Evil Avatar  



Go Back   Evil Avatar > Daily Gaming News > In-House Content

» Sponsored Links


» Recent Threads
Halloween Slices up a...
Last post by SpectralThundr
Today 10:02 PM
27 Replies, 1,182 Views
C64 Mini got 100x...
Last post by Metal Jesus
Today 08:07 PM
2 Replies, 196 Views
Game & Movie Releases...
Last post by rubbishfoo
Today 06:55 PM
16 Replies, 916 Views
Switch Diablo III:...
Last post by PatrickRes9
Today 06:08 PM
50 Replies, 2,855 Views
Spyro Reignited Trilogy...
Last post by Evil Avatar
Today 03:50 PM
1 Replies, 195 Views
Hitman 2 All Locations...
Last post by Evil Avatar
Today 03:42 PM
1 Replies, 174 Views
Red Dead Redemption 2...
Last post by Evil Avatar
Today 07:16 AM
21 Replies, 1,513 Views
Pet Sematary Remake...
Last post by Chief Smash
Today 05:22 AM
25 Replies, 2,883 Views
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-13-2010, 10:50 AM   #1
pwnophobia
Sophisticated Pirate
 
pwnophobia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 6,123
Blog Entries: 10
[XBLA] - Monday Night Combat Review

Title: Monday Night Combat
Platform: XBLA
Platform Reviewed: XBLA
Developer: Uber Entertainment
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
MSRP: 1200 MSP ($15)
Writer: Adam 'pwnophobia' Cogswell

Monday Night Combat Review

Pro Tip: Never Pet a Burning Dog

Just about all of us have played one of the following games or game types: Team Fortress 2, Defense of the Ancients, Tower Defense or some type of "Horde" mode. Once you've played one of those types you may have said to yourself: "How cool would it be if we could throw everything together in one big mess and see what happens?!" I think you know where I am going with this and, yes, that is exactly what Monday Night Combat is. Making its debut on the Xbox Live Arcade, Monday Night Combat is a very nice, rather small, downloadable title that helps brings friends together and controllers through television sets.

Before all else, it needs to be said that Monday Night Combat is a multiplayer centric game. While there is a single player mode (Blitz, i.e. horde mode) everything about the game screams "tactics" and "play with friends". Up to the release of Monday Night Combat you may have noticed that I was a bit on the fence about how the game was going to play. The reason being that I didn't have any friends that owned the game to play with. While trying to play with the public and by myself I kept nit-picking on the game; matches never seemed to flow in my favor or Blitz games never felt quite right. I'm happy to report that after you grab at least two friends the games mechanics wholly change because you can call out enemies or turret locations and have people LISTEN. Suddenly you start to laugh and smile, you'll find that you're sitting up-right and that your hands spend less time in the bag of chips than it does on the controller.


Complete with six semi-customizable classes, Assault, Sniper, Assassin, Gunner, Support and Tank, you'll want to spend some time with each of them to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Each of the classes has a primary and secondary weapon, and all have three skills that can be upgraded by spending your hard earned cash. After you've played with them and found the one that suits your play style you'll want to unlock the customize class option, which gives you 8 perks to choose from to equip only 3 on your character. The game stutters a bit here because even after you've "customized" your class, you barely see the added effect. I suppose this helps to keep things balanced, it stops players from stacking their Assassin to be stupid fast and deadly, but leaves a bit to be desired. While games such as DOTA thrive on allowing you to pick different items for your character which changes the way you play each game, Monday Night Combat doesn't have any sort of itemization or in depth customization to change the flow of the game. You can easily get away with never customizing your class, and in all honesty it feels a bit tacked on... like the developers wanted to do something with it but didn't take the time to expand.

Monday Night Combat only has two modes: Blitz and Crossfire. Blitz is your typical Horde mode wherein you pick how many waves you want, then setup turrets at pre-defined locations and kill. The whole goal of Blitz is to survive the waves and protect your money ball. If you decide to go at it alone you'll have a totally different experience than if you were to bring friends because for every person you add to your team you add another set of bots to each wave. For example on Wave 10 a large "boss" bot comes out and walks toward the money ball. If it was just you, you'd only have one of these bots, two people: two bots, and so on up until you've reached the maximum of four players. Depending on the number of friends you have in will dictate where the bots are coming from and how many are in each wave. However, there is only one Blitz map and four locations that any bots can come from. This is a problem because there are not many combinations of strategies you can run with pre-defined turret locations. Sure there are four different types of turrets to play with, but what can you do on wave 50 on insanity difficulty when you can't route the bots around the map? With that being said, having only one map doesn't take away from the fun because chances are you're going to move on quickly to the next game mode: Crossfire.


