Mortal Kombat

Returning to Mortal Kombat


If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you didn’t grow up in the 90’s. “Mortal Kombat” was rebooted and came out with a new game a few months back that’s totally awesome.

Before I start this review, let’s get one thing out of the way. This game is very gory. This game is so grisly that it got banned in Australia. If fountains of blood and other gruesome details aren’t your thing, don’t get this game. That’s my friendly warning for the squeamish types.

First, let’s look at the graphics. To put it shortly, they’re beautiful. It’s really hard to tell the difference between in-game fighting graphics and cut scene graphics. The attention to detail is amazing. As the fights progress, each character shows off more damage taken (some of which are pretty icky to look at).

Like I said before, there is a lot of blood and guts but it’s realistic. Anyone who played the old 90’s “Mortal Kombat” games knows that when you killed someone, it was hard to take seriously because the deaths were so over the top (when a person exploded, they had seven legs, three ribcages and four skulls).

Here, when a person is hit, the game makes sure that you see just how much damage they take as they lose life. When an opponent is hit by an Xray attack, it shows each bone that is fractured and each organ damaged. When a fatality is performed, they make sure to keep it to a realistic amount of violence so you can realize this is how it would happen.

The audio is impressive as well. Each character actually has their own voice actor (in the old games it was either “generic male voice” or “generic female voice”). This actually gives each character more of a feeling that they are one of a kind.

The background music is mostly remixes of old beats like Shang Tsung’s courtyard, the dead pool, the living forest. Personally, I would have loved to hear the classic Reptile theme from the movie in this game, but it is not.

Oddly enough, the official soundtrack of Mortal Kombat is nowhere to be found in the game. This is a shame, because there are some really good tunes. Skrillex’s Reptile theme from the CD soundtrack would have fit pretty well (On another note, why does Reptile get the best themes?)

Now let’s move to the main course, gameplay. Would you believe me if I said this game is much, much better than “Marvel vs. Capcom 3”? It really is, not just because the game play is better, but its replay value is a million times better.

Fighting is much smoother. It isn’t a matter of who can spam better, or who can get an infinite juggle going. These things don’t have as much levity in this game. Sure, the game does actually encourage spamming, especially against the bosses. Seriously, try beating Shao Kahn without just tossing your projectile a bazillion times.

However, just button mashing will only get you so far. You can’t be a Noob Saibot forever (and yes, that is one of the character’s names).

The computer player or CPU in this game is skilled, and you will not be able to defeat higher difficulties with just two or three moves. The game expects you to get better at it and to learn the mechanics. If you want to beat certain characters, you actually have to become just as skilled with them, that way you can predict what moves they’ll use next.

That isn’t to say this game will simply throw you into fights and expect you to already be a pro, unlike another fighter I’ve already mentioned. There are tutorials that teach you the basic mechanics, such as blocking, super special moves, and X-ray moves. There’s also practice mode, where you can adjust how skilled the CPU is and fight with them infinitely in order to hone your skills.

As far as finishing off your opponent, there are quite a few ways. Each character has two fatalities, a stage fatality, and a babality at their disposal. While they are hidden at first, you can still do them and unlock the command in the krypt.

As for replay, it far outshines most other fighters. There is a lot to unlock in this game. Some 30 characters to beat arcade mode with, a krypt with over 200 hidden items, and 300 missions in challenge tower will keep you coming back for quite some time.

As far as the story goes, I’ll give “Mortal Kombat” credit for actually having a story. Seriously, most fighters today think that all  they need is about 30 characters and decent game play, no story is needed (I’m looking at “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” again).

The story starts off in a creative way. Raiden of the future tries to prevent Armageddon by sending information to his past self. I like this idea; it’s both a reboot of the series for newcomers, while past references are recognized by veteran kombatants.

However, the story isn’t exactly told properly. I mostly just have some grievances with some of the plot holes. I won’t spoil anything, but let’s just say that all of the bad stuff that happens only does so because the script said so.

Another weird thing is that the two mascots of the game aren’t featured too heavily in the story i.e. Scorpion and Subzero who are featured on the box.

Sure, Subzero is the only character who actually gets two chapters devoted to him, but the two play very little role in the actual story, which is a letdown.

Like all games today, there is DLC. There are four downloadable characters, Skarlet, a new female ninja, Kenshi, a blind swordsman from the PS2 games, Rain, the purple ninja who controls water, and Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. If any of those characters don’t interest you, don’t worry about it.  They’re all separate purchases.

I also like how Nether realm Studios is releasing patches via new free updates. More extra costumes are available, like “MK2” Smoke and Noob Saibot, or “MK3” Subzero.

This game online is really cool. There’s a huge spectator mode where up to eight people watch a match and can have their avatars cheer on from below the screen. There are tournament modes which allow for actual competitions (if you know videogames, you know people love to hold tournaments to find the best of the batch).

All in all, “Mortal Kombat” isn’t just an excellent fighter. It sets the standard for what a good fighter should be. It has lots of unique characters, fast and exciting game play, an enveloping story, various modes to play in, and high replay value. You get your money’s worth in this game to say the least. This is what every fighter should look like.

I give “Mortal Kombat 9” out of 10 (it’s funny because this is the ninth in the franchise). As Nether realm Studio’s (the new Midway) first official videogame, they blow the lid and raise the bar for fighting games everywhere.

Look out Capcom, there’s a new potential best fighting game ever!