Review by Sour
"Midway Delivers Again...."
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance ended up being a huge success. Midway would go on to produce it's successor, Mortal Kombat: Deception. Deception took everything that Deadly Alliance was and made it even better, surprisingly. Even more fan favorites have returned. Mortal Kombat: Deception is more in-depth than it's predecessor and yet retained the same style of play, except for Konquest mode which was vastly improved. Unfortunately, the Playstation 2 didn't have much online support, and as a result, Mortal Kombat: Deception lacks any online play.
Story: 10/10: The end of Deadly Alliance ties into this game, right down to the very minute. The Thunder God, Raiden, had made his way to Quan Chi's and Shang Tsung's palace, as they begin transferring souls from the soulnado into the army of the Dragon King, Onaga. A fierce battle ensued, and while Raiden was a force to be reckoned with, the two sorcerers overcame Raiden and were able to kill him. However, as we all know, power corrupts both those who have it and those who want it. Quan Chi still holds the mysterious and powerful Medallion. Shang Tsung wishes to acquire it himself, and yet another battle ensues. The sorcerers fight each other for a moment, before loud, resounding footsteps are heard, akin to those of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. A large and dark reptilian figure begins walking into the palace, and he reveals himself as none other than Onaga, the Dragon King. He has come to reclaim his army and take Outworld for himself, as he was originally Emperor before Shao Kahn struck him down hundreds of years ago. The sorcerers begin attacking Onaga, but their efforts are wasted since their attacks can't even scratch him. Just then, Raiden stands up, and the three work together to stop the behemoth coming towards them. Onaga is still too powerful, and Raiden makes a decision. Raiden summons enough energy to destroy himself and the entire palace. Raiden and the palace are destroyed, but Onaga still stands, no with the Medallion in his possession. The narrator lets on that he himself is the cause of resurrecting Onaga, and when you play Konquest mode, his story will slowly be revealed.
Gameplay: 9/10: Mortal Kombat: Deception for the most part, plays largely like Deadly Alliance. The combat system is the same, each character having multiple martial arts styles to be utilized. The longer, more powerful combos will cycle through all of the fighting styles. The styles consist of two martial arts styles and a weapon fighting style, unique to each character. There are a few exceptions however, such as Noob-Smoke. Noob-Smoke is Noob Saibot and Smoke working together, and switching the fighting style just switches the character. In addition to this, once you're prompted to "FINISH HIM/HER!", when you switch your fighting style, it will switch to "Fatality", which will keep your character still in case you have to press up on the D-pad or Joystick, thus negating a jump possibly messing up your button chain for a fatality. In the last game, much to most people's dismay, every character only had one fatality. Now everybody has two of them, in addition to the Hari-Kiri. If your opponent defeats you, you have the option of pressing a button combination to execute a Hari-Kiri. Upon doing so, your character will kill themselves. This makes for great laughs, especially if you're up against a friend and they think they're going to take you out with a fatality. Using a Hari-Kiri will rob them of that final pleasure of pulling off a fatality on you. Also, this game features destroyable objects, including walls. Sometimes the edge of an arena will have a red border. During the battle, if you and your opponent are standing in that area, if you deliver a punch or kick, it will knock them into an instant death trap. Yellow borders mark destroyable objects that you can send your opponent flying through. The Krypt also makes a return, allowing you to buy characters, character bios, alternate costumes, videos, and plenty more that you can buy with coins that you are rewarded with when you win a battle. Test Your Might has unfortunately been removed though. This version also features no online support, which is a shame because it was great on the X-box.
One of the biggest changes to this game is the Konquest mode. Instead of just being a really long tutorial, it has became a massive, free-roaming world. You play as Shunjinko, the main protagonist of the game. He starts off as a disciple of Master Bo Rai Cho, and wishes to one day be a great Shaolin Warrior, learning all of the fighting techniques in the world. Along the way, you'll find treasure chests that contain coins, as well as a variety of other items to help you in your quest. You'll have to do various tasks for people to complete your ultimate goal, which is to gather all six of the Kamidogu, mysterious instruments of the Elder Gods that were locked away once the realms were created. Along the way, you'll fight most of the game's characters and throughout the adventure, you'll encounter just about every face from the Mortal Kombat franchise, including characters that haven't been seen in over a decade, such as Rain.
Sound: 10/10: The game features excellent voice acting, in addition to a fitting and moody soundtrack. The soundtrack overall is very chaotic, which works great with the atmosphere of this game. There's always going to be trouble and the music just doesn't let you forget it. The sound effects are great; when you see blood splatter, you'll hear blood splatter. Again, the voice acting is fantastic and you'll probably derive some pleasure out of hearing your enemies scream and wail in agony as you beat them into last week. You'll even hear the sound of bones crunching if you do an elbow or knee breaker. This game lacks a featured song by a large band, which Deadly Alliance had. Still, for what it has, it's fantastic, and does the series justice.
Graphics: 9/10: Mortal Kombat: Deception had it's character models created in much the same was as in Deadly Alliance. Actors were motion captured and then re-skinned with computers to give the characters the exact look the designers had in mind for them. This version is sub-par though, when compared to the graphics of the X-box version. The PS2 version is a bit more pixelated and the scan-lines are even more obvious than they were in Deadly Alliance. It doesn't make the game any less playable, mind you, it's just worth noting that the imperfections are a little more obvious in this version.
Overall: 9/10: Mortal Kombat: Deception made several drastic improvements over Deadly Alliance, especially in terms of game-play. There are more characters, more fatalities, more blood, and more exploration (Konquest mode). And there are a ton of unlockables, which helps add to the replay value. If all you've got is a PS2, then go ahead and get this version. It's still a fantastic game, the X-box version is just slightly superior.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 04/27/10
Game Release: Mortal Kombat: Deception (US, 10/04/04)
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