Review by ZoopSoul

"The Kombat Komes Home!"

Mortal Kombat was dry for several years, as you may all know by now. When the Twisted Metal series was saved by Incog Inc back in 2001, and the buzz built around the next Mortal Kombat game came about, it seemed as if the same saving grace may fall upon another series that was once ran into the ground... While Mortal Kombat 4 wasn't that bad, it didn't have anything that separated it from the rest of the fighting games that tried to go from 2D to 3D... I am happy to report that this saving grace has lifted Mortal Kombat from the slums and dusted it off!

One of the higher quality points in all Mortal Kombat games have been the storyline, and the epic tales between good and evil colliding. The only bad thing about having such a good story in an arcade game is just that: Having a good story in an arcade game just does not work. No one pops in fifty cents at their local arcade to hear about some elder Gods working overtime to seal the portal to evil. They want to see something killing something else! And this is where one of the upsides kick in; Ed Boon and the guys went the extra mile to make sure every character has a storyline that fits, and goes into detail with every fighter, thus making this both addictively good in combat, and intriguing out of the gameplay.

As for the gameplay, Mortal Kombat has never felt so good! The transition is perfectly well executed, and this is how a 3D fighter should be. Of course, there are a few problems, such as being trapped in a corner while the computer characters will not let up on you... But hey, I guess it's better than the cheapness of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 in the arcade. It could be worse... They could throw you constantly like 12 year olds at the coin-ups. Each fighter has two unique fighting styles each, and this includes the hidden characters. Also, a third ''style'' is a weapons approach! Every fighter has their own distinctive weaponry, from the Katana of Kenshi to the Butterflys of Kano. I'm also happy to announce that the game can actually be mastered like a game should; With a mixture of pure skill AND programmed combos, not just the latter, ala Mortal Kombat 3.

The game's single player replay value is through the roof, as well, which is a huge rarity in the fighting game genre. I used to be huge on this genre, back when it was good, anyway. However, I started accepting the fact that, if you don't have much competition at home, the single player modes get boring after a while. This is why I stopped playing a lot of fighting games. However, in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, the single player mode can continue for a VERY long time, with the introductory of the Krypt. The Krypt is a system that has a LOT of Koffins filled with goodies: Either hidden stages (and boy, are they pretty), hidden characters, hidden costumes, promotional stuff, fun stuff (the ''Cooking with Scorpion'' video is to die for), and bios on the programmers. It will be a trip down memory lane, and if you enjoy it as much as I do, that alone is worth the purchase.

The thing about Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance that separates it from other fighting games is the fact that literally every character plays differently! There are no clones of the exact same character in a different colored costume with a different name. They are all completely different in their own ways! Not to mention that the AI on the harder difficulties make it harder and more challenging than most arcade battles of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 with human opponents! This is another enjoyable feature in this wonderful title. The one thing that bothered me, however, was the fact that every character only has one Fatality, and some of them are pretty lame.

The best part is the fact that this FEELS like Mortal Kombat. At first glance, it doesn't look like it, but once you wrap your hands around the controller and dig it, you can tell that this is the way Mortal Kombat 4 was supposed to bring the series out from death. But all is forgiven, as the series has been resurrected. I don't even like this genre anymore, but this is the prime example of what it was created for. A fine purchase.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/15/02, Updated 12/15/02

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