Review by Sour DieseL
"The Mighty Have Fallen... except for this game!"
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance for the X-box came out two days after the PS2 release, making X-box owners have to wait just a bit longer if they didn't own a PS2. After Mortal Kombat 4 and Gold, we were left with nothing for almost a decade. I'm not sure why this happened, but after a while it seemed like no new Mortal Kombat games would be hitting the market any time soon. Then, finally, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance was announced, and Mortal Kombat fans around the world breathed a collective sigh of relief. The game ended up being a huge hit and a sequel was soon made to continue the popular franchise, which delivered just as much as this one. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance brought some new gameplay elements to the franchise, and they are generally well received as it gives you more options, as well as being the first game to host a ton of unlockables, such as artwork and the like. This version came a mere two days later after the PS2 version.
Gameplay: 10/10: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance brings some new ideas to the table without tearing down what we were all comfortable with. So it managed to stay fresh while still giving us that old school feel to it. Every character now has three sets of fighting styles that can be used interchangably in combat. These are generally two sets of martial arts styles and one weapon fighting style. You can often chain attacks between all three styles to make for devastating combos, turning the tide to your favor as you execute the powerful combo. Some weapons are also able to impale opponents in this game, causing the opponent to drain their health fast. And once it's been done, it cannot be undone. The signature mark of these games, the Fatality, makes it's return. Every character has a special move that can be pulled off at the end of the match (a voice will prompt you to "FINISH HIM/HER!"), that is done so by being a certain distance from the opponent and pressing buttons in a certain order, much like you would a combo. Much like Mortal Kombat 4, there are only fatalities, staying true to just the simple blood and guts of the first game. However, the game manages to keep some humor in. Upon winning battles, you'll be given a certain amount of coins. There are gold, jade, ruby, sapphire, etc. coins. You use these in an area of the menu called The Krypt. You spend them in the Krypt to unlock various artwork for arenas and characters, as well as some videos. Some of these videos are hilarious, such as Cooking With Scorpion. It also includes a blooper reel from Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. There are tons of unlockables which gives this game a ton of replay value. Another mode introduced in this game, that would be more fleshed out in future titles is the Konquest Mode. Konquest mode acts of sort of a tutorial and you'll be given coins for completing various objectives. The controls in this game, despite the bulky X-box controller design, feel a lot more fluid and responsive than the PS2 version.
Test your Might also makes a return from the first Mortal Kombat game, allowing you to press buttons to make a meter rise, building up your characters strength and pressing Start at the right time, to chop or hit the item in front of you (such as a stack of wood, concrete blocks, etc.). They also brought in Test Your Sight, a slight parody of Test Your Might where you see the MK logo revealed under a cup, and it mixes and matches with the other cups. It starts off at three cups, but as you progress through the game, it'll be more and more.
Story: 10/10: When last we left Scorpion and Quan Chi in Mortal Kombat 4, Scorpion had brought Quan Chi to the Netherrealm with him as punishment for being the true killer of his family and clan. There, Quan Chi pairs up with Shang Tsung, and both make an escape back to Outworld. They team up together, and seemingly kill Shao Kahn so that they may rule Outworld themselves. But they know one major threat still exists. Liu Kang, defender of Earth Realm and champion of Mortal Kombat. The sorcerers team up and vanquish Liu Kang, leaving no one to hinder their plans. Their next step is to revive the legendary undead army of the Dragon King. They construct a soulnado, streaming souls into their hideout so that they may power up the army. In response to this, Raiden calls forth other Earth-realm warriors, such as Sonya, Jax, Johnny Cage, and several new faces. They must work together to take down the powerful sorcerers and stop them from resurrecting the army of the Dragon King. This will prove to be easier said than done, as both sorcerers wield unimaginable powers, especially with the help of the powerful amulet that Quan Chi had stolen from Shinnok in Mortal Kombat 4.
Graphics: 10/10: They did a fantastic job with the graphics, a much needed improvement over Mortal Kombat 4. And like Mortal Kombat 4, the characters are rendered in 3D. However they managed to work with a combination effort to create character models. Much like the older games, actors were brought in to fight out the moves and were mo-capped, they just have a completely different skin once the film is done, being replaced with the 3D models. The graphics in the X-box version are a lot clearer and a little less pix-elated. The music video included in the game looks noticeably better. Still, it doesn't impact the game much, but the graphics are slightly superior in this version.
Sound: 10/10: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance has a fantastic soundtrack that just can't be ignored. Already pre-unlocked is a music video that's available for viewing, a song by Adema called Immortal. This song will get you pumped up and ready to kick some ass. The voice quality is excellent as well. You'll more than likely enjoy hearing the screams of your vanquished foes when they get torn apart in some gruesome fatality. Other than that, there's not much to say here. Just make sure you watch the music video upon booting up for the first game. It lets you know that this game means business!
Overall: 10/10: The graphics have been slightly improved for this, the X-box version. That being said, this is the ideal version of the game. Especially if you don't have a PS2. This game has a ton of unlockables, which adds greatly to the replay value. So if you've got an X-box, you're slightly better off getting this version over the PS2 version. Though the fact remains, Deadly Alliance is a great game no matter how you look at it.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/26/10
Game Release: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (US, 11/18/02)
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