Tag Archives: Fighting Games

Console Game of the Year 2020: Mortal Kombat 11


How weird is it that our console game of the year 2020 actually came out in March 2019? I mean, if you’re at all familiar with our page, it isn’t that weird at all. We are nothing if not unabashedly retro in our sensibilities. Something about this year dragged me kicking and screaming into a more modern gamer. Chris, however, remains steadfast in his commitment to retro gaming and I love him for it.

I know that “No H” is not cool anymore and I completely agree. Is bromance still acceptable?

True to gaming in 2020, MK11 reached its “final form” over a year and a half after being released. In April, Aftermath came out to continue the story, gave us friendships and new stage fatalities, and added three new characters. More recently, Kombat Pack 2 gave us 3 more new characters. So, you could absolutely argue Mortal Kombat was better to us this year than last.

It feels like I just wrote the article in that last paragraph. Well, I have a couple of days to rework this article and get it published.

Console Game of the Year 2020: Humble Beginnings

If you told me last year that I’d pick Mortal Kombat 11 for this article, I’d not have believed you. I received the game as a gift from a friend. In a true dink move, I didn’t touch it for the first few months I owned it. Actually, it wasn’t a dink move. Not consciously at least. The XBox was upstairs in the game room that became Aiden’s room. I was busy with school, too.

You’re probably tired of hearing that. But, it’s true.

Finally, after those few months of gentle reminders by said friend, I logged into the game. Not entirely understanding how the game might be different from the previous few iterations, I played a few games. Yep, this is Mortal Kombat all right. For good and for bad. Little did I know how much this game would come to dominate my life over the next two years.

Console Game of the Year 2020: Familiarity Breeds Contempt?

Not at all in this case. My friend gave me the version that came with Kombat Pack 1 already included. All the fighters were there for me. Sure, in some cases, I had to download them. Also, Shao Khan and Frost both cost and extra 5 dollars. Now that I think about it, the Frost thing had to be a classic Ed Boon MK troll because you unlocked her simply by playing through the story mode. Everyone was there, though. All the classics like Johnny, Sub Zero, Scorp, and my favorite Liu Kang. Throw in some Newbies like Kitana and Jax. Finish with a sprinkling of the next generation, Cassie and Jacqui. It’s all wheat and no chaff.

5 bucks for Frost? GTFOH.

Getting back to that story mode. Eventually, it hooked me on the game. I don’t remember how or why, but I moved the XBox into our bedroom and started playing the story mode. I wrote a review for the story. That’s how impressive I thought it was. Once the game got me hooked, my friend mentioned that you could “AI” the towers. Once I discovered that, I played the game daily to get those sweet, sweet cosmetics.

Console Game of the Year 2020: Aftermath

As happens with any game, I grew tired of beating the same towers over and over again simply to rise in the ranks and get a single new skin for being in the top 5%. I rediscovered Diablo 3. Quinn and I started an epic world in Minecraft. MTGA grabbed more and more of my attention. Because of Covid, I spent more time obsessing over online learning.

I simply had no time for Mortal Kombat 11. Then, Aftermath released. I did two videos (two of three or four this year, so more than recent years!) reacting to the trailer and friendships. The new characters got me playing towers again to get new skins. A weekly Kronika quest kept me logging in on a regular basis.

Console Game of the Year 2020: Summer Lull and Kombat Pack 2

Eventually, I tired even of the regular loot from Kronika and the towers started to repeat again at a nauseating rate. I played more Pokemon Go and went for 2 hours walks to kill the time. Don’t forget Diablo 3 and MTGA. There’s only so much Mortal Kombat one person can take. My limit is apparently a couple of months before I start to stray again.

Clearly, Ed Boon realized that and released Kombat Pack 2. I reviewed this last month. Ever since the release, I’ve played daily again to get the last month of skins on the Towers of Time. Except for yesterday, I’ve been grabbing the Kronika vaults again. It just completely slipped my mind. Damn, I’m sad now. Oh well, maybe there will be another way to get the items. Or, maybe I just won’t sweat it too much. Okay, what was I saying?

Oh yeah, it seems like every time I get bored with the game, something new comes along. It’s similar to the CCG treadmill. They can’t keep this going forever on MK11. And, it seems like this last Kombat Pack might be the last unless there is a surprise announcement early next year. However, it just feels like they’ve milked this cash cow dry.

The Verdict

Mortal Kombat 11 has some new strategies to it. I’m not capable of executing many of them. Hell, I’m still stuck on the Raiden combo in the tutorial. But, watching more and more streams lately, I can see that they’ve included a deep and rich fighting engine. It’s no Tekken or Virtua Fighter. But, it’s better than bully your opponent into the corner and juggle cheese.

