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Mortal Kombat
XBox 360, Playstation 3

Reviewed on: XBox 360
NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Rated: "M" for Mature

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

view user comments (1)
User Rating:        6
Presentation: 6

The long running fighting series finally returns to its 2D roots. With it comes the series trademark visuals and sounds. Everything is presented in impressive high definition visuals - Mortal Kombat has never looked this good.

Gameplay: 5

Forget all of the lame Mortal Kombat installments of recent years, THIS is the Mortal Kombat you remember. The fighting is fast, fun and visceral - especially the trademark fatalities and new x-ray moves.

Lasting Appeal:

What really surprised me about Mortal Kombat was the sheer depth of content that is packed throughout the game. You have your traditional arcade style ladder modes, but there's also the return of test your might, along with a few other cool features.

Overall: 6
Like most, I'd fallen off the Mortal Kombat bandwagon over the last few years, but I'm now proud to be right back on. It's a pure, visceral and fun fighting game that comes packed with features to keep even the most jaded fans happy.
CHEATfactor: 6

Media such as movies, TV, music - and yes, even games have the power to transport us to a different place and time. A time that we associate with the particular work. From the minute I popped the disc for the new re-imagined Mortal Kombat into my disc drive, I was transported back to my parent's basement during my high school years, pounding away at my SNES controller -- and yes, that's a very good thing.

Mortal Kombat works so well because it strips the series bare of everything but its essential elements and gives gamers the bone crushing formula we fell in love with so many years ago. It's not a game that rests solely on past successes, as Mortal Kombat serves as a valid fighter on its own, with plenty of new ideas and an interesting new creative direction. It may still suffer from some cheap AI, but you always get the sense that's just part of the Mortal Kombat charm.

Mortal Kombat opens with one of the most shocking opening cinematics in gaming history. The game's characters have all been massacred. Johnny Cage is nothing but a head and spine, Nightwolf has one of his own axes in his back, it's a pretty brutal sight. The only one left standing to take down the evil warlord Shao Kahn is the Thunder God Raiden. Just when the battle starts looking bleak, Raiden is able to summon the power of an ancient artifact and rewind back to the beginning of the original Mortal Kombat tournament to right the wrongs and ensure the horrid future never happens. So yeah, it's kind of like a Mortal Kombat take on Back to the Future. Now, Mortal Kombat has never been the home of realistic stories, what with Dragons and Thundergods, but this one seems a bit hokier than the others.

"...yes, the fatalities live up to the hype."


But let's be honest, this is Mortal Kombat, and you don't care about the story - you care about the violence, the blood and of course - the fatalities. It's in this aspect that Mortal Kombat truly delivers on just what it sets out to do. This new Mortal Kombat casts aside the goofy nature of previous games (well, sort of; the game still features Babalities) in exchange for pure unapologetic and ultra rewarding violence. Your normal and special moves all feel well weighted and are animated quite nicely, but it's the new X-ray moves that steal the show. By building up a meter at the bottom of the screen, you build towards either a special move or one of the X-ray moves, which slows down the action and shows an X-ray view of what a devastating move is doing to your opponent. It's insanely rewarding to pull these moves off, and it looks awesome - just be sure to land it, or it could swing the momentum of the match in the other direction completely. Oh, and without spoiling anything - yes, the fatalities live up to the hype.

That's really the key; Mortal Kombat isn't just the violent gimmick it used to be, it's a solid fighting game that could stand on its own. With each character, there's a definitive strategy, and it's a lot of fun to try out different characters and see exactly how it feels to play them. Take for instance the character Baraka. In earlier games, I never used him as I felt his blade attacks were cheap and never did quite enough damage, but after playing a few matches with him in this new Mortal Kombat, I found myself going back to him on a regular basis. The same can really be said for the entire creative direction of Neather Realm's new Mortal Kombat, as several of the characters including Kabal, Ermac (my advice, try out his mystic powers). Each character has a unique backstory and personality - not bad for a game whose most famous characters started off as mere swap ninjas.

"What I found myself going back to was the test your luck feature."


Another thing that separates Mortal Kombat from other fighters of this generation is its incredible wealth of content. Sure, you have your traditional arcade style ladder modes, but there's also the return of test your might along with new modes like test your sight (think of it as a morbid version of the find the ball in the right cup games). What I found myself going back to was the test your luck feature. You pick your character, and then your opponent and match stipulations are chosen by a slot machine - the results can be quite interesting and fun. For instance, I could pick Sub Zero as my character, the slot machine would chose Johnny Cage as my opponent, make the floors sticky so we can't jump and then put us both at danger so the next hit wins. It's nothing revolutionary, but it's a cool way to play the game as you'll always have to adapt your strategy to what the game picks for you.

Like most, I'd fallen off the Mortal Kombat bandwagon over the last few years, but I'm now proud to be right back on. It's a pure, visceral and fun fighting game that comes packed with features to keep even the most jaded fans happy. It may not be the best Mortal Kombat game to be released (I'd argue that that title belongs to Mortal Kombat 2), but it's a welcome rebirth for a fan favorite series. 



CHEATS USED: Achievements/Trophies Lists

Though there are no known cheats yet for Mortal Kombat, don't expect that to last for long as the series past iterations have been known for including a lot of codes. Be ready for hidden characters, more match modifiers and of course - the ultimate Kombat code.

What can be found in Mortal Kombat though is a series of awesome unlockables, that you'll get from playing through Mortal Kombat enough. Fans of the series are sure to appreciate these a lot more, but they're still cool to unlock regardless.



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