Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Midway hawking Mortal Kombat rights

Bankruptcy blow could be a fatality.

Troubled publisher Midway is thought to have put the rights to the Mortal Kombat series up for sale in a last-ditch effort to save the company.

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 17

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 17

LOTR Conquest, Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia, Saints Row 2 and loads more.

It's the first face-off of the New Year and with it, the opportunity to bring the cold, hard, iron first of order to the games cupboard by rounding up the games we really should have covered by now, but didn't for reasons too numerous and too tedious to get into. It's also the chance to take a look at how the first high profile release of 2009 - EA's Lord of the Rings: Conquest - measures up under Eurogamer's unyielding scrutiny.

As we've got a lot of software to get through, we've bumped up the interesting games to the front of the feature, then grouped together the rest in the form of smaller, round-up featurettes at the end. However, as per the norm, all games get the full screenshot gallery treatment - captures losslessly derived from the HDMI ports of both consoles at full range 24-bit RGB precision. Where PS3 outputs a 1080p signal on any given game, additional galleries are provided, along with their 360 counterparts.

For the headline games there's also the customary video coverage. Set your Flash Player to 'high quality' to appreciate the full might of h264 encoding, or check out the author's blog if you want to download bandwidth-saturating full-HD versions running in real time, optimised for playback on PS3, Xbox 360 and dual-core PCs.

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Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

When worlds collide.

Poor old Mortal Kombat. Everything seemed to go downhill for the world's most visceral fighting series when it hit the third dimension after the release of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3: Mortal Kombat 4 was a letdown, Deadly Alliance and Deception failed to make up for it, Armageddon was ill-conceived and the less said about the likes of Mortal Kombat: Special Forces the better.

But what was it about the early games that made Mortal Kombat so endearing? Was it gameplay that offered a viable alternative to the likes of Street Fighter II? Or was it the thrill of Sub-Zero's spine-ripping fatality, performed with the help of a tips section? No one seems to remember exactly, but with the series now languishing behind the likes of Soul Calibur and Virtua Fighter, Midway is hoping Superman, Batman and friends can rescue it from the brink in this comics vs. beat-'em-up crossover.

Crossovers sometimes work (Namco x Capcom, for instance), and the inclusion of Solid Snake and Sonic in Super Smash Bros. Brawl earlier this year proved popular. But the most obvious touchstone for MK vs. DC is of course Marvel vs. Capcom - with Tatsunoko vs. Capcom the most hotly anticipated. MK vs. DC doesn't have what it takes to dethrone Marvel vs. Capcom, but it's relatively competent.

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Midway Games sold for USD 100,000

Debt-riddled owner flogs shares.

Sumner Redstone has sold his controlling stake of Midway Games for a paltry USD 100,000 (GBP 66,718 / EUR 79,241), or just USD 0.0012 per share.

It's 1992 all over again. Two of gaming's greatest pugilists have revived their long-standing rivalry, with Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon claiming his new game will "kick" Street Fighter IV's "ass", while Capcom has accused Midway of still "riding the coattails" of its brawler.

Even DC blokes have fatalities - Boon

In new Mortal Kombat. Well, "brutalities".

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe jolly well will have fatalities, series co-creator Ed Boon has reiterated, and even the licensed good guys on the DC side will have equivalents.

"Worlds will collide. The fate of the universe will be decided." And the Internet will explode with indignant fanboy rage. Yes, Mortal Kombat is back, and this time it's teen-rated, which means no spine-ripping fatalities. Blunting the brand's trademark happy endings is inevitably going to unseat a few spleens, but that's the price series creator Ed Boon is prepared to pay for shacking up his "billion dollar fighting franchise" with Warner Bros. to bring the two famous brands together in one star-studded beat-'em-up package.