The inclusion of new guest stars have kept the game fresh. Plus, I still have to play through the Aftermath story. There’s enough to keep me going in Mortal Kombat 11 until at least the spring when the weather starts to get nice or I buy a PlayStation 5. Even though I played much more Hearthstone, Mortal Kombat 11 is, by far, the most fun I’ve had with a game in the last year.

Mortal Kombat 11 Kombat Pack 2 – Great, Good, Decent


Wait, I have to buy Mortal Kombat 11 Kombat Pack 2? I’m pretty sure the game was a gift a couple of years ago. The friend was kind enough to purchase a version that included some skin packs and the first Kombat Pack. Therefore, this is the first time I’ve had to put money into the game. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I did happily pay for the expansion that included Robocop, Fujin, and Sheeva. But it’s the first time I’ve paid for cosmetics. No, wait, that isn’t true either.

Why am I lying about this? I guess I am just as susceptible to the Reddit mob as the next guy.

I purchased both skin packs and at least one announcer voice. It’s weird that both felt the need to lie and then felt the need to explain myself. Sorry that I’m treating this article like online therapy. I will get back to the subject at hand. Is Mortal Kombat 11 Kombat Pack 2 worth the money?

I mean, ultimately, that’s for you to determine. However, maybe you’re like me. A father of 3 boys who recently took a job that pays more money and it doesn’t matter to you that this game ultimately cost you over 100 dollars. Maybe I’ll have some insight for you. Wait, what? Oy vey. There’s that brutal honesty once again. Well, if you’re still reading, let’s get on with the review.

Decent – Rambo

Move Set – In keeping with the theme of the 80s action movie icons, Rambo’s move set is a bit clunky. He doesn’t combo easily, at least not for a slow old guy like me. With that being said, he is more fluid than Robocop or Terminator and more fun to play. If you’ve ever seen a First Blood movie, you will recognize his bowie knife and bow and arrow. Of the three, he was always my least favorite character. Ironic now that I will probably end up playing him more than the others in this game.

Finishers – Both of his fatalities are consistent with the character. The first one has the iconic wire trap and bamboo and the second involves a string of bullets (Is that what it’s called? I’m a libtard hippie who doesn’t use guns often). I prefer the first. His friendship is fun because of the nostalgia of playing laser tag with the boys. I did get a chuckle when he did the crawl from one behind one inflatable to the other.

Ending – John Rambo has no use for being a god. He wants what he always wants. To simply retire to a cabin in the woods in peace. It would seem as if he finally gets that wish from Kronika’s hourglass.

Good – Rain

Move Set – As I was working through the tutorial, I was sure that Rain would be my favorite character from this pack. Part of his style combines Noob Saibot and Fujin, two of my favorite characters. He is a fun character to play, but you can deduce from process of elimination who my actual favorite from this set is. Damn you angry, internet mob. You win this one.

Finishers – Both of his fatalities are fun. One has an homage to the classic Queen album, II, before eviscerating his opponent. The other has similarities to one of Kung Lao’s in the game with a twist at the end that had me chuckling. His friendship is not one of the more inspired ones. Hey, they can’t all be winners.

Ending – Rain goes a bit Kill Bill on the revenge trip against his father and his other sons. These types of endings always crack me up. They’re given ultimate power over time and they use it to exact personal revenge? I get that motivations are different, but come on now.

Great – Mileena

Move Set – Before this Kombat Pack, Ed Boon’s Twitter feed was a non stop barrage of requests for adding Mileena into the game. I get that Twitter isn’t real life and most of it was for the meme, but it had to have been tiring for him to deal with on a daily basis. Well, she’s here, nerds. You win. I didn’t want to like her character simply for this fact, but I can’t deny. She is the most fun to play beyond a shadow of a doubt. Sure, part of that is nostalgia. But, she is just a well rounded character and worth the wait.

Finishers – That’s not to say that it is all roses and unicorn farts. Neither of her fatalities are particularly interesting. I will say one thing about her second. Instead of exploding her opponent’s head, she implodes it. That was a nice touch. After trolling Mileena fans with Kitana’s friendship, the Edenian princess shows up in teddy bear form for dear sister’s.

Ending – Another revenge story? It would seem that the writers are gonna beat this horse until it’s dead. I mean, this one is consistent with the character’s singular obsession with her sister and parents, so there’s that.

The Verdict

Is Mortal Kombat 11 Kombat Pack 2 worth the money? Of course I’m going to say yes to justify the fact that I spent the money on it. In all honesty, though, 15 bucks isn’t too much to spend for 3 characters that are absolutely fun to play. In order to write this article, I sped through the tutorial and 5 opponent tower in order to get the endings. It only took about an hour at most. So, it is worth about what minimum wage should be. If you were smart and waited, definitely pick up the Ultimate edition as there is so much more in the game like the Krypt, which could have been a game unto itself.

