Review by golddragon89

"I'm new to Mortal Kombat basically, But I gotta say, this game is pretty "kool""

(Note, this review is more intended for newcomers to Mortal Kombat then longtime fans of the series)

Now I never really played many MK games. I played one of the SNES games many years ago, but don't remember much. And I played Deception, but couldn't really get into the gameplay since it felt stiff to me compared to other fighting games I played at the time. Looking back, I felt I didn't give the fighting mechanics enough of a chance, and the latest Mortal Kombat game looked very pleasing, So I decided to take a chance and buy the game. And I have to say, overall this game is pretty awesome!

THE STORY AND INTRO

Things have gotten out of horrible control. All the kombatants have gotten too powerful and too numerous (Yes I stole that from the intro). The Elder gods foresaw this happening, so they created a firespawn creature called Blaze (think huge fiery guy) to prevent the total destruction of the realms……….or something like that. Admittedly the storyline is a bit hard to follow in some spots, though the Konquest mode does tie in to the storyline (I'll get back to that mode later)

But the intro itself is definitely one of the coolest and most mesmerizing intros ever made in a fighting game. Most fight game intros, while pretty looking, mainly show off some fighters, maybe a few fights, and call it a day. But this one shows everyone engaged in a HUGE Battle, showing that Armageddon is indeed gonna happen if something isn't done. From swordfights to brawls to other crazy scenes, this is one intro to remember. The creators definitely pulled out all the stops in this footage.

THE KOMBAT AND KOMBATANTS

OK, first thing I want to get to in this section is the roster. There are 60 playable fighters available from the start (oh my!!!!!!!!!!) with 4 unlockable ones, which aren't too hard to get if you play through the Konquest mode, but again, I'll get back to that mode later. It really would have been nice if there were character Biographies for them all to learn more about them, but unfortunately there are no bios for anyone (though there is one Bio video available for a certain fighter in the game) Now For the Kombat itself. Overall after some getting used to, the kombat is pretty pleasing, though a bit stiff when compared to games like Soul Calibur.

Instead of timing button inputs, for the most part you “Dial in” button inputs, meaning you press the buttons in advance instead of timing button inputs like most fighting games do. Each fighter has 2 different fighting styles (with the exception of certain boss characters), most having one fighting style and one weapon style, which can be switched on the fly with the L Trigger, or by performing a certain combo each character has that will have him/her take out the weapon and attack, which nicely switches up the fighting a bit. Every Fighter has a good amount of combos (Usually 2-5 hits each, more if you mix them up as you get better) to memorize, both for the ground and the air, so completely mastering one character is easier said then done.

Each fighter also can also dish out “Breakers” which will stop the opponent while in the middle of a combo and immediately counter their attack, but be aware you can only use three of these per match and surprisingly they don't give any damage when done, which is a bit awkward. Players can also unleash a move called a “Parry” Which is similar to a breaker, but a bit different. If performed right when the opponent attacks, the opponent will be stunned for a brief moment leaving him open to attack. You can unleash as many of these as you like, though I don't believe you can do this while in the middle of a combo, which is fair enough.

Each fighter also has a number of special moves at their disposal, but none of these moves aren't crazy combo filled moves that will take around 35 percent of your health. They are all for the most part just special techniques that cause a decent amount of damage to the opponent. This is fine of course as a good chunk of fighting games these days have crazy moves that will either KO you with one hit or take a good chunk of damage, which tends to make fights in those games a bit shorter.

Another part of the kombat that is pretty cool is the interactive areas you'll fight in. In Certain Stages with a good hit you can knock opponents into special hazards designed in the stages. For example, One Stage has a bunch of long fleets of stairs. If you were to hit an opponent in the direction of them, your opponent would hilariously fall down the entire fleet and take a good chunk of damage. These death traps will either give you some damage (falling off certain areas, etc) or instantly kill you (Lava, Acid, Spikes, huge Machinery, you name it) and believe me, it's freakishly satisfying to KO an opponent into an instant kill hazard when at low health. Though of course if you feel this part of the gameplay is annoying, you can simply turn it off, both for online and offline.
So Yea…….overall the kombat is pretty satisfying, though admittedly a bit stiff. If your willing to look past that, and memorize a good amount of combos and moves, it should prove to be worth your time

KREATE A FATILITY
Though I'm a newbie to Mortal Kombat basically, I do know that one thing MK is known for are fatalities. In the other games, At the end of a fight, you can input a button combination which would show off your fighter doing something excruciating, bloody, and friggin awesome to the opponent. This has been replaced with a new Fatality system in which you input a series of 3 button combinations (2 directions and one of the face buttons) and repeteatedley hit him, or simply rip something off. But as you do each one the You can do up to 12 of these. Although seeing these moves are pretty cool, and getting the highest fatality possible is a challenge, it does get a bit repetitive after a while, seeing just about every fighter do the same things over and over and over again……..

