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Review: Monday Night Combat (XBLA)

Posted by Wombat, 19 August 2010 · 388 views

There is a lot to like about Monday Night Combat, and as Xbox Live Arcade Games go, it features a fun and unique multiplayer experience. The game at its core is a mix of class-based shooter mechanics and tower defense-style strategy. There are 6 distinct character classes to choose from: the Assault (a well-rounded soldier type), the Tank (the close-range, heavy defensive guy), the Support (a medic and up-grader of turrets), the Assassin (stealthy master of invisibility but low on health and protection), the Gunner (my personal favorite: high in health and ammo), and the Sniper (he’s a sniper). All Six classes each have four unique skills that can be upgraded with money earned during the round.

The game has two basic gameplay styles. Blitz is a tower defense-style mode where you need to protect your Moneyball from waves of enemies. There are varying levels of enemy difficulty and numbers of waves for this game type, and it can be played with up to 3 other players online. This mode is fun and offered a good off-line diversion, but for me, the real game mode to check out is Crossfire.

Crossfire is a 6-on-6 multiplayer mode where each team tries to take out the other’s Moneyball. You will need to build and upgrade turrets, build robots, and upgrade your skills before the other team takes you out. Different classes can build different robot types; all are needed to weaken the defenses of the opposition. Likewise, you will need to build defensive turrets to protect your own side. Thus, communication between teammates is the key. Being able to plan who uses which class of turrets, what to build where, and which direction to move in will ensure success if you are playing against a group of strangers.

In the short-term, the game is a ton of fun. My main issue is the long-term draw for the game. There is a persistent money earning portion to the game, but there is very little to buy. There are Protags, which are purely cosmetic and a custom class that isn’t all that custom. In this character type, the basic class types and in-game upgrades are the same, but you can select up to 3 sponsors, each giving a stat boost. I would have liked to see the custom class be more of a mix/match of the character classes or maybe incorporate some new gear to unlock as you play. As the game is, you can see everything each class can do by playing one game as that class.

I really wanted to love this game but sadly I can’t get past the “friends” stage. It’s good looking and we get along just fine. But I just wish the style had bit more substance. The humor feels forced due in part to the cartoonish graphical style, but I think the game would be better suited without it. Also, each level feels the same; in one multiplayer round I asked another player what made the map we playing different then the last one. His response was, “the background is blue.” Monday Night Combat at heart is a good time with friends, and a nice diversion from the hardcore seriousness of your Halos or Call of Dutys. It probably won’t become anyone’s first choice for an online experience, but for the short term it will help get you through the August drought and get you prepped for this fall’s more robust online experiences.

Posted Image Very Good
Outstanding | Very Good | Fair | Poor | Awful

Recommended Buy Price: $10.00
Current MSRP: $15.00

Monday Night Combat was provided by Uber Entertainment and Microsoft. The game was played for five hours. I accumulated 4 out of 12 Achievements for 50 GamerScore. I also unlocked two Avatar Awards. Monday Night Combat is available exclusively on the Xbox 360.




There is a lot to like about Monday Night Combat, and as Xbox Live Arcade Games go, it features a fun and unique multiplayer experience. The game at its core is a mix of class-based shooter mechanics and tower defense-style strategy. There are 6 distinct character classes to choose from: the Assault (a well-rounded soldier type), the Tank (the close-range, heavy defensive guy), the Support (a medic and up-grader of turrets), the Assassin (stealthy master of invisibility but low on health and protection), the Gunner (my personal favorite: high in health and ammo), and the Sniper (he’s a sniper). All Six classes each have four unique skills that can be upgraded with money earned during the round.

The game has two basic gameplay styles. Blitz is a tower defense-style mode where you need to protect your Moneyball from waves of enemies. There are varying levels of enemy difficulty and numbers of waves for this game type, and it can be played with up to 3 other players online. This mode is fun and offered a good off-line diversion, but for me, the real game mode to check out is Crossfire.

Crossfire is a 6-on-6 multiplayer mode where each team tries to take out the other’s Moneyball. You will need to build and upgrade turrets, build robots, and upgrade your skills before the other team takes you out. Different classes can build different robot types; all are needed to weaken the defenses of the opposition. Likewise, you will need to build defensive turrets to protect your own side. Thus, communication between teammates is the key. Being able to plan who uses which class of turrets, what to build where, and which direction to move in will ensure success if you are playing against a group of strangers.

