Super Monday Night Combat Review

  • Platform: PC
  • Developer: Uber Entertainment
  • Publisher: Uber Entertainment
  • Release Date: April 18, 2012
  • Price: Free to Play
  • Official: Uber Ent

“A future sport worth enjoying”

Monday Night Combat was a team based online shooter that originally released for Xbox Live Arcade in August of 2010, than later for PC in January of 2011. The game received positive reviews from most and was a fun title that took slight inspiration from games such as League of Legends and Dota while incorporating them into a third person sport of the future. Super Monday Night Combat is the Free to Play sequel. SMNC features improved graphics, sound, and a heavily polished infrastructure, to make it one of the more interesting F2P games to come out in 2012.

The main objective in SMNC is very similar to other MOBA titles in that your team must push back the opposing team and destroy their base. In SMNC the structure you must destroy is the team’s Moneyball, a floating gold ball that when destroyed explodes into a wave of gold coins. The teams in question are the Hotshots (red team) and Iceman (blue) who start at opposite sides of each arena. As a match progresses each contestant gains cash to level up and improve their character, and each of their unique abilities. While players will be battling each other, they are also trying to destroy the enemy teams bots, while helping their own. In order to get to, and destroy the teams Moneyball, your team must defend and assist your bots while they slowly make their way to the enemies base, destroying protective towers while they do so. Once you have eliminated each tower on route to the Moneyball, it is than a mass of hysteria as one team tries to do all it can to defend and the other tries to finish off a last attack.

While it may sound slightly confusing for people new to this style of game, it is much easier to get into and understand through SMNC than it is to try to learn while playing the staples of the genre; Dota and League of Legends. This team based gameplay blends very well with the traditional third-person mechanics to create a fun, fast and satisfying multiplayer experience. It is a real thrill to be pushed back to your own base, frantically trying to defend, than manage to somehow not only hold off the attack, but to push the enemy all of the way back to their own base, and than win the match. In SMNC a round can go back and forth multiple times before there is a concrete winner, and it is exhilarating.

What I have been describing is SMNC’s primary mutliplayer mode, Super Crossfire, but this game also features two other options of play: Turbocross and Super Blitz. Turbocross is similar to Crossfire but has several key differences such as shorter health and higher damage and the ability to rebuild turrets. Super Blitz is an entirely new co-operative mode that is similar to Blitz from the original Monday Night Combat. In Super Blitz players must work together and defend their Moneyball from waves of enemy bots, with each wave getting progressively harder. It is similar to other Hoard modes from other games, with the added ability to build turrets and hazards, and is a fun diversion from Super Crossfire.

While the gameplay is well done it is the games sense of humor that you will instantly notice. Uber Entertainment has infused SMNC with a great sense of style and filled it with absolutely ludicrous lore. Each Pro not only fills a necessary role, but comes with an insane back story and unique look. Super Monday Night Combat brings each Pro back from the original game and combines them with eleven new ones for a total of seventeen. From a simple medic to a well spoken famous actor that is in fact a gorilla, to an intelligent orphan raised by electric mer-eels, to a Robo-Hobo who is a forgotten musician, to even a clone of Leonardo da Vinci; SMNC features a character for everyone.

These eccentric Pro’s are combined perfectly with the presentation of a futuristic sport. Each arena features unique styling and hazards that will keep combatants on their toes and each match is also hosted by two new commentators. The original Monday Night Combat was hosted by Mickey Cantor and he also returned for Super Monday Night Combat; but eventually one of the patches did away with him (said to have lost his mind and now roams the world gambling away any fortune he has left) and brought in two new personalities: Chip Valvano and GG Stack. The two new hosts introduce each round with playful banter and also keep players informed of important events such as a tower being destroyed or a player being eliminated. While they will surely repeat phrases, the commentary is definitely entertaining and helps to bring life to this bizarre universe Uber has crafted. Oh, and there is also a giant chicken and the mascot Bullseye who will both randomly spawn into a match and deliver big prizes for those who destroy them.

While SMNC is a fun frantic shooter, it also holds more depth and customization than one may suspect. As players finish matches they will accrue experience and coin that may be used to unlock new Endorsements and Products. Endorsements and Products act in a similar manner as perks do in Call of Duty. When a player earns enough Coin they may choose to spend it on a new Endorsement and insert it into one of their free Slots, and more slots become available as a player continues to level up. Endorsements can improve a players skill in a number of ways, by improving aim, health regeneration, or cooldown speed, but each one also comes with a negative side effect, such as lowering movement speed, or weakening melee attacks. This system is a nice balance of weighing the pro’s against the con’s and deciding how you would like to develop your character. Products on the other hand are a further boost that while costly, can have a far more noticeable effect on gameplay, and without the cons of Endorsements. Each player can have three Endorsements selected per character spec and they cover a wide range of bonuses. From leaving behind a destructive bomb on death, to increasing damage against bots, and increasing jump height; Endorsements are a nice bonus for every player to have.

Super Monday Night Combat features a lot of fun gameplay for players, and Uber Entertainment managed to provide all of these features for free to gamers before the bigger companies started pushing out titles such as Planetside 2. But they still need some income, so how does SMNC handle the F2P side of things? Well, perfectly fine in my opinion. Uber Entertainment doesn’t hold anything crucial to the gameplay behind a door that can only be unlocked with cash. Everything gamers need to have a good time is available for free to everyone, but if you want content sooner, or further customization, than you will have to pay to unlock it. Since SMNC features seventeen combatants, five are open to everyone each week, while the remaining twelve are locked. The selected five are randomized each week, so if you want to play as the Assault but he isn’t open, he may be unlocked the following week. If you want to bypass this chance and want a character to be permanently available to you, then you simply purchase that Pro. Pro’s can range from $3 to $10 depending on their difficulty and uniqueness. The rotation aspect of Pro’s ensures each player, even those who refuse to donate, can play as every character eventually.

The other area that Uber Entertainment makes their income is in the area of physical appearance customization, as most MOBA’s do. Each Pro in SMNC features additional appearance options, areas such as torso, legs, and head can be further individualized for players, but must be paid for in cash. Besides clothing options each Pro also has unique Taunts that may be bought in the games store. Taunts can be used both during and after a match, and help show off a characters personality further. Besides these two options, players may also purchase additional Flair such as buttons and sunglasses. These options are purely cosmetic and do not hinder gameplay in the slightest, and it is up to the player to decide if they want to choose to purchase any or not.

Uber Entertainment has managed to craft a game that feels like a complete stand alone title, and managed to do so for the price of free! SMNC is a terrific online shooter that can give gamers hours of enjoyable gameplay and also one that has a true sense of style and humor to it. The Free to Play method they chose is also unobtrusive and allows players who will never pay a cent to enjoy the full experience, while those who do, will be given extra freedom in their characters. This structure, while great, has also backfired slightly, as Uber have recently stated they are struggling slightly in the revenue department, and this setback has gotten in the way of new updates. SMNC has been consistently updated in the past with new environments, characters, and voice work, but updates have recently slowed down while Uber Entertainment looks for new ways to increase player growth. If you have a PC and have been looking for a new title to try out, Super may fit that spot nicely, and you can download it for free on Steam right now.
Chuck

The Rundown

  • + Great flow of combat
  • + Unique world and characters
  • + Good use of F2P model
  • – Dialogue can become repetitive
  • – Updates have slowed down

Final Score

8.5 / 10

“Great”

 

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