If it's crap ... We'll tell you
X-Box 360 version.
MORTAL KOMBAT is a standard in video games. As long as they exist I can’t help but feel so will MORTAL KOMBAT in some form or another. They have been around for a while and done many things to help forward fighting games. Have they ever been anything other then a substandard over the top rip off of better fighting games though? If you said yes you fail. Is this pseudo-reboot of the franchise any different? Sadly my answer is a heavy sigh followed by … no.
MORTAL KOMBAT has done many things to revitalize itself over the years. Adding weapons, different fighting styles, more characters then you care to admit playing as, and different styles of finishing moves. I kind of miss animalities; they were absurdly fun. Did any of those things make these games any better as far as fighting games were concerned? No, not at all; they were still not as good as Soul Caliber or Tekken or Street Fighter. What MORTAL KOMBAT had and still has that those don’t is gore, ridiculous amounts of brutality and gore. That being said this game doesn’t disappoint on that aspect one bit. The gore in this game is everywhere. Just going to “The Krypt” in order to unlock things with the gold you earn in battles and challenges looks like something out of Metalocolypse. Literally rivers of blood with bloated bodies sitting on top, which burst while being pecked by crows when you activate them.
I think I can see Mordhouse.
This game also adds a new feature to MK called X-Ray attack. It is a special move that your character does when you fill an energy bar at the bottom of the screen. When you activate this move, IF it lands, you get to witness carnage from within the opponent’s body. You see organs rupturing and bones shattering all in glorious HD. The fatalities are also something to witness. Some have new plays on old classics. Others are completely new and fresh. Each character gets three that you unlock by purchasing them in “The Krypt”. Most are magnificently bloody but some are utter disappointments like Liu Kang’s starter fatality.
Another welcome edition to the game is Tag Team. That’s right, now Sub-Zero and Scorpion can team up to beat the crap out of Johnny Cage and Kung Lao. The tag team mechanic is simple and enjoyable. You can work special types of moves into already existing combos with your partner. It is kind of nice; someone having your back when it gets tough.
You may be surprised to hear that there is a story mode. Well maybe not surprised to hear that but surprised to hear there is an actual story. It picks up where you left off in Armageddon, Raiden stands defeated at the hands of Shao Kahn and in a last ditch effort to stop all existence from coming to an end sends a message back in time to himself in order to change the events that led to this sad end. You start back at an earlier tournament (the one from the first game I believe) thus the series is rebooted. You play through chapters of the game where cut scenes and fights blend together very well. The voice acting is slightly better then previous MORTAL KOMBAT games but nothing to write home about. The character you play as is chosen for you thus a single narrative can be formed. It is nice and I welcome it to the franchise.
Tower mode is where I spent almost all my time. It plays out like classic MORTAL KOMBAT in that you choose a fighter then progress through more difficult opponents until you beat the mighty Shao Kahn. There are other towers with mini games that act as a fun diversion when you grow weary of the usual fighting or the story.
The controls are the biggest problem for me in MORTAL KOMBAT. To me ever since I was a kid they seemed too unforgiving for people not naturally gifted in fighting games. Like most fighters with practice you can pull off combos with the best of them. When I was trying at first it summoned memories of other, better fighting games I have played that I picked up right away and was pulling off epic scenes of bodily harm with a much higher rate of success.
This is where we get to though. Sadly that’s all I can say, MORTAL KOMBAT just leaves you wanting more out of a fighting game. The over the top aspect of it is great and the characters hold a special place in most gamer’s hearts and I think that might be what keeps them going back. It is like leaving your home town that you loved and then coming back again and again. Things aren’t quite as good as you remember them being but you love it all the same because you remember the first time you rode your bike past that one cool climbing tree.
That being said I liked this entry a lot. I liked it for all the nostalgia reasons though. There are much better games you can get for cheaper right now. My advice is if you want this wait for a price drop.
I give it 3 out of 5.
Not quite big guy, not quite.
Written by: Kevin Mason (AKA LempiElinika)
Edited by: Sarah Lawhorne