High Score episode 5


For some reason, I forgot the topic for High Score episode 5. I guess there’s just a lot on my mind with the start of school. When I saw the teaser at the end of episode 4, I was excited. Then, it just left my mind completely. And, so it was when the episode started, I said, “Oh yeah!”

Once upon a time, there were these things called “arcades”. They were kind of like stores. Except they didn’t sell anything. You traded your bill money for quarters, which you then put into a machine that let you play a video game. “Okay, Grandpa, why are you telling us this?” Well, the subject of High score episode 5 was fighting games. During the height of the fighting game renaissance, I spent an obscene amount of time and money in these “arcades”.

Yes, much of it was due to Mortal Kombat. More on that later.

Street Fighter – “That old grey mare…”

I can’t remember if I used the old grey mare metaphor in one of the other articles. I know I was considering it for the Atari article, but went with Grandpa instead. Even if I have, it is apt in this case. Many these days say that Street Fighter sure ain’t what she used to be. But, let’s focus on the positive.

Like Final Fantasy, Street Fighter got its inspiration from anime. When they talked to the artist for the game, he mentioned how anime is not viewed as art. Or, it wasn’t. He wanted to help people see the potential of the art form. Apparently, he and his contemporaries succeeded. At least in my case. I certainly consider anime to be an art form. Then again, I’m easily impressed by any creative process.

Seriously, though, if you can’t appreciate the beauty of this picture, then there’s no hope for your soul.

Takahiro Nagano – “Living the Dream”

One side note before moving on. I forgot to mention in the previous section, mainly because my notes only said “Chun Li – Madden” and I couldn’t figure out what that meant. What it meant is that they put a female character into Street Fighter II (and then expanded the female roster with future editions) similar to adding different skin tones to Madden. Gaming is supposed to be inclusive, mad nerds.

Now, for Takahiro Nagano. His life mirrored mine in many ways. I mean, other than winning a gaming championship and starting his own esports team, we are basically kindred spirits. He found himself in a dead end job that he didn’t find much inspiration from. So, really, when you think about it, I’m basically him. Another note from this section is “training montage”, a reference to the introduction to his esports team, which took on the form of the old 80s training montages a la Karate Kid or Rocky. I got a good chuckle out of it.

Since we have so much in common, I will give a shout out to my brother from another mother. Link. <–Green “Link” that isn’t trying to save Zelda.

Night Trap – “Where’s the Naked Ladies?”

I’m doing these out of order, but that’s intentional. Always save the best for last. I’m not sure if you will agree with my assessment, but I have good reason for it and you can’t change my mind! I remember Night Trap. I might have even had a friend who bought the game. See, it was supposed to be this risque horror game, but production issues caused it to be neutered beyond belief into a not quite campy enough imitation.

That didn’t stop Congress from trying to neuter the game and the industry further. As games started to become more “realistic” and feature more violent content, folks like Tipper Gore and Joe Lieberman (If you don’t know him, say his name like Droopy the dog. If you don’t know Droopy the dog, Google him, then say Joe Lieberman’s name like him. Then, Google Joe Lieberman and have a good laugh.) got their panties in a bunch. And that, boys and girls, is why we have ratings on our video games today.

Never ones to pass up an opportunity to (a) star f**k and (b) look like complete idiots in the face of advancing technology, think the Facebook hearings but with Nintendo execs instead of the Zuck.

Mortal Kombat – “Or, should I say, ‘MORTAL KOMBAT!'”

So, I said I was saving the best for last. Similar to Street Fighter, you might say that Mortal Kombat hasn’t been good since (insert your favorite version here) and that’s fine. Up until recently, I might have even agreed with you. However, Mortal Kombat 11 is a ton of fun and I wasted many an hour over the last year trying to collect as much as I could in the game.

MK also helped to usher in the “video games are warping our kids’ brains” era. But, I come here to praise John Tobias (who is interviewed for the series!) and Ed Boon. Given the limited resources that they were working with at the time, they made a game that has been with me for over 25 years and has been passed on to my kids.

And, it was able to survive whatever the hell this is.

The Verdict

High Score episode 5 has come a long way from the low of episode 2. I regained my faith in the series and even had it boosted by the Sega episode and this one. The entire series is an amazing walk down memory lane. In addition, we have met some new faces along the way. I’m feeling a bit melancholy that there’s only one episode left, but it should pave the way for some actual factual retro content that’s been promised for weeks now.

MK 11 Krypt Tour


Now it’s an MK 11 Krypt tour? Still no gameplay? Well, let’s list the reasons again. (1) Technically the Krypt is part of playing the game, (B), as I said, there is plenty of gameplay contend out there and (∑) it’s Mortal Kombat. What do you expect for gameplay? Well, that’s what you’re getting.

With all of that being said, I’m not entirely sure how to write an article about the Krypt. I thought maybe a review, but that will most likely make for a boring article. I could do a virtual tour, but that’s dumb, too. Looks like I might have to get over my stage fright and just record a video.

