The best reader review of the month recieves an awesome Blu-ray pack from Madman.
Take it away Mase.
Wow, what a task to undertake. What you are about to read is extremely hard for me to write because technically, what I am reviewing is considered illegal in our country. That’s right, customs and the Australian Classification Board have failed and an Australian, living in the country, is reviewing the Refused Classification game Mortal Kombat. From what I have been able to gather, I am one of the first Australians to get the game into the country and, given the nature of the game, I understand why it has been banned in our country. But that’s won’t stop me from reviewing it for all of you.
LOVED Graphics: I have to say, this game looks amazing. I think that this is one of very few games in my collection that not only is 1080p but takes full advantage of that graphics power. In Mortal Kombat, you can easily lose a fight if you let yourself get distracted by all the amazingly detailed background scene. To put it in a more simple way: THERE’S FREAKING DRAGONS IN THE BACKGOUNDS!
Controls: The Mortal Kombat games haven’t had the best controls over time but today they are more responsive than ever. Gone are the days where you take one second between button presses to make sure the command gets through; you can actually pull of Marvel vs Capcom 3 style button speed here. However you do need to slow down with the dial in combos though.
Story: I know it’s weird, but Mortal Kombat does have a story, and it’s a real interesting one. Considering that this is meant to be seen as a reboot of the franchise, NetherRealm Studios could have taken the cheap route and just done the same story all over again; but instead they went out of the way to continue the story from Armageddon, and at the same time they are changing the story around enough for it to be fresh. Personally I’m on the second play-through of the story mode since there are so many little nods and cameos in the story that you might miss them all the first time.
Challenge Mode: This mode is the 'other meat' of the single player experience. While it does start off as a cheap tutorial mode, it does evolve into some weird and wonderful challenges. Plus it’s a real effort too, to the point where you might think that the game is being cheap as hell, but it’s a good test at putting your opponent into a situation that benefits you. Word of advice though; some of those zombie challenges are a pain in the you-know-what.
King of the Hill: Now while I didn’t get much time with this mode due to the Playstation Network situation, I did get a chance to check this mode out. After sitting through the 'jiggling cards' spectator mode of Marvel vs Capcom 3, this was a refreshing change. Plus that addition of a live reaction really gives you a tournament feel to the game. You want to put on a great show for the people watching, but at the same time you still have an opponent to beat.
HATED Graphics: Yes, I praised the heck out of the graphics above, but it’s the graphics that have become this game’s biggest downfall in our country. All you have to do is put some time into the Fatality Trainer and you’ll know exactly why this game was banned here. You end up seeing every little bit of your opponent’s insides to the point where in some fatalities you can see chunks falling out (I’m looking at you Noob). This game was banned here because of things like the many decapitations and 'splitting open' of your opponents, and I actually agree. I do not let my seven year old little brother see me playing this game because of the graphic nature of everything, right down to the fight damage and the X-ray moves.
The Krypt: I HATE THIS THING! Seriously, it is the biggest waste of time. You spend a lot of time walking around, slowly, in 4 different areas with very limited movement. If they had given players a full first person control system in there it would be so much easier to navigate. Then there is the 'screamer' like thing that pops up at random. Funny yes, but completely pointless. Plus you make enough koins in the first play-through of the story mode to clear out two of the four areas there. I expect anyone who gets a hold of this game to have this place cleared out in less than a day of solid playing.
Alt Costumes: Now going through story mode you notice a lot of characters with two different costumes that you think are really creative, then you go into The Krypt and unlock the concept art of other costumes and you get excited about getting them... Then you go into the game and find that a lot of the alternate costumes are nothing more than slightly darker or a slightly different coloured version of the standard costume. I’m suspecting future DLC content here. Mind you, the Retro costumes are awesome looking.
No Manual: Mortal Kombat has jumped on the 'green' style of gaming and have removed the thick manual that most games used to have. Instead of something that gives information and back story, you get the first couple of pages of a standard manual (Standard legal mumbo-jumbo, how to turn on your PS3, etc) and a small booklet of items you can buy from websites that are licensed Mortal Kombat gear (Games, T-Shirts, Caps, Posters, Fight Stick, Blu-Rays, music cd and hint books). So much for saving paper huh?
Kratos: Yeah he fits into the game, but he seems like he has been crow barred into the game at the last minute in terms of character model and moves. He does have one move that uses a Quick Time Button Press system; man it’s annoying. I think they needed more time to balance him out a bit.
Lack of real “unlockables”: Here’s a list of what you’ll be able to unlock: 2nd Fatalities, Alternate Costumes & lots of artwork. The two hidden characters are unlocked through story mode and one extra costume for Mileena is unlocked in the challenge mode. Babalities and stage fatalities are hidden too, but you will have to find the combinations online to work them out. It’s really sad given the insane amount of places in The Krypt that you can choose from that there is too little real content to be found.
Over all, Mortal Kombat is a great rebirth for the series. The game is everything a long time fan of the series like me wanted. But I can also see why the game has been banned here in Australia. If you happen to get a copy of the game through customs and into your machine, then have fun with a real successor to Mortal Kombat Armageddon, and a “we’re sorry” about MKvsDCU. Now for those of you who will want to know how I got mine; well all I’m going to say is that the Easter Holidays played a big part in how it got here so quickly. Good luck to you all.