Review by Jeff Hardly
"The Wii control gimmick would've worked if...well, it actually worked."
The Wii version of Mortal Kombat Armageddon is a departure from Midway's statement that this would be the last MK game on the present-gen consoles (PS2 and XBox). Oops. Anyway, the Wii version offers a little more, such as the Wii remote controls - the selling point of this port - and Khameleon, the only character omitted from the other versions. Unfortunately, the extras come up too little, too late.
The graphics are pretty decent, but you can tell this was a port from the previous-gen versions, and that's a recurring theme of Wii ports of games. Trying to get your game some more multi-platform exposure? Throw it on the Wii with one or two remote tricks. It just looks so mediocre compared to what the Wii can actually do.
Ah, the motion sensor controls. The whole point of getting this version for $50, right? Well, it's a good idea, except for one small problem: it doesn't work. If you don't already own this version, I dare you to rent this and just try the training mode for the moves. Half the time, I can't get the moves to work because the controls refuse to register the movements, and the other half is spent trying to time button releases exactly right in hopes of getting one of them to work. Don't waste your time trying it out in any other mode; you'll just get your ass handed to you. If you have to have the Wii version, it'd be wise to invest in a Classic Controller. Why? Well, the Wii Remote obviously isn't doing anything for you, and don't even bother with the GameCube controller - the button placement is just too awkward for this game.
MKA offers several different game modes to play. Motor Kombat replaces Puzzle Kombat as the semi-game du jour and borrows gratuitously from Mario Kart. It's alright, but it doesn't offer a whole lot of reason to keep playing solo, as that experience is hardly fulfilling in any real sense. Konquest mode this time around is a joke. It's so easy, and it offers the chance to unlock a couple characters (neither of whom are particularly interesting). There isn't a whole lot to do in it either, a huge drop-off from MK:Deception's vast, expansive world to explore and find all sorts of unlockables. The Krypt is a waste of time because you can get access to something that unlocks everything, so the harvesting of koins to buy the others is just a waste of time. As for the actual fighting game, it's not bad. The characters each have their own moves and, to a degree, unique fighting styles, and playing against a friend can be fun, but some of the characters are too cheap to use (typically, the big guys). The fatality system is unique, but loses its luster pretty fast. I mean, when I was a kid playing Mortal Kombat, part of the allure was playing as every character and doing their fatalities. Hell, even up to Deception, I was into it. Without that, the characters are too homogenized and you don't really have much reason to try them all out. Kreate-A-Kombatant is a highlight, however; it has a surprising amount of depth and is definitely worth tinkering with. Being able to customize just about every aspect of your character, right down to the little elements of their fighting style, just brings new creativity to Mortal Kombat that the series has been needing. It makes the experience a little more complete. Although I'd say the next step would be to revert to the old fatalities and have a few extra animations, akin to Create-a-Wrestlers in WWE games, it's a step in the right direction.
It's standard MK fare, with some decent remixes of the older songs. Nothing grating, but the sound effects are pretty unremarkable.
Replay Value: 4/10
Let's face it: unless you're a truly hardcore MK junkie, you won't get a whole lot out of this version. Deadly Alliance offered a whole new take on the MK gameplay, and Deception improved and expanded on it. This one just seems stretched too thin, and while that might just be the fault of the concept of playing as everyone, it does affect the game's enjoyability. It's not a bad game in its own right, but it seems too limited by the PS2 and XBox's respective capabilities. The Wii just suffers from a non-functional gimmick that makes it a big disappointment compared to what it could've been. For those of you who need a fighting game and have Classic Controllers and can ignore what this version was supposed to offer, you can't really go wrong. Otherwise, rent first and don't run the risk of blowing $50 on something you can buy for the older systems for far less.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 10/22/07
Game Release: Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (US, 05/29/07)
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