Noob’s MK 11 Krypt Tour Video

The Verdict

I hope you enjoyed my first video in about 5 years. As I may have mentioned in the video, the Krypt is one of my favorite game modes. I’ve said numerous times to friends that it could be a game to itself if they wanted to develop it a little bit more. I’m sure that it will eventually get boring after I’ve opened everything, but I honestly don’t know how long that will be.

For instance, just the other day, I found a statue that led me on a bit of a scaly goose chase (yes, I’m still trying to be good about spoilers) that still hasn’t ended. And another character randomly appeared to try to sell me more stuff. In between farming towers with the Noob Saibot AI build given to me by a friend, I will spend all of my time in the Krypt. Hope to see you there!

Mortal Kombat 11 Story review


Mortal Kombat 11 Story review? I know what you’re thinking. Not gameplay? Well, (a) you should know to expect the unexpected from us, (2) there are plenty of gameplay articles and videos out there, and (Ω) let me respond further with a story. Hey, this is what you get from a frustrated writer forced to stay home for two weeks. You get stories. So, snuggle up and listen.

I have played Mortal Kombat since the beginning. That’s not an exaggeration. My friends and I traveled to the arcade (see, the beginning) weekly to feed quarters into the machine. Those of you (us, yes I do it, too) who complain about the price of games never spent hundreds of dollars in quarters at the arcade.

OK, Boomer

So, where is this story going? Relax, we’re getting there. One of those friends bought me Mortal Kombat 11 for Christmas or my birthday. As I tend to do, I ignored it for a few months. Enter coronavirus. Suddenly, many of us had more free time to catch up on video games, for instance. I chose Mortal Kombat 11.

I also inadvertently recommended the game to Chris. Wait, what does that mean? It simply means that I kept talking about the game and how much I liked it. Chris bought it as a result of me talking about it so much. He texted me when he first played it something along the lines of, “The game play is typical of Mortal Kombat. You weren’t kidding about the Krypt.” More on the Krypt later in the week. For now, there is my last reason why I’m not discussing the gameplay.

And, to make a long story short…

The Great

Johnny Cage – It was tough picking which would come first because I always like to end these sections with my strongest pick. Both of the characters here have been my favorites since the first game. Both have endured their share of trials and tribulations. Unfortunately for Cage, his were all self-inflicted. Nevertheless, his “redemption” story is wonderful and I can safely call him a favorite again.

Fire God Liu Kang! – This one is a spoiler alert for anyone still playing the story. Mainly, the warning is for Chris because he’s still the only one that regularly reads this right now. I will go on record that killing Liu Kang is probably the most unforgivable thing that they’ve done in this game series. I understand trying to reboot a tired franchise, but killing Liu Kang is a travesty. It is doubly so to have him double crossed by Raiden of all people. Thankfully, this game reversed all of that. I won’t give it all away except to repeat Fire God Liu Kang!

Yeah, I’d say that’s one hell of a redemption.

The Good

Fighting – Look, I understand that this is a fighting game. However, I would be lying if I didn’t say that the constant pauses in the story so that I could noob it up while trying to pull off the combos that I was barely able to finish in the tutorial weren’t annoying me. I very much enjoyed the story and kind of wished that they would just let the thing play through without the fighting interludes.

The Story – On that note, I’m not lying when I say that I would rather watch this story than any of the movies currently available. Maybe I should include the caveat that I meant the live action movies. I haven’t seen any of the animated films and the advertisement that I saw for the Scorpion animated film actually looks pretty good. Sure, the story has the usual clichés and some parts are just ridiculous. With all of that being said, it is well worth it to play through the story mode.

Kenshi is also dead (spoiler alert) but nobody cares about him enough to include that in the story mode

The Decent

Final Fight – Look, I get that it’s supposed to be a boss fight and that boss fights are notoriously unfair in Mortal Kombat games. And, yes, it technically only took me 3 fights to finish the boss. Nevertheless, during those 3 fights, I was becoming increasingly frustrated with how poorly my strategies were working. Then again, it might have just been because I was stonewalled by the boss in my Johnny Cage tower, too, and needed the AI to bail me out.

Tease – I kept texting my friend during the story saying, “x (where x = some character not in the game) is already rendered. Why are they not in the game?” He always replied, “Well, there’s always Kombat Pack 2. So, yeah, I’m also grumpy that some of the best characters are in the game but not in the game, yet. Cyrax, Sektor, and Sheeva, I’m looking at you.

Yep, that was my face, too, Sheeva, when I realized that I’m going to have to pay good money for what’s already in the game.

The Forgettable

Fallen Hero Syndrome – It started with Raiden. Then I realized that Cage, Liu Kang, Kitana, and even Jax had elements of the fallen hero in their story. Look, I get that the fallen hero as a concept is compelling. However, it started to get old. By the time I got to Jax’s story, I was just done with the fallen hero story. Enough already.