THE MODES (Starting with Arcade mode)
Now to talk about the game modes. First I want to get into a brief discussion of the Arcade mode. It's basically the same as other arcade modes in fighting games. Ya fight a bunch of opponents, then a Huge boss in the end, then you see your own ending and call it a day. Now, the reason I brought this mode up is because of the endings themselves. In most games you see maybe a few pics of what happened after beating the final boss, or a cutscene. But from what I've seen, everyone's ending simply shows them doing a kata while text appears complete with narration of what happened. This feels kinda disappointing, as it feels a bit cheap. Maybe it would have been hard to have them for each and every fighter in the game, but even one or two pictures would have been good enough instead of this.

KREATE A KHARACTER
If the 60 available fighters from the start don't keep you busy for some reason, or you just like making your own creations, the Kreate a Fighter should be satisfying enough. Though the mode isn't as deep as something you'd see in Smackdown vs. RAW, overall its good enough. You can “kreate” either a male or female and pick 1 of 3 body sizes, choose from a wide array of clothing and accessories and other nice things to customize your appearance (Along with choosing the color/colors of just about every thing available), and edit certain features of the face.

After you have your appearance in tact, it's time to make your moveset. You can pick your fight stances for both styles, name your fight styles, and choose what weapon you'll wield, along with editing the moves themselves (duh). You can also select a number of special moves you use during kombat, although you cannot choose the combinations for these sets of moves (Or any moves really). Though that would have been nice for certain moves, the combinations given aren't long or hard to memorize.

One little Pet Peeve I had with this mode is that for the attacks shown, your guy isn't shown doing any of the moves on some sort of test dummy, which may not seem like a big deal, but would have been nice for certain high impact moves, especially popup moves, to see where the opponent will fly after impact and to see if it's possible to connect with an aerial attack afterwards. Again, just a pet Peeve, nothing that really breaks the mode.

After pimping out the moveset, it's time to add the finishing touches by giving your creation a name, a winning phrase which will be displayed to the opponent when beating him in a match, and a Biography which is shown for your created fighter's ending. Again, it's not the deepest Character Creation system made, but it is decent enough.

[A Few things I'd like to add is that you can only make 8 kharacters per harddrive/memory card (one per profile) Which is a bit disappointing considering the HUGE amount of space the Xbox's harddrive can take up, but thankfully anything you unlock in one profile for KAK is unlocked for them all. Also be aware that a lot of the moves, clothes, and accessories available for the Kreate a Kharacter will cost you cash (in the form of “Koins”)].

KONQUEST MODE
So what's the fastest way to get cash for your character (or other unlockables which I'll explain soon)? Simply the Konquest Mode. Something most fighting games don't really have is a separate single player adventure (at least like this) Konquest mode pits you in the role of Taven, a half god who's father is protector of Edenia (one of the realms in the series), Argus, and who's mother is a powerful sorceress who can see in the future, Delia.

Taven along with his brother Daegon have been put in some sort of suspended animation because of a prediction by their mother. She predicted that one day the realms would be threatened by Armageddon, so she and Argus prepared a contest between the two brothers to have them re-awaken when Blaze gave the call. To save the realms from Armageddon, one of them has to defeat Blaze himself and the victor will become new protector of Edenia, and decide the fate of the kombatants. As you go through the mode you'll find a few twists and turns and even fight against kharacters from the MK universe.

What makes this mode different from other single player modes in fighting games is that it isn't just some story told along with you doing a bunch of 1 on 1 fights. In the mode you actually run around environments and confront multiple enemies at once, which uses different fighting mechanics. X is for punches, A is for delivering a roundhouse kick, Y is for delivering an uppercut, and B is for grabs. You also have access to special moves which you unlock as you progress through the game, like a huge ground pound that will cause a lot of damage to all nearby enemies. You also have forward and backward rolls for evasion, and you can block attacks with the Right trigger, even unleash some fatalities on stunned opponents.

There are also some specific parts in the game which you'll wield certain weapons like a sword or hammer for some variation. Now, this portion of Konquest doesn't have the most deep fighting engine, and it really just feels like a beat em up side game, but I really had fun beating the crap out of waves of enemies. And you can't help but smile when uppercutting some guy and then connect with a roundhouse kick upon his landing, or simply chucking guys out of cliffs, or hitting them into death traps and obstacles in certain parts of levels, or other satisfying ways of punishment.

Also while running around environments you can “kollect” koins to use for various things (including the KAK which I mentioned earlier), and open treasure chests for alternate costumes for fighters as well as more koins. You can also collect various items from the MK universe, (60 in total) and every 10 you collect will give you a special surprise. There are also unlockable tunes from the game to listen to, and even some stages. Of course the whole mode isn't about just fighting waves of enemies, you'll also engage certain MK fighters in standard 1 on 1 fights.

