Mortal Kombat Review

Mortal Kombat

There aren’t many franchises that have had as tumultous a run as Mortal Kombat. What began as a bloody good time degenerated into mediocrity and, of all things, a T-rated run-in with comic book characters. This isn’t what MK was, and we all knew it: we wanted our gore back, and soon. 

Thankfully, our wish has been granted. Mortal Kombat has come back from the Krypt, and it’s as blood-soaked as it was in the glory days. The roster is a who’s who of MK lore, from Liu Kang, to Raiden, to Kitana, to Jax, and so on. Everything from the series that we loved is back, with new additions that up the gore tremendously. This also marks the triumphant return to form for the Fatality, becoming more realistic (and in some cases, more nauseating) than ever before. All of these things, plus plenty of ways to play, wrap into a nice present for the die-hard fans: their beloved Mortal Kombat is back the way they like it.

MK Screen

The different ways to enjoy this new Mortal Kombat are a big part of its greatness. Story mode does the same thing for the MK lore that the entire game does for MK in general: starts it over. You’ll find yourself playing through the first three MKs again, just with a different twist. This new look is incredible and even leaves you guessing with a great cliffhanger. Those not looking for story should traverse the 300-level Challenge Tower, which will test your MK prowess more than anything else in this game. It may challenge it so much that you’ll want to skip a challenge, which you can do with Koins. Normally, these are the currency for the Krypt where all the hidden goodies are, but the ability to skip challenges when need be will certainly be good for your blood pressure. Not interested in the new stuff, and just looking for the old-style MK experience? Go play the Ladder mode, which is exactly the same as the classic games. It’ll be like the disappointing MK games never happened.

The control scheme is the classic MK format: two punches, two kicks, and a block. The only difference is the button placement, as the punches are the two high buttons and the kicks are the low buttons (a la Street Fighter games). A new addition to the basic fighting is the "super" meter on the bottom of the screen. This meter has three levels: Enhanced, which is, exactly as it sounds, an enhanced special move, Breaker, which will stop an opponent’s barrage dead in its tracks, and X-Ray, a devastating attack that quite literally shows you the X-ray of the person’s bones cracking as the move takes place. You’ll witness arms snapping and skulls cracking, which is an awesome slow-down moment in the heat of battle.

MK Screen 2

All of these enhancements to the gameplay are complemented by equally enhanced graphics. All of the arenas are incredible, from the bodies being dipped into the Dead Pool as battles rage on, to the trees in the Living Forest staring each fighter down. The character models are even more impressive, as they are expertly crafted, both inside and out. Seeing an X-Ray move in action and watching the bones break as the move goes on is something that never gets old. Perhaps most impressive is the real-time damage that can be seen on the fighters as the match progresses. If a fighter gets hit with Scorpion’s spear, they’ll have a hole in their chest for the rest of the match. Clothes will be torn and skin will show gaping holes (most of the time exposing bone), both in a very realistic fashion. It’s definitely well done.

We are talking about Mortal Kombat, right? Then let’s not leave out Fatalities, the goriest moves in gaming. They certainly live up to the moniker here, as the attention to character explained above makes these moves more realistic than ever. Over 50 Fatalities are in the game, each one with its own bloody goodness. Noob pulls his opponent in half, wishbone-style, with amazing precision (that line down the middle is STRAIGHT). Kabal tosses his opponent into the air, then splits the poor sap in two with his hook in such a way that the dead opponent’s head stays on the hook. Perhaps my favorite Fatality, though, is when Shang Tsung transforms into a scary clown and does what the Joker was intended to do in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe: blows his opponent’s head in half. This move not only rights a wrong forced upon the previous MK game, but it highilights the attention NetherRealm paid to making a game for their fans.

I am LOVING the fighting game resurgence, with games like Super Street Fighter IV, Marvel vs Capcom 3, and BlazBlue taking me back to the good ol’ days of my gaming. Now, with Mortal Kombat‘s return, it’s like I never aged. Mortal Kombat is everything its fans want it to be and more, and it will keep fans happy for a long time. TOASTY!!! UPC: 883929158324, 883929158867

5 out of 5


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.