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This is my review of MK, deadly alliance. THis is a platform style fighting game, similar to tekken, and soul calibre on original xbox.
To begin with, its probably worth mentioning historically MK has suceeded simply by making its game controversially gorey. The phase FINISH HIM orignates from this game, where you would kill your oponent in some grutesque way, such as chopping there head off, and so on.
So, the good:
First thing up is that this game has a nice number of characters that are unlockable, which feels great. From a robotic ninja, to a thunder god, its all there. My personally favourite is scorpion, the undead ninja!
Secondly, as each character has 2 different martial art skill sets and a weapon, each character feels vastly different. Furthermore, it gets even more awesome when you realise most of the moves are based on real life moves! So it does add that little something that most other games do not have.
Thirdly, the guts. Oh yes this is a game not for the faint hearted. It just feels so awesome to cut up your oponenet with a sword, or whack them with a pair of nunchucks! There are a variety of finish him moves (but see later on) which when excuted, can play some pretty cool cut scenes.
So im summary of the good stuff, its a good game, feels authentic, and is a good one to sort of laugh at the finishing moves.
Gameplay dynamics: Unlike DOA, or tekken, this game feels very "chunky", and the characters do not interact naturally. It feels like they are pre-programmed to do a certain move once your press the button, and thats the end of it. This sorta makes the game feel unnatural, and its a bit unerving.
This game has STUPID combos. For example, what is kick on one character, is punch on the other. And you can't simply aim with the cursor arrows, no, pressing down square with one fighter might do an uppercut, but on another hero does a low kick? This makes playing the game really annoying, as you need to put in a silly amount of time learning combos. Which is not easy. And once you do, you need to learn them again... for each character... 3 times! It just isn't very approachable for a new player at all! This is made worse by the finish him combos. It takes ages to find out what they are, and even when you do, it doesn't always work, and are tricky to do. So one of the best features of the game is so hard to access, to this day I do not know why they didnt just make it more natural. Especially when games like DOA do it so well... This really ruins any notion of playing the game 2p.
The loading times: For some reason, for me this game was very prone to freeze and take ages to load. Considering it didn't really have amazing graphics, it just doesn't feel worth a 2 minute wait for a 2 minute round.
Ridiculously overpowered computer? Because of all the combos, the computer just automatically shoots them all off, making the game feel ridiculously in the computers favour.
In summary, this game could of been awesome, well and truely. Sadly the makers made the game just too hard for a casual player. Which is a shame because in this day and age, platform fighters need to be casual, as one of the best games for multiplayer games are platform fighters. No new players will want to play vs seasoned pros at a game where you win by just pressing silly combos. I mean, why did they swap square ot be kick on some heroes, but punch on others? And its just really silly coding in the combos that seriously ruins this game. This is made worse by the clunky nature of the way people move, and it just doesn't flow properly. It feels more like a game of who can press combos... which as I hate learning combos, I just kept losing. Its really sad that so much effort went into making the weapons, styles, maps etc, to be ruined by the gameplay.
In summary, I would go DOA or tekken instead.
For a while, it looked as though Midway's Mortal Kombat franchise was dead and buried, a Fatality of lame sequels and horrendous spin-offs. The 3-Hit combo of the Mortal Kombat Annihilation movie, coupled with the poorly recieved games Mortal Kombat 4 and Mortal Kombat Special Forces for PlayStation had appeared to consign the series to the video-game graveyard next to franchises like Killer Instinct or Eternal Champions. A lot of the current crop of gamers probably didn't even know Mortal Kombat existed, and if they did viewed it as a relic of a bygone era.
Then,in 2002, someone at Midway decided to bring the series back. While the arcade scene had died, the fighting game scene was crying out for a franchise that would appear on all 3 major consoles, while Capcom's Streetfighter series was probably the longest running franchise in the genre, it was far too deep in 2D lore to make the transition to the necessary 3 Dimensions required to become a big hit these days, and attempts to take it 3D with spin-off games had proven lukewarm at best. However, while Midway would once have had something to lose altering the Mortal Kombat formula, those days were long gone, and most series fans had deserted them, so they really had little to lose by drastically altering the way the game played. Mortal Kombat had traditionally had an excellent and deep plot, so expanding on this could entice old fans back, and making it a flashy, gory 3D fighter could probably draw some new fans from the crowd grown up playing Grand Theft Auto games.
Being a long-time fan of the series, I purchased it the day of it's UK release, which was actually months after it's US debut, here it didn't arrive until Valentine's Day 2003, and it was one of the few games I've ever pre-ordered. I don't know exactly why, but I thought this may be the game that could turn the series' fortunes around, even if John Tobias, one of the series co-creators, wasn't taking part in it's production.
For those few souls who have never heard of the Mortal Kombat games, Deadly Alliance is a return to the traditional medium of the series, the 1-on-1 fighter. The idea being to completely deplete your opponent's health meter using a variety of attacks. The traditional MK match-finish, where the winner is given a certain amount of time to enter the correct button combo to unleash a killer finishing move, dubbed a 'Fatality', is naturally included, as is a refined version of weapon kombat, a system first implemented, quite badly, in Mortal Kombat 4.
