I’m not the best or most competitive video game player around. When it comes to co-operative play I’m your guy, but if it’s any sort of competitive environment, I just suck balls. Sure, I could lay down a withering hadouken spam in Street Fighter II, but I was always utter shit when it came to the World of Warcraft battlegrounds, and the last real first person shooter that I was actually any good at was Unreal Tournament – yes, the original one that came out in 1999 – so trust me when I say I was like the electronic version of the kid who got picked last in dodgeball when it came to PvP.
This has not changed. Watching me play Team Fortress 2, one of the most popular games out there right now, is like a mechanic watching a three-year-old try to put together a car engine: eventually you’re going to just tell them to stop so you can do it your damn self. I’m also so terrible at the other big popular online competitive title right now, League of Legends, that I can’t even win practice games; you do not want me on your team. You will lose. Badly.
Despite all this, I found a game recently that is like a fusion of both TF2 and LoL, and I just can’t stop fucking playing it. I don’t know if it’s because it’s so easy even an idiot man-child like myself can play it, or it’s because one of the playable characters is a gorilla wearing a pinstripe suit and a monocle, carrying a tommy gun, but whatever it is I simply can’t put down Super Monday Night Combat.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m still pretty damn bad at it. I still just find myself having fun, even if I’m losing more than I’m winning and my kills-to-deaths ratio is something like 0.32. There’s just something that keeps me coming back so I can be a chest-beating gorilla in a zoot suit equipped with a machine gun complete with banana peel grenade launcher attachment and who wields a pimp cane as a secondary weapon. Not only that, but the guy’s name is Cheston.
Yes, Cheston. As in Charlton Heston. Plus, in the game’s lore (yeah, there’s lore, go fucking figure) he’s the clone of a gorilla actor. This just fucking sold me. I don’t care how bad I am at it, I’m gonna play the shit out of this one. Best part is it’s free, unless you want to buy add-ons (and while I’d love to buy a Gorilla Astronaut outfit for Cheston, the zoot suit s just fine for now).
The gameplay itself, like I said, is a fusion of the kind of capture-the-flag arena shooter you’d experience in TF2 and the DOTA-clone style combat you’d get from League of Legends. What this means is that you’ve got two sides of opposing players that need to make their way across one of two lanes in an arena, working together to protect their side’s computer-controlled bots from the opponent’s bots and players – kind of a futuristic LoL. However, it differs from League of Legends in that you do this in an over-the-shoulder third-person view that brings you right into the action instead of a top-down isometric view, which is much more reminiscent of arena shooters such as TF2; in addition, the stylized, iconic art direction and light-hearted humor also puts Super MNC much closer into the TF2 camp, even though the gameplay borrows heavily from LoL.
This is all really moot in the end, as I’m eating this shit up like candy, even though I spend most of my time respawning. Despite that, I actually have won a few games, which proves that even big apes like me can actually excel at something like this; it’s much less of a big dick in the ass that Diablo 3 can be, especially on Hell difficulty, and I don’t feel nearly as frustrated when I fail – probably because I simply can’t take a game seriously where I’m literally throwing flaming barrels at people. It’s fun, it’s free, and that’s where I’ll be if you need me.