The Verdict

Overall, the Mortal Kombat 11 story is strong. It’s much better than previous versions. It is especially better than the disaster that was MKX. Hell, I don’t even remember the story from that game. They corrected everything that I feel like they screwed up in previous games. They were able to keep the story open for future installments. Sure, it’s not perfect, but I might be one of the only people that plays these types of games for the story. If you haven’t already, play through the Mortal Kombat 11 story. It’s worth the time.

Super Saiyan!


The 2 Guys Gaming got together for the first time in months. With the business of the holidays, the start of the new semester, and just general overall old man Mr. Winter, we just weren’t able to connect and make plans. Whenever we do, we both say that we need to do it more often and then life gets in the way. Well, I’ve made last year and this year about telling life to go to hell when it decides to get in the way of my grand plans. We’ve got games to play and podcasts to record!

During this visit, we tried out his new arcade stick emulator, Padora’s Boxx by beating the old classic puncher X-Men. It seemed much shorter and easier than when I was a teenager. it’s a game where you walk sideways and punch things. It’s not like we were playing 3 dimensional chess back then. Why did the game seem so difficult? Well, Chris and I didn’t have to plug quarters into the machine. When you aren’t paying a quarter every 5 minutes to revive your character, you aren’t as aware of your limitations when playing the game.

The difficulty is ratcheted up, though when you are hitting the enemy with skateboards and vacuum cleaners instead of lasers and Adamantium claws.

We also did a Winchester draft (more on that in a couple of days) and played some of the new fighting game Dragonball Fighterz. Chris has raved about the game to me and he even wrote a review of the game last week. He was so excited about the game that I couldn’t wait to play it. We waited until the end of the night to play. Without giving too much away, it was worth the wait.

The Good

The best part of the game is that they have made it very noob friendly. I had never played the game. I hadn’t even watched any gameplay videos like I told Chris I might after seeing some screenshots and thinking that the game looked absolutely gorgeous. I was going in completely blind, so to speak. That made no difference.

The move scheme is, as Chris explained it, “If you can do a fireball motion, you are all set”. Because of that, I was pulling off crazy combos right out of the gate. Well, based on my previous experience in fighting games, they were crazy combos. I imagine in this day and age, they are just a basic combo that any preschooler could pull off with his eyes closed and both hands ties behind his back. I even beat Chris in the first game. Beginner’s luck?

And you had to walk through the snow, uphill both ways, in order to pull off a combo.

Then I beat him again, and a third time. I can’t remember how many times I actually beat him in a row before he finally got a win, but it was at least three. More on that in a bit. It sounds weird and it might just have been because I was new to the game, but it felt like something different happened every match.

One time, one of the characters flew up into the air, seemed to collect a bunch of energy, and then threw it down onto the other guy. Another time, Chris finished my guy off by throwing him threw 3 mountains, bringing the third one down on top of me. Several times, it looked like an atom bomb went off to end the fight.

One time, I somehow pulled off some sort of “finishing” move. It was called an ultimate devastation or something like that. It wasn’t quite a fatality like from Mortal Kombat. The camera panned back, the animation was a huge explosion, and then the words came across the screen. I can’t remember exactly what the words were and I can’t find any evidence of it online, but both Chris and I sat in stunned silence for a few seconds. He finally said, “I’ve never seen that happen before.” Mind you, he’s been playing the game about 2 hours a day for a week to this point.

Animations like this are commonplace. Needless to say, this isn’t a game for those with epilepsy. Heck, they may find that it’s bad for people who have functioning eyes.

The Bad

Naturally, having grown up during the hey day of Street Fighter 2, I’m a Capcom baby. Since this game utilizes a lot of the same functionality in moves and super combos, it made me think of the Capcom games. In fact, during our games, Chris said something like “Capcom should take notes.” While I agree, that’s not quite my main disagreement. Because I grew up with the Capcom characters, I know which characters I like and which I don’t. Having never watched any DragonballZ, I had no idea about anything about any of the characters. I knew some of the names from various memes and everyone knows the “over 9000!” line. Other than that, though, I knew nothing.

In addition, there aren’t that many characters to begin with. I mean, the character selection screen is full, but many of those characters are just alternate versions of the other characters. I think I counted 3 or 4 different Gokus and that might be low. Again, as a new entry into the Dragonball Z universe, maybe there just aren’t that many characters in the series. However, as someone who likes a variety of characters to choose and try out in a new game, that was a bit disappointing.

Finally, with all of the interaction and animations, they do get stale. Most notably, the entry animation when one of your characters gets knocked out gets old real fast because it never changes. The new character just flies in along with the opposing character and they punch each other’s fists. This is quite disappointing as I was at least expecting each pair of characters to have their own animations similar to the beginning fight sequences.

