craigbo180's Mortal Kombat (Xbox 360) review

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Mortal Kombat is a reboot of the franchise and a game that is getting firmly back to the roots it laid with the first 3 games. This game is fan service at its finest and anyone who was already a fan of the franchise or the early games will definitely enjoy this game but it can also stand on its own merits as a damn fine fighting game for those unfamiliar with the previous games. The gameplay in mortal kombat is very easy for a beginner to pick up and most of the moves and combos are easy to pull off after a few matches with a character. If you and your friends don't regularly play fighting games this game is probably perfect because its easy to pull off flashy looking moves, graphically the game looks amazing and the fatalities are back and better than ever to ensure there is a big pay off at the end of the match. For fighting game veterans the skill lies in being able to creatively link your combos, and more than anything else having excellent timing.

General overview

The game has a nice tutorial to help you familiarise yourself with some of the basics of the fighting system and the new features such as breakers and enhanced moves, after you have been through the tutorial there is a training mode for you to spend hours in working on your combos. A new addition is a fatality trainer which lets you work on landing your fatality in a no pressure situation until you have it memorised because its always embarrassing when you have to hit the menu to check your main characters fatality at the end of a match. There is a good selection of stages on display with some quite excellent stage fatalities as well, some classics from the old games have been remade as well. The roster is very solid with a who's who list of characters from the first 3 games, there isn't really anyone I could think of that I was disappointed at not being in the game. A brilliantly violent new addition to the game is the x-ray moves which allow you to change turn the tide of a match in your favour and feel like a bad ass doing it. Fatalities are as good as they have ever been and some are the most brutally fantastic things I have ever seen in a game and only a few duds made it in.

This just doesn't end well for sub zero.

Story mode

The game offers a sizeable story offering and it is surprisingly in depth for a fighting game. The story of the game is a retelling of the story of the first three games but they are altered because in a last desperate effort by Raiden as he is about to be killed by Shao Kahn he sends himself a message from the future to try and prevent the future where Shao Kahn gains control of earth realm. The story mode is very well done with cinematic cut-scenes that move directly into the fights without a need to load and custom victory quotes for the fights. The story of the game progresses through chapters each requiring you to play as a different character and is helpful for newcomers becoming familiar with a handful of characters. The story is over the top and sometimes ridiculous but if you are willing to switch your brain off it is a fun ride with a few genuinely shocking moments. One of the annoying features of this mode is the double fights and boss fights, due to the fact that you cannot change to a character that you are better with these can be frustrating and the boss fights practically require you to use cheap tactics. I was also bothered by the fact that you cannot skip any of the cut-scene's, this means if you get stuck on a fight and have to quit out of a fight you will have to watch the whole cut-scene again and a couple of them are long enough to be irritating. For the traditionalists out there the arcade ladders make a triumphant return with custom endings for every character, but Shao Kahn is still unfortunately very cheap.

Challenge Tower

If the story mode and arcade ladders weren't enough to keep you busy then you will be happy to learn that there is a challenge tower with 300 challenges for you to complete. The challenges range from: tutorial like stages that require you to do preform a characters special moves in order to win a match or preform a characters fatality; ludicrous stages where you must fight with no arms or fight off zombies with your projectiles and super tough stages where you have to take on an army of Shao Kahn's or defeat Goro without taking a hit. Test your might, strike and sight all make a return and make for a fun little break while slogging through the tower. Fortunately the game lets you use koins that you earn through just about anything but versus matches to buy your way through any challenges that you get stuck on. Test your luck is a new feature that is a lot of fun especially with friends, it adds random effects to the game such as making meteors fall from the sky or turning both of you invisible. The reward for completing all of the challenge tower is perhaps a little underwhelming and some of the challenges are repetitive and uninspired but there is definitely some stages that are set up in funny ways that will make you want to keep going until you have beaten every challenge. 

Because fighting with arms is for losers.

Xbox Live

Perhaps the main feature of a modern fighting game is how it plays online and in terms of presentation and options Mortal Kombat has a lot to offer, in the execution however it doesn't quite deliver. The game uses chat rooms fr player matches and you can there is always rooms available brimming with players for you to jump into.This is also a very handy way to meet up with a bunch of friends to play and though none of the matches are ranked the game lets you view how everyone has been doing in the room. If you don't want to jump into one of these chat rooms you can either play in the king of the hill mode or in straight up ranked matches. King of the hill mode is a throw back to the old arcade days of winner stays on style playing with the two kombatant's going at it until one wins and then everyone votes on the performance of the winner, what is neat that is during the match you can actually see your avatar and you can interact while the match is going on. The only problem with the online is that it has generally been unstable in relations to ranked and king of the hill matches, I have had issues with lag, trouble finding and being disconnected from games. The good news is the cries have been heard and a patch should be hitting the game to fix this in the coming weeks.

Overall this game has managed to sidestep just appealing to the nostalgic gamers who enjoyed the original trilogy of games and offered something for anyone who is interested in the fighting game genre. The only problem I have with this game is the boss fights still remain fighting game cheap and the online at launch is less than steller. I have to admit though this is the most fun I have had playing a fighting game for a while and if you are playing with friends then it is just amazing "one more fight" entertainment. The wow factor is definitely back and the action has never been more mindless. NetherRealm Studios definitely delivered on this reboot of the franchise and did practically everything right, the only question is where they are going to go from here.


Other reviews for Mortal Kombat (Xbox 360)

    Like dismembering dudes? Then you should probably play this. 0

    I was nervous about the prospect of importing this after it'd been refused classification on our shores. It was difficult to determine the legality of doing so. A bunch of people said it was fine, some said it wasn't, some said it was fine but not in certain states.In the end I caved and ordered the sucker in.And it got here just fine.I've been a Mortal Kombat fan since I was like 7 or 8.I've played everything with the MK name except Special Forces.I didn't want this joining that list.I thin...

    3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

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