Review by Xerion

"Remember Soul Blade?"

''Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance'' is the 5th generation game in the Mortal Kombat franchise. They also could have called it ''Mortal Kombat 4 vs Soul Blade'' since the two games are so alike. Lets take a closer look:

Gameplay: (4/10) The single most important thing in a fighting game is the game play, and this is the weak point in ''Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance''. The fighting engine is based off of memorizing strings of pseudo random buttons, so that you have a ''combo''. Then the game assigns silly names for these combos, thus ''BBYY'' becomes ''Crossing the Desert'', and ''YXLYLYY'' is ''The Unblinking Eye''. Sound familiar? This is exactly what ''Soul Blade'' did many years back. This game adds another level of complexity, however, with the annoying ''stance'' system. Each character has 3 different ''stances'' which he/she can switch between at any time. Problem is, there really isn't any reason for the other stances, since the game play stays the same no matter which stance you are in. Another problem I had with the gameplay was the ''damage reduction'' rule. What I mean by this is the more hits in a combo that you do, the less damage the hits will do. There is little point in finding your own combos if a 6-hit combo does more damage than a 10-hit combo. Finally, I was extremely annoyed with the fact that there is no way to run/advance towards your opponent quickly.

Music and Sound: (5/10)
The music in ''Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance'' is not memorable by any means, which is a shame. It could have definitely done better with a soundtrack similar to a game like ''Soul Blade''. I do, however, like the sound effects in this game. From the clanging of metal weapons to the ''wind blowing'' sound effects for the kicks, the sound effects fit well.

Graphics: (10/10)
I must admit that I can't really complain about the graphics in this game. The character designs are quite detailed, as are the fighting areas. It is especially funny during the mini-games to watch your characters participate, and either end up cheering for their victory, or limping off with a broken leg.

Plot: (3/10)
As with ''Mortal Kombat 4'' it feels like they weren't even trying for the plot. There are no plot twists, there are no reasons for fighting, nothing. This is another area of the game which could benefit adopting something from ''Soul Blade''.

Other stuff:
There are some other things in this game which boost the overall rating quite a bit, such as the mini-games. ''Test your might'' is back from the original ''Mortal Kombat'', and there is a new mini-game called ''Test your sight''. Both are a superb add-ins to the usual fighting. Second I was impressed with the fatalities, which were corny as ever, and roll-on-the-floor funny.

Overall: (6/10)
The game is a clone of ''Soul Blade'' with better graphics, no plot, and 'blah' music. It doesn't offer anything innovative to the fighting game market.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 01/03/03, Updated 01/03/03

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