Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
Review by ShadowLedAstray
"Motion Kombat, Round 1 ... FIGHT!"
Finally Mortal Kombat hits the Wii platform. I've been waiting for this title since before the PS2/XBox versions were released. Now the question is.... was the game worth the wait?
Yes, for the most part. First I would like to say, if I had to buy this game again, I would still get the Wii edition. Maybe I would wait for it to get a little cheaper, but overall what the Wii version offers makes it the best of the versions. However, this game is still far from perfect.
The game is both a little shallow in depth but at the same time more accessible than the more popular fighting titles on the market, such as Soul Calibur and Tekken. Some bash it based on its "lack of depth", others enjoy being able to pick up and play any character easily. For this particular title, I'm going to have to say the 'easy to pick up and play' formula works the best. After all, we are dealing with 63 fighters! I was able to start out as Scorpion, move to Kung Lao, then Sektor, and on to new characters I had missed out on before without skipping a beat. The motion controls also help make playing as new characters easy.
Game Play 8/10
If you have played MKA before, you know how the controls work, and they aren't much different on the Wii version. The nunchuk handles movement, blocking, and changing into your fighter's secondary fighting style, while the Wii remote handles standard attacks, throws, and specials.
First thing, when using the Wii remote, you will want to get used to using the D Pad for your four main attacks (the various punches and kicks). Some have complained about this method, as the Wii's D Pad is fairly tightly positioned. Personally, I have to say that it does work better than I imagined it would. The D Pad is surprisingly accurate. You will want to hold the remote a little further up, so that the D Pad is the place your thumb naturally rests.
Performing the specials require you to click in the B trigger while making a motion. VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT click the button then perform the gesture. Click the button as you are starting it. For instance, when performing Mileena's classic teleport kick, you motion up then down. You want to click in the B trigger as the controller is actually moving upward and continue holding while it moves back down. Release after the move registers to be prepared for your next move. Other pointers include moving the controller 6 to 12 inches for best results, and moving the controller in a nice swift fashion.
While you may need to practice to get it down, the motion controls do provide more exciting Kombat overall. Once you get good with the motions, they will work 95 percent of the time, perhaps higher, but you will undoubtedly screw up the occassional gesture. Most of the time I could tell it was my own fault, but occassionally Down/Up gestures have been confused with Lower Half Circle.
You can also play with the ultra comfy GameCube controller, or the sleek Classic controller, so this is a great game to have if you like playing around with different input devices. Also, the Kart Racing mode in this game supports Excite Truck style tilt steering.
By no means pushing the Wii, it is one of the few PS2 to Wii ports that looks decent enough for me not to really care. The game runs at a nice 60 FPS. It has a dark atmosphere and lots of gore, although its a bit cartoony in some respects. The new custom fatalities aren't as amazing as the character specific ones in the past, but they are a bit more brutal looking. Watching a character beat the crap out of his or her opponent then rip their head off seems rather aggressive. The fatalities could have used some touching up; the organs you rip out of your opponents seem to kinda float on the ground since they don't have any shading, but its a minor complaint. Overall not bad. The character design is still very interesting, one of things many MK fans have loved about the series since day one.
Good job here. The Wii Remote speaker is used as a confirmation tone for when you pull off a special move. The in game music is great, however not always as memorable as the compositions in the past. But the dark feel the music conveys is great. Sound effects are hard hitting and really help sell the moves to the gamer. When you hit someone, it sounds like it hurts. I think we can all agree, that's important in a fighting game.
Fun Factor 8/10
The thrill of having all the characters will wear off eventually, and yes the game will kinda lose its spark as well, but for the most part you should have plenty of fun with MKA. The motion controls may not be perfect, but are extremely fun once you get them down. Pulling off Ultimate Fatalities (10 hits then a finisher) with the motion controls require some practice, but once you get the feel down you will be pulling them off with ease. And believe me, the feel of orchestrating such a beat down with the Wii Remote is like poetry in motion.
It's great having all the characters, especially since the other versions were actualy missing the N64 MK Trilogy character Khameleon, who is a great addition. Endurance mode is added as well, and adds a much needed additional gameplay mode along side Arcade mode. It's a blast to go through as many characters as possible! Motor Kombat is simple yet sweet, and allows up to four player split screen. Konquest was surprisingly fun, and the Kreate a Fighter is an excellent addition (although occassionally the fighter models in the KAF mode would glitch into a garbled mess, requiring me to exit the mode and restart the game to prevent it from happening the next time I entered. I think this only happens after purchasing a lot of items in Kreate a Fighter. So, if you do buy a lot of Kreate a Fighter attire or moves, reset your game afterwards and that might prevent it from happening).
The lack of online might discourage some gamers, but I'm getting tired of average games getting tons of praise just because of their online modes (*cough* Motorstorm *hack*) so I won't go too hard on MKA. Besides, those wanting to play online have probably been doing so for months now on the other versions. This version also lacks the extras of the special edition PS2 version, however I believe most of those extras were videos that can be viewed online. UMK3 was also in the special version on PS2, but not on this version. Midway probably has other plans for that title... maybe a motion version will be created for a future Midway Treasures for Wii (pleeeeease Midway?).
Buy or Rent?
MK fans should buy this title, but maybe after waiting a while. Its currently $50 American, a bit steep, eh? With the other standard versions being down to $20, it is sad to see the Wii version so expensive. Had this been released at $30 it would have been a steal, you know? So, wait, or rent for now then buy it much later once you start to feel the need for some MK. Overall, I have to say I enjoy having this a part of my Wii collection. It offers a unique spin on the fighting genre, and overall it's just a lot of fun.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/25/07
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