Mortal Kombat Reader Review
Mortal Kombat seems now to be a good ol' friend of us gamers, having been splattering our screens with decapitated heads and ridiculously bloody limbs for nearly two decades, and whilst it's always nice to have a polished and sparkling new addition to an old saga, of course there's always that running risk of defacing a series which has set such a high bench mark for fans internationally.
However, thankfully it appears that the 9th installment in the Mortal Kombat fighting genre, is pretty darn great, so we can all let out a sigh of relief on that front.
Firstly, the visuals are fantastic, especially when emphasising the, let's face it guys, stupidly macabre moves and (amazingly) only ALMOST fatal 'X-Rays', which show in glorious detail the fractures of each and every poor little bone that falls under a Kombatant's arsenal of weapons/destructive body parts. The fact that unfortunately each character can only pull off one of these special moves is overshadowed by the fantastic, (albeit unsettling) pleasure which can be derived from seeing such unfriendly behaviour in action.
Speaking of blood and all that, there's also the infamous Fatalities to enjoy, which, unlike the X-Rays, are supplied to each character in groups of three, two of which have to be unlocked, again appealing to the sadists among you who want to see your opponent's death experienced in a way that might not even involve decapitation, (the idea!) Nevertheless... most of them do, to be honest.
The story, too, is surprisingly lengthy for a beat 'em up, with the player taking control of several of the game's characters to pursue fights which don't strictly follow the tournament battles, and in this sense the game adds a bit of freshness if you grow tired of the arcade-style ladder gameplay. Speaking of versatility, the Tower mode which is featured also offers a heap of challenges outside of simply killing everyone, and the extra's 'Krypt' gives people the chance to buy rewards such as concept art with money earned through play.
Overall, the game's an exemplar edition of Mortal Kombat, provided people can get over one or two slight hiccups which, whilst pretty minor, can prove annoying. One which sturck me was that of the computer, when playing as certain characters, spamming quite often when you turn the difficulty up on the arcade ladder. Only a few seem to have done it, but still, being persistently charged through the air and smashed into the nearest wall by Raiden, whilst he screams what I can only assume is 'Naruto!' as he flies, can get tiresome. Also, there lacks in the story mode any signal of the game being saved, and seeing as the story is, as I said before, fairly long, this can result in you having to hope to God when you turn your console off that you won't have to fight the monstrous Goro again, who can't be grabbed as far as I'm aware. I can help here with my own tested theory that the checkpoints seem to be immediately before each new Chapter begins, though anyone with any sense has probably worked that one out already.
Ultimately, though, Mortal Kombat (9?... 2011? What are we calling it?) is very fun, with moderately efficient online play, lovely graphics, pretty diverse game modes and plenty to unlock. If you're a fan of the genre, it's a must; if you've never played it before but like beat 'em ups, you'll like it enough to be happy you bought it. If you're squeamish... just look away. Right now.