Review by IceNinja
"Mortal Kombat Armageddon Review"
Mortal Kombat Armageddon Review
Mortal Kombat is no stranger in the fighting game world, in fact, it is probably the most popular fighting game to date. Mortal Kombat has had such an effect on it's fans & the general public that it has spawned merchandise & media from collectables, toys & school supplies to movies & TV shows. Mortal Kombat Armageddon is the final chapter of MK on the current gen systems until the next MK makes it's way to the newer consoles. You could say that MKA is a sort of "Greatest Hits" MK similar to MK Trilogy which appeared on the PSX, N64, Game.com & PC.
I decided to write this review primarily for 2 reasons.
1) People play the game for a short time & think they are an expert on it.
2) Too many people tell other people their "opinion" of a game with no hard facts. Sad part is....some people believe them & miss out on a great gaming experience.
* I would like to add that I have been an MK fan from day 1 when the first MK appeared in the arcades. I consider myself a serious MK fan & collector. I played all the MK games & followed the series as it has grown & evolved over the years.
At first I was feeling like I wanted more from this MK. But as I played it I realized what the boyz at Midway have done for the fans, and that is to create a MK library in glorious 3-D with the ALL the MK characters & the detailed interactive backgrounds of old & new. All but 4 characters are unlocked from the start which is a big switch compared to previous MK's where hidden characters had to be earned.
Graphics are a mixed bag depending on what system you are playing it on & your TV as well. I will break it into 2 sections. MKA is based on the Mortal Kombat Deception engine so keep that in mind.
PS2 is 480p. It looks decent but a little washed compared to the Xbox version. If you do not compare the 2 versions side by side, you will probably be happy. The character models are detailed & the backgrounds are just as detailed. The attention to detail is excellent as in most MK games. Blood, fire, smoke, particle effects, etc. look great!
The Xbox version is 720p & if you have a HDTV....it looks stunning! Characters are crisp & sharp. Backgrounds are lush & colorful. Visual effects are beautiful! Midway & Microsoft announced that they are working on making it backwards compatible for the Xbox 360 as we speak & it will be ready soon which will further enhance the graphics. That makes a lot of Xbox 360 users VERY happy!
Control is tight. Combos work well. The Racing game control is tight. The konquest control is decent. There are some new moves for each character. Each character now has an extra special move & a new grab move. If you liked the control in MK Deception, you will probably like this.
FUN FACTOR: 8/10
While I always found MK a fun game to play, this one is missing some luster for some reason. Most of the characters are unlocked from the start so you are not forced to play the game over & over to unlock new fighters.I am not saying it is not a fun game, but I guess it is because it does not bring anything groundbreakingly new. The next MK is where the MK team is going to make drastic changes to the MK engine. A lot of new characters will be added & a lot of old characters will be gone according to Ed Boon. Still, nothing makes you smile like a flawless victory followed by a FATALITY, so it is still very fun! Having all but 4 characters unlocked makes the replay value a bit less too. Once you beat the game with a character, you are treated to a Kata with text explaining your fighter's ending. Gone are the 2 hand drawn pictures with a long detailed ending for your fighter. Another item missing is the "Saved Endings". Once you beat the game with your specific character, there is no way to go to the krypt & re-view your ending. This is sadly missed.
EXTRAS: 9/10 (Overall)
Konquest Mode: 8/10
Konquest Mode is a game in itself. Konquest mode has a slight downgrade in graphics from the standard fighting game. Konquest blends Shaolin Monks with MK fighting. You explore a 3-D world & as you progress the story unfolds & you obtain Relics & koins used to purchase items in the krypt & KAK items & moves. On occasion, you meet with another MK character & are challenged to a classic 1 on 1 fight! You learn moves as you progress & there are a few challenges along the way that will bank you some big rewards if completed. The Boss characters are pretty kool. The entire Konquest mode lasts around 6 -8 hours. A little on the short side, but still a fun ride.
Motor Kombat: 8/10
Motor Kombat is Mario Kart with a touch of MK added. A basic car kombat game but plays very well! Each character has a specific special move & there are death traps scattered through the courses to give it that warm fuzzy MK feel! Control is tight. Power-ups give you your special moves or speed bursts.
Kreate A Kharacter: 8/10
Kreate your own MK Fighter! Good & Bad points here.
-fair number of parts
-can create famous characters from other games
-the "move list" that you can assign/create is large & detailed.
-great color palette
-if you purchase an item & you have more than 1 profile set up, those items will be purchased in ALL profiles
- you can write an ending for your KAK that will scroll when you beat the game with him/her.
-Parts & moves cost $money$....and a lot of it!
-there could be more parts
-1 KAK per profile
Kreate A Fatality: 8/10
This one is the most controversial topic of MKA. Some love it....some hate it. I was not a big fan of it at the start. I miss the character specific Fatalities that are now gone. (I guess having to program 120+ Fatalities might have been a nightmare?) You simply have a red bar (similar to a health bar) that unfills & you must tap a specific command to perform an attack & end up using a finisher move to complete the kombo string. You can string up to 10 combos but some players have already gotten to 12 so there is some interest on how high players will go in the future! It can be very hard to complete a large Fatality but if you are a novice....you can do a short Fatality in 2 moves if you want with pretty much ease! I found myself enjoying this the more I played it & a more realistic approach rather than the over the top MK Fatalities in the past. I still do miss the old school fatalities but this is something new to play with. Love it...Hate it.....you decide!
PS2 PREMIUM EDITIONS:
The PS2 version got the special treatment from Midway this year. There are 4 different versions of the Premium Edition.
The stores listed below carried the following cover art:
GameStop / EB Games - Johnny Cage & Goro
GameCrazy - MK Dragon
Best Buy - Shao Kahn & Sindel
Wal-Mart - Kano & Sonya
Each Premium Edition includes the following extra content:
-Metal Case with special art
-Playable version of UMK3
-30 Video Character Kards From MKD
-History Of Fatalities DVD
-Animation Cell to match cover art
POINTS OF INTEREST:
The addition of new characters is welcome. (Yes, they are old characters, but they were taken from 2-D & made into 3-D!) Some...well almost ALL fighting games that come out every year or 2 decide to add 2 or 3 new characters & a few new stages & call it a new game! NOT HERE FOLKS! Tons of characters & stages. Most of the stages are interactive as well! The Kreate A Kharacter mode looks good & is fairly deep. You have a fair amount of pieces but for some reason you wish you had a bit more. Don't get me wrong, there is enough in it to keep you busy for many hours on end. Now lets get to kreating your own moves. WOW.....this part is amazing in it self! You can pretty much pick any moves & kombo you can think of! After tweeking my fighter to where I got him...I can honestly say I like my character better than my all time favs Sub Zero & Scorpion! ( I never thought I would say that but I did!) It does what it was intended to do & since it is the first time Midway added this feature I am sure they will build upon it in future games.
The majority of all the game magazines & game internet sites gave MKA stellar reviews. (Even some sites that RARELY give high scores gave it an excellent review) but some feel that MKA is not that impressive. Most of the complaints hold no merit if you read into them. Some did not like Konquest mode or Motor Kombat or the Kreate A Kharacter mode. What people are forgetting is that these are EXTRAS! Midway did not have to include these into MKA, but they did it as additional content for all the MK fans! Props should be given to Midway for that. Some game developers decide to make an entirely new game out of the original game & charge you for it. (ex. Taking a platform game & turning it into a racing game)
Over 60 characters, Motor Kombat, Konquest Mode & KAK make this game an excellent value for the price of admission. Midway gave us a great send off to the MK series on the current platform....I can't wait to see the face of MK in the future!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/23/06
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