Yep, that’s it. I kid you not.

The Ugly

I know that I often struggle to find “The Ugly” for many of these articles, but this game is as close to a perfect fighter as I’ve played in a long time. Other than the few minor nit picks I had for “The Bad” section, I have no complaints about this game. Certainly not anything that could possibly be elevated to “Ugly” status.

So, I will just take this space to gloat a little bit more. It took Chris a few matches to finally beat me and I probably won about 70-75% of the matches that we played. I suppose we could just call it all beginners luck, but I’m going to go with L2P Noob. I’m just too good for you.

Shots fired, Bro.

The Verdict

As we were playing, I said to Chris, I definitely have to get an XBox One. I actually said that I wanted to get an XBox One and a PS4 because I didn’t think that Dragonball was a cross platform title. I have no idea why I thought that. I think I’m just looking for a reason to spend money that I don’t have on things I don’t need. I’m a complicated individual.

So, now more than ever, I want to buy an XBox One. We can get Minecraft that allows for cross platform support. We can get Dragonball Fighterz and Chris made the point that the boys would really get a kick out of the game. He’s right. Dragonball Fighterz is selling consoles (at least to me) and I don’t know when the last time a fighting game made me want to own a console.

I’m sure anyone who wants to play the game already has done so. However, if you are like me and have somehow avoided both purchasing either and XBox One or PS4 and the game, then you need to go out and buy it right now. You will not be disappointed. Heck, the game has even made it to EVO already as Chris predicted that it probably would. At least for me, that is must see viewing.

Gods in the Palm of your Hand

(Editor’s Note: 2 Generations Gaming is back with a celebration of all things DC Comics over the next couple of weeks due to our enjoyment of the new Wonder Woman movie. Next month is Spidey and Marvel!)

I believe I’ve mentioned the mobile version of MKX in one of my reviews recently. Even if I haven’t, just know that I’m not overly impressed with the game. Look, I know that it can’t be an exact port from the console versions to mobile, but I just felt that it could be so much more. Against my better judgement, I fell for the advertisement in MKX and downloaded Injustice 2 for the phone. I’ve heard good things about the console version. However, as a cheap old gamer, I don’t have either of the current gen consoles required to play it. Also, Kevin crushed my dreams by telling me that it would not be released on Steam. Therefore, I have to wait until another price drop or two (and Chris told me that one is imminent!) until I’m able to play that version.

As a result, even though I’m deeply disappointed in MKX and Injustice 2 is done by the same studio, I took the chance. Part of the reason is that Wonder Woman released this month and I had plans of doing a DC spectacular on the podcast and I needed some DC games to fill in the gaps on the web page. Just like the movies (more on that Friday), there haven’t been many decent DC related games other than the Arkham series. I remembered the Injustice name from the first game and, as always, hold out hope that things will get better.

Usually, I’m the guy on the left. Every now and then, I’m pretty sure that I’m standing in a puddle of piss.

Let’s start with my primary complaint about MKX. Combat, frankly, is boring. As I mentioned earlier, it is mobile, so it is unrealistic to think that an exact port is possible. However, I feel they could have adjusted the game to take advantage of the unique nature of mobile gaming and make it more strategy based than just tap, tap, tap. On a related note, I’ve found some additional strategy with the block mechanic, but even that is very limited. Injustice improves upon that.

Adding to the basic/combo attacks and block maneuver, each character has a jumping attack, a crouching attack, a rush attack, and even a ranged attack. Each of them is activated using a unique motion. The variety of moves makes it feel so much more like an actual fighting game than MKX. I will be investing much more time into Injustice 2. I’ve already weaved it into my regular rotation as I wait for cooldowns to expire in MTG:PQ and Sim City.

They’re not lying. In addition to the fact that there is an actual moves list, the characters have unique animations for their different moves. It is quite an impressive improvement on MKX.

So, the move set is more complete. Big deal. Hey, as far as I’m concerned, it is a big deal. That alone makes it work the price of admission. By the way, that price is free for both games. It’s a metaphor, okay?! However, that’s not all. There are several other reasons that Injustice 2 is a vastly superior game to MKX. Let’s explore them.

There are more and a wider variety of game modes. Alongside the campaign mode, arena (which is similar to faction wars), and resource missions (sort of a ladder style mode that is somewhat analogous to Shao Khan’s tower), there is also a robust story mode, operations, and something called challenges. As of this writing, I’ve played all of the modes at least once.

I’ve only played through part of the story, but the cut scene that I watched was entertaining enough to keep me interested and I will probably play through more eventually. Right now, I’d much rather play the other modes as they offer much better loot. Area pits you against random teams put together by other players with the computer as your actual opponent. Operations are a completely different way to play the game. You choose one (so far the only ones I have unlocked are one) of your characters to go on a “mission” which awards various prizes depending on the mission. It is not terribly interactive, but I appreciate the attempt at doing something different. Plus, they’re part of the daily objectives that award you hero shards to unlock a new Wonder Woman.