Once you're done collecting money and levels in Blitz you may want to take your team for some hot Crossfire (PvP) action. Fire up the lobby and wait a (literal) minute then away you go. Accompanied by waves of robots and stationary turrets, you're tasked with pushing to the opposite side of the map and destroying the opposing teams money ball. This is another area where heavy team play comes in handy because without a good group of guys who will listen to orders you'll be stuck in a stalemate for the duration of the match. While you can't tell the robots where to go, you can help destroy the opposing teams turrets and army to advanced your side of the map, but you cannot build turrets passed the half way mark. A good mix of classes to support each other helps move the game before it reaches overtime, where you've got two minutes to lay waste to the money ball before the opposing team grabs yours. I've had a lot of fun with this mode and tend to stick to only two classes, which I usually pick based on what my team picks. Money isn't super easy to come by, but it's not hard to get either which forces you to make a few team decisions. Do I spend my money on my character to upgrade skills? Do I purchase or upgrade turrets? Ultimately, your job is to figure out what's best for the team.

Whether you're playing through either Blitz or Crossfire, you earn money and levels. The levels are arbitrary but the money is used to unlock Street Fighter IV style emblems that appear on the opposing players screen when you kill them. There isn't much more to be said about earning money, you'll grab an amount at the end of the match and either save it or rub your achievements in your opponents face. If you want to quickly unlock all of the customization options you'll probably find yourself completing 10 waves of Blitz by yourself because the way money is handed out is based on how much you contributed in the match.


There are a few small gripes about Monday Night Combat that I can't pass by. You've read a few throughout the body but the largest is a huge frame rate reduction when there are too many things going on at once. Have you ever been playing on a low-end PC when suddenly the game tosses a hundred guys on the screen and your machine bogs? That is the exact same thing that happens here. It seems as though MNC hasn't been thoroughly optimized, so you'll have to work through it and wait for the game to catch up. I mentioned the shoddy customization options, which leads me to believe that the group of people playing Monday Night Combat will drop off as soon as another game hits. While this plagues most XBLA titles, Monday Night Combat's lack of items, modes, maps, and extra customization lead to nearly the same game experience every time. You'll need to be imaginative to keep the game fresh.

With all that being said, Monday Night Combat is a very fun and interesting title, bringing a breath of fresh air to the arcade. If you like to team-play and have a bunch of people on your friends list to play with, you should go pick this up and have something to do until the next big multiplayer game hits. What Monday Night Combat does well is mold all of the previous game types you've played while adding in its own quirky flare. If Uber wants this title to continue to succeed they'll need to introduce maps and more customization options but as it stands it can hold against the likes of Battlefield 1943.


Score: 4 out of 5


The Good
  • Team coordination, strategy and makeup lead to fun and entertaining games.
  • Entertaining characters and personalities.
  • Cell shaded art design is very pleasing to the eye.
The Bad
  • Character customization needs more levels of customization.
  • Blitz needs to incorporate some of the Crossfire maps, one can get old quickly.
The Ugly
  • Frame rate loss when the game demands too much from the Xbox.
pwnophobia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 10:51 AM   #2
pwnophobia
Sophisticated Pirate
 
pwnophobia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 6,123
Blog Entries: 10










pwnophobia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 11:01 AM   #3
lockwoodx
Photobomber
 
lockwoodx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: on tap
Posts: 23,709
Blog Entries: 2
Good review. I'm glad you gave it more credit than I've seen other sites. This game has levels of depth while almost pulling off "valve" levels of simplicity = quality. I hope they release it for Steam eventually.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by AspectVoid View Post
I had no idea he was posting awesome stuff that would get the ads cancelled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AkumaATR View Post
Lock is untouchable though, he's too cool to be targeted, like ever. He's Detroit's Heisenberg!
lockwoodx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 11:09 AM   #4
gzsfrk
Punch, brothers, punch!
 
gzsfrk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Posts: 8,187
So what two classes do you play? I've not bought the game yet, but I'm playing a ton of co-op Blitz in the trial and having a blast as Assault. The fly option isn't that great, but I love the triggerable bombs.

