I was a big fan of Monday Night Combat back when it first came out on XBLA. It was a really nice blend of co-op shooting, tower defense and arena based combat. Now, Uber Entertainment has released a new version with the same kind of formula, only now, it’s free to play.
For those of you unfamiliar with Monday Night Combat and Super MNC, the game is a televised futuristic death-sport that has two teams of five fighting each other in hopes of escorting bots to the enemies’ base and destroying their coin-filled moneyball. Doing this will require teamwork, upgrading your players (Pros), protecting your team’s bots and destroying the enemy’s turrets.
Super MNC has a few things different from the first game. First off, there are more Pros to play, each with their own unique stats, play feel and three special abilities. I can see there is a lot of emphasis on the Pros this time around. During play, you will level up and are allowed to spend your points on upgrading your three abilities or your defense and attack power. You will also gain money for purchasing stat boosters, jump pads to reach higher places and waves of bots to send at your opponents.
Each Pro has three skills they can use. Each skill depends on the Pro being used and how many points you have put into the skill during the match. When using a talent, you will have to wait for a cool down period before using it again. Each Pro has two weapons at their disposal as well. Each has an alternate fire and the second weapon, usually a melee armament, will always have a special grapple attack for when things get up close and personal.
The biggest game changer is that a losing team back can get back on top by using the Annihilator. It may cost $1000, but if you do activate it, it destroys every enemy bot and damages every enemy Pro. The really cool thing about the Annihilator is it is located in the middle of the stage, and when it becomes available, the game turns into an all out brawl for the button between the two teams.
After a game is over, your profile will gain experience points and, possibly, level up. Leveling will offer better endorsements to purchase and equip to your Pros. It will also allow for more of the sponsorships to be equipped at one time. You will also earn coins that you can spend in the locker room to buy them. These can range from better critical hits to bigger ammo clips for your weapons. There are tons to buy, and each has its own unique stats. Finding the balance that is right for you is key.
The presentation is really top notch. The play by play commentary by the two TV announcers is both helpful and funny. One minute they’ll be talking about how the Assault just got burned alive, the next, they’ll be discussing how their kids are doing in grade school. It reminds me of the commentators from Most Xtream Elimination Challenge. The graphics are cartoony and fit the overall feel very nicely. Everything is well done as far as looks and overall presentation.
There are a few things to buy in the game. Most are looks and skins for your Pros. There are no advantages given or game breaking perks to buy that will make you a better contender over the guy that didn’t spend any real money. So, if you go into the game not wanting to spend a single dime, you can and still have a great time with it.
There are a few problems with the game. The matchmaking is a little hit or miss when it comes to putting you with players of the same skill. There were times I was put in a game with people well above my skill level and there was really nothing I could do about it. Also, when waiting to be put into a game, you basically just have to sit in a queue until the game finds people to play with. There were times I was waiting for a good 5 to 6 minutes just to get into a match, but when I did make it into a game, they were all lag free. The tutorial could use a little work, also. There’s a video you can watch that gives you the gist of how the game works but no real hands on experience. Granted, there is a training mode you can use that lets you just take on bots and experiment with Pros, but something a little more robust would have been nice.
Finally, I had a problem with the interface in some of the menus. The locker room menu and endorsements menu are very cluttered and confusing at times. It took me a while to figure out exactly how to get the endorsements I wanted ON my Pro. Also, there are some endorsements that use a white background for the logo and the description of the endorsement uses white lettering. So I couldn’t see what the endorsement did due to the lack of contrast.
Even with the problems I had, I still had a really good time with Super Monday Night Combat. When you actually get into a game with people with the same skill, you can have a really good time and some intense matches. The issues can all be fixed with some simple patches. Luckily, Uber Entertainment is hard at work on the game, and the support for it will not be leaving anytime soon. The game is really fun with some buddies that want to play the game strategically against another team with the same skill level. If you’re into third person shooters or MOBA style games with a twist, you should really check this game out. You have nothing to lose. It’s free, and fun.