MK: Armageddon, dubbed Mortal Kombat 7, was said to be the "last Mortal Kombat" game... And as I figured, it wasn't, as Boon probably called it the "last mortal kombat game" just to add hype. Armageddon features every character from every Mortal Kombat game (62 characters), an impressive roster, although many classic characters have changed dramatically. Most returning characters hardly look like their previous versions, and most of which have very small and uninspired move-sets... A hollow truth to what looks to be an amazing character selection.
Midway added some "enhancements" to their mediocre-at-best 3D gameplay system, borrowed from the likes of Deadly Alliance and more-so, Deception. New gameplay elements include a reversal system (which is pretty clunky) and a new style of air combos (which are retardedly easy to do, and look equally as stupid). Besides that, characters have most of their special moves that you'd expect, and some basic "type-you-an-ass-kicking" combos. Honestly, the MK series has never felt so stiff, unresponsive, and clunky... I wasn't expecting much, considering the two previous titles were disappointing, but seriously... There is SO much apparent "lag" in between and after moves; it's like you're forced to button mash... No, that's not a good thing. I wouldn't even want to imagine what playing this game online is like, because any extra lag would deem this game unplayable.
That's when I popped in MK: Deadly Alliance to compare the controls; and to my astonishment, Deadly Alliance actually felt more responsive and the moves I tested (with more than one specific character) came out faster!!! And it actually plays... and looks... better!? Notably, the hit animations in Deadly Alliance even look a lot smoother than in Armageddon, and the character / background detail are also far superior... Umm... what went wrong Midway? I couldn't imagine things could go even more downhill for the series. Ohh well, at least there's some good extras right?! Like in Deadly Alliance and Deception, there are tons of extras to unlock, and many laughs to be had... When you're done laughing at how this game plays, that is.
Yeah, the extras are there. Armageddon at least features a new Konquest story mode, which adds some much needed "entertainment" to the package at least; since you probably won't be playing the actual game very much. Other cool bonuses include a detailed create-a-character mode, create-your-own-fatalities (kinda stupid), new multi-tiered arenas, motor combat (racing with no drifting), and online play... Sounds like a winning combination for a series who has seen it's fair share of ups and downs. Unfortunately, the series goes out with another disappointment, contrary to what you might have read in some mainstream reviews... Let's face it, many of those mainstream reviewing sites and magazines are simply "out of the loop" when it comes to judging a quality fighting game. It's like they just look at all the "extras "with googly eyes and go "OoOoOoOh coool, you can create you own character... Dis is awesum... Duurrrr."
Each character has an open hand fighting style and a weapon fighting style, but none of which are even close to authentic... The fighting in Mortal Kombat is seriously more like "pretend martial arts." The general fighting animations aren't the best we've seen in a 3D fighting game either. After seeing the way Soul Calibur and Tekken characters move, it's quite disappointing to see how "stiff" the MK characters have become. And speaking of stiff, as far as personalities go, there really are far and few between... Still no one in the Mortal Kombat universe knows how to speak English or Japanese. The mortals only speak gibberish. For example... "Brreehudogrrrahahaa!!" or "Grrraaadadedededaaaa!" are common phrases that everyone seems to share... What the $*#&! Midway? Mortal Kombat was once an icon for fighting games, but now it's something else completely... And whatever it is, it sucks. Midway had a gem, but they just took it in the wrong direction in terms of design, and apparently they wanted to hang up the series with this game. Makes sense...
Once again, Armageddon was said to be the last Mortal Kombat, and after playing the last 5 or so MK games, I was kind of glad to hear it, but not stupid enough to believe it... Because then like a month after saying that, Ed Boon stated: "In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, we wanted to end a number of things, actually. We wanted to end this chapter of the story. This is the last MK on this generation of consoles, and we also wanted to end this kind of fighting mechanic for Mortal Kombat. On the next game, we're going to start new, with a bunch of brand new characters, a whole new fighting system, a new presentation with the new graphics for the new consoles, as well as a new control scheme to take advantage of some of the new technology available. We thought it was a good time to close this chapter and open a new one with every single aspect of Mortal Kombat -- It's going to be brand new."
...So I guess when you screw up a series so much, it would be a good idea to "close a chapter and open a new one with every single aspect." ...Hmm. In closing, the package also includes a near perfect port of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3... And yes, it's a much better game than the game it was packaged in... Wow, that's a first. If you still don't realize how bad the controls in Armageddon truly are, then go ahead and treat yourself to a few rounds of Ultimate MK3. Faster? Yes. More responsive? Definitely. More fun? Yup. And on one last note, MK's rip-off of MarioKart entitled Motor Combat, the "featured" mini game within the package, is somewhat entertaining to watch; but Midway can't even do that right in terms of gameplay... NO DRIFTING??? Terrible. I've got one word for that one Midway... Lame-ality.
Closing Comment : Mainstream reviewing sites know that they can't give Mortal Kombat a BAD rating, or else they'll piss off a bunch of Mortal Kombat fans and receive a ton of hate mail... Or maybe they're just that shallow, and really don't know a good fighting game engine if it slapped them across the face. On the flipside, I don't care who I piss off, I know what a good fighting game is... And no, it's definitely not Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, but perhaps it's "Armageddon" for the MK series. Ooh, I get the joke now... Good one Midway.
So is Armageddon even the least bit fun? Well, if you're a connoisseur of fighting games, and like playing a game that's worth getting skilled at, then the answer is no. This game will be frustrating to most fighting game players, because it's nearly unplayable. It's unbelievably slow and one of the clunkiest fighters I've played in recent years. Even if it wasn't such a lag-fest (offline), the bare bones gameplay mechanics don't even come close to the current top 2D or 3D fighting games. However, if you're more of a casual gamer, and the type of person that is easily amused by senseless and mildly humorous blood and gore, AND maybe you like button masher friendly fighting games; then I'm sure you'll manage to find something to like about Armageddon, because it was made for shallow people like you. I'm sorry, but it's true.
Sure there's a great selection of characters in this game, but most of them have become such "hollow" designs with seemingly no personality and below average movelists. As far as the returning classic characters go, they were more fun to play back then, in their original games... Nuff said. Armageddon might be entertaining for some of the more die-hard MK fans that will simply love anything Mortal Kombat, but for the rest of us, this game is a joke. Fighting games aren't so simple anymore, but Ed Boon and Midway still seem to think so...