Now there were some other problems I had with the mode. For one, there are certain chests/koins/items that will only appear if standing near them, or doing something like stepping on a certain huge spider or breaking a certain object, so if you want to collect everything you'll have to search every nook and cranny for items and chests. Also, the camera can be a bit problematic at times. But one of the weirdest problems is that when you encounter certain MK fighters, after beating them most will say something like “we will meet again” or “This isn't the last time we meet” or anything like that. But you will NEVER see them again at any time in the mode. Once you see and beat them, that's it their history. But these problems are really just minor and don't really detract from the main game, and is DEFINITELY worth beating atleast once. (or more to unlock everything if you missed some items or chests, or simply need more koins)

MOTOR KOMBAT
Heh. A Funny little Diversion game which is pretty amusing, Motor Kombat is basically Mario Kart mixed with Mortal Kombat. You can pick one of 10 Fighters, styled with big heads and small bodies and their own kart + exclusive attack. There are 5 different tracks, each with obstacles and stage specific fatalities. The driving itself feels good enough, though some sort of drift button would have been nice, but the lack of one isn't horrible or anything like that. While driving around you can ram opponents on either side of you using a “Bump” attack, which recharges after a few seconds. This will stop the opponent for about a second while driving around.

You can also pick up Stars on the track to get your character's exclusive weapon ready. Some examples of exclusive weapons are Bo Rai Cho's barf attack, where he literally barfs on the track and if anyone drives over it they'll slip and stop for about a second, or Sub Zero's freeze ball which he throws a ball of ice in front of him and frezzes anyone that comes in contact with it. There are also Lighting bolts which give you boost, along with certain boostpads, and Red Koins that will give you some cash. This mode is amusing, and pretty fun, though with only 5 tracks, and 1 weapon per character, the game mode becomes a bit repetitive after a while. But again, this mode is just meant to be a simple diversion. But being able to play with up to 8 players online is pretty fun.

ONLINE

Ah, online. What's a multiplayer game without this mode? Alright all the standard online features are here (Optimatch to find matches of your preferences, Create Match to set up matches of your preferences, Quick match to just quickly jump into any match, the friend list to se which of your friends are online, Recent players to show who you battled against, and Leaderboards to show who are the number one brawlers and where you stack up against the competition).

You can play either standard 1 on 1 matches (even with your Kreated fighters), or, as I said before, race in Motor Kombat with up to 8 players! Overall the online mode is stable (except sometimes when racing with 8 players). But a problem I had with the online mode is that actually searching for available games in Optimatch can take up to a minute, which seems pretty long compared to other online games. And if you challenge someone, and they reject it, you have to wait yet another long tedious minute to find a game and hope the next person doesn't reject your challenge, or there are only superior players available for fighting (incase your still new).

Now, I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the fact that the game came out last week, and maybe theirs a slight problem with the servers, or something along those lines, but as of right now this seems to be apparent when searching for games, so for the most part your probably better off creating your own matches. Other then that, there isn't much to talk about in this mode besides these last words: Overall its fun and adds a lot of replay value to the game.

THE KRYPT

Another Part of the game that adds some replay value is The Krypt. In here you can unlock many of the games goodies, including alternate costumes and music to listen to (again, most, maybe all, of these two unlockables can be unlocked in Konquest), special videos, production art, and more. There are around 200 different things to unlock in total, and most of it can be unlocked with koins you get from playing the game. If your one of those hardcore gamers that absolutely HAS to unlock everything in a game, this should add some replay value to the game.


GRAPHICS

The graphics are pretty good overall. Prettiest game on the Xbox? No, but it's good enough. There is a good amount of detail both in the character designs and the environments. And the blood looks good and splashes around nicely (or whatever liquid comes out of certain kharacters), though for certain moves in “Kreate a Fatality,” it's a bit weird that when ripping out ribs or the heart or anything like that, no hole seems to appear, though you just freaking crammed your hand inside of them………. but that's probably asking for too much for this generation, and it's really not a big deal when you think about it. So yea, overall it's good looking stuff

SOUND

The Sound............well…..sounds fine. Hits and smashes sound brutal, and the music is alright………..not memorable tunes you'll remember for the rest of your life but it's fine and never sounds annoying. Screams and cries of pain sound good, and hearing your opponent scream in pain when getting murdered in a fatality or environmental hzard is always enjoyable, and funny.

Now in Konquest mode, again, music sounds fine, sounds for hits and smashes and stuff like that is fine. The Voice Acting is also good overall. It isn't perfect, and their probably could have been better choices for a few of the voices, but overall its fine.

RENT OR BUY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

If you're still unsure, rent. But if your willing to put down 40 dollars, which is a pretty fair price for a game like this, I'd say take a chance and buy it. With a huge roster, some cool game modes, good graphics and sound, and online, I'd say it's worth your time.

Rating: 8/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/23/06


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