Mortal Kombat 9
|a game by||NetherRealm Studios|
|Platforms:||XBox 360, PS Vita, PC, Playstation 3|
|Editor Rating:||9.5/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown|
|User Rating:||7.0/10 - 104 votes|
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|See also:||Mortal Kombat Games, Fighting Games|
Let’s face it: Mortal Kombat games were weird on the sixth generation of consoles. Despite being good fighting games in their own rights, Mortal Kombat: Deception and Mortal Kombat: Armageddon never felt like true Mortal Kombat games. That’s where Mortal Kombat 9 comes in.
Brilliantly titled just “Mortal Kombat,” the ninth mainline entry in the ultraviolent game franchise is a breath of fresh air that will remind players why they’re fans of Mortal Kombat in the first place.
Mortal Kombat offers players an entire reboot of the game’s universe. After the ending of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon seemed to imply that the game’s world was coming to an end, Mortal Kombat 9 begins with Raiden going back in time to change history.
The game’s story mode offers an enjoyable retelling of the story of the first three Mortal Kombat games. If you’ve ever watched the campy 90s film, many scenes of the Story Mode will be familiar to you. This time travel plot also allows NetherRealm Studios to change some aspects of Mortal Kombat lore, giving players a fresh take on classic characters and their motivations.
That said, there’s a certain lack of originality that stems from this game being a reimagining of the three first games. While Deception and Armageddon took risks with their setting and expanded the Mortal Kombat universe in meaningful ways, this one feels like it’s playing it a bit too safe.
Gore as you remember it
Somewhat unexpected is NetherRealm’s decision to return the gameplay to its 2D roots. Instead of the 3D arena-like combat of previous games (Deception looked more like a Tekken clone in that regard), players will instead return to two-dimensional fights. Fans of more traditional fighting games will surely appreciate the change, while those looking for a more three-dimensional experience might have to look elsewhere.
Gone are Deception’s multiple combat stances; in more traditional Mortal Kombat fashion, each character has a single combat style. Luckily each character has tight controls, and the game’s hitboxes are finely tuned.
Fatalities make a glorious comeback following their absence in Armageddon. Just like in the classic games, Fatalities are gory finishers that are meant as a spectacular finisher for any fight. Each character has two unique fatalities: one of them comes unlocked and the other you have to find in the Krypt.
The Krypt is the place where you’ll be unlocking most of the game’s additional content. From concept art to alternate costumes, the Krypt is an excellent alternative to the usual grinding of other fighting games.
New meets classic
Many characters from Mortal Kombat’s rich history make their comeback in this game. Fan-favorites like Sub-Zero and Scorpion make it into the roster, and so do other iconic characters like Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, and Liu Kang.
Even the characters that look like simple recolors (we’re looking at you, Cyrax and Sektor) feel unique and original. This gives the game a nice feeling of balance and makes mastering each character feel like an achievement. Of course, button-mashing is a valid technique as always, but with the inclusion of X-Ray moves and counter moves, it’ll require more than a bit of luck to defeat your opponents.
As a fighting game, Mortal Kombat 9 is pretty close to perfection. A brilliant Story Mode and solid gameplay make it one of the best Mortal Kombat games to date, and its outstanding narrative makes it a great starting point for new fans of the franchise.
- Solid controls
- Spectacular Story Mode
- Satisfying Fatalities
- Full roster must be unlocked through Story Mode
Download Mortal Kombat 9
Fighting Games Rarely grace our pages as we store rancid messes like Body Blows in lead-lined caskets to keep their foulness from spreading. However, Mortal Kombat has always worked on the PC - at least the first three did. The less said about the rest the better.
So when we hear that a new MK is coming that's going back to its roots and -most importantly - features bath tubs of the red stuff, we get excited. It's been a long time since we gave Johnny Cage a good kicking or admired Kung Lao's ability to slice people in half with his hat.
The Bigger Picture
- 2d Or Not 2d?
Mortal Kombat never worked as a 3D game. Ed Boon and his buddies on the MK development team have realised this, so the new game is doing away with 3D sidestepping and focuses solely on old-school horizontal plane action. Another tweak is this will be the fastest MK game ever: news which doesn't bode well for the cack-handed gibbons who work on a certain PC gaming magazine.
- Memory Motel
Raiden was the original straw hat-wearing hero of Mortal Kombat. In the new game he's killed by Shao Kahn. As he dies he sends a mental message to MKTs Raiden, who decides to do things differently, and so alters the events of the first three games. This means Mortal Kombat rewrites the plots of the original three games, allowing old favourites to appear. (Note: Raiden's not in this picture. That chap's Reptile.)
- Friends Reunited
Boon, who's been involved with MK since its birth, says that if you had a favourite character from any of the first three games - like MK3' s Mileena, thelady with the sai - chances are they'll appear in this release, but they'll be slightly different because of the whole history-being-rewritten thing. Altogether there'll be about 26 fighters to choose from.
- Core Grind
Boon says he's worried the game will be excessively violent, even by today's standards. Currently, the devs are aiming for a 'Mature' rating in the US, but Boon believes there will be so much guts and gore MK will end up with an 'Adults Only'. This will harm sales as kiddies will have to resort to underhand methods to obtain copies. Or just buy them from zombie-like store workers, who don't care for the laws of the land.
- Move Your Body
Signature moves for famous characters will be preserved. Scorpion's "Cmere!" is a definite keeper, as is Sub-Zero's freeze/upper-cut combo. No doubt this will also extend to the infamous fatality finishing moves, with Scorpion pulling his face off and roasting his enemy with a burst of breath-flame. But will hari-kari, babalities, animalities and the slightly satirical friendships make it back in?
- Donor Card
Boon has also revealed X-Ray Mode: a combo that does 40% damage to your foe, and displays the damage you're doing to their internal organs. Each fighter will have different viscera, so Sektor's insides will likely be all wires and circuit boards while Sub-Zero's resembles a Slush Puppy. But what about Ermac (if he appears)? How can you rupture organs belonging to someone who's made of souls? These and other questions will be answered soon, no doubt.