"Mortal Kombat is good. Yes, "Mortal Kombat" and "good" are in the same sentence...."

The Mortal Kombat series has usually been the laughing stock of the hardcore fighter fans who'd rather play something else, whether it be Street Fighter or Soul Calibur. Once 3 came out, the only people who stuck with the series were its die-hard fans (like me) and it seemed the only replay value of any MK game were seeing the different ''-alities'' in the games. But now, that has changed, and lemme say, that it is for the better.

Graphics = 8

The graphics are what you would expect from any next gen console. The graphics are nothing spectacular like say, Resident Evil or Halo, but they get the job done. However, there are some bright spots. Blood that drips from the fighters actually stay on the ground for the remainder of the fight, and the floor can be one bloody mess. There is also what I like to call ''facial effect'' when you/your opponent deal enough damage, you can see the character's face bloody and battered, pretty nice. But Mortal Kombat isn't all blood and no gameplay anymore...

Gameplay = 9

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance has very good gameplay. All of the combos are easy enough, except for a few that will possibly have you cussing out the TV as you try, in failure, to them one successfully. The main difference in this MK, is the fighting stance feature. Each character has 3 different fighting stances, 2 are martial arts, 1 is a weapon stance. The inclusion of these fighting stances really help the gameplay, as it is nice to switch from one style to another, instead of having the same frickin' moves. As of right now, no 1 character has the same fighting stance as somebody else, although I could be wrong since I havent unlocked all of the fighters yet. At first, you will probably suck at MK:DA, and might not like the game, but that's what Konquest mode is for. This is a practice mode on steroids. 218 different missions, 10 for each character, 8 basic training ones. I recommend you go here first so you can grasp the game better, because now, I'm pretty good with Scorpion after Konquest mode. My only beef with the gameplay? 4 words: The Cheapness of Moloch. You'll see what I mean when you play arcade mode...

Sound = 8

Classic MK sounds are in the game, and old schoolers will love it. No DPL2 support, but that's ok. In-game Music is either pretty good, or really mediocre, but it gets the job done. MK:DA is pretty much standard MK when it comes to the Sound category.

Control = 8

Controlling MK:DA with the GBA-sized D-Pad of the GameCube controller is not bad at all. Control is real responsive and overall pretty good. MK:DA doesn't use the Control Stick, and that might **** some people off, but really, the D-Pad is fine. I even tried to play Metroid Prime with the D-Pad by accident, all because of MK. Simply put, you'll get used to it more sooner than later. There are a few times where you will accidentally jump, but other than that, nothing to the point where the game is crappy because of controls. If you're really stubborn with the GCN D-Pad, then buy the X-Box version of MK:DA.

Replay Value = 10

The best part of MK:DA was actually the worst part of all the past MKs. Traitionally, MKs have bad replay value, but that changes here. You have ''The Krypt'', where there are 660+ ''Koffins'' to unlock. When you get Koins from Arcade mode, one of the mini games, or from Konquest, you spend them here. Unlockables include: Characters, Arenas, sketch art, different attire, and the funniest 15 seconds ever, ''Cooking With Scorpion.'' To die-hard MK fans, this will be heaven on Earth for you.

The Verdict: Buy or Rent?

If you're a hardcore MK fan, in need of a good fighter, or just want a good 2 player game, then this game is a must buy. Other types of people may wanna rent first. This is truly a big step in rebuilding a once good franchise, lets hope Midway can keep things positive with Mortal Kombat.

Final Score = 8.6, rounded to a ''9''

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/27/02, Updated 12/27/02

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