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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Warner Bros. Interactive
Developed By: NetherRealm Studios
Genre: Fighting
Players: 1-2
Rated: M for Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Strong Language)
Release Date: April 19, 2011
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Marcus Prunty

May 19, 2011 - GET OVER HERE!!!!!!!! And play me. The famed fighter its back in another reincarnation, only this time back it takes a trip back down memory lane. Mortal Kombat; Mortal Kombat 9 for those keeping count, is developed by NetherRealm Studios and with a name like that I would think they know a thing or two about the franchise. The key questions I have been asked is it violent? Why yes it is. Are all the classic characters in it? Why heck yes they are. Is Kratos as badass as he is in God of War III? Well you will have to get the game and find out that one *wink*.

For now, let us get into this awesome title full of nostalgia moments and characters. If you are a fan of the franchise you know that MORTAL KOMBAT has always been big on the gore factor, while providing plenty of shock and awe moments where you are like “omg did he just do that, that was cool”. While that’s all fine and dandy, there was never really a “true” fighting system put into place for the game to grow off of. In Mortal Kombat titles of old, it was more about using moves like Sub-Zero’s freeze projectile or Scorpion’s spear in order to incapacitate opponents before literally spamming the punch and kick buttons to defeat your foes. The closest title that comes to mind with some form of fighting component was Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, however that title was held back from its true potential for many reasons. Those days are finally behind us as Mortal Kombat now features a combat system that rivals the likes of Super Street Fighter 4; and I must admit some of combos are a bit complicated but that just makes it that more exciting when you perform them and see all the blood fly.

The gameplay within the new Mortal Kombat incarnation is diverse. You have a detailed Story Mode and old favorites like Test Your Might, Test Your Sight, Test Your Luck, and the classic arcade Ladder Mode have all returned. But this version has added the Challenge Tower, which can be a handful. The Challenge Tower consists of I believe 300 different challenges which have wide ranges. For instance, there is one challenge where you are not allowed to jump at all. Which for me was hard cause that is how I evade the opponent most of the time, another challenge is you have to stop a wave of zombies from getting to you while throwing the characters projectile move to repel them back: Stryker’s gun shots, Johnny Cage green fireball are two examples you use. Also mixed in there are Test Your Might and Sight challenges which you must pass to unlock their respective mode versions, so you can play those games outside of the Challenge Tower.

The Story Mode for Mortal Kombat was great because it gave a great retelling of the history of Mortal Kombat 1, 2, and 3 through cutscenes that are roughly 15 minutes long. So if you are brand new to the franchise you’ll understand what is going on and which fighters belong to the good/bad sides. I will summarize the story a little bit for you here… Shao Kahn wants earth badly. His minions have won the last 9 Mortal Kombat tournaments and need the 10th one to take over. Liu Kang and his friends must fight in the tournament and stop him; which they do. Shao Kahn does not like this outcome so he bends the rules and attacks and kills the combatants. Raiden; realizing this, leaves Earth Realm vulnerable and sends a message back in time to try to prevent this from happening. Unfortunately, this alters the timeline and now he must figure out how to fix this, because the story is not ending as it is supposed to. The rest of the story you will see unfold. This story is somewhat interesting because it keeps you guessing on how it will end or if it will end as you play through. In Story Mode, a key thing to note is you do not pick the character you get to play with. It is a real story and at various points, you take control of a new character for 3 to 4 different fights so be prepared to use someone that you may not be as polished using.

If you prefer picking your own characters, you will want to play the Arcade ladder mode and/or Versus mode, where the Classic Mortal Kombat originated. In the ladder mode you pick your character and depending on the difficulty setting you choose will fight several enemies in order to get to Shao Kahn and defeat him. That way you learn why your character was in the tournament in the first place. Versus mode is always fun to pit your skills against a human opponent and see how you do, whether at home with a friend or challenging a stranger from the other side of the world. When combating other players online, it feels like that person is right in the same room with you. I will admit I did experience some lag in some of my online battles, however it didn’t take away from the feeling of finally being able to put your fighting skills to the test. One of the biggest additions to the online segment is the King of the Hill mode, which allows up to eight players in a room in order to watch the current matchup taking place. Once the match is over, the viewers can give respect points to whichever combatant they see fit. Within the online segment, you will also have access to the more traditional ranked, un-ranked and tag team options. The Test Your Might, Sight, Strike and Luke options are also taken online, which can result in some crazy online battles with the tides of the match ever-changing.

Introduced in this game is the Super Meter, which fills up as you do damage to your opponent, you take damage, and from any moves you perform. It is broken up into three different segments. If you have one segment full, it will enhance one of the regular attacks and make it a bit more powerful. 2 segments full and used allows you to combo break which is huge because when you’re playing some of these characters it feels like their just juggling you and toying with you as you can’t get a hit back while they 10-hit combo you. And if you have all 3 segments full you can perform your characters special X-ray attack which the spacing for it differs depending on the character and can be blocked so be careful when you use it.

The graphics for Mortal Kombat have returned to the classic 2D space of the original game, the big difference being the attention to detail i.e. character design and portrayal. It should be noted that the character models and the levels themselves are rendered in 3D. The quality has been ramped up and all the characters are smooth, polished, and highly detailed. As you are fighting and inflicting damage on your opponent, you will notice that your characters visual appearance changes as they will have blood and bruises on them as well as their clothes will rip in places. this makes the player feel like they are in a real fight for their lives. The fatalities are brutal and bloody and way over the top; the way they should have always been. The new X-ray special moves that all the characters can perform are a thing of beauty to behold that if done right inflicts incredible damage to the opponent and gives you a detailed view of what all that crushing does to their bodies. I think NetherRealm Studios went for visceral look and feel. When you see the combos, the fatalities, and the X-Ray attacks, you feel it in your bones and it makes you tingle.

Graphics are well and good but without sound design you have like half of the puzzle done and you do not get the complete picture. The music is very reminiscent of previous games but tweaked a bit. It gives you a great since of nostalgia. And the other sounds of the characters various moves are sweet. When you throw Sub Zeros freeze projectile it sounds like icicles being thrown. When you throw Scorpion’s spear you can hear it break the air, the whoosh as it comes out, and you can hear the thud when it embeds in the chest of your opponent. This attention to details is welcomed by fans and what we come to expect from this generation of videogames. And I’m happy to say that NetherRealm Studios got this right.

Great sound design, multiple modes of gameplay and other games what other features do Mortal Kombat reboot pack in. After every match, you receive Koins or Kombat tokens, which can be used in the Krypt to purchase art, alternate costumes, and fatalities and other stuff.

Mortal Kombat is back and it is bigger and bloodier than ever. This 2D fighter packs a punch, gives fans of the franchise many nostalgic moments, and has all the characters we have grown to love and even the ones we hate. With all the different modes you will have hours upon hours of time to play this title. Challenge Tower alone will eat up constant hours of frustration and joy as you pass each challenge. If you have always been a fan get this game for your collection, if you are new to the franchise and want to try it out play this game. You will love all of its amazing moments and the fatalities there just awesome.


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