Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Flawless Victory!

Game: Mortal Kombat

System: Xbox 360, PS3

Release: April 2011

Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II are the fighting games of my childhood. Sure there are others, but these two series captured the largest share of my attention. Street Fighter has denoted consistent quality over the years, but the same cannot be said for Mortal Kombat.

The ninth tittle in the series returns Mortal Kombat to its roots. Focusing on the lore of the first three games the developers tighten up some of the loose ends, provide entertaining game modes, and a solid overall presentation.

The most engaging segment in Mortal Kombat is the story mode. The segways are all live-action cinematics, which is a welcome change of pace from storyboard method found in BlazBlue. The player experiences an alternate history that covers the first three games.  It all reminded me of a B movie. There is action, cheesy dialogue, and just a touch of drama. Different playable characters are assigned to each chapter--Johnny Cage is Chapter 1, Sonya is Chapter 2, etc.--which helps with the pacing. By the end, players will use many of the characters, and experience a tale that formerly spanned three games.

A plethora of other modes are available for those not interested in plot. The standards of the series are all present: Arcade Mode, Test Your Might, Versus, On-line play, etc. There is also a challenge mode that pits the player against a slew of unique fights and mini-games. One moment you'll be in a tag match with Johnny Cage and his director. The next you'll be fighting off zombies by rapidly performing projectile attacks. It's a nice add-on to your typical fighter. Of course, all of the above are for unlockables that range from concept art and alternate costumes to additional finishing moves.

All of the above is presented in gut wrenching graphics and goosebump producing sound. In the first Mortal Kombat a fatality ripping out the heart was blurry at best. A red circle that came out of someones chest. The most recent addition to the franchise depicts how far graphics have developed. The heart Kano rips out is now beating with detailed segments of the heart. Add to this detailed sound depicting each action, and you have good reason to prevent young children from playing this violent game. Environments all share a great level of detail. Sometimes the background action is just as intense as the main fight, and I often found myself being pleasantly distracted.

Solid presentation, multiple entertaining game modes, and a decent plot. Pinch me people because I think I'm dreaming. Fans of the series will be in bloody heaven, and fighter veterans will enjoy the variety--MK doesn't feel like another Street Fighter clone. Snerts Snazzy Score grants Mortal Kombat the rating On Sale!--upgraded to Full Price for die hard fans.

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