Review by Shinvega
"This is a monster in the making..."
I've been following the Mortal Kombat games since day one and what Midway has made here is a new, fresh start. They've stripped the system down and rebuilt a totally new engine. This is new and it's about time. Welcome to the new Mortal Kombat.
Mortal Kombat has always been about fast-paced fighting, creative characters(Well, somewhat anyway :P) and of course... the blood and fatalities. Well, it's all here and better than ever. MK:DA features it all and does a damn good job of it too. Midway has managed to rebuild the whole system yet still maintain the Mortal Kombat feel. Forget the high punch, low punch, low kick, high kick stuff and forget that horrid run button too. This game has a brand new system, brand new buttons, and a very unique style switching system. Basically, while you're fighting, your fighter can switch between 3 different styles on the fly. 2 of these styles are actual styles such as Karate, Kenpo and Shotokan, just to name a few. The fighters third style is his or her weapon style. Now, I know what you're thinking. ''Ugh, weapons? Didn't they learn their lesson from MK4?''. There's a quick answer to that.. yes, they did. It may look similer on the surface, but it's much different. You can't throw your weapon anymore and they're not nearly as overpowered as they once were. The new fighting system great. Basically, you have four attacks per style. The attacks in one style are different from the attacks in a different style. So, basically, you have 3 styles, fours attacks per style. 12 attacks right off the bat, and that's without hitting a direction with the attack. Obviously, this is a much deeper system than the old one. Of course, combos are back, and unfortunatly, they haven't really been touched. It's still the basic tap-tap-tap combo system we saw in MK3 and up. However, it's interesting to see your character start a combo in one style, switch to another style DURING the combo and continue on with it.
The control will be the hardest part to get used to. If you've played a lot of the older MK games, forget them. If you go into this game expecting the play it like an older MK game you're in for a rude awakening. This is completely different from any other Mortal Kombat game, and like the system itself, you're going to have to build your skill again from the ground up. The game features tight controls, unfortunatly, you cannot use the analog stick, you MUST use the digital pad. In fact, the whole game is still digital, which is a shame since the game is fully 3D. Also, with the Gamecubes TINY digital pad, you might run into some frustration when trying to pull off the moves or fatalities.
The graphics is MK:DA are amazing. Simply amazing. There are a few odds and ends that should have been worked on, but on the whole, this game looks stunning. The blood glops on the ground and stays there for the whole match. If your fighter steps in it, they'll leave blood footprints around the arena. The attention to detail is amazing, and as far as the fighting locations go.. there are some amazing ones. The graphics are what you're going to notice first with this game and you'll continue to be amazed by the little details you'll notice.
The sound effects are crisp and clear, although, it would have been nice to have the fighters have a little more voice. Constant yelling and screaming becomes white noise after a while. The music? Well.. the music is good, but, it's Mortal Kombat. It's always quiet, scary type music. It sets the mood very well.
Right from the get-go you're greeted with the standard arcade mode and versus mode. There's now a practice mode which is new to the series and of course, your options and such. But what really shines is the Konquest mode and the Krypt. The Konquest mode is the mode you should start with, because it basically tells you how to play the game. You can pick any character, and it'll take you through 10 missions per character exploring each of the characters punches, kicks and abilities to great detail. You also get to hear some story about the character. The Krypt is the meat of the game. Inside are countless(Well, not really, but there's quite a bit :P) items to unlock by buying them with your 'Koins'. You earn these 'Koins' by fighting in arcade and konquest modes. Everything from new characters and costumes to pictures and videos can be unlocked. The Krypt alone will keep the replay value up.
I'm giving this game a score of 8 due to the fact that some elements could have been improved on, but if Midway builds on what they've done here we'll see more and more great MK games coming. If you go into playing this Mortal Kombat with the attitude to accept the fact that they've changed a lot, you'll enjoy the game. Otherwise, don't play it and don't complain. This change was a major step in the right direction.
Buy or Rent? It's safe to buy this game, especially if you're a MK fan. If not, now is the time to hop on the MK bandwagon.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/13/03, Updated 07/13/03
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