If you noticed that i rarely updated the site for the past couple of days, that is because i was playing Mortal Kombat non-Stop! That is true, i got my Xbox 360 copy Early Saturday, and since then,have not stopped playing through the massive game.
So how good or bad is the new Mortal Kombat? Keep Reading to find out:
Booting up the game will lead you to the start screen (no cgi intro outside story mode), the screen where my beloved sub-zero gets punched to the face by boon’s beloved scorpion (booooo!). Pressing start will give you access to the different menus of the game: Ladder, Story Mode, Online, Challenge Tower, options and Extra.
Ladder (arcade mode):
This is your straight forward acrade mode, where you fight up a ladder until you reach a sub-boss (goro or Kintaro) and a final boss. You have the option to fight using one character or go in as a tag team, where you choose 2 characters and alternate between them by using the tag button. While new to MK, tag team really opens a new dimension for tag assisted combos. Unfortunately i have not had enought time to play tag, as much as i want.
Defeating shao khan in ladder mode will unlock a, what if, ending related to your character. Throughout ladder mode you earn Koins everytime you win a round. With these koins you can purchase koffins from the Krypt mode to unlock hidden features and artwork.
Also be advised that in this mode, much like the first MK games, you can fight hidden characters (retro noob saibot, mk2 smoke, mk1 reptile etc), if you meet certain requirements.
Fighting games have been known to have less than stellar stories, let alone a story mode. well, it seems that MK is breaking that routine, since the story mode of this game is, not only a fun, engaging mode, but the story itself is well written with excellent dialogue and voice acting. Be ready to be fully surprised and caught off guard with the last arc of the 5+ hours long story mode. (ps: even if you have read the leaked story mode, you will still be surprised, i guarantee you this).
Online mode does offer many options on how you want to fight online. Single vs, tag vs, king of the hill and other modes really make the online experience quite a unique one. However since the game has not officially launched yet, we cannot know how good the netcode is. We will update the story once the game officially ships.
If arcade and story mode were not enough for a single player experience, Mortal Kombat comes with a, new, innovative, 300 mission mode, dubbed challenge tower. This mode offers puts the player in specific missions and circumstances that you need to overcome in order to beat that challenge and move to the next one. check out NRS explaining what the challenge tower:
Mortal Kombat has an extensive practice mode that lets you practice your special moves, combos, x-ray, and even fatalities. Definitely a welcomed addition to the game.
Much like the last 3d MK games, the new Mortal Kombat comes with a 500 koffins Krypt. Each Koffin will cost you some Koins to unlock and discover your reward. Through the krypt you can unlock, artworks, Alt costumes, Fatalities etc. My only complain here, is that there are no videos to unlock (hopped to be able to see more character vignettes)
Now that we listed all the game modes you will get when firing the game, let’s talk about the most important aspect of a fighting game: Gameplay!
If you tried the demo released 3 weeks ago on PSN, then you know what to expect. The game is a combination between MK2 and UMK3, a fast paced blood bath. The controls are your basic MK style controls, 2 buttons of punches, 2 for kicks and one for Block. And although there is no run button, your character can now dash forward or back, by double tapping the desired direction.
Making its first debut in a Mortal Kombat game, is a 3 layered super meter bar. Each level grants you a special ability (level1: Ex moves, level 2: combo breakers). Once the meter fills up, your character can execute a super combo like move, called the X-ray move, that will make your opponent bones shatter before your eyes, literally.
The roster is made of 27 characters, and from my experience is nicely balanced. There is of course up tiers and low tiers, with some characters who are quite useless. Of ourse, tier lists are almost non helpful before the game is heavily played, but based on my play time i can tell you the following information: Upper tier: Nightwolf, shang tsung, emac and Kung Lao. Lower tier: Sheeva and Cyber sub-zero (the latter is really low tier and almost useless). The rest of the cast seems pretty balanced.
Note: I saw couple infinites already found, but NRS has just released a first patch to take care of them.
If you have been waiting for a good MK game since UMK3, then this is the game for you! With so much content, Mortal Kombat offers the best single player experience in addition to a robust online mode (review coming later). After playing the game for the whole week-end i can finally say this: MORTAL KOMBAT IS BACK and better than ever.