The game still utilises only 4 attack buttons, but instead of High/Low definitions, it's simply Punch 1+2 and Kick 1+2. A block button is still in use, although given that the game is now far more 3 Dimensional, thats an understandable factor this time around. Also of note is what the L trigger now does, which is change 'style'. You see, each fighter has 3 styles in which they fight, each with their own attacks and combos. 1 of the 3 is always a weapon, so for example Scorpion starts off fighting with Hapkido, one style change will switch to Pi Gua and another will make him draw his Ninja Sword. Sadly the game still uses a variant on the 'Canned-Combo', or 'Dial-A-Combo' system the series has taken a lot of heat for, and while it is slightly better implemented here, the fact Midway insist on persisting with it is starting to tick quite a few gamers off.
While weapons are better implemented in terms of actual use than in the last game, the system now actually having unique attacks for the weapon style, I do have some issues with it, but I'll get back to it later.
Possibly the most bizarre aspect of the way the game controls are what the Black and White Buttons are used for. They actually vary from fighter to fighter, and even then from style to style. Sometimes they can activate a throw attack, sometimes a dodge-attack and with some weapons they let the player stab the opponent, leaving the blade in them, which slowly depletes their energy.
This is certainly a more interesting and intricate system than the few prior games in the series, but ultimately, as with every game the series has spouted out since it's first sequel, numerous flaws appear to marr the player's appreciation of the game, many of them starting with the gameplay. For a start, the collision detection is slightly flaky. It's not terrible, but on a few noticable occasions, moves haven't connected when they should have. Possibly the most irritating though is the game's design flaw that means if you trap your opponent against certain parts of scenery, pillars etc, it's possible to infinitely bash away until their death. The buttons, while decent in this aspect, also occasionally decide not to respond properly, something highlighted in the 'Konquest' mode, which I'll get back to in a minute or two.
With that said, the game is playable, rather enjoyable at times, on 2 Player. Heated scraps can happen, and while characters are limited to a lame 1 Fatality each, and Stage Fatalitys are abolished, the game still has significant replay value and fun on multiplayer, with a cast of just over 20 characters, plus a further 2 secret ones to discover.
Yet, this last plus brings me to a plus/minus. You start the game with around 9 characters available, and the rest must be unlocked, via gathering 'Koins', which I'll get back to in a minute, and buying them in 'The Krypt'. As well as the issue of only having a fraction of the cast available from the get go, which means you have to invest a lot of time into getting the multiplayer mode as playable as it can be, which kind of hurts the game, especially a fighting game, where 2-Player is an integral part of the experience.
The Krypt and the Koins system is the plus/minus double-edged sword I mentioned. You see, while having The Krypt, which has oodles of 'Koffins', which you must buy to unlock various secrets, from characters to promotional material, it isn't without it's flaws. For a start, there are various colours of Koins, and Koffins only open when you have a certain amount of a certain colour. This can be infuriating, as it's at the game's discretion what colour of Koins, earned by winning fights in the single player modes, it gives you. It also asks for obscene amounts of Koins for some Koffins, and most infuriating of all, there are some empty ones, meaning you spent thousands of Koins only to be told "Har Har, we tricked you!". Someone should teach Midway that funny as this probably sounded in the office, when you pay ?40 for a game, then have to unlock half of it, it's not fun to have your time wasted. Also not impressive is the fact that several of the Koffins are filmed with pictures of random people who contributed in some way to the game. Also not fun is playing the game for hours, winning oodles of Koins, only to discover you have earned...a picture of the guy who made coffee in Midway's Chicago office. What makes the whole Kontent/Krypt element of the game even more stupid is the Profile system. Here you must create a profile, with a password, which means only you can use the things you have unlocked. WHAT IS THE POINT?. All this system proves to be is infuriating if you forget your password.
The Koins are attained in the two single player modes, Story and Konquest. Story is basically what would be Arcade mode if the game had appeared in arcades. You fight through a certain amount of computer controlled opponents, to see a short ending for your character. Staggeringly, Midway decided to ditch the best thing about MK4, the FMV endings, and are back to a few still pictures and some text. Boo. Konquest is a vaguely more interesting beast, where the idea is basically to train you in using all of the attacks for all of the characters in the game, earning Koins along the way.