I'm really on the fence with this one--I like it a lot more than I thought I would, but I wonder if it's worth paying the $15 on a game that may or may not have much staying power on the multiplayer side. Personally, I think the mulltiplayer will have pretty good legs, as it will appeal to much of the same crowd that's currently still keeping the BF1943 games pop'd. SO.... I'm probably going to end up getting it, I think--mostly for the co-op Blitz mode, but I might grow to like Crossfire if I can get on a good team that doesn't just run around like it was a Doom deathmatch.
__________________
360 Gamer Card: GzsFrK2
PSN ID: GzsFrK
iOS Game Center: GzsFrK
gzsfrk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 11:14 AM   #5
Ranhert
Evil Dead
 
Ranhert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by gzsfrk View Post
So what two classes do you play? I've not bought the game yet, but I'm playing a ton of co-op Blitz in the trial and having a blast as Assault. The fly option isn't that great, but I love the triggerable bombs.
I've been playing Support mostly. I like being able to pimp turrets, heal teammates/turrets, lifesteal, and call in airstrikes.
__________________
XBL: Ranhert2
Currently Playing: League of Legends
Ranhert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 11:18 AM   #6
pwnophobia
Sophisticated Pirate
 
pwnophobia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 6,123
Blog Entries: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gzsfrk View Post
So what two classes do you play? I've not bought the game yet, but I'm playing a ton of co-op Blitz in the trial and having a blast as Assault. The fly option isn't that great, but I love the triggerable bombs.
Assassin and Gunner, I haven't touched much of the assault.

Only pick up MNC if you have people to play with, but it might not be worth it for just Blitz. The meat and potatoes of the game IS Crossfire, that's where it really shines and where you'll have the most fun .
__________________
- - - -
Listen to me on the Trinity Force podcast!
pwnophobia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 11:21 AM   #7
pwnophobia
Sophisticated Pirate
 
pwnophobia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 6,123
Blog Entries: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockwoodx View Post
Good review. I'm glad you gave it more credit than I've seen other sites. This game has levels of depth while almost pulling off "valve" levels of simplicity = quality. I hope they release it for Steam eventually.
Thank you!

As I said, I was leaning so far back and forth on the fence that it wasn't until I started writing that I realized I really did like the game. I can see the potential, but it is not perfect by any means.
__________________
- - - -
Listen to me on the Trinity Force podcast!
pwnophobia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 11:22 AM   #8
bean19
Butt Stallion
 
bean19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 15,783
The tacos (with which I am paid) have been traded for Puzzle Quest 2 and other sundries with which I provide for my livelihood. I'm looking forward to purchasing this in the future though.
bean19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
TzunSu
Evil Dead
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 327
Author a Generation Kill fan?
TzunSu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 12:18 PM   #10
Phokal
Evil Dead
 
Phokal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: WI
Posts: 341
Blog Entries: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by gzsfrk View Post
So what two classes do you play? I've not bought the game yet, but I'm playing a ton of co-op Blitz in the trial and having a blast as Assault. The fly option isn't that great, but I love the triggerable bombs.
Flying is something you sorely miss when you switch to another class and get knocked out of the arena by a gunner slam, big bot slam, assault charge, or tank charge....or an ejector I suppose (but that hasn't happened to me yet).

Plus, jumping then floating works wonders against an assassin, who then cannot grapple you.
Phokal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 12:43 PM   #11
Eats
Developer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 648
This game is good, but seems unbalanced. The assassin sucks hard imo. Support and heavy are probably the best, then assault.

The problem with the assassin is that:
1. people can change weapons while being grappled.
2. grapples rarely kill you, especially if you custom your class with lvl 1 or 2 armor.

If I get grappled, I can just switch to shotgun while being grappled and one shot the assassin as soon as the grapple ends. If I am any of the other classes, I can do something similar, like grapple the assassin back or attach a bomb to him. So even though the assassin gets a good backstab, which is hard, they still lose.

But even if backstabs killed 100% of the time assassins would still suck. front and back grapples by the assassin need to insta kill every other class i think for them to be viable at all.


Also the airstrike is way OP, especially since you can clip it to people as well.


airstrike = aoe bomb that you can throw out 3 of at once that does way more damage than the assault grenade, which he can only throw out 1 of at once and has a cooldown. How is that balanced?
Eats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 01:09 PM   #12
pwnophobia
Sophisticated Pirate
 
pwnophobia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 6,123
Blog Entries: 10
I've never had an issue with the Assassin, as soon as I backstab they either die or die after I get out and one hit them with my sword.
__________________
- - - -
Listen to me on the Trinity Force podcast!
pwnophobia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 01:20 PM   #13
Kragg
Klassic Kragg
 
Kragg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Forbidden Forest
Posts: 1,347
Blog Entries: 14
Agreed. Good review. I will be passing on this one, but I think you were favorable, while remaining fair.
__________________
"Because. I don't make monkeys, I just train 'em."

The Vomiting Unicorn Gazette

Xbox Live: Kragg
PSN: El_Kragg
Steam: Kragg
Kragg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 02:05 PM   #14
Anenome
Autarchist
 
Anenome's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Recursion City
Posts: 49,888
Blog Entries: 62
Kragg, with your new avatar you really deserve a 9.1
__________________
Choose your government: the majority ruling the minority, the minority ruling the majority, or everyone ruling themselves long as they do not initiate force, fraud, or theft against one another.
Anenome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 08:50 PM   #15
Demo_Boy
@DemoEvolved on Twitter
 
Demo_Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 4,774
Blog Entries: 7
I can tell you from my experience populating a game with a plethora of: "items, modes, maps, and extra customization" leading to a highly varied experience every time has NO bearing on the popularity of the game down the line.

