Written by Erik Kubik, kube00 Friday, 29 April 2011 10:30
As the title indicates, Mortal Kombat is good. In fact, I’d take a healthy wager and say it’s, A) Better than anything else in the long running series and B) Superior to most of the fighting games of this generation. Mortal Kombat is the type of game that other fighting franchises should strive to emulate.
The last few MK games were decent. Including Deception and Armageddon, but Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe reeked of a struggling franchise desperate for a crossover. Armageddon had 62 characters. Armageddon had enough content to fill an entire summer vacation. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe was fun, although it lacked the “M” rating and skipped over the ultra-gory fatalities known to the series because DC wanted to appeal to a younger audience.
Enough of the past, let’s jump into the future with Mortal Kombat in 2011. This is the ninth game in the series. Has it really been 9 games and over 15 years? Mortal Kombat is a shining example of a fighting game done right. NetherRealm takes the game back to its roots by focusing on gore, brutal fatalities, and a 2D fighting plane. This is the perfect set up for the new or old fan.
Mortal Kombat has a pretty lengthy story mode, and although it can be cheesy, the story plays an important part. It summarizes what has happened since the first tournament and serves to tie Mortal Kombat I-III together. During the story mode gamers get to play as a variety of characters. The story also presents some background information on some of the characters such as Sub-Zero and Scorpion's relationship, how Jax received his metal arms, and where the cyborgs came from. These minor details were actually very interesting and are something a lot of fighting games could benefit from.
There’s the arcade mode, which is like every other Mortal Kombat game. It has several varied game modes as well. Playing through these will also unlock several elements including coins to buy more content in the Kyrpt like in previous games. There’s also a versus mode, some online play, and a tag team co-op option. Did I mention the gore? There is a ton of it, which serves as nostalgia to remind us older games of the first Mortal Kombat. And keeping with the times all the special moves and fatalities are listed on the pause screen. It doesn't get any better than this.
This seems like a decent amount of content. But there’s even more: enter the Challenge Tower. It’s a long ladder filled with a variety of events. Some of the modes make players fight a wave of enemies only using certain attacks; others disable special moves and blocking. There are also challenges that flip the gravity, poison the player, or force players to fight without limbs or by throwing their limbs. The list of content is massive and presents hours and hours of replay value.
Overall, Mortal Kombat is the type of fighting game gamers need to see more of. A game like Mortal Kombat makes Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs. Capcom look like more of the same, tired old games. Games like those two have an arcade mode, online/off-line versus, a few un-lockables, and that’s about it. Games like Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 are fun, but they don’t have the longevity or entertainment value of a game like Mortal Kombat. While I wait for Marvel vs. Capcom to hit the $20 price point, I will gladly pay $60 today to play the revamped fan-favorite Mortal Kombat, which is currently only $50.