Review by Arrowsedge89
"A new age of Kombat (A spoiler free review)"
I was never a completely huge fan of Mortal Kombat. I did play the series as a kid and I have fond memories of sitting in-front of the television set and staying up all night with a friend and playing mortal kombat as dark surrounded us and nothing but the shine of the television holding our attention. Just because I wasn't a huge fan didn't necessarily mean I didn't enjoy the older games. They were fun and violent. Two combinations that go well together. It might not have been graphically aimed towards kids, but we loved them all the same didn't we? A game series that has always had soccer moms coming after it with controversy and a game that is even banned in other countries unfortunately. I pre-ordered this game because I haven't played alot of fighting games and I thought this one was the one that would draw me back in. I hadn't played a fighting game since Mortal Kombat 2 and that was many years ago. After trying out the demo, I was sold on the game already. I picked up my copy up at the gamestop midnight party release.
The party was a fun time, but when it came down to it all I really wanted was my copy and to rush home and put that game in my PS3. I played the game from the time I got home till about 10AM. I am glad that I was able to get the next two days off to play this game because it has so much packed into it. I am not a big fan with fighting games so when a fighting game calls my name, I tend to listen. A game from generations ago called my name and I replied with the sweet money to get it and bring it home and now, let's get down to the official review shall we?
Game-play 9 out of 10 - The true gears that run a well oiled machine that is a game, is of-course the game-play. The game-play must be fun and entertaining enough to hold the attention of the player for long period of time and this game does it very well. You've got so many modes to pick from that you kind of get overwhelmed (which in this case, overwhelmed is a good thing). Do you jump into a long action packed story mode? Do you climb up the arcade ladder? Do you go online and try your skills there? Do you take to the awesome challenge tower? Who knows, but one thing is very certain. No matter what you pick, you are going to have a fun time. The online however does need a few tweaks made to it (which we will get to next). The story is a very well written story of what the first three games essentially were. It told the tale very well. The voice acting was actually very well done and top notch which is very surprising to say the least for a fighting game. The cut-scenes were very nice and couldn't have pleased me more. Surprisingly, loading times were not bad if you even got a loading screen. The jump from a cut-scene to a match is a smooth transition with no loading screen in between.
The story held my attention throughout it's entirety and it was almost as if I couldn't put down my controller as I played through it. It was like a "just one more cut-scene" kind of thing, but I would always continue on to the next cut-scene. The story has a few cheap boss battles scattered through it and it almost requires you to use some cheap tactics of your own to get through the matches, but most of the time I got through the tough matches with two or three retries. Most of your in-game currency ("Koins") would come from the story mode and trust me, you will get alot from it. Pretty soon you will be going to the krypt and spending all those "koins". The krypt, ah.. A place that has so much content. In reality, alot of it is just concept art that you won't look twice at. You will get your 2nd fatalities and find alternate costumes though. All the rest is just art and collectibles. It would've been nice for them to include more actual useful stuff, but with everything that is there I can't honestly complain.. After-all, wouldn't we all like more content in every game we get?
Arcade mode's ladder is essentially just like the arcade machines of yester-year. You climb up a ladder in a tournament and try to take on opponents, each one getting more difficult than the last until you finally make it to the final challenge. It will hold your attention for a good long while, but I spent alot more time in the challenge tower mode. This thing is a massive tower of challenges (Go figure, right?) The tower holds so much variety that you will find something fresh and new around every corner. Whether it is you fighting off a horde of zombies, fighting without a head, or just testing your strength. There is so much going on in this mode that it's impossible for me to compile a list. There is so many challenges that it will take you a long time to get to the end. I am on #89 and it shows no sign of stopping any time soon. You also have your classic versus matches that you can play with a friend on the couch which is old-school and very awesome still. There is nothing like taunting a buddy a few feet away from you in the same room and then watching their face as you leave their fighter with a fatality at the end of a match.
There are now the additions of tag team matches now where you can take two fighters and pit them against two other. What I find great about this is, you can now team up with a friend and go through a tag team arcade ladder. There is nothing more fun than tagging in and out with a buddy as you whip the computer from one side of the screen to the other. It's great fun. Overall, the game has accomplished everything it set out to do. It feels just like the old classic Mortal Kombat games and at the same time, it feels fresh and revived. It's back to the classic 2d combat, but the environments are 3D and are very nice on the eyes. They are fully rendered environments that catch your eye right away. There is always something going on in the backgrounds which is awesome. All the environments feel full of life and it makes the game all that more great. You Also in this game, there is the new addition of online mode which we will now go into with some detail...
Online Mode 7 out of 10 - This mode is fun, but it can be a frustrating feature when it's stubborn and doesn't want to work. I have found plenty of awesome matches that do not lag at all and were great. I've already put in a few hours in the online mode and it's a great time when you find a few people that are on the same skill level as you. You can always find a room of beginners or if your more advanced, you can also find a room of the more skilled players. This is all fine, but alot of the time it falls short. I either get challenges or challenge someone and it ends up with a "This game session is no longer available" message before we get to fight. It's getting a little better though it would seem. You have to factor in that the game hasn't been out that long and that the servers need time to be tweaked. We may even get a patch in the future to help fix it. The good thing though that I can say is that when I did find a match, I hardly ever found lag. I only had one instance where the game lagged online.
