Street Fighter wasn't the first fighting game series that was popular in the 90's as Mortal Kombat took enough of it's pie away and over time both games had they're own hits and misses. 2010 gave us the great Super Street Fighter IV and now in 2011 we have the newest Mortal Kombat and it's been a while, but Mortal Kombat has come back to prominence.
In the game, two sides via for power and control over each other. Our side, the Earth and the Outworld which is a twisted dimension of powerful creatures and warriors. Shao Khan rules the Outworld as a tyrant and uses his army of sorcerers and armies to take over our world. Lord Raiden, the God of Thunder has protected our world and arranged a martial arts tournament with Earth's best against Khan's best. The winner of the tournament gains control and all the participants in he tournament have entered for various reasons, not only for that whole you know, our world could come to an end reason.
Gameplay is a 2D fighting game where you can move on a board to attack the opponent. Each player has they're own signature attacks such as fireballs, captures, teleports, jump kicks, stabs and more. Attack your opponent till they're health runs out. After 2 rounds, you get the command to FINISH HIM! and inputting a proper combination of commands can have your opponent violently kill the other helpless player. Gone are the sillier finishers that some other games had, this game gets back to the violent and messy ends of the original game.
The Graphics are great with some seamless cinematics of the characters in story mode talking in the story and then going into action. Player models are great and the backgrounds are clean and graphic.
The best part of production is that there is some real distinction made between what were seen as the endless ninja palette swapping of the older games. Sub Zero is the only one of the original ninjas to look more or less unchanged while Scorpion is clearly donned some armor that looks like it was forged in hell. Reptile is now much more reptillian looking and Ermac resembles some kind of soul powered mummy. Jax now sports a big armor vest to go with his big armored, uh arms. Mileena, Kitana and Jade are still fairly stripperific and SPEAKING of which, Sonya is DEFINETELY showing skin in this one? What happened there? She went from barely showing her midriff in the original to full on black top with a partial zipper holding in her now massive chest? Damn woman.
On the UGLY side, Kano is a scruffy looking dirtbag as he should look and Kabal (my favorite) now has burns and scabbed up skin to go with his mutliated face. All other characters like Raiden, Liu Kang, Baraka and others got slight costume changes but the important thing is that the endless "color of the rainbow" of ninjas is gone.
Sound is wonderful with some nice remixed older game music as well as the sounds of your fists cracking open your enemy's skull. All voices are there and everyone sounds different.
Game modes include the AWESOME story mode where you play as one character, fight 4 fights, before switching off to another character and the whole time having story scenes play to advance the story until you get to the final battle with Shao Khan (heres a hint, play as cheap as you can against him, it's your only hope.) You start as Johnny Cage, then play as Sonya and then go on to Scorpion, Cyrax and Sektor (pre robot mode and....yeah they're names are still Cyrax and Sektor) and others. Whats even better is that the game refolds the events of the early games as you relive the early Mortal Kombat tournaments with some new faces. You'll have different matches with the bad guys and even the good guys and they now even have tag matches ala Marvel vs Capcom where you can switch out your characters during a match. Story mode is great.
Other modes are the challenge ladder where you submit yourself to different tasks like finishing off opponents with a fatality, fighting a match where you are constantly losing health, or where you're attack power is nerfed and fight with reduced damage on your opponent or where you can only use 1 kind of move such as a shoulder tackle or just a jump kick.
If you aren't feeling story mode, there is always the ladder where you fight against the computer one character at a time much like you did in the arcade until you face off with Khan.
The more you play, the more you can unlock in the Krypt by selecting tombstones, dead bodies and torture victims (quaint) and once unlocked you get some kind of bonus. Some are pointless garbage like stick figure art of characters fatalities and some are actually cool like alternate costumes and new fatalities.
Mortal Kombat never went anywhere but to me, it fell off the wagon with anything after Mortal Kombat 4. It's nice to see all the blood and goo back in a game that plays just like the old games on a new system.
What did you think of this review?
Prepare yourself to reenter the tournament in the triumphant return of Mortal Kombat. A complete reboot of the franchise, this latest iteration combines all-new mature oriented fighter gameplay with a deep story mode, improved graphics and game technology and new game modes to create a Mortal Kombat play experience like none before it. Feature details include: a storyline that takes players back to the original tournament, 4 player tag-team kombat, 3D TV compatibility, fatalities presented in graphic detail never imagined in earlier releases, enhanced online functionality and more.
Having literally defined the mature game category, Mortal Kombat makes a triumphant return to its violent roots in the fastest and most brutal installment to date. Fighting game players will receive the Mortal Kombat they've been asking for, with Fatalities presented in more detail than ever before.
After centuries of Mortal Kombat, Emperor Shao Kahn has finally defeated Raiden and his allies. Faced with extinction, Raiden has one last chance to save Earthrealm. To undo the Emperor's victory, he must strike Shao Kahn where he is vulnerable… the Past.Key Game Features