Tonight, Saint Nick will go about his rounds and deliver presents to all the good boys and girls. Tomorrow however, you’ll most likely be getting together with family. And we all know how much families hate each other, to the point where they want to beat the ever living shit out of one another. So instead of beating down your loved ones in real life, why not check out these games that let you do it in the video game world?

$20 Game of the Week Part One: Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe (Xbox 360, PS2)
Ever since using thier kreated kombatant to defeat Blaze in MK Armageddon, MK fans have been eagerly awaiting the franchise’s current generation debut. Midway would deliver soon enough. However, the defenders of Earthrealm would also be making the journey with the heroes of DC in what had the MK fanbase scratching thier heads. I guess it would make sense if you think about it. I mean, Capcom has had thier guys teaming up with Marvel’s pantheon in several games, and if Square could make Kingdom Hearts (which mind you had Goofy and Donald Duck running around with Cloud and Squall) work, then anything is possible. Still, I don’t blame anyone for being skeptical about MK vs DC. Heck, I waited until it dropped in price before grabbing it.

So how is it? Well, believe it or not, it’s not that bad, even if the gore is toned down. The Mortal Kombat and DC Universes begin merging with each other, and everyone on both worlds is being affected by some sort of rage which is playing havoc with thier powers (and this is why the Joker and Catwoman can go toe-to-toe with guys like Superman and Captain Marvel), and each side thinks the other is responsible. On the Mortal Kombat side, you have the usual suspects, i.e. Liu Kang, Sub Zero, Scorpion, etc while Superman, Batman, Lex Luthor, and other DC notables round out the distinguished competition (by the way, props to Midway for including guys such as Captain Marvel and Deathstroke who tend to be overlooked in these games). You’ll do battle in familiar locales such as the JLA Watchtower, Gotham City, and Metropolis.

Rather then the complex switchable fighting system we’ve seen in the previous MK games, MK vs DCU makes use of a simplified system that hearkens back to the older games in the MK series. There are 3 minigames that occur during matches that give you added opportunities to pile on the damage. Test Your Might has players running thier opponent through walls, Close Quarters Combat has players matching button prompts to trade blows, and Free-Fall Combat has players battling each other while falling to a lower level of the arena. There is also a rage meter which grants players the opportunity to enhance thier powers or break combos. Beside the story mode (where players can view from the MK perspective or the DC perspective) there is an arcade mode, challenge mode, and online versus. In case you were wondering, yes, there are fatalities, although they aren’t as gruesome as they were in past MK games. The MK characters and DC villains have fatalities, while the DC superheroes have heroic brutalities (since they are opposed to killing).

MK vs DCU is a better game than you’d expect it to be, although it isn’t as great as other MK games. If nothing else, it’s still a solid and fun game, and it will help pass the time until the new Mortal Kombat game hits next spring, hopefully reinventing the series as it does so.

$20 Game of the Week Part 2: Tekken 6 (PS3, Xbox 360 PSP)
The Tekken series is like a fine wine. It just gets better with age, and its current generation debut is no different. The game features over 41 characters (including the 2 new characters introduced in Dark Resurrection and 6 new characters), and all of then are unlocked from the start so you can head into the game’s arcade mode and online modes with your favorite Tekken brawler. For those interested in learning about the story, the Scenario Campaign is Tekken 6’s answer to Tekken 5’s “The Devil Within” and Tekken 3/4’s “Tekken Force” modes. However, instead of being a simple sideshow, this is a fully fleshed out brawler which tells the adventures of two of the game’s new characters Lars (a mysterious man with moves similar to the Mishima family) and Alice (a female android with chainsaws for arms). In this mode, you’ll be thrust into the battle between Jin Kazama’s Mishima Zaibatsu and Kazya’s G-Corporation, which has erupted into a global conflict. This mode also contains the game’s story mode, as you can take any unlocked character into the arena, and see thier CGI rendered ending after a few matches. You can earn hundreds of items which you can use to customize your character, giving them a unique look for when you take him online.

For me, Tekken holds a special place in my heart. Tekken 2 was the reason I got a PS1, and Tekken Tag Tournament was the first game I played when I got a PS2 (after I spent dozens of quarters in the arcade machines that were on my arcade campus of course). Tekken 6 once again upholds the standard that the series is known for, and provides solid fighting action.

That’s all for now folks. Be back here later this weekend for a Lost Classics/Maximum Letdown special. Since these two games are already $20, you don’t have to worry about getting up early, fighting through crowded malls, or standing in line to cash in on these values.