Speaking of the Story mode, what is going down in this entry? well, after defeating Shinnok, the Earth Realm warriors returned to their respective lives and chilled out. Sub Zero took over as head of the Lin Kuei, Scorpion swaggered around hell and Liu Kang practiced Kung Fu. However, after fleeing from Hell, the evil sorceror Quan Chi tracked down his predecessor, Shang Tsung, and the pair formed the Deadly Alliance of the title. They have plans to ressurect an undead army located somewhere in the Outworld, so they set about killing off all of their potential threats. First they trick Liu Kang and kill the reigning champion of Mortal Kombat, then take down Shao Kahn, Emperor of Outworld. However, benign Thunder God Raiden catches wind of this, assembles the remaining Earth Realm warriors, Sonya, Jax, Johnny Cage, Kung Lao, Cyrax, Sub Zero and his apprentice Frost, and finally Liu Kang's Master Bo' Rai Cho, team up with Princess Kitana and set off to put an end to the Deadly Alliance. Peeved that Quan Chi escaped his realm, Scorpion also shows up to administer some beatings, and it isn't long before Kano, as well as his former partners Mavado and Hsu Hao get involed, and various other players, including Reptile, the Vampiress Nitara and Edenians named Li Mei and Kenshi are drawn in, with two Oni, demons whom Quan Chi has alligned himself with, named Drahmin and Moloch also playing a part.
The plot may seem quite convuluted in places, but it all lays out quite nicely to form a fairly entertaining little fable. It's still got problems though, big ones, ones that will irk MK fans to their very cores. For a start, the killing of Liu Kang and Shao Kahn in the opening video. Personally I don't really care about Liu Kang, but Shao Kahn as well was too much. Especially when you take into account that he is already meant to be dead!. What's even more insulting on this front is that Goro isn't even killed in the video, it's just a throwaway line in Kitana's ending or something.
While the cast may seem quite nice and varied, it's got it's share of ups and downs, that relate to the story as well. Bringing Shang Tsung back, albeit without his morphing abilities, was ok, but Quan Chi? I really wish Midway would get over their hard-on for this guy, because he sucks. Upon his introduction to the series, I often heard him described as a cross between Uncle Fester, The Crow and a member of the Legion of Doom. He's now lost the LoD armour, but didn't trade it in for anything to make him any less crappy. The two of them as bosses, fought one after the other, is quite possibley Midway's dumbest idea since Mortal Kombat Special Forces. For a start, they are both standard, playable from the start, characters, which completely deflates the build-up to the final battle, and for a second, using one as the villain is getting a bit old, and the other has always been dreadful.
What's worse is a lot of the character redesigns, and most of the new characters. While Scorpion, now armed to the teeth with swords and metallic spiked armour looks awesome, as does Sub Zero in both of his costumes, one a more futuristic take on his classic look, and another a similar re-imagining of his MK3 look, Shang Tsung now looks like the Sherriff of Nottingham, and they have tried to 'Ghetto' Jax, making him utterly unbearable. The new characters range from decent ideas to horrendous. Li Mei is Midway's attempt at creating a Dead or Alive girl, Drahmin just a waste of time, Bo a tired interpretation of a tired stereotype and Nitara a pretty cool idea realised in a lacklustre fashion.
What's even dumber is the fighting styles and weapons given to some of the characters. Kenshi's story revolves around a mystical sword he wields...only he doesn't while fighting, which is just dumb. Some of the fighting styles either have ridiculous stances(try taking Reptile seriously in Crab stance, he looks like he is squatting to take a dump) or are attached to the wrong characters. I don't see Jax as a Mui Thai fighter at all, and wouldn't giving Scorpion some form of more flashy fighting been appropriate? Johnny Cage recieving Jeet Kune Do and Karate were both silly choices in my eyes as well. Given that he is a Jean Claude Van Damme parody, I would have thought kickboxing and TaeKwonDo would have fit him better.
Much is made of the game's graphics, but to be honest, while they aren't the worst, they are far from the best. Being multiplatform, I wasn't expecting it to fully take advantage of the Xbox's hardware, and it does look better than some multiplatform titles, like X-Men: Next Dimension, but a lot of the game's graphics leave a lot to be desired. For a start, the blood. While I expect it to fire out in a ridiculously OTT fashion, such is the nature of a Mortal Kombat title, and I was impressed by the fact it actually stayed on the arena floor, there is something ridiculous about the fact blood still runs towards the fighter's feet, even if they are lying on their back. The rope effects used for Scorpion's Spear and Mavado's stupid hooks are also pitiful.
The whole 'real time damage' aspect was far too over hyped, especially when you consider it only affects the face, meaning it plays no part on Cyrax, and little on Scorpion. Ed Boon certainly got shown up by his old partner John Tobias in this aspect, with the latter's Tao Feng employing a similar system in a far more successful fashion.
In the game's defence, the stages look great, and perfectly capture that MK atmosphere that is integral to a game in the series succeeding.
The actual fighters themselves are the mixed bag. While most of them are rendered decently, details like the fact Johnny Cage and Jax have shades permanently glued to their faces really hinders the game's calls to be cutting edge, the fact that some fighters, such as Johnny Cage, have this horrible glow of sorts that makes them look like an action figure, or something from one of those horrible Legends of Wrestling games, doesn't help either.
Some graphical touches when it comes to the weapon combat are also sadly missing. the fighters just pull their arms from nowhere, which sucks, especially when you are talking about the new Scorpion, who sports sheathed swords on his back. How much cooler would it have been to see him draw one? it's also worth noting how stupid it is that Raiden has a sword attached to his second costume.
