Review by Dan Hibiki Fan
"Hardcore fighting gamers, steer clear..."
Now, before anybody starts calling me as an "MK hater" because of my below average rating of this game, check yourselves. I'm a hardcore MK fan, I have been ever since the first one came out. How many of you still remember the blood code? A, B, A, C, A, B, B. I love MK, but I am almost totally disappointed in Deception... And it's not so much that Deception doesn't offer a lot, it's just it doesn't offer a lot of what I want.
MK has long been cherished by it's fans not so much for it's gameplay but for it's storyline. I too loved MK's overall storyline when Tobias was in control of it... Vogel's (well, mostly his anyway, he comes up with most of the ideas now) storyline ideas ever since Deadly Alliance just don't have an MK feel to them. It's like MK fanfiction, complete with horrible and pointless plot twists (Liu Kang dies, surprise he's back again! As a zombie! And a ghost! Yay! *gags*). You have pointless killing of one time only characters like Frost, and returning characters with new and completely lame personas like Raiden. Raiden is the compassionate protector of Earhtrealm, Vogel, not a Joseph Stalin-esque tyrant that forces people to fight or they will suffer his wrath.
Deception's gameplay is still as sloppy as Deadly Alliance's. There are no move properties, no custom combos only canned ones, no freedom with juggles, and genuinely there is STILL no reason to do 90% of a movelist. The game is still incredibly sluggish as well. And the new "death traps" are nothing more than fancy ring outs, so basically you get diced into bits but you come back to life in one piece in the next round! ...Lame. Basically, if you're used to Tekken, Virtua Fighter, Soul Calibur, Dead or Alive, etc. then you will have zero reason to play Deception. In fact, most of the time I found myself playing the other modes, mainly Puzzle Kombat which is a shameless yet watered down version of Capcom's Super Puzzle Fighter. Konquest is fun until you've unlocked everything in the krypt, then there's no point to going back. Chess Kombat forces you to play the fighting game you're trying to avoid in the first place... However, if you're a casual gamer that doesn't understand what makes a good fighting engine then you will find little to complain about.
Deception is probably the best sounding MK game ever. For the first time ever, characters actually have their own voices! ...Sike, characters still share voices like Jade and Li Mei. Speaking of voice acting, Konquest has some of THE worst voice acting you will ever hear in any game, anywhere. The sound effects are incredible however, and give a visceral feel to the game... The soundtrack is lacking however with only one or two notable tracks like the Slaughter House Jive, the rest of the music is just horrible and surprisingly the worst tracks are done by Dan "Toasty" Forden. Toasty, no, more like kind of cold and stale.
This is the place where Deception flourishes... And also fails somewhat in my opinion. Casual gamers will have the time of their lives running around in Konquest collecting keys and koins to open koffins in the krypt. Ultimately though, I found very little fun in doing a long and boring fetch and retrieve quest only to unlock a picture of a member of the MK Team. You know, I love MK but I seriously don't want a picture of Mike Boon or Tony Goskie... The fatalities which have been praised so much as of late are incredibly lacking as well, most of which end with an explosion of perfectly cut body pieces. STOP WITH THE EXPLOSIONS! They haven't worked since MK3, MK Team, stop! Just stop!
In closing, your enjoyment of Deception seriously depends on what kind of gamer you are. Are you an MK fanboy? Are you a casual fighting gamer? If you are any of those then you can replace the 4/10 rating I've given it with a 8/10. If, however, you are a seasoned fighting game veteran that understands the importance of simple things such as move properties or frame advantage/disadvantage then stay FAR away from Deception. Rent first.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 10/21/04
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