Joined: 16 Jan 2008
Location: La Crosse Wisconsin
XBL: MoR McThing
|Ah... It's been a really long time since I have done this, so lets see if I still got what it takes to review anything on this site.
Lets just start out by saying Mortal Kombat (a.k.a. Mortal Kombat 9) is by far the best Mortal Kombat out of any recent console Mortal Kombat only release. The return of the gruesome gore and violence that spawned the ESRB ratings system, is all in full effect here in this title. From the punches, to the kicks, to the new enhanced special attacks and X-Ray moves, this is a must buy for any fan of the Mortal Kombat franchise, or fans of the fighting game genre in general.
All of the old favorites from the original three games are here, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Jax, Sonya, Shang Tsung. The only two characters not in the original three Mortal Kombat games that are in this game would be Quan Chi, and of course, there is Kratos from God of War. You could count Cyber Sub-Zero if you would like as well, so that makes three.
The thing that impressed me most about this game is the amazing story that takes you back through the events of Mortal Kombat 1, 2, and 3, and re-writes everything. On the blink of Armageddon, Raiden makes his final act against Shao Khan, by sending memories of his past, to his past self to prevent Armageddon. Not only does this work wonderful, it also gives you a great glimpse into some of the origins of certain characters. Like for instance, getting to see Cyrax, and Sektor before they became Cyborgs. The level of detail and story-telling you get out of this is just incredible. Some really nice twist and turns will get long fans of the series to just say, "What? That was awesome!" One example of that is Cyber Sub-Zero. If you play the game, you'll understand.
Now it just wouldn't be Mortal Kombat without the classic Arcade Ladder, and now you have two ways of tackling this. By yourself, or with a friend! That's right, the Arcade Tag ladder pits you against 7 teams of 2, then against the final three, which usually end up being Shang Tsung, Goro, and Shao Khan. Just the idea of getting to play with a friend for the first time ever in the series, is a truly beautiful thing. The thing still is though, long time Mortal Kombat fans will know, it doesn't matter what difficulty you are on, it is going to be extremely rough to beat the Arcade Ladder. Most CPU's block, special attack, block, X-Ray. Unfortunately, that's about how it goes, and your going to get angry, a lot. That being said, it doesn't make the game any less difficult as there is also so much more to do.
Speaking of the X-Ray, a new fighting mechanic, the Super Meter, which is displayed at the bottom of your HUD (Heads up Display, in other words, all the heath bars, super meter, etc on your screen). Use of the Super Meter can allow you to use new Enhanced Attacks, like Scorpion who does more damage and throws two flaming spears at the opponent when using the enhanced version of the spear. The Super Meter fills itself in two easy ways, the first of which is if you get the first attack of the fight, and you get an extra bar of super. The bar will go up slowly if you are winning and landing lots of blows, but if you are the one getting beat, then your bar will fill faster. So, if you are getting beat, you will get your bar up, and will be able to unleash a bone crunching (no pun intended) X-Ray Move, thus changing the flow of the fight. These moves fit so perfectly with the Mortal Kombat universe, and are tailored beautify for each specific character.
A new feature in the game is the Challenge Tower, which replaces the Konquest Mode from the previous generation games. The Challenge Tower has 300 different challenges for players that will test all parts of the game. Included are of course the classic Test Your Might, Test Your Sight, along with new ideas called Test Your Skill, and the best one yet, Test Your Luck. Of course, these are just a few things to label off of the challenges you will face in the Challenge Tower. How about a match between Jade and Sindel where they don't have arms, and you have to use only kick attacks? Yeah, thought so. There is just so much here, and it varies itself very nicely, to the point where it isn't repetitive.
An interesting feature that brings the whole game together, is the training mode. For the first time ever in a Mortal Kombat that can be thought of, this game tells you the combo sequence for a certain characters Fatality. You get one Fatality per fighter, and a second Fatality to be unlocked via the Krypt. The reason that this is mentioned is due to the Fatality Training mode included in the game. The mode will tell you how to do the fighters first fatality, and will congratulate you if you do the hidden fatality.
The last thing that the game really includes is the Krypt. Here, you spend the koins you have earned in the story mode, arcade ladder, and challenge tower to unlock hidden costumes, secret fatalities, concept art, music, etc. Now for people that played the previous generation Mortal Kombat games, you will not find this Krypt to be expansive as say from Deadly Alliance, because you will be able to unlock most of everything pretty quickly if you do things correctly.
Here is the section that I would say something about the online, but due to the Playstation Network being down, that makes things a little hard to accomplish. Once PSN is back up and running, I will do my best to try and get something for the online play added to this review.
Until then however, Mortal Kombat is a buy for any fan of the series, and s very strong recommendation to any fighting game fan. If don't know much about fighting games, or Mortal Kombat in general, this game might be the reason for you to get into the genre. It's just that good.
Watch out for my Portal 2 Review in the Xbox 360 Reviews Section coming next week.