Game Guys review: Mortal Kombat

9:57 AM, Apr 25, 2011   |    comments
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  • "Mortal Kombat" for the PS3.
  • "Mortal Kombat" for the PS3.
  • "Mortal Kombat" for the PS3.
  • "Mortal Kombat" for the PS3.
  • "Mortal Kombat" for the PS3.
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Mortal Kombat has returned in all of its bloody glory. Roughly twenty years after the game made its controversial debut in video arcades and held its own against Capcom's king-of-the-mountain Street Fighter. This newest Mortal Kombat title, technically Mortal Kombat 9, not only can still hold its own against Street Fighter, it also holds its own against all of the previous MK titles to date.

KM9 features a good assortment of different play modes, including online multiplayer and a cinema-style story mode. The story mode, which is told in character-specific chapters, has you controlling a different character through a motion-picture style plot revolving around the Mortal Kombat tournament to decide the fate of the world. The game also has the tried-and-true standards of bouting one's way up a ladder to face mini-boss Goro and his master Shao Kahn. In addition to these, there are also minigame-type modes such as "Test your might" which can be best compared to the levels in Street Fighter II where you have to break barrels or smash a car with your bare hands.

One thing that Mortal Kombat games have always had was an interesting cast.  This is no different with MK9.  Most all of the classic standbys return including Scorpion, Sub Zero, Johnny Cage and Sonja. The game does see the addition of a new character, though, in Kratos (as in Sony's God of War protagonist).

Actually playing MK9 should feel very familiar to anybody who's played any of the previous Mortal Kombat fighting games. While the graphics are very much 3D in depth, the fighting keeps to the tried-and-true 2D formula. Each character's unique super moves return and for those who have forgotten how to pull them off, a simple press of the start button to enter the pause menu will reward the player with their current character's move list. New to the game is a charge bar which fills up as the player brawl and will allow for more powerful special attacks including each character's specific X-ray attack, which gives a gruesome and rather violent internal view of the defending character's body as the get brutally attacked by the aggressor.

Also, the game has a wealth of unlockables ranging from everything including stage music, concept art and classic costumes for the fighters. Those who spend the extra money and get the 'Kollector's Edition' will be treated to a few extra unlockables including avatar items and a few nifty real-life items that make it worth the extra money.

One knock against the game is that like most new EA titles, this WBIE game requires the use of an online pass to play online multiplayer. While the game comes with the pass new, those who buy it used or simply lose the code will be given a 48 hour temporary pass before having to shell out a few extra dollars to have access to the servers. This is an unfortunate trend in console gaming that really should come to an end sooner rather than later, though in contrast it only seems to be growing in popularity at the detriment of the end user.

Online pass aside, the new Mortal Kombat game (which is available for the PS3 and Xbox 360) is an excellent fighting title that really gives Capcom a run for its money.

Final Game Guys grade: A-

- Game Guy Barry White


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