For some reason, I’m all about Wonder Woman right now.

The last improvement that I will discuss is the concept of class advantage. This may exist in MKX. If it does, though, I’m not aware of it. Injustice 2 makes it abundantly clear that even a noob like me can not only know about it but also have a basic understanding of the Rochambeau nature of the mechanic.

I probably could go on, but I’m blanking on other specific parts of the game that have impressed me. It’s just overall a vastly improved game over MKX and very much what I expected a mobile fighting game would be without having any actual expectations the first time that I played MKX. Does that make sense? Probably not, so let me try to unpack it.

As we’ve seen, unpacking issues usually becomes a trip into dark and scary places.

I hoped that MKX would at least be a decent emulation of the console version. In the graphics, animation, and sound departments, it was. For everything else, it was hopelessly not. I played the game because it kept me entertained for about 5 or 10 minutes (my usual attention span when it comes to mobile games), but I wished for more. Having my expectations somewhat diminished by the disappointment of MKX, I went into Injustice 2 figuring that it might just be the same and I’d end up deleting it from my phone in a month or two to make room.

Obviously, that hasn’t happened. I’m playing Injustice on a regular basis and it has now moved past Sim City as my second most played game after MTG:PQ. I don’t see it surpassing that game as, no matter how much it frustrates me, I really enjoy that one. I’m not sure what a game would need to do to become my favorite over MTG:PQ. It is just a solid mobile game with that MTG flavor that I enjoy so much.

In closing, I really, really like the Injustice 2 mobile app. There are a wide variety of characters with a complete move set. Several game modes keep the game feeling fresh even if mobile isn’t exactly the best way to experience a fighting game. It’s free and the virtual currencies are easy enough to obtain that I haven’t found myself considering a purchase at all. We all know that I will usually make my 10 or 20 dollar purchase to support the developers, but I haven’t figured out what that will look like for this one yet. So, download it and give it a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Episode 7 – Marvel Madness Redux

Quality of audio and content are back this month!

On the Tabletop – We go full force with Heroclix and talk a little about Dicemasters.  More on that in a couple of months.

The Digital Playground – Marvel v. Capcom 2 is good!  3?  Eh, let’s not talk too much about that one.

No bonus segment this month.  We were going to review Age of Ultron, but neither of us has seen it yet.  When does it hit Redbox?

2 Guys Gaming
2 Guys Gaming
Episode 7 - Marvel Madness Redux


Episode 6 – Do You Want to Build Some Standard?

First, apologies for the sound quality.  We got a new set up and I didn’t test it.  I thought that I had it figured out before recording, but I didn’t.  The sound quality will be much better next month.

On the Tabletop – We give a review of Dragons of Tarkir finally and talk a bit about our first experiences with Standard legal decks.

The Digital Playground – We talk about bizarre 2D fighters, take a look back on our introduction to the genre and set the stage for our Marvel vs. Capcom discussion on the next episode.

No bonus segment this month.  I’ll record something with the Gamer Bros. and start their new feed soon.

2 Guys Gaming
2 Guys Gaming
Episode 6 - Do You Want to Build Some Standard?


Button Mashers Beget Button Mashers

(Editor’s Note: Apologies again for our silence this week. I’ve been dealing with end of semester stuff. Hopefully I can maintain the schedule of posting twice over the next two weeks. If not, I’ll definitely be back when finals are over.)

My family took me to a local arcade (yes, they still exist!) for my birthday this year. It might be more accurate if I saythe local arcade since I believe it is the only one close enough to be called local. We do have a Chuck E. Cheese, but the arcade there is secondary. You mostly go there for the mediocre (really, terrible) pizza. Wait, why does anyone go there? A question for another time, perhaps.

The trip took me back to the years of my youth misspent in arcades from Erie, Pennsylvania to Silver Springs, Maryland. I got 2 hours to play Tetris, Dig, Dug, Rampage, NBA Jam, The Simpsons, Centipede, any many others. Sadly, no Q*Bert or Pac-Man and the Mrs. Pac-Man machine was out of order. Also no Mario Brothers and the only Neo Geo games were Bubble Bobble and Bust a Move. Aside from the more modern games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, those were the old school games that I played in the arcade and at home. Still, I had so much fun and it is one of the best birthday presents ever.

Button mashers in training

During one of my breaks to watch TMNT (They showed it on the big screen, but with no sound. That’s my only complaint, even if understandable.) and eat free fries (part of a Groupon deal), I noticed Liam and Aiden playing together on a machine and having a ton of fun. I went over to see what brought them such joy. It was one of those Street Fighter clones, but one that I’d never played nor even seen. This is noteworthy because I thought that I’d played them all. At the least, I was sure that I’d played the ones that featured Ryu as a character. I noticed he was on the roster during one of their character selections.