The sound in the game is pretty flawless though. Thankfully you actually have to go looking to hear the terrible Adema 'Immortal' song used to promote the game, and while the music may not be up there at the giddy heights next to the themes from the first 3 games, they capture that MK atmosphere well, and make for suitable tracks to scrap to.
While I may sound incredibly damning of Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance, it isn't a terrible game, on the contrary, it's a huge step forward in comparison to the last few entries, but at the same time, it is loaded with flaws, ones that ultimately ruined the game for me. While I do acknowledge that it is playable, and at least respectable, something the series hadn't been for a good few years, I'm still not going to recommend it. The Xbox has better fighters, and the game's sequel, which improves some of it's faults, has been released, and can be found pretty cheaply these days, meaning people should probably just leave Deadly Alliance alone for what it is...the point the series at least returned to 'Decent' status.
Review also posted at Epinions.com
Mortal kombat is the game that continues from the much loved mortal kombat series
Quan chi is on the run in the netherrealm from his all time rival scorpion, but using an ancient magic he opened up a teleport stone that let him get out of the netherrealm and he landed right where the ancient dragon kings undefeated army is, problem is that the army has been dead for over a 1000 years, so he asks one of earthrealm deadly enemies shang tsang to join him in his konquest for power, but before they can start taking over they need to destroy the two things that may stop them, the first they deal with is the ruler of outworld shao khan, they deal with him easy enough. Next they go to earthrealm to deal with the winner of the mortal kombat champion liu kang, he almost beat them but they combine might destroy him, then Shang tsang absorb his soul and gains his power. Now they are back at outworld using souls of warriors to bring back to life the ancient dragon king armies, if they do this they will be unstoppable, so the thunder god radien gathers all of earthrealm greatest warriors to do a final assault on the deadly alliance.
They are two main types of Gameplay is this game are story mode and konquest mode
Story mode which shows the fighter go up against a lot of opponents, the fighting is basic enough your fighter has 3 main fighting style and the last one is a weapon, most of these weapons has the ability to stick your weapon into your enemies and slowly drain away his life energy, this is an effective way to win but the downside is that if you do this you cannot use the weapon again in that round you also have a lot of combos to use and some special moves that are of the long range type. But the main thing that makes the mortal kombat so good is the use of the fatalities; these are special moves that can be performed after you have beaten your enemy, these move are really something to talk about as the enemy is cut down to the size of a peanut.
Konquest mode is basically a big introduction guide onto how to fight and how you can learn some of the fighters greatest moves without having to find out yourself.
All the while you play these modes you are earning koins that can be used to buys thing in the krypt, the krypt is basically full of koffins that have videos, photos and lots of other stuff and this can be seen in the kontents part this adds to replay value
This is a great game to get into however if you have an sickly stomach then stay away from this
Peace out all
Players : 2 Background : Mortal Kombat:Deadly Alliance (MK:DA) is the latest game in the immensly popular Mortal Kombat series. This game boasts new characters, arenas and 3D graphics. However has Mortal Kombats time come and gone, or can it still hang in there with the best of them. Playability : MK:DA boasts a completly different fighting system from it's predecessors.Now each of the 20+ characters has three different fighting styles, which includes hand-to-hand and weapon-based combat. Some of the most famous face in Mortal Kombat make a welcoming return, including Raiden,Scorpion and SubZero amongst others, however the best bit is that new characters such as Quan Chi and Li Mei have been added without them seeming out of place. Addictivness : There are 16 interactive environments to battle,including some that contain painful ways to die,(i.e. the acid pit). Combine this with 20+ characters and three modes of play, ( Arcade, Versus and Konquest mode) and you have the making of a very addictive game. Also as the game is now in 3D there is now a chance to implement tactics into the game, you can go at your opponent gung-oh and try for a quick victory or you can take your time to get behind him and inflict real damage. Originality : This game features a neat "Kurrency system", which allowing you to buy additional items using ?koins?. However other than that it is pretty much just another update in the mortal kombat franchise, and in my opinion there is nothing up with that. Graphics : The graphic have been massively updated for this outing,firstly and most importantly they are now 3D. This, as I stated earlier,allows alot of improvments. You can also interact with the scenery now. However the best bit in the graphics department is the new fatalities. In previous game they have experimented with finishers such as "Friendships" were you gave your opponent a present and it exploded, however it never
really worked. Maybe it's just me but in a game like MK you should finish the guy off by knocking his head off or something similar. Lucky for me then that all the fatalities in this version are extremly gruesome, a few of which were quite stomach-churning. Should the blood and guts become to much for you then you can just watch the exclusive DVD content included in the game. Sound : The soundtrack to MK:DA is pretty decent the music is usually fast paced and adds to the atmosphere the sounds of hits conecting is also decent however they are nothing ground shattering, but to be fair you don't really need that in a game such as this. Difficulty : Like most other games in the series MK:DA is quite a hard game. It is an easy enough game to pick up and play however it will take series practice to complete the game and unlock/buy all the additional items. However even after playing the game for months it remains challanging, unlike many similar games that can get too easy as time goes on. Conclusion : So can Mortal Kombat still hang in there with the big boys. Well the answer is no, it can beat them. MK:DA can more than hold it's own against Tekken and other fighting games Deadly Alliance is just another chapter in the already great history of Mortal Kombat and is well worth buying if you like fighting games and have yet to purchase it.
