Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
Mortal Kombat is one of those old titles that you can yell at, kick, stomp, and otherwise trash, but it never seems to go away. Having produced perhaps the only palatable video game film (for fighting games that is) of recent years, and an absolutely horrible sequel, I find myself at a loss for what to say about good old Mortal Kombat. Don't worry, though, that won't stop me!
First, this is an almost entirely different Mortal Kombat game from the titles of yore. MK is completely 3D, with three fighting styles for each character (switched with a button) and a combo system that not only works, but incorporates the style switch button. It's got impressive ideas in a market that's normally saturated with clones of the last big success. Difficulty problems are inherent throughout, as there's no steady progression of AI intelligence, relying on the old, 'I kick your ass, or I don't kick your ass'? algorithm. After having tested it with numerous controllers, I also found that the game is much more difficult to play with a standard Xbox controller, instead working much better with the Type-S controller. Since the game relies on the dpad, and won't use the analog sticks at all, it's important that you have a controller that handles well.
Visually, compared to the previous titles in this franchise,is amazingly nice to look at. Without the lower quality parts of some of their CGI cutscenes, I'd say this title was top notch beautiful. There isn't much in the way of good background music, but cest la vie.
For a new take on an old license, Midway seems to have gotten this formula right. There are a crapload (and I use that term seriously) of unlockable items, a fighting mode, a tutorial/unlock-more-crap mode, and a bizarre use of password protected player profiles. Say that four times fast, and try not to choke on the alliteration. Mortal Kombat's got a few control issues, and I'm sad to say that (IMO) the fatalities suck, but beyond that, this is pretty entertaining for a console title, if not the best polished game in the world.