Now, it is bugging me again that I never knew the game existed and I forgot to write down the name of the game. I need to figure this out. Bear with me. Enjoy the musical stylings of Nick Winters while you wait.

Okay, I’m back! Google is a wonderful thing. Whether you need to find the name of a never before seen 2D fighter or directions to the Rhode Island Convention Center for an underwhelming trip to wach the SCG Open event, Google has you covered. Sure, they’ll catalog your search results, sell your personal information and data, and then use that money to lobby Washington DC for less strict anti-trust laws. That’s all a small price to pay for all that convenience.

Once they finished playing and it was time to go, I asked the natural question, hoping for a particular response. They looked like they had fun, but I wanted to be sure. “Did you like it?” I asked. They both said, “Yes, it was fun!”

Woo hoo!

It started with board games, branched out into Heroclix, Pokemon, and Magic, and now extended into 2D fighting games. My kids share many of my gaming interests and I’m thrilled by the prospects. In fact, they enjoyed the game so much that they didn’t want to leave. While I’m not entirely sure how they kept track, we only had technically two hours to play and our time was over. No tears were shed, but they definitely expressed their disappointment.

Oh, in case you were wondering, the game they were playing:

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom

I remembered that Chris gave me a copy of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. This led me to download the second game on XBox Live. I mentioned to the boys that I owned a similar game to soften the blow. Naturally, my intent was to play the game with them. However, as happens (and happened too often this winter), the gamegot lost in the shuffle and forgotten for several months.

I don’t remember exactly how or why the game came up in conversation again. I think that it was just luck. We were sitting in the living room, Aiden had finished playing some ‘Splosion Man, and was getting ready to turn off the XBox. I grabbed the other controller to load up Marvel vs. Capcom 2. He got so excited when he heard the music and saw all the characters that were available. Neither he nor I understood the intricacies of the game, so we were on mostly level ground in that regard. I did have the advantage of knowing some of the special moves. That advantage disappeared quickly, though.

I’m not sure that he knew the exact moves. Then again, I’m not sure that he didn’t, either. He pulled them off with such frequency and skill that he might have stumbled onto something by mistake. Either way, he beat me legitimately more than once. I’m not proud of it, but it did happen. As someone who pretends to be a reporter on the internets, it is my duty to report news when it happens.

Breaking! 8-year old beats his father! Click herefor the rest of the story.

Hey, maybe I’m not just pretending to be a reporter. I seem to have learned the basics of web journalism already. I can generate click bait. What do you mean journalistic integrity? See, I’m a natural!

We moved on to Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Excited by the fact that, even though it takes them a while, Capcom can count to three, I assumed that meant that they also improved their games with each successive sequel. Sure, I knew that they often didn’t necessarily improve when they released the in between expansions for each game, but they had to make the sequels better, right? I excitedly told Aiden that they made the graphics better and added new characters. Sadly, only one of those was true. There were actually less characters and they didn’t even necessarily pick the good ones to include in the game.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Of course, the game featured all of the familiar faces from both Capcom and Marvel. Ryu, Sagat, Ken, Spidey, and Hulk all made the cut. So did some secondary characters like Dormammu, Moon Knight, the Darkstalkers girls, and the guy from Ghosts and Goblins. Deadpool and X-23 were added with a few others, but Zangief is gone. Probably the most egregious omission is the mummy guy from Darkstalkers. I accidentally discovered this move that turns the oppponent into this tiny zombie looking robot thing. Aiden and I laughed hysterically any time that I managed to land the attack. That’s what games are all about. Finding a move in a fighting game that makes both you and your 8-year old son giggle in the same way and spam it to no end.

Another strike against the third game is that Christine found the case. She asked, “Is this appropriate for them to play?” I asked what she meant and that I played it with Aiden and saw no problems. She replied, “It’s rated T.” I rolled my eyes. “Probably for cartoon violence or something.” To be honest, I never checked the ratings and felt a bit embarrassed by that. When I checked, I was flabbergasted. Partial nudity and sexual themes? WTF? I’m not sure that I played that game. I did a little research and I guess that it is due to the Darkstalkers ladies and Deadpool says a few potentially offensive things. I think that they were a bit heavy handed with the rating, but I can see their point. Some parents and children might be more sensitive to these issues.

All things considered, the second game seems like the obvious choice. No Deadpool and there are the ridiculously sexist costumes for some characters mentioned above, but they are overshadowed by the sheer number of other characters and easily avoided. I would give the game a try yourself first to see if that is something that you don’t find too offensive. If you find that it is okay for you and your kids, then get your kids to fight with each other and not worry about the destruction of property as a result.

…in a fighting game. Continue reading