Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Mortal Kombat - Would you like some Blood with your Guts?

Way back in 1992, when everyone used to frequent the arcades lining up to play Double Dragon or Street Fighter 2, a new Arcade Game started making the rounds.

That game was Mortal Kombat, and although it was also a fighting game like Street Fighter, it had a completely different approach. This game was not shy when it came to violence, with pixelated blood flying across the screen, and realistic looking characters. It also had was known as "fatalities" - A finishing move that tore your opponent apart at the end of a match.

Not everyone loved it of course, and there was much controversy over the amount of violence depicted in it. However, majority of  us gamers will always consider it a classic.

Midway (The Developer behind the Mortal Kombat series, and now called NetherRealm Studios) continued to add to the roster of characters with every sequel released, and inevitably tried their hand at 3D fighting games to compete against the likes of Tekken and Soul Calibur with Mortal Kombat 4 (weapons included as well).

The Numbered titles of Mortal Kombat ended there, and they continued to release games for the PS2, PSP and next Generation consoles. (Titled Deadly Alliance, Deception, Unchained and Armaggedon.)

Although these games were good, and more characters were added on each release, it began to feel a little stale, as it just seemed to be more of the same with nothing new to add to the genre.

In 2008, NetherRealm Studios decided to try something a bit different and released "Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe" which was a crossover with characters from both the Mortal Kombat Universe and the DC Universe. (Such as Superman, Batman, The Flash and WonderWoman.)

Blood and Gore were dialed down, and fatalities no longer held the same satisfaction that they did in the original game. Truthfully, I got bored of it very quickly.

Fast Forward to 2011 and the release of the simply titled "Mortal Kombat" (referred to as Mortal Kombat 2011.) and it's obvious that NetherRealm has learned from their mistakes.

This is the most violently gory game I have EVER played. There is literally no game that can top it in pure violent awesomeness and gore.

Characters show damage during a fight in the form of exposed flesh and bone, and the aptly named "X-ray mode" allows you to do close combat special moves that show cracking bones and breaking skulls.

Fatalities are back, and far more gruesome than ever before. Every bone, sinew and muscle is richly detailed and horribly torn apart in the elaborate scenes that end the fight.

I am surprised this game made it past the censors, but I'm very glad it did.
Environments and Arena's are amazingly life-like and add to the feeling of immersion that the game offers. Combat doesn't fall short either, as the system has been changed a bit as well.

Each Limb has been assigned a button, and fatalities are a lot easier to pull off. Less emphasis has been placed on special moves, and more on well-placed moves and strategy.

The Krypt makes a return with unlockable content that is acquired over time with gold earned.

With new characters released as DLC on a regular basis, (The latest being Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm street movies.) this looks to be a fighting game that will continue to amaze for a while.

Mortal Kombat is really fun to play, and even more fun when you beat your friends to a pulp. It is incredibly reminiscent of the original classic, but also very advanced when it comes to graphics and pushes the genre to new heights with fantastic gameplay.


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