However with that being said, I have never been able to get king of the hill to work for me. It could just be me, but I know that my connection is not the problem here. Perhaps it just needs some time. It sounds great in concept, but I have never launched a successful king of the hill match. The online I figure just needs more time to get perfect. This is the first time they have tried this and it needs a few tweaks here and there and I am sure they realize this so take it with a grain of salt if you will.
Sound 8 out of 10 - Sound in any video game will help it go far especially when it's excellent. The sound in this game is great when it's there. This game has some great sound effects going on. When you hit flesh, you can hear the impact and when you break bones, you hear that bone crushing thud that could sicken you. It's all great fun and it really adds to the game. When you are hitting one of the cyborg characters, you will hear the sound of you hitting metal which is a nice touch. They really paid attention to alot of the details with sound. However, they left out something that was an important key. This game doesn't have much music or at-least nothing that stays within my mind too long. Nothing memorable here which is disappointing to me. Also an odd thing that I have found is that the demo actually lets you add custom music to the game as you play it, but the full release copy does not. This is a very disappointing thing for me. I had a soundtrack all ready to go just for this game and they either forgot to put it in the full game or they took it out at the last second for some reason.
Either-way, I feel that this can be patched in the game sooner or later if they accidentally left it out, but I have a feeling it was intentionally left out for some reason beyond me. It was in the demo so they would've had to taken it out of the final build right? I don't know of a reason on why they would do this. If you don't have a memorable and awesome soundtrack going for your game, the least you could do is put in the option for custom music. Hopefully this is one aspect that is fixed in time.
Controls 10 out of 10 - The controls for this game are spot on and they completely should be. They are essentially the same controls from the earlier Mortal Kombats. If you have ever played a Mortal Kombat game before, then you already know the controls pretty much. I had absolutely zero problems jumping into this game since I played the older games. There is a few more new things going on like x-rays and new cool combos, but for the most part. It is the same classic nice controls. They are precise and very much to the point and I couldn't have asked for more in this area. I was able to pull of every move with great timing and precise movements of my thumbs. Usually if something went wrong for me, it was my doing and not the game's fault. Usually my thumbs either don't move fast enough or I just mess up a combo. This is me getting used to the combos and timing and it's completely on me to learn it. Once I got the hang of it, it was as smooth as butter. Controls are overall a 100% spot on area for me and I couldn't be happier with it.
Graphics 10 out of 10 - These graphics are not going to blow you away like other games and they are not the most gorgeous graphics ever seen, but they are top notch for what they are. This is a fighting game and the foundation for what Mortal Kombat is built upon is not graphics. The staple for this series has always been about the blood and guts. It has always been about pushing the envelope a little further. The game is more about graphic content than graphics. Even with that said, the graphics are very nice for this game. The buckets of blood are over the top and the body damage was actually a very nice touch that I wasn't expecting. The backgrounds for each stage are brilliantly done. They are very dark and gritty just like the game. There is plenty of eye candy in all the stages and you can see the effort that went into the game. It was excellently crafted and it really does show.
Blood flies all over the place. It flies onto the ground and stays there through the match. It flies onto the characters and completely drenches them in blood. Everything just graphically screams Mortal Kombat and that is exactly what I was expecting. I couldn't of possibly been more pleased by the graphics in this game. The game really amazed me in this area especially with the wonderfully crafted cut-scenes within the story mode. The cut-scenes were done very well and it helped tell a great story that is Mortal Kombat. The dark tone matches the game nicely and overall the graphics helped pave the game to what it is.
Replay Value 10 out of 10 - This game has more content than most story games have. It boasts many different and fun modes that are individually completely different from one another. The game throws in-game currency at you around everything you do. The game throws many secrets and goodies for you to discover. This game is the king of secrets. There is still plenty I am sure nobody has found yet in the game and will probably take some time for everything to be revealed, but that is part of the journey to what this game has embraced. The possibilities are endless if the online is tweaked accordingly and you have friends interested in the game that will play it with you. The game has alot going for it and when it comes down to it, you can't lose even at the current price.
This game throws so much at you that you are going to be spending a good chunk of time on every aspect of it and that is very good thing when it comes to a fighting game. I have never had so much fun and I usually stick to long RPGs or shooters. This game is a nice and very fresh breath of air for me and I am glad I get to experience it. The future for DLC is bright with this game and I am sure the developers have plans to even stuff this game with more content in the future. Multiplayer adds that classic layer to the game which will always be a fun time. I mean you can't beat spending the day playing with a brother, cousin, or a friend. This is the same Mortal Kombat experience and then some. This game is so much rolled into one that I couldn't of possibly asked for more and I still haven't even scratched the surface of this game yet and what it has to offer. I still have alot of stuff to unlock and alot of the story to finish along with still making my way to the top of the addicting challenge tower to see what it throws at me next. It's all alot and I am very pleased with it.
Overall 9 out of 10 - The game has some flaws with online and custom soundtracks being cut out for some odd reason, but the game is pure fun and purely violent which is a good combination to what the series is. This is like a new era of Mortal Kombat now and I will be playing this game for a long time to come. If you are looking for a crazy and insanely over the top violent fighting game, you cannot go wrong with this game. Violence isn't a side order in this game. You get a whole all you can eat buffet of violence and it shows. You are not going to find a more violent and entertaining experience than this. The game is crazy fun even with the few flaws it does have. What flaws it does have, can be fixed easily with updates and tweaks. It's worth every penny and you will definitely get your money's worth with this game. It's crazy, it's fun, it's violent, and so much more. What are you waiting for? FIGHT!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/21/11
Game Release: Mortal Kombat (US, 04/19/11)
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