Review by stufff

"Quantity does not equal quality, or Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen"

Graphics 7/10

Graphics are decent for an Xbox game. My major objection is the way the physics interact with the graphics. Characters with wings often have their wings go through the floor. In the Kreate a Fighter mode, certain things don't overlap correctly and you have two objects existing in the same space at once, like a cloth going through some metal leggings. Motaro, who used to be a centaur, now only has two legs because the creators decided they didn't want to put the time and effort into making a new character model. The characters and backgrounds look nice as they stand on their own, but some of the features obviously didn't have much effort put in. If you're going to do something, do it right or don't do it at all.

Story 1/10

The creators just took a big steamy dump on the MK storyline. I guess they have sort of been doing that for a while now, but this time around they completely ignored it. Again, they completely focused on having a large roster and ignored all the other elements that made their games good. None of the characters have bios. If you've never played an MK game before, or have missed a few and aren't familiar with some characters, tough luck. You have no idea why these guys are fighting. The endings are pitiful. You see your character dancing around in an exhibition mode on the Pyramid while a few lines of text are displayed. No FMV, no models acting out the ending, you don't even get as much as a custom image or two showing you what's going on. Would it have taken a lot of work to put effort into each character's ending? Probably, but again, if you can't do something right, don't do it at all.

It gets worse though. Characters that haven't been around forever, or who are dead in the storyline, are just sort of wandering around doing their thing. Contradictions to established character storylines abound. All this to push on us two characters that are completely uninteresting, and tell us they are the ones behind basically the entire history of Mortal Kombat, the Red and Black dragons, etc. Riiiiiiight.

The main story for the game is that there are too many fighters and they are too powerful and are going to tear apart the fabric of existence, so something must be done to stop it. Yeah. If they could have come up with an idea that had less thought behind it, I'd be impressed. Why would a lot of people being powerful tear apart the fabric of existence? They obviously have their powers within the confines of existence, or else they wouldn't exist.

So, all the characters rush at each other all at one time in one huge battle. Don't get me wrong, it makes for a really awesome cinematic sequence. But it makes no sense from a story point of view; characters that hate each other fight side by side as everyone is lumped into a binary "good" or "evil," which completely ignores all the shades of grey that used to make the MK storyline so interesting to me. Then a huge pyramid raises up with blaze (who used to be just a minor character) at the top, and all the fighters rush to take him on and assume godhood. How they know this will be their reward, well, that isn't explained.

It gets worse still. The entire tournament is intended for one of the two bland new characters to win because their parents want them to be gods to save existence. OK. If their parents wanted that to happen, they could have just done it without the convoluted story. If their parents wanted to kill off or strip all the other fighters of their powers, and had the ability to do so (as they apparently do), then they could have managed that without making their children sleep for thousands of years and making them go on some dumb quest.

Roster - 7/10

How does this not get a perfect score with pretty much every character ever on the roster? Easy, they have taken away everything that made each character unique except for the way they look and a couple signature moves.

There are only 4-5 character models. Humanoid male, humanoid female, shokan male, shokan female, (and maybe Blaze has his own model, I'm not sure). The only difference between these models is the clothes and accessories, and whether they are scaled to small, medium, or large. This isn't a huge deal, and I'm sure we can all agree that it's an improvement on the color swaps to make different characters in the MK I and II days, but it does add to the total sense that I only really have a few truly different characters to pick from.

Every character now has one projectile, one disable, one teleport, one charge, one taunt, one throw. Characters that never had projectiles or teleports are given them. Characters that had multiple projectiles had them taken away. Yes, some projectiles act differently than others, some disables are different, some teleports are pure teleports and some are attack teleports... but once again, it sort of makes you feel like you're really playing 4-5 characters with some minor differences.

There are no unique fatalities. If you are Sub-Zero, you can't freeze someone and kill them. If you are Kung Lao, you can't chop someone up with your hat. If you are Melina, you can't bite someone's head off. Each character has more or less the exact same fatality system available to them.

So yeah, there may be 60+ characters on the roster, but everything that made them unique is gone. You fail Midway.

Sound: 8/10

Standard music from MK, nothing to complain about, it all fits. Scorpion's "get over here!" is intact, I think Melina's laugh is pretty creepy. My major complaint is the voice acting. Most English voice acting is pretty bad, this game may even be a little above par.

Gameplay (Arcade): 4/10

Look at the story and roster sections for my comments on how you're basically playing the same characters. Further, the system is not fluid, movements feel stiff. A lot of moves connect when they shouldn't. Kreate a Fatality would have been a good idea if characters retained their unique fatalities, but they don't, so this just comes off as a way for Midway to be lazy and not spend so much time working on each character.

Gameplay (Konquest): 1/10

This is sort of like Shaolin Monks, except not fun. Play control is clunky, game is tedious but easy. If you miss something, you can't go back. You can't even start Konquest over again, you have to finish it and then play it all over again. Like Konquest in other recent games, this is just a long, tedious way for you to unlock things. I don't know why they can't just give us all the characters and extra outfits unlocked in the first place. To get enough Koins to unlock everything (including KaK stuff), you would probably have to play Konquest 5-6 times. Playing it once is bad enough. It simply isn't fun, and having to work through boring crap to get to the good stuff is simply a bad idea.

Gameplay (Motor Kombat): 1/10

This is like Mario Kart, but not fun. Special moves don't work so well, and you only get one per character, unlike a variety of items you would get in a Mario Kart game. Play control is pretty bad, they had to implement a teleport slightly to the left or right button to grab items because turning to get them is like pulling teeth.

Gameplay (Kreate a Fighter (Karacter)): 7/10

This is the only part of the game I actually enjoy. I honestly think it is a lot of fun. I've spent hours playing with it, and with pretty good results. I've seen others do some fantastic work as well. Sailor Moon, Skeletor, Sephiroth, Superman... you can do a lot of pretty cool stuff here. However, this could have been better, and I have some major objections to it.

You are limited to the humanoid models. You can not create a Shokan (4-armed humanoid). Male human or female human, that's it.

You have to unlock pretty much everything. A lot of the unlockables are identical for male and female models, but you still have to unlock them twice. I've played Konquest mode through three times already and I still don't have enough Koins to unlock half of the stuff for KaK.

You can only have one character per profile, which means you have to sign in and out of a profile to get a different character. This also means you can only have two characters available at once.

There are presets available, but its almost like they forgot about this feature. Only 1 or 2 presets are listed, and you can't save your own. So if you create a fighting style that you really like, and want to use it for someone else, you have manually put it in again and again.

Weapon availability is limited to swords and axes. No Sais, no fans, no hook swords, no staffs, etc. Just swords and axes.

Overall: 3/10

This game could have been fantastic if they had put some real effort into fleshing out all the characters. They made a big deal out of having a huge roster, but the quality of the characters on their roster is horrible. They took shortcuts and got rid of some of the major things that distinguished each character, their stories and fatalities, and it shows in the overall low quality of the game. There is a major focus on Konquest mode as a way to push the story and to obtain more gameplay options, which is a shame because Konquest mode's story is horrible and it really isn't fun, you shouldn't have to play it to unlock all the good stuff, particularly the Kreate a Fighter options. Even Kreate a Fighter, which I say again is honestly a lot of fun, suffers from some severe limitations that could have been fixed with just a little effort. Quantity does not equal quality, that's something Midway does not understand.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 10/20/06


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