Mortal Kombat was always the ultimate fighter. It surpassed the likes of other 2D sensations such as Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, and Streets of Rage. But there came a time when 3D was the thing everyone wanted. Now it's personal jets, but never mind that. Virtua Fighter and Tekken came along, and for a while Mortal Kombat was not the top of the food chain anymore. Even when Mortal Kombat 4 hit 3D in the late nineties, it still couldn't match the genius and technicality of it's rivals. Games like Tekken 3, Dead or Alive, Virtua Fighter 3, and Soul Calibur cast it in shadow with their endless command lists and imaginative characters. In the day of Tekken 4, Dead or ALive 3, Virtua Fighter 4, Soul Calibur 2, Gulity Gear X2 and Bloody Roar 4, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance comes marching from the darkness. Can Deadly Alliance grab Tekken 4, stick a sword up it's arse and demand hard-earned respect? You bet your Broadsword it can. The game has a revamped control system, literally HUNDREDS of unlockable secrets, tons of new hard-hitting characters, graphics that'll blow your mind and sound effects that'll trigger nightmares. It's all here in the newest, coolest, sexiest, smoothest Mortal Kombat yet. All warriors have three styles each, one of the styles includes the use of a weapon(s). I'll use Sonya Blade as an example, who I am best at playing with. Sonya's first style is Kenpo, which that focuses on straightforward, non-fancy powerful moves. By pressing the correct button you may switch to the second style, Tae Kwon Do. A quick and smooth style that focuses on quick, flashy kicks. Change your style once more and Sonya will be wielding two Kali Sticks (meter-long straight wooden thingy-bobs) which are very easy to swish around and bash your opponent's face with. Of course, all other characters have their own fighting styles and weapons: Sub-Zero has Shotokan, Dragon and Kori Blade. Kitana has Eagle's Cla
w, Ba Gua and Steel Fans. You get the picture. Each style has about 20 or so moves, but when you multiply that by three you get about 60-80 unique moves per character. A disappointment to some, maybe, who might be used to the mile-long command lists of Tekken and Soul Calibur. Yet this is a relief to others, those who'd rather not spend their days making every move a natural reflex. Large numbers of moves may annoy those who feel they don't have the time to learn them all and just couldn't be bothered using the Practice mode. Some just want around two-dozen tasty maneouvres to get them through a match (like myself). Blood is still alive and well, saying its prayers and taking its vitamins. It actually stays visible on the ground now, and can even be spread around the arena by stepping in it. Faces are brusied and bloodied with every smack. There are also obstacles around some arenas (e.g. statues, ice-sculptures) that shatter whenever they are hit either by an attacking limb or a falling combatant. The animation for these actions is spectacular, compared to the dodgy animation in other games, where pieces of falling debris develop the ability to bounce like bunnies and disappear like the final breath of a fallen enemy. Mmm. And the fatalities? Very sick. Disturbing stuff. I couldn't help but cringe when I saw my opponent vomit food, vomit blood, fall face first into the porridge delight and finally get his head burst when I stomped on his spine. That was Sonya's Kiss of Death. Other fatalities include ripping out spines, stretching necks, stealing souls, drinking blood, splitting heads, pulling off heads, tearing out hearts etc.. Just plain nasty. Perhaps too nasty. Needless to say much ado of this content may be unhealthily exciting for the more squemish people out there. If you wish to play this game then you must have a strong heart and at least some passion for the kill, which is generally needed for all games.
There is a Konquest mode (way-hey!) where you get to choose a character and take them through a series of missions. These consist of step-by-step guides for learning new moves. While this approach may be good for learning the combos and special moves for each character, it may become patronising after an hour or two of gameplay. By that time you will most likely have figured out already that pressing the kick button several times will result in some sort of combination. As a result this mode is one of the weaker points of the game and is unfortunately not the most pleasing way of gaining points for unlockables. Konquering the tasks earns you currency (Platinum, Jade, Sapphire, Ruby, stuff like that). You spend these valuables in the Krypt, a big big basement/tomb where approximately five-hundred and seventy-six coffins wait to be bought and opened. They mostly contain concept art and production information, which is next to useless, but the more expensive coffins include new stages, secret characters and alternate costumes. There are about two-hundred and twenty missions in Konquest mode, when you add up all the missions each character has to do. Speaking of characters, we have a whole new batch of fighters. The full list of new characters is composed of Kenshi, Li Mei, Bo Rai Cho, Mavado, Drahmin, Frost, Nitara, Hsu Hao and Moloch. Old characters appearing in the game are Johnny Cage, Kano, Kung Lao, Quan Chi, Scorpion, Shang Tsung, Sonya Blade, Sub-Zero, Cyrax, Jax Briggs, Princess Kitana, Raiden and Reptile. There are also two new secret characters, unlocked by completing all missions for every character in Konquest mode. Their names are Blaze and Mokap. So, how many characters is that? Twenty-three, excluding the non-playable end boss, Moloch. Shao Kahn is assassinated by Shang Tsung and Quan Chi in the opening video, as well as the 'chosen one', Liu Kang (I thought wanting that to happen was just a hopeless dream), so he won
9;t be doing any shrieking for a while. And he said there was no hope without him. Stick this in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Kang. With that many characters to master, an amount of extras that will make your head spin (including a making-of documentary and a feature called 'The History of Mortal Kombat'), an original gameplay system, astounding graphics and terrifying sounds, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is a must-buy for all console owners. Except of course Dreamcast and PSone people.
