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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Midway Games
Developed By: Midway Games
Genre: Fighting
Players: 1-2
Rated: M (Mature)
Release Date: October 16, 2006
Screenshots: Link
Written By: Matthew Prunty

For the past 15 years, various tournaments have been held to determine the fate of several realms. Within each tournament, there have been unlikely fighters who have stepped up to the plate to thwart off evil and save the day. Well within the latest tournament, friends become enemies, and enemies are still your enemies. As a final send off to the current generation consoles, Midway attempts to make Mortal Kombat: Armageddon the title that gamers have always wanted to own. Does this title succeed, or falls by the side?

It seems that the multiple Mortal Kombat tournaments have gotten out of hand, and now the Elder Gods want to put a stop to everything. No longer will warlords work side-by-side to secure their dominance. Itís every man for themselves as the Elder Gods have erected a giant pyramid with a giant at the top of it. The first fighter, who can make it to the top and defeat the giant, will become a full pledge God and will rule everything. So with this in mind, itís time for MORTAL KOMBAT!

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon boast an impressive roster of 64 fighters in all. Among the roster, you will various old faces (Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade), some new blood (Cyrax, Nightwolf, Stryker, Baraka), and even some faces that never quite made it into any of the MK titles. While this massive roster is sure to grab the attention of gamers all around the world, each character suffers the same fate with this title. It seems each fighter will no longer have to fighting styles and a weapon. We are now stuck with only one fighting style per fighter, which is manageable, but for some characters, you would wish you had that second style to choose from. For those who thought they would revamp the button configurations for several of the moves included within the game, think again. For some of those amazing moves and feats, be prepared to mash out those long button configurations, which are sure have you laughing all the time (not!).

The trademark of Mortal Kombat, the fatality, has been overhauled to make Armageddon that most deadliest title within the series. By this I mean the addition of Kreate-a-Fatality. This new feature allows you to create a unique fatality, depending on the fighter you are using. To utilize this feature, you must string a series of timed combos together, while working against a clock, ultimately creating the biggest fatality known to man (or machine). Itís a whole lot easier talking about it than actually performing this maneuver, but at the end of it all, you will have a nice collection of vital organs.

For those who are new to Armageddon, will notice that the title has a substantial singe-player mode in the form of Konquest. Within this mode, you play as Taven, who must race is brother Daegon to battle Blaze (fiery giant atop the pyramid). Along the way, he will be thrown into battles where he would have to fight various characters and then due battle with the level boss (like in the case of Taven crossing paths with Sub-Zero and his clan). The story behind this race is that Tavenís father is a Demi-God and his mom is a human sorceress. They encased Taven and his brother into stone and guarded by two dragons, only to be awoken at a particular time (according to the motherís prophecy). When Blaze appears and the various warriors of Mortal Kombat make their way to the top, Taven and Daegon would be released from captivity. A nice touch would to be able to play as both brothers, but Midway has it setup where you control only Taven throughout this mode.

Within the Platform mode, you must mast four simple attacks (quick punch, uppercut, throw, and roundhouse kick) to defeat your enemies. Several enemies attack you at once, and these particular moves are all you have that stands between you and certain death. As you progress further within this mode, you will unlock more powerful moves and even fatalities. Now think about it, you beat each enemy within an inch of their lives, and then perform an uppercut fatality on each one of them, back to back. Now thatís what you called and engaging battle and gruesome death. At first, it may seem a bit bland, but once you get further into this mode, you will come to find that this mode packs one hell of a punch.

Now this mode may seem like an instant winner among gamers, but it wont be as easy as running into a room and killing everyone, and then enter the next room (Untold Legends anyone?). The fighting is mixed up with dodging sharp objects and platforms that are trying to crush you into a pool of blood. But within this mode, you will unlock tons of goodies, which can be utilized by other characters. This includes new costumes, Koins to be spent within the Krypt, and various items from Scorpionís spear, to Sub-Zeroís mask.

The Krypt makes its glorious return, with even more goodies to drool over. For those looking to get the necessities out of this mode, better pick their coffins carefully as they are filled with various items, most of which are only pleasable to die-hard MK fans. These items include various costumes, music, development videos, concept art, etc. The videos are a definite addition to the replay value as you find out behind the scenes information about the character designs, environment design, reasons behind this and that selection, etc.

Unlike previous MK titles of this generation, the character models are designed with a considerable amount of detail, which doesnít take away from the fluidity of the titleís animation. You will also notice that the various environments you do battle within are very detailed and immersive; opening the doors to many different ways you could kill your opponent, which adds to the lasting flavor of this title.

When it comes to music and sound effects, Armageddon is loaded with them. Each fighter and level has its very own unique musical style. The musical score is very engulfing, to the point where you are eagerly awaiting the next battle. Grunts, explosions, the sound of body parts being cut up/ripped off, is lovely music to the ears.

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon has more content than what meets the eye. You have your single-player mode, arcade mode, vs. mode, etc., but where this title gets its lasting appeal is within the additional features. If you donít feel like playing as one of the 60-plus characters with Armageddon, you have the ability to create your very own fighter. Within the Kreate-a-fighter mode, you are able to customize your very own fighter from the color of his/her hair, to fighting styles, and even if they don a hat. Though some may doubt the depth within this mode, itís quite extensive, making practically endless possibilities on the outcome of your fighter.

Two other features that Iím sure will be used quite a lot is the Mortal Kombat mode and the Online mode. With in the Mortal Kombat mode (such a cleaver name), you can race fellow Mortal Kombat fighters in a similar fashion to Mario Kart (guess everyone knows what is the ultimate racing franchise!). While racing along the track, you can pick up various items like landmines and missiles, and inflict devastating damage on your opponent. Within the Online mode, you guess it; you can battle other gamers around the world. Though an enjoyable and entertaining experience, this mode is a bit glitchy, which can affect your enjoyment of defeating someone you donít know, or your best friend.

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is without a doubt the best MK experience to date. From the extensive roster, to the immersive environments, to even the in-depth Konquest mode, die-hard Mortal Kombat fans will have something to drool over. For those who are new to the series (canít be that many out there), will enjoy every bit of the gruesome fighter and itís history rolled all into one. For those who played Alliance will know what to expect form this title, while at the some time, be introduced to more over-the-top action and features to make them seem like a novice all over again. All-in-all, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is a solid product, which should be played to the max by any and everyone out there.


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