In fact I think that the opposite may be true because it compresses all the players into the same pool instead of fragmenting them into unplayable clusters within the individual modes.

I also think that kicking a game for "probably not having players 6 months from now" feels a bit harsh since its an unprovable argument at the time of review and trends the process into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Demo_Boy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2010, 05:59 AM   #16
bean19
Butt Stallion
 
bean19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 15,783
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demo_Boy View Post
I can tell you from my experience populating a game with a plethora of: "items, modes, maps, and extra customization" leading to a highly varied experience every time has NO bearing on the popularity of the game down the line.

In fact I think that the opposite may be true because it compresses all the players into the same pool instead of fragmenting them into unplayable clusters within the individual modes.
More options are great. You just can't let players filter options minutely. Look at any modern matchmaker, they only give you very broad filters instead of very specific ones in order to ensure match-making is quick.
bean19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2010, 08:22 AM   #17
pwnophobia
Sophisticated Pirate
 
pwnophobia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 6,123
Blog Entries: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demo_Boy View Post
I also think that kicking a game for "probably not having players 6 months from now" feels a bit harsh since its an unprovable argument at the time of review and trends the process into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I didn't deduct a singe point, half point or quarter point from the game because of lack of players in the future. I was just mentioning that it probably won't have a huge base once the likes of Halo: Reach come out. Though that can be said for any arcade title that has MP....

Having more customization options would make the game better. It doesn't have to be this gigantic store, but something to spend my money on besides a few class skills and some turrets would be nice. There are a lot of different things in the world, but one you've made it to the 5 minute mark you've pretty much maxed out everything. Then what do you spend your money on? More bots and a few turret upgrades.
__________________
- - - -
Listen to me on the Trinity Force podcast!
pwnophobia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2010, 11:01 PM   #18
Eats
Developer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 648
Quote:
Originally Posted by pwnophobia View Post
I've never had an issue with the Assassin, as soon as I backstab they either die or die after I get out and one hit them with my sword.
I mean, if a support switches to the shotgun in a grapple he will kill you as soon as the grapple ends before you can sword them.


Quote:
Having more customization options would make the game better. It doesn't have to be this gigantic store, but something to spend my money on besides a few class skills and some turrets would be nice. There are a lot of different things in the world, but one you've made it to the 5 minute mark you've pretty much maxed out everything. Then what do you spend your money on? More bots and a few turret upgrades.


I kind of agree, but you can bot spam pretty well at that point.

It would be better if you could like, tech your bot spam, or at least choose which bots you are buying.
Eats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2010, 07:46 AM   #19
bean19
Butt Stallion
 
bean19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 15,783
I bought this and I'm extremely impressed with it. This is a LOT of game for $15. I'm having a great deal of fun and the price is great for it.

Things I would add with an expansion:

- More variety to announcer's statements. In any "sports" game you are going to get repetition, but he should at least have 4 or 5 quips for each thing that happens in the game. Right now he has one or two tops.

- Mascot should heat up when you shoot him enough and eventually cause an explosion so that there is some risk/reward involved with continuing to shoot him. . . More red = more money, but also more risk that he will blow up.

- More variation in art. Not just different maps, but different art used in the different maps.

- Variation in bot spawns. I like the random $100 bot spawns, but I would like it if both sides got more random bots as I simply don't see the full variety of bots often enough. They are quite neat and I want to see them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eats View Post
I mean, if a support switches to the shotgun in a grapple he will kill you as soon as the grapple ends before you can sword them.
I love the assassin, here are some tips.

1. Support is a strong class against you (and weak to almost everything else). They are designed to be able to deal with you as an assassin's main job is to take out towers/sentries. Avoid them when possible, or work in a group to kill them when it isn't possible.

2. Grapples from behind are more powerful and (when fully leveled up) will one-shot most classes.

3. If you are going after players, then you are playing the class wrong. Assassins should be sneaking to the back of enemy lines and using their EMP grenade to paralyze and take out towers. This opens the way to the enemy's moneyball or (if they are defending well) it sucks away their money. Feel free to take out folks on the way, but only for extra money. Don't waste a lot of time stalking them and remember you are semi-visible even when stealthed so getting close means getting shot.

4. Play to your personal strengths. Maybe you aren't meant to be an assassin as the play-style you enjoy is supporting your group and slowly moving the ball forward. A person playing a great support character will be more useful than an average or crap assassin.
bean19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
in-house content, monday night combat, review

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:09 PM.