In the day's of Tekken, Virtual Fighter and Soul Calibuir it seemed, untill recently, that the once mighty Mortal Kombat had decended into gamings past greats. The first Mortal Kombat games were very controvercial - which seemed to be the selling point of the series. Over the top blood, violence and even the abbility to viciously kill your enemy at the end of the match. The latest addiction to the series sees the game brought to life in full 3D graphics and arenas. One thing that I was puzzled about was could they still retain the classic Mortal Kombat feel and gamplay now that fighting games had evloved to more than just a few punch and kick moves per character? The answer to this is yes. Right away the atmosphere is right; dark, edgy and fantasy-like. The publishers, Midway, have retained several of the Mortal Kombat favourate trademarks; Fatalies: in which, through a combination of buttons, you can conduct a brutal and sometimes comical murder of your enemy when you win the battle. Blood: There's loads of blood, it spits out of the characters in true Mortal Kombat style. Special Moves: each character has a few special moves, including classics such as Scorpians ("Get Over Here!") harpoon and Sub-Zero's freeze. You're probably wandering which characters have stayed and what new ones have been introduced. Old favourates are Scorpian, Sub-Zero, Jonny Cage, Kitana, Kung Lao, Raiden, Reptile, Shang Tsung, Sonya Blade, Kano and Cyrax. New characters are quite well thought out, and imaginative. These are Mavado, Nitara, Quan Chi, Moloch (boss), Li Mei, Jax, Hsu Hao, Drahmin, Kenshi and Bo' Rhai Cho. Alhtough to begin with, only half of these characters are playable. And where is Lui Kang I hear you cry? Well you'll be in for a big surprise in the games opening FMV sequence. Each character has 3 fighting styles, each one is different from the next and one of them being a weapon fighting sty
le. You can easily switch between these styles by tapping the L1 shoulder button. Although it takes a bit of getting used to, this feature is what makes the game brilliant, there's never been so much variety in a fighting game. Cleverly, each fighting style has its strenghs and weaknesses, for example, the weapon is very powerfull but whilst using it the character takes more damage. Combat in this game is fluid and fun, and filled with combinations. You can block, reverse and easily dodge moves by using the shoulder buttons and some of the combination moves are suberbly voilent, although a little tricky to pull off at first. Over all, the combat is definately on par with Tekken 4, the feel of quality makes for brilliantly solid gameplay. What is a bit of a dissapointment is the games fatalities, although immaginative, they're graphically bland and somewhat cheesy. They can be quite funny, but they're not at all shocking or as violent as you might expect. Graphics in Deadly Alliance are awsome, this game is bursting with colour, detail and imagination. However, gone are the realistic appearance of the character's that made the first three Mortal Kombat games revolutionary, now each character looks more akin to those you'd find in Soul Calabuir; i.e. a slightly comic-book like appearnace, but far from kiddish or un-threatening. A great feature that made me wander why it hadn't been done before was the damage to characers faces, the more damage you suffer, the more your characters face gets cut, bruised and bloody; and it looks brilliant. The games arena's are some of the best and most imaginative I've seen in a fighting game, but I was dissapointed to find there was no "pit"-like arena like in previous games. Some arena's have intereactive eliments like the "acid bath", which has gargoyle statues that pour out acid underneath themtaking health off your character if they happen to be there. The
sound on Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is a fairly average aspect of the game. The tradional "FIGHT!" and "FINISH HIM" are still there, but the grunts and screams of the characters are a little repeative and have little variation. But with saying that, sound has never been the most important aspect of fighting games, and Mortal Kombat doesnt dissapoint in this area, because you don't take much notice of it. New features to the game are the profiles, "Konquest" mode, a practice mode and "The Krypt". Instead of saving a single file you can set up your own unique proile, which also keeps a record of your wins and losses. Konquest is simply a training program, the character works through training exercises whilst you read information about their unique story and reasons for entering Mortal Kombat. The parctice mode is self explanitary and the basically the same as any other practice mode you'd find in modern fighting games. The most interesting new feature though is the The Krypt. Each win in the arcade mode and each success in the Konquest mode earns you coins which are saved against your profile. Coins, which range in colour, are spent as currency in the Krypt. The Krypt presents you to browse through 676 coffins, each coffin holds either a new character, arena, outfit or little extra such as concept art. As you would expect, the most expenive ones are those of new charcters and arenas. This feature is a great idea and works very well, sifting through the krypt and buying coffins is actually great fun. The only problem here is that you'll find yourself playing the game to death trying to build up your coins, which can get quite boring at times and takes a long time to save up for those new characters and arenas. A great extra to the game is the "Kontent" option on the main menu. Quite like dvd extra's, here you can view concept art, character profiles and other things purhcased in the
krypt. But the best feature here is the two video extra's: The Making Of and The History of Mortal Kombat. These mini documentaries are brilliant and really inspired me to wish for this feature in every game. With the kontent option you really feel like this game is money well spent. Over all Mortal Kombat is definately back and kicking ass. It's a superb fighting game, definately on par with Takken and with enough extra features and little differences to make it a unique experience. An essential fighting game in every respect.
