“ Manufacturer: Midway / Genre: Fighting Game „
we to be honest im not tp keen on this game the graphics are ok but the gameplay isent as fun i dont think online game play isent good either some people may disagre with me but thats what i thnk if i was you rent the game but dont buy it i dont know what else to say really just dont buy it if you are thinking of buying it rfent it first to see what you think as for that goodbye sorry for the rubbish review
When the return of the Mortal Kombat series, with Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, found itself with a fairly respectable fanbase attained, naturally it wasn't long before the games makers, Midway, were back to their good old ways of milking the franchise for all it was worth, and around a year or two later, Mortal Kombat: Deception hit the shelves for the Xbox and PS2, although it wasn't met with as warm a reception as it's predecessor, it still sold respectabley and recieved decent reviews.
One thing about the game that I did notice before I bought it, was just how sharply it dropped in price. After only a month or two it's price plummeted to half of it's original cost, and another few months down the line, I managed to pick it up for ?7.99 brand new. While I had purchased every other MK game as soon as possible, Deadly Alliance hadn't really impressed me, so I had put off buying this game, which looked essentially the same, until I found it for that price, and like the sucker I am, I couldn't resist finding out what was going on the latest installment of one of my favourite gaming series of all time.
What I'm seriously offended by, is that Europe wasn't offered the 'Kollectors Edition' version of the game that included an arcade port of the first game. Bigger games than Mortal Kombat Deception have treated us to bonus versions, what makes Midway so high and mighty that they don't have to?
The plot for this entry picks up where Deadly Alliance left off, although only Raiden remains duelling Shang Tsung and Quan Chi for the fate of the Realms. However, in the meantime, somehow the Dragon King himself, Onaga, has been reborn into Reptile's body, and takes back his undead army, which was raised by Shang Tsung and Quan Chi for their nefarious purposes. Despite Raiden, Tsung and Chi joining forces, the Dragon king could not be stopped, and Quan Chi and Shang Tsung were killed in the conflict. Now Onaga seeks to merge all the realms using a special artifact he has gathered, and it is down to the remaining warriors in Outworld to try and stop him.
As with Deadly Alliance, Deception is a 3D fighting game, where the idea is to select a fighter and use the variety of attacks at their disposal to totally deplete the health bars of your opponent in a best out of 3 rounds competition. What distanced MK games from their contemporaries, was that once you defeat your opponent, you are given a limited amount of time to input the correct button combination to perform a 'Fatality', which roughly translates to a gory death move.
Deception carries on the same system as Deadly Alliance, where each character has 3 fighting Styles, which they can switch between mid fight at the press of a button. Each fighter uses 2 martial arts and one weapon style, other than Noob-Smoke, who only have one fighting style each, but are a combined character, so it's really only a weapon style that is missing.
Modifying upon the Deadly Alliance engine are new inclusions such as Stage Fatalities and Interactive and multi-tiered arenas. Both features work the same way, where certain attacks will knock your opponent out of the current fighting area, sometimes to another fighting area, sometimes through pieces of scenery, or on occasion to an instant death. Well, in the case of the latter, it means they lose the current round, even if you knock your foe into a pit of acid in the first round, they will still fight in the second.
A moderate improvement, although it isn't something Midway should have had to do to begin with, is the addition of another Fatality for each fighter, which gives them a whopping total of 2 each.
Sadly, as they have form for doing, Midway has put these nifty new features, one of which is, of course, taken from Tecmo's Dead or Alive 2, and is quickly becoming a genre standard, in the game at the expense of bothering to fix the problems Deadly Alliance had gameplay wise. The collision detection is once again fairly laughable, and the controls could never be accused of being perfectly responsive. Sadly these are two fundamental parts of any fighting game, and just how badly Deception implements them at points is nothing short of shocking.