In the short-term, the game is a ton of fun. My main issue is the long-term draw for the game. There is a persistent money earning portion to the game, but there is very little to buy. There are Protags, which are purely cosmetic and a custom class that isn’t all that custom. In this character type, the basic class types and in-game upgrades are the same, but you can select up to 3 sponsors, each giving a stat boost. I would have liked to see the custom class be more of a mix/match of the character classes or maybe incorporate some new gear to unlock as you play. As the game is, you can see everything each class can do by playing one game as that class.

I really wanted to love this game but sadly I can’t get past the “friends” stage. It’s good looking and we get along just fine. But I just wish the style had bit more substance. The humor feels forced due in part to the cartoonish graphical style, but I think the game would be better suited without it. Also, each level feels the same; in one multiplayer round I asked another player what made the map we playing different then the last one. His response was, “the background is blue.” Monday Night Combat at heart is a good time with friends, and a nice diversion from the hardcore seriousness of your Halos or Call of Dutys. It probably won’t become anyone’s first choice for an online experience, but for the short term it will help get you through the August drought and get you prepped for this fall’s more robust online experiences.

Posted Image Very Good
Outstanding | Very Good | Fair | Poor | Awful

Recommended Buy Price: $10.00
Current MSRP: $15.00

Monday Night Combat was provided by Uber Entertainment and Microsoft. The game was played for five hours. I accumulated 4 out of 12 Achievements for 50 GamerScore. I also unlocked two Avatar Awards. Monday Night Combat is available exclusively on the Xbox 360.
Nice work Shipwreck.
I love this game. Been playing it with a bunch of friends pretty much daily. It's pulled me away from BC2.

There are a ton of little nuances to learn. It's not as simple as it initially looked when I started playing.

Definitely have gotten my 1200 pts worth.
I say outstanding game and should be bought at $15. It is worth every penny. The demo gives you 30 minutes access to the full game. Everyone should at least try the demo.

I've probably put 15-20 hours into this game. I'm up around $220,000 in Crossfire and level 42 or so. Really great game!!
This game pretty much rocks. If they support it, I can jump between it and TF2 on PC and be a happy gamer.
I might pick this up when it goes on sale. Nice review Wombat.
Since this is a more casual team shooter, i would have loved an offline 2/4 player split screen similar to halo or to lan connect to xbox 360s.
Loved the demo, but didn't bite on the full game, I worry how long the community will be active, but at $15, I guess if I get a few weeks out of it, it would be worth it.
Thanks Wombat
Great game! Been playing for about 15 hours with a couple of my friends and it's been a blast! Recommended to anyone who is even a slight bit interested in the title.
@turbo

the game supports 2 player splitscreen, local or online (like gears, or halo if halo only supported 2 players).
great fun here. beats castleavnia FO SHO
lol @Mayday [and Wombat].

how much different is it from TF2 on 360? the game looks good but for the 'type' of game it is I'm worried it'll be like those other 1200 point games and have several dlc's released for several bucks a piece.
Where TF2 is a first person class based shooter, this is 3rd person class base shooter combined with DotA and tower defense. So you're not just fighting players, you are trying to protect your bots and escort them to the enemy base. They are the only things that can bring the enemy's money ball down for you to destroy (until overtime, when both balls fall), so you can't just go looking for K/D and expect to win. You have to protect, heal, and clear the path for the bots.

Will there be DLC? I have no idea. They could do more arenas I suppose, but it's not really about the arenas.

Try the free 30 minutes and decide for yourself whether you like it. That's the beauty of XBLA :)
This game has an opportunity to be huge, as long as the developer supports the game after release.
This game is worth $15.
@MannishBoy

The developers said that DLC is on their to-do list and we'll most likely get one in the future.
I linked to an interview in the MNC thread in the Xbox 360 forum. Uber said that if people play and enjoy the game, they will continue to work on it. I think the game will have a long lasting following and that there will be DLC.
Great Review!
Great review Wombat