What do you get a girl for her 12th birthday? One of those Bratz dolls? A karaoke machine? Some make-up for those burgeoning teenage years? Oh no, not my daughter, way too girly for her, if it aint got some blood and violence, forget it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not breeding a sociopath, you're not going to see my daughters name all over the tabloids after going crazy in Kwik Save (not like her mum anyway!!) :violence: So what did I get my lucky daughter, Duh, I know you've guessed it cos of the section its in! I don't know how many MK games there are now because I'm more of a Tekken fan, but if this is even marginally better than the film, it'll be fantastic. Usual looking PS2 box, some swordy thing with the dragon logo, but, ooh, this is Mortal Kombat 'Deadly Alliance' (The two bad guys got it together, hence the name) A few screen shots, some new and classic characters, the making of Deadly Alliance and what really sold it to Lucy was that there is an exclusive 'Adema' video. Oh yes, well worth the £31(after all the discounts). The packaging is quite frankly.....boring! Which, unfortunately seems to be a regular occurrence for PS2 games. 'Start as you mean to go on' my granny always said, hopefully that's not true! Anyway I'm bored with this op already, lets finish it. You got to choose a character, kill them and then move on to the next right up to the ultimate bad guy. There, simple enough do I really have to write more than that? Of course I do!! Do you remember the first lot of console fighting games, stuff like Street Fighter? Well, MK is to Street Fighter as Monet is to cave paintings. The graphics are quite frankly brilliant, the detail is superb, right down to the backgrounds and the facial expressions. The accompanying videos are also great, and of course being MK its very atmospheric and dark. Of course you don't just fight <
br>random character after character, you do have the usual Arcade version, Versus (against friends, or enemies!) And Konquest which is fabulous, its a series of challenges which teaches all the different moves and styles. Much more interesting than bringing up the 'moves' menu in the middle of a match and working them out as you go along. Now a few of you must have played Tekken and I'm sure you remember that to get the extra characters you just had to go through the arcade system and fight the end baddie. With unlimited continuation you could get all the characters in a couple of hours. Not so with MK, you have to earn Koins, this is done by victories in Arcade and Konquest. You collect Koins then pop off to the Krypt which has 676 Koffins, you then purchase the Koffins, some have characters (usually very expensive), arenas, different costumes, art work, more Koins or even worse nowt at all. You cant see what's in them! Oh and in the Versus options you can bet on the outcome of a match! Another great idea is that each fighter has 3 types of fighting style, 2 empty-handed ones and 1 weapons. All of which you can switch between during the game. Excellent when you discover your opponents fighting style. Bo' Rai Cho's vomit attack is rather amusing. And oh, the swords, big pointy ones, little pointy ones, curved ones, you get the picture. Oh and the blood, gallons and gallons of the stuff, more than in a 'Nightmare on Elm Street' film. You hit someone, blood flies everywhere, stick with a sword and it runs everywhere. A rather gruesome but no the less amusing move is to stab them in the eyes and watch as the blood pumps out of their eye sockets! My personal favourite is when Sub Zero freezes an opponent and then uses them as a snowboard, did I also mention he rips people skeletons out? Thought not! I do think this is probably why its got an 18 rating, no sex or bad language though. So there you have it, gre
at graphics, great new gameplay Koncepts, and loads of blood. Damn I wished they would stop putting C instead of K all the time, look, its damn Katching! I'm of the opinion that an office junior straight out of a work experience program on day release from the local young offenders institute got a go at typing and being virtually illiterate put a K instead of a C. But being geeky game designers the rest of the team though it was really cool and left it there! After all that though, its just another fighting game!
