kanerobot's Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

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  • kanerobot wrote this review on .
  • 5 out of 5 Giant Bomb users found it helpful.
  • kanerobot has written a total of 4 reviews. The last one was for WWE '13

Not the collection MK fans have been waiting for

I'm a pretty huge Mortal Kombat fan, it doesn't take much to please me. I got at least some enjoyment out of every fighting game the MK name has ever been on. The notion of getting the first three MK arcade games for 10 bucks seems fantastic on the surface.

Unfortunately, this collection appears to be a very sloppy effort on the part of WB / Netherrealm / Other Ocean. Audio glitches abound. In MK2, some music will literally pause for half a second when looping or switching to another part - watch the intro and listen closely - then go fire it up on MAME and compare. Other times music just cuts out completely (frequently happens on Goro's lair for the Endurance Match 3 & fight with Goro in MK1). The music in these early MK games was fantastic and it's extremely disappointing to see how lackluster it is presented here. However, there is an audio bright spot - some of the sound effects have been improved quality wise. Hits sound crisper and have more oomph behind them, the applause in the courtyard in MK1 is higher quality now. That said, the fact that the effects have improved only serve to highlight how shoddy the music can be at times.

Other issues:

*A bizarre glitch where your character is frozen for a moment when coming out of the pause menu really makes looking up fatalities in the move list useless, as you have a very short time to do them in the first place. Losing a full second waiting for your character to move again ensures that you will most definitely not pull off the move you just looked up.

*Online lag. No one is probably ever going to get an online fighting game that works perfectly online, but MK AK's online play is quite atrocious. This is especially glaring when you consider that the now no-longer-available Ultimate MK3 that came out on XBox Live several years ago was perfectly servicable when it came to playing online. This new release is absolutely a step down. Hopefully this can be addressed in a patch sometime down the road, but as it is now, online play loses just about all of its appeal.

*No extras. You get some new music in the menus, that's it. Not even a whiff of some concept art or "did you know?" facts.

*The AI when playing the computer is still essentially impossible to beat on occasion. This is especially glaring in MK2. You'll definitely get the feeling you're getting jobbed by the AI as you climb the arcade ladder. Unless you find a way to exploit the AI, you're never going to progress unless you're some zen MK master. However, as this is true to how the arcade games were, it may not be a drawback for those looking for the true arcade experience. I suppose you can't really expect Netherrealm to go in and reprogram the AI for what is obviously a quick n' dirty port.

All of those issues aside, it's still definitely possible to have some fun with this. Local play is great if you have people willing to jump in on it with you, and at the most basic level, 10 dollars for all three of these games is a great deal, and the price makes some of the aforementioned problems a bit easier to swallow. For those who care about Gamerscore, you'll be able to get all 200 points fairly easily in this game, only the "win 200 matches" achievement will take you any significant time.

So, a half-hearted recommendation for this is given to MK fans. It's nice to have all these games in one package, but that's all I can really say about it. Everyone else, stick with the old XBLA release of UMK3 if you have it, or better yet, pick up MK9 from earlier this year.

EDIT - 1/10/12 - A patch has been released that fixes a few issues, most notably online play has been much improved. However, audio issues and the unpause/freeze glitch remain (despite patch notes indicating the unpause glitch to be fixed). Although it is nice to have the online play work more smoothly, it does not change my overall score. This title still needs some significant fixes to be rated any higher.

2 Comments
Posted by agentboolen

Good review but all the complaints makes that 3 star rating you gave it laughable.

Edited by KaneRobot
@agentboolen: Thanks for the response. I'm still having fun with the game - I mentioned it was certainly possible to do so if certain factors are in place. The 3 star rating is accurate based on how I feel about it in its current form. If the issues were not present I'd easily give it 4 stars, possibly 5.
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