Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Wow it’s been a long time.

*Arnold Schwarzenegger voice* “I’m back.”

What better way to dust off my blog than with a new entry. This week’s blog is a personal review of Mortal Kombat 9.

Cover Art


I have never played MK before this one; all I knew is it’s a franchise famous for its fatalities, I can’t really compare and contrast this game with its predecessors, but isn’t it amazing that after 9 iterations it can still gain new fans.

I have just bought this game in 2013 and yet I’m already engrossed. But before I talk about how I feel now let’s go back a bit. From the moment I bought the game my eagerness to play increased as I got closer to home. Like when you buy anything really something about that *new* smell, that *new* feel gets you all excited. I had already seen some of the game-play on YouTube and dared not try single player straight away so I took it to the dojo. From the moment I threw the first punch a malicious grin stretched across my face. It wasn’t much of a combo but the satisfactory noise of knuckles contacting a cheek bone, dipped in bass made me feel like a boss. It wasn’t long before I learnt a few key commands and felt quite confident.
                                             Scorpion and Sub-Zero brutally batlle it out.

It’s easy punching something that doesn’t fight back isn’t it?

As soon as I turned the AI on my combos were blocked and countered, I began frantically bashing buttons to escape the impending death. This didn’t work; my characters body was subject to an array of body deforming blows each irritating me more than the last. In frustration I turned off the AI and feeling the urge to let my PS3 depart through the nearest window. As crazy as it sounds that is one of the things I like about mortal Kombat it requires u to be surgical with your key commands. It is not too hard to learn the correct moves and when you do it allows you to dish out a flurry of damage dealing combos. However if u aren’t fast enough or fail to block, you are punished with receiving them. That is the concept behind all fighting games but few are as gruesomely rewarding. I mean what other game allows you to abuse the opponents body in an X-ray attack? See the insides bruise and break at your hands? I can’t think of any.
                                                               The definition of ouch.                              

It’s not just bone crunching which makes this game appeal to me. Anyone can make a game gory but when the game also has good visual design I am sold. Mortal Kombat’s roster features a number of characters each with their own slick uniform. To me that’s important because I’m going to beat you I want to look like a bad ass doing it. The environments you fight in should also be praised. Although the characters are limited to side-scrolling when fighting, the background and foreground play a part in the action. The background has a depth of field so it doesn’t look like your fighting on a rigid platform and the foreground is used for additional effects just to spice up the screen.
                                                               Glowy ball to the face.

How could I forget about blood after all it is mortal Kombat?  If it’s one thing it has a lot of, is blood, to the point where entire sections of a characters body is completely covered in red. However there are more subtle effects. The garments tear during combat increasing as the damage inflicted increases. Characters like Sub-Zero have elemental abilities like ice, so he has chill effect around him similar to when you open the freezer. All those little things don’t seem like much in the heat of the battle but you do take it in and it adds dimension to the game.

Having said that the visual design for the women is a little unsophisticated. Certain characters like Sonya are butch to the point of looking like a man; other characters are so sexualised the outfit they wear would make their breasts fall out at the slightest move.

Not saying that is such a bad thing....

But as an aspiring character designer I feel they could have done more with the female designs. More slick, sexy and sophistique* as opposed to stereotypical same.

A game wouldn’t be much if they were silent. Even games on the SNES had their little 8-bit soundtracks. The sound effects in mortal Kombat are crisp clean and mean. When a punch is thrown or a bone is broken, that crunch, that meaty sound reinforces the visual image.

There are extra’s too. Where most fighting games have the main story mode and a few versus modes Mortal Kombat has a variety of mini games such as the challenge tower. The main story mode is quite long in itself, but to add to this each character also has their own story to be completed
                                                Test your might, break those boards.
One thing I do have to complain about is the story mode and ladder modes have characters like Goro and Shao Khan who are too hard to beat, yes I beat them but I died multiple times as the com uses some rather dirty tactics to win. So I just spammed back. I wish I didn’t have to do that though as it ruins the fun of playing and stops the fluidity of the game.
 Every activity you do within the game earns you in game currency which can in turn be used to buy additional content; these are things like more fatalities, concept art and alternate costumes. This adds an element of replay value to the game.

                       FINISH THEM


In conclusion mortal Kombat is a fun game to play. It’s over the top violence and crazy moves make the game just what it is. A game. That coupled with the graphics, sounds and story make it one to stay on my shelf.

I give it a NGN (Naim’s Gaming News) rating of

4 out of 5

Now why don’t you try it?




*Ps. I know this isn’t a word but in my experience adding –ique to a word makes it sound all cool and posh.