Its been a long time since gamers have seen a new Mortal Kombat game. In fact, its been about 3 years since the last one was released. That title was none other then Mortal Kombat Gold for the Sega Dreamcast. Sadly, most Mortal Kombat fans were tired of the series at this point due to and outdated graphics engine and tired play mechanics. Personally I thought MK Gold was a cool fighter that most gamers never really gave much of a chance. Now we have the newest in the series titled Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. Knowing that the series was in need of a dire overhaul, the games developers over at Midway set out to do everything in their power to make this game what the fans have been wanting. Have they succeeded? Well, im happy to say yes. The MK series has always been known for its cool storyline and the way its characters tied into it all. MK: Deadly Alliance is no exception. This time the evil sorcerers Shang Tsung and Quan Chi have joined forces and killed series favorite Lui Kang. Its now up to the heroes of the Earth Realm to bring an end to this deadly alliance. The character line up in MK: Deadly Alliance now
consist of around 20 different characters. Fans will be happy to know that most of the more popular characters such as Scorpion, Sub Zero, Jax and Sonya have made the cut. Sadly, quite a few faces from MK Gold are nowhere to be found. So, if you were a fan of characters such as Reiko or Baraka, then your out of luck. Thankfully Midway has added several new faces to the series such as the Sub Zero like female ninja Frost and the sightless warrior Blind Kenshi. And yes, character fatalities are back. Each character has 1 that they can perform at the end of the final round. For the most part these are very cool, however some like Sub Zeros skeleton rip look a little on the cheesy side. And if your wondering, there are no friendships, babalities or animalities here. This can either be a good or bad thing depending on your taste. Something new to this series is the way you can change fighting styles. Each character has 3 unique fighting styles which can be changed at the press of a button. Out of the 3 styles each character has, 2 of them are unarmed and 1 is weapon based. Weapons vary from character to character. For examp
le, Scorpion will use a katana sword while Kitana will use her fans. Some characters also have impaling moves which will slowly drain your opponents life bar until the round is up. However, once you impale your weapon into an enemy you'll lose it for the rest of the round. Also, unlike in MK Gold weapons cannot be knocked out of your hand when hit. The gameplay here is much different then any of the past MK titles. Trying to play this game like you played past games in the series will get you nowhere. The fighting feels alot more like games like Tekken or Virtua Fighter. There's alot of cool looking combos you can do as well. One of the best things about the combo systems is how you can change fighting styles midway though. While this wont work with all combos, you can find some really strings to do maximum damage to your opponent. Another thing I liked about the gameplay was the CPU AI. In the past the CPU in many of the MK games was notoriously cheap. If you set it on the easiest difficulty setting, one match the game would be a cake walk while the next you would get pummeled silly to the ground. Boss fights also
relied more on finding cheap tactics and repeating them over and over till you won. Thankfully that all seems to be a thing of the past and you don't have to be an MK master to play the game solo. For playmodes, Midway has gone all out to ensure that playing the game solo will give you some serious playtime. Here you get your standard Arcade mode, a practice mode, 2 player Vs mode and the ultra cool Konquest mode. While the others are pretty self explanatory, i'll explain the Konquest abit. If you've played any console version of Street Fighter Alpha 3, then you will sort of know what to expect here. In Konquest you must go though a series of challenges such as doing certain combos or winning fights. Its a really fun mode to play and will probably keep you glued to your TV for quite some time. The challenges start off pretty easy but as you get further on they become quite difficult. In the Arcade and Konquest mode players can also earn six different kinds of special koins. These koins can be used to open up koffins in a special krypt menu. Koffins can contain anything from unlocking hidden characters to giving you
alternate costumes. And if you think your going to unlock everything in a day or 2 then think again. Im not sure on the exact amount but it looks as if there's at least a good 200 or so koffins to unlock. Talk about play value. <b>Graphics 8:</b> The graphics in MK: Deadly Alliance may not look nearly as good as something like DOA 3, but they are good nonetheless. Levels and characters are made fully out of polygons and run at a very high frame rate. Animation is a little jerky at times but overall is very good. Special effects like fireballs, water and ice could have looked much better on the XBox. Its pretty clear that this title was originally designed around the less powerful PS2 hardware and not the XBox. I wish Midway would have taken a little more time to enhance the graphics some in this version. Oh well, they could have been worse I guess. <b>Sound 8:</b> The sound here is done really well. You get alot of crisp sounding effects and voices with some fairly non descript techno/rock music. Its just too bad Midway didn't take advantage of the XBox hard drive and let players use
their own music. Oh well, maybe next game. <b> Control 9:</b> Like I said earlier, if you go into this thinking you'll play it like older MK games then you'll be disappointed. Once you do get used to the new set up, I think you'll be surprised by the responsive controls. Especially if your using the S Control. I do suggest you go to the practice mode before diving into the other modes. It will really help ease you into the new style of play. Overall, I really enjoyed MK: Deadly Alliance. I would highly recommend this to anyone that's into either the MK series or just fighters in general. Even if you've hated this series in the past, I urge you to give this game a try. You'll find that its a much different game then you once knew. You may be pleasantly surprised with it. Great job Midway, you've crafted one of the finest fighting games i've played in some time.
A good game, or a great game? - Advantages: The graphics are awesome., Characters are still retained throughout the other mortal kombats., Sounds and music match the game perfectly. - Disadvantages: Could have some more fatalities for some of the characters.