Review by nycballa2002usa

"It will Konsume....YOUR SOUL!"

Having played Mortal Kombat since childhood, I have always been enthralled in the Mortal Kombat universe. Hell, I talked about it so much in 5th grade that my nickname became Mortal Kombat. So recently I picked up Deception with pretty high hopes, with thoughts of spine snapping and pools of blood floating in my head. So I pop the game in and I am taken back by the awesome intro movie. Amazing doesn't even describe it. Having bought Deadly Alliance years ago I was hoping this game could recapture the old spark that the original trilogy...heck, even MK4 had it. Deadly Alliance while a good game felt too alienated from it's original roots. Even though I had optimism for Deception, I still was crossing my fingers hoping that the spark was back. And guess what? It was.

This review will be scored on 6 different areas. Gameplay, Graphics, Sound, Story, Roster, and Replayability. So strap your seatbelts and get ready for the ride!

Gameplay: 9/10

The gameplay doesn't stray too far from it's original roots. The bone shattering hits are back, and more gut wrenching than ever. The mechanics are smooth and very simplistic, but still has its irk here and there. Executing combos is a breeze, and seeing them executed is a joy. The 3 style system has been passed on from Deadly Alliance and remained pretty much untouched, with most of the veteran characters having the same styles, with only a few exceptions. Just like before you have access at any moment to two normal fighting styles and two a third weapon style. Each character has their own weapon, thought some of the chracters do share styles. I think just like in Deadly Alliance the style system was well implemented because it adds depth and variety to each character. The days of all the chracters having the same moves with the exception of specials is long gone. One of my problems with the style system however is that a few of them feel clunky, and it can cause a lot of unbalancing. Task that seem simple with one character may seem impossible for others. On the other side of the coin it adds incentive to learn because it removes mindless button mashing. Another gripe I have is that combos can be sensitive and can sometimes be only executed on certain parts of the arena. Attacks consisting of several buttons can also be clunky and be so sensitive that you have to try an attack a few times before finally achieving it. Some new additions to the game also sweeten the pot for the people considering buying this game. not only do you get the old school arcade mode, but you also get a Mortal Kombat/Chess hybrid, a tetris like puzzle game, and a somewhat entertaining Konquest mode. Two great new features that affect the fighting directly however are the "Death Traps" in each stage, and the Hari Kiri's. The death traps in the different levels work great. It is a great joy uppercutting your opponent onto a hot iron, seeing them trying to crawl out before being smashed by a 10 ton block of steel. Or maybe uppercutting a person of a cliff causing them to be impaled suits your taste better. Death traps are available to your right away, and even though it seems unrealistic to win the first round with a death trap and then fight the same person in the 2nd round, it does make sense. Hari Kiri's are another welcome addition to the series. Even though it is new, it fits in perfectly with the Mortal Kombat world. A Hari Kiri is pretty much a fatality you do on yourself. If you are defeated just punch the Hari Kiri in and watch your character dispose of theirself, weather it be by snapping his/her own neck, or inflating and exploding. Now you are can get the last laugh while your friends try to pull off a fatality and do the work for them. While I do wish they would have added the old school favorites such as Babality's, Friendship's, and Animality's, the Hari Kiri's feel right at home.

Graphics: 9/10

While the graphics may not be as good as some other fighting games out in the market, they are in no way bad. As a matter of fact they are very realistic but done in a way that keeps the "MK" feel to it. Old vets like Scorpion and Raiden have never looked so good. Alot of detail has been put on the characters. The costumes have all been altered once again so that they seem fresh, yet stays close enough to the originals that you will barely notice the difference. And for those diehard fans of the original trilogy many of the original costumes can be unlocked to add a nostalgic feeling to the game. The body damage in this great is also excellent. If you beat on your opponent's face enough after a while it will be a bloody pulp. Blood once again flows all over the place in an unrealistic, yet textbook Mortal Kombat manner. You will see blood stain the floor surfaces and flow down your body. The projectile attacks look much more realistic and detailed. The graphics while not groundbreaking, are quite a site to behold. The Mortal Kombat universe has never looked so realistic (unless you count the crappy movies).

Sound: 8/10

The sound in this game is great. The bone crunching hits are even more satisfying when you hear the sound of bone snapping. If you throw an opponent hard enough you will hear a satisfying splat as their face hits the pavement. The usual screams after fatality's are in, and are better than ever. The usual grunts and HEEEYASSS are in, and don't forget the "Fight's" "Fatality's" and "Flawless Victory's" to round off the whole MK package. The level music adds much depth to the gameplay and help compliment the many different locations. Even in the crypt the sounds of shrieks and screams will send a tingle down your spine. The sound doesn't seemed canned like in other fighters and fits in perfectly in a Mortal Kombat game.

Story: 8/10

I guess Konquest would fall under this category. From the opening cinematic of the game you learn that Onaga the Dragon King has returned, and even after a group of enemies ally to take him down they fail to do so. Konquest pretty much leads up to that event. You start with a kid named Shujinko whose dream is to grow up to be an MK fighter like his hero Kung Lao. In the story he is approached by an orb named Demashi and asked to do a quest for the Elder Gods, a quest which has the realms in the balance. While Konquest may seem repetitive, it can be a lot of fun. Expect to see, and fight a lot of familiar faces, some which inexplicably aren't available as playable characters...which is a horrible move in my opinion. Konquest is also the key to unlock most of the important content in the game such as characters and costumes...and expect a certain someone to put the Smackdown on death itself. The story overall is very good and takes you all over the MK universe. The story all leads to a satisfying plot twist. All and all the story is very good.

Roster: 8/10

Deception boasts a very good roster, that for some reason however is missing key players. Completed models that you face in Konquest mode are inexplicably not unlockable which is ridiculous in my opinion. This game still has plenty of brawler to choose from however, many which have to be unlocked. Some old school favorites such as Baraka and Sindel make their return, and we are also introduced to a bunch of new faces. And there is also an excellent unlockable character...and let's just say Scorpion isn't the only zombie on the roster. For a fighting game Deception contains a very good selection of fighters. But as a Mortal Kombat fan I can't help but feel disappointed by the fact that many familiar faces were completely left out. A certain n00b does make his next-gen return however, which isn't a bad thing at all.

Replayability: 9/10

With all the unlockable content in this game I can see someone playing it a very long time. Not only that but the urge to see everyone's story at the completion of arcade mode will surely leave some interest sparked in this game for a pretty long times. With 100's of things to unlock and so many new modes I have to say the replayability for this game is very high.

So if you are a Mortal Kombat fan and are yet to pick this up then I suggest you get off of your behind and go get it now. You can find it new for around 30 dollars which is a great deal. This game is an authentic fighting experience in the way that only a Mortal Kombat game can give you. Play with old favorites or play with soem fresh faces, but you will be playing this games for hours wanting to unlock as much of the "Kontent" as possible. This is indeed a great game, a must have for any fighting game fan.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/15/05

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