in the entire online scene. After fighting nearly 600 matches, I've come up against *one* Catwoman player, and I doubt she was this player's main, contrasting the four or five hundred Scorpion players. But Catwoman has an excellent advantage against some characters, particularly Sub-Zero, for a very simple reason: Sub-Zero can counter you any time you touch him, but Catwoman's whip doesn't count (unlike her normal grab or leap attack, which will get you killed). That means if he does the freeze counter and you can provoke them into thinking you're attacking (every Sub-Zero plays this way, it seems), you can counter with a whip grab, which will count as a projectile and will connect. She's also faster than him, and can double-cartwheel and whip-grab them into oblivion if they just try to charge you. I adore it when I go against a Sub-Zero player, since Catwoman completely annihilates him and makes his countering useless. She also *can* work against a lesser Flash player, since her cartwheel kick combo followed by a downward whip grab is fast damage to any less-experienced Flash players who leave themselves open sometimes. Still, I emphasize, Flash has no counter, and a good Flash player will kill you no matter which character you pick and no matter how good you are with them. He simply can't be beat in competent hands.
One other thing worth noting about Catwoman is her very easy damage potential and priority over other attacks. Catwoman is almost never used online, but she's pretty much my main for very good reasons. One, she has the excellent double carthweel kick to start off any match, which is extremely fast and your opponent won't possibly see coming. This can be quickly followed up by a low whip grab, and this right away is huge damage. After that, use her leap attack to stop anyone who thinks they can keep you away with projectiles, or anyone who tries to charge you, as any charging characters will get slashed up by her. Also, her basic uppercut is special, because it's the only uppercut that can *always* be made into a combo, unlike any other character. After an uppercut, you can instantly and without fail use the low whip grab to pick them up off the ground and do a quick 15% extra damage. She's an excellent anti-melee fighter, or anyone who uses counters, since her whip is immune to counters. She only has difficulty against projectiles, because she herself has none. The best thing to do here is to just strafe the projectiles repeatedly until you have the opportunity to charge them. Done right, you can now corner them and do the same easy combos as before. Two cartwheels followed by a low whip grab is wonderful damage, and extremely simple to do. While she's considered bottom-tier, I find Catwoman to be an excellent fighter against almost anyone for her speed and stupidly overpowered whip grabs and priority-smashing leap slash.
On the other extreme, you've got characters that are worthless. Baraka is probably the worst character in the game, having absolutely nothing going for him. His moves are weak, he's not very fast, and he can be massively punished if he misses any move. He's really only good for his charging kick, but if it misses or is blocked, has such a long recovery time that anyone can punish you for missing. His basic triangle combo is decent and hits crouching players, but you can't combo into it. Baraka's the kind of character you use to humiliate someone, since he's so much worse than everyone else. Sonya is a one-move joke, with one single half-decent move, but is essentially the same move the far-better Shang Tsung has, and also a similar move to Batman's, which is also better. And I really hate to say this, but The Joker just isn't very good, either. He's in-between bottom-tier and middle-tier. He's not incapable of winning a match, but there are definitely better choices available. He's not particularly fast, and none of his moves are very high-damage, and almost all of them leave him open as he recovers. He gets completely annihilated by someone like Lex Luthor, who can simply spam his missile repeatedly. At least he has one decent fatality.
Everyone else has their perks. I main Lex Luthor, second Catwoman, third Superman, fourth Shang Tsung, and fifth Baraka (because by then I can win with even him if the matches go on long enough). I'm not into playing characters that are obviously superior to all the others, so I enjoy those four in particular. Also, because there's so much Scorpion to go around, both Lex and Catwoman can counter the hell out of him if they're used right. Most people don't expect those characters against Scorpion, so it often works out. Catwoman's second fatality is also great, and probably the most violent fatality in the entire game. It sure ends the hell out of the contest.
One thing definitely worth mentioning is that there are people who use hacks online to bolster their wins. This almost invariably means having a Flash player automatically use a certain combo when you're open, which has near-infinite range, and will blow apart your life bar, and you'll be totally helpless to stop it, since it can't be sidestepped or countered, or even broken out of. On the bright side, cheaters are easy to spot: They'll have around ten thousand wins and *zero* losses, which should tip you off pretty quickly to ignore them. Some players are also hatefully referred to as "pullers" for doing nothing but using long-range attacks until their opponent is forced to assault them, to which they'll respond with a move the other person can't possibly dodge (The Flash does this very well). They will do this repeatedly until they win. "Pullers" are hated in the community, so don't be one, please. We all know it wins every time and there's nothing we can do about it, so there's no point. It's not like anyone actually cares about records when cheaters run amok everywhere.
Really, you should already know what you're getting into here. It has a Mortal Kombat style, except it's rated T and has DC characters. It's got a story mode for each side that, while not exactly groundbreaking, is still entertaining, much more entertaining than other story modes in fighters. It actually has a plot, for starters, and has an excellent final sequence that is truly epic. Pick it up if you're interested. Just don't expect gory fatalities or mechanics that are all that complicated. But if all you care about is matching up Batman against Raiden or something like that, by all means, go for it. It's a competent fighter that does what it needs to do well. If the balance weren't so off, two stars would be added, but when online consists of three characters except for the ambitious, you know something's wrong.