Thursday, April 28, 2011

First Thoughts: Mortal Kombat (2011)

So I got a chance the other day to give this game a whirl. And I think I can sum up my feelings on this game with this image:


Now I liked that last entry into the series (Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe) but it was just missing that extra something that makes MK so magical. Hardcore violence and fatalities of epic proportions, of course! and MK 2011 makes up for this in spades. Netherrealm Studios (formerly Midway) brings MK back to it's roots in some aspects, but keeps the good from previous games later in the series, such as Deception, Armageddon, and MK vs. DC.

First off, this game is a hard M rating, there is no two ways about it. Some people will get up in arms about this and bitch, but really, this is the game franchise responsible for the ESRB, what did you expect? Add to that the fact that the ladies barely wear enough to cover their naughty bits in most cases. So if you have some sort of moral objection, now is the time to quit reading.

For those of you still with me, let's take a quick look at the game. You have a total of 27 playable characters (on the PS3 version there is a bonus "guest" character. No such love for us on the 360) . I would show you a picture of the roster, but I can't seem to find one that doesn't include a massive spoiler that I don't want to give away.
These are the various awesome playable game modes:
1) Story mode with 16 chapters. Similar to MK vs. DC where you play a different character each chapter
2) Tournament ladder with unique endings for each character
3) Training mode
4) Challenge Tower- a 300-mission behemoth where you do various fights and other challenges for Koins and an ultimate reward.
5) Fatality Training mode- to practice your all your favorite finishers
6) Mini-games- Test Your Might, Test Your Sight, Test Your Luck, and Test Your Strike.
7) Online- with a King of the Hill mode where XBox 360 players can actually import their avatars to use while watching matches.
8) The Krypt- where you can spend all those hard earned Koins on various unlockables

Fatalities- each character has two Fatalities in the game, as well as the humorous babalities. There was a rumor Friendships would be included, but it appears that is all it turned out to be. Along with this is the X-ray attack, a kind of supermove that shows the internal damage caused by the various hits of the combo (which does more damage that usual). It is charged on a bar at the bottom of the screen, similar to the way the slamming move charges in the Ghostbusters game (2009). These are rendered with care and brutality, showing bones breaking and organs destroyed.

part of Raiden's X-Ray Attack- a skull- cracking good time!

Gameplay is overall very good, and easy to pick up. The moves list now shows the Fatality combos, which is really nice. The fighting is back on a 2-D plane, so anyone tired of side-stepping and 3-D arenas can breathe easy. Classic stages such as The Pit, the Living Forest, and the Dead Pool all make a comeback (among many others), as do the Stage Fatalities where applicable. The game, for all it's new features and shiny new look, will feel like an old friend to long-time fans of the franchise.

The story- the story is kind of like the new Star Trek movie, in that the timeline of the MK universe is altered. It begins immediately after the events of Armageddon before moving back in time and you essentially replay the first three Mortal Kombat games with a vastly different outcome as Raiden tries to avoid that particular future. A very cool concept, and I am very excited to see how they go forward with this into further games.

My only complaint is some of the character models look goofy in game. Raiden looks awesome, like they just lifted him out of MK vs. DC. Kung Lao and Liu Kang in particular look a bit off, it's something in the facial renders, they don't look good. Some of Kitana's expressions are as well. They're just kind of ugly, to be honest, although when fighting you don't really notice. Favorites like Sub-Zero and Scorpion look really good though, as do all the ladies (minus Kitana's funny faces sometimes). One of my favorite looks for this game is Ermac, who looks badass and menacing, and with a very cool alternate costume that can be unlocked (as you can do for all characters- except for Mileena who has 4 different costumes).

So my final verdict? GO PLAY. NOW. This game is amazing, and for Mortal Kombat fans, a great entry into the franchise. This makes up for every wuss out "Heroic Brutality" we had to put up with in MK vs. DC. It's also an interesting story, can Raiden really change the past and prevent Armageddon? What is the cost of this alteration? Where does the story go from here? There is a ton of content here, and this game truly exemplifies why Mortal Kombat is (in my mind, at least) superior to all other fighting games. Is it brutal? Hells yes! And that's just the way Mortal Kombat should be.

To end this I'll leave you with two things. First is the most kick-ass use of a techno beat ever:

The second is a bit of my own personal geekdom. I got this done about three years ago. This is what it looked like brand new (it's the best pic of it I have lol):

Well that's all for now folks! See you next time!

*EDIT*- Forgot to throw this on too. Mortal Kombat: Legacy!

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