Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mortal Kombat

Mortal KombatFINISH HIM! My ears have been dying to hear those sweet words for quite some time now and my waiting has finally paid off. That's right, the brand new Mortal Kombat game was released today and I am happy to say it does not suck.

If you remember, the last few MK games have quite literally been total crap. Developers began to take everything that was great about the original arcade title and add cheap mechanics to entice other audiences. What is perfect about this game is that the fantastic folks over at the newly dubbed NetherRealm Studios have taken Mortal Kombat back to its roots, back to what made the original game attract thousands of fans and disgust hundreds of politicians.

One good thing about this new title is that it is a legitimate, competitive fighting game. It also has all the gore necessary to make the most hardcore Mortal Kombat fans screech with delight. The single-player modes in this game can be kind of imbalanced, however, most people play for the competitive aspects of the game. And it is in this mode that Mortal Kombat is engaging, enthralling, exciting and just downright fun.

The story line takes you back as you relive the events of the first three Mortal Kombat games, so newbies to the series will actually know what the hell is happening. To wrap it up in a nutshell, super d-bag Shao Kahn is trying to destroy the world and kills everybody at the end of the storyline. SPOILER?! No, because Raiden then sends a message back through time to prevent it giving you the chance to alter the future!

Like I said earlier, Mortal Kombat is going back the the basics, so the side scrolling 2D fighting style is back. No more 3D 360-degree cameras to contend with and no freaking multi-level arenas (screw you, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe). You can play one-on-one or tag-team allowing you to play with or against a friend. Each character in the game has a set of simple, basic moves and a bunch of special attacks (back, back, punch...'nuff said). Combos and special attacks are easy to figure out and execute but it may take you some time to master the art of stringing all those attacks together whilst simultaneously keeping your opponent stunned/juggled.

A new feature is the super gauge. This fills as you give and take damage and can be used in a variety of ways. There are three segments, so obviously using all three at once will give you better benefits. Using a single gauge will increase your special attacks. Two segments will allow you to break out of an opponent's combo, which is particularly useful when you fight some of the hardcore players. Unleashing all three segments will initiate an x-ray attack. This is a series of attacks that go into slow motion while an x-ray version of your opponent's insides is visible, showing you all the gruesome, internal damage you are dealing. This also deals hella damage to your opponent, just don't miss.

Mortal Kombat is a bit slower than most fighting games but that keeps pace with how the traditional game plays. It also makes executing combos oh so satisfying. There is also a ton of other stuff to love about this game. Fatalities are back and bloodier than ever. Babalities (the ability to finish off your opponent by transforming them into the baby version of themselves) is also back, which should please some of the more traditional fans.

Playing with friends is where most of the enjoyment will be received from this game. You can play either locally or online but locally is definitely the best. You don't suffer from any lag and you can personally deliver the smack talk directly to your buddy's face. Single player is a little more imbalanced and some of the boss fights are downright brutal and may make you want to hurl your console across the room (I suggest padding the walls with cushiony foam).

To put it bluntly, Mortal Kombat delivers. The game combines great visuals and extreme brutality with a terrific fighting engine. New features like the super gauge and new game modes, like a revamped King of the Hill mode, which allows you to choose your X-box or PlayStation home avatar and take him into the theater with a bunch of other players' avatars and watch actual fights until it is your turn and even interact by scoring the winner or throwing things at the screen, offer a lot of fun options to your experience.

If you were a fan of the original three games and have been dying for a good Mortal Kombat game, this is just what you have been looking for. It goes back to the basics and still makes one helluva game. Definitely one to try out.

Mortal Kombat is available now for the X-box 360 and PlayStation 3 and if you truly want an authentic Mortal Kombat experience, be sure to pick up the Mortal Kombat Fight Stick for that traditional arcade feeling.

Source: IGN - Mortal Kombat Review

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