What's worse is the AI, especially for the last boss, whom I'll look at in a little more detail later on. While MK game bosses have always been ridiculously cheap, Garg...sorry Onaga takes the cake. Ever heard people describe horrendously tough computer AI as 'SNK Boss Syndrome'? Midway is apparently jealous, and wanted to create 'Midway Boss Syndrome'. The only problem with this is that it already exists under another name, bad programming. Your hits don't always detect, his misses do, and take of an almost comical amount of energy. What's even more laughable is that he is still ridiculously easy to defeat, because once you learn a decent combo for each character, you can dodge, charge and unleash it several times repeatedly to kill him. Further adding to the comedy is the fact Midway has decided to rip off a feature from Rare's Killer Instinct, in the form of it's trademark 'Combo Breaker'. This means that by inputting the correct button motion, you can break a combo being executed upon you, granting you a chance to hit back. Only Midway implemented it like morons, meaning you can 'Combo Break' single attacks, even though they still do you damage. It's almost as if they were out to rip-off as many rival franchises as possible with this release.
And you know the worst thing about the game? it isn't all that fun to play. Sure it isn't painfull, especially for what I paid, but it's essentially a bells and whistles-ed Deadly Alliance. It is possible to get a decent scrap on 2-Player, but playing the game on single player at any length reveals how irritatingly flawed it really is.
And this brings me to the next point, the game's characters. Not only does the game barely improve on the last game's roster, it makes much the same mistakes as that game did with it's roster, glaring ommissions and utterly shoddy new characters. While mainstays like Scorpion and Sub-Zero(who now looks like a cross between the Ninja Turtles' nemesis Shredder and a rich old woman) are still present, and Liu Kang makes his comeback, albeit in zombie form, as does Raiden in a new meaner incarnation, other series institutions such as Sonya, Kitana, Johnny Cage and Jax are AWOL, written out in the lame plot. Returning from previous MK titles are the native American Warrior Nightwolf, who now looks like less of a dork, the mutant Baraka, the cyborg nomad Kabal, sexier incarations of Sindel, Jade and Milenna, and finally the most bizarre return, of Noob-Saibot and Smoke as Noob-Smoke. This is, as I mentioned, a unique double character, that instead of just switching fighting styles, actually switches fighters.
Sadly, the new characters range from scandalously bad (Havik, Hotaru) to almost lawsuit worthy(do not even try to tell me Kobra isn't based on Ken from Streetfighter). What is worse is that not content with bringing back their first lame attempt at creating a DOA Girl with Li Mei, Midway decided to try and craft another 'sexy' warrior woman in the form of the painfully generic Kira. Shockingly, Li Mei isn't the worst returning character either. For reasons unknown, someone decided the already unfunny joke that is Bo Rai Cho should come back, as well as resurrecting Tanya from MK4.
And then there is the game's boss, Onaga, the Dragon King. Onaga is a large, humanoid dragon warrior, who is almost identical to Gargos from Killer Instinct Gold, only scalier and with a helmet.
In the game's defence, it has a wealthy selection of game modes for the player. As well as the standard 'Arcade' Mode, where you select a fighter, duke it out with a certain number of foes before taking on the Dragon King to see the fighter's ending, we also have the other expected modes such as Versus and Practice, which essentially do what they say on the tin. Also returning from Deadly Alliance are the Krypt and Kontent parts of the game. This involves winning 'Koins' in the game's single player modes, and using them to unlock 'Kontent'(which ranges from extra characters and stages to pictures of the guy who delivered Pizza to Midway's Dakota office) which is bought in the Krypt. The two modes in which you unlock Koins, or Keys, which unlock special 'Koffins', are arcade, and the newly revamped Konquest mode.
I'm actually impressed somewhat by what Midway has done with Konquest mode. Here you take control of a young boy named Shujinko, who must travel the realms, learning the fighting styles of all the great warriors, and eventually getting caught up in the return of the Dragon King. What makes this mode so much better than it was in the last game, is that it actually provides the backstory for the game, and introduces Shujinko, who by the end of the Konquest mode is an adult, who is playable in the arcade and versus modes. What further improves the appreciation of the mode, is that in some form or another, every MK character, no matter how minor, appears in it. While it creates the usual anachronisms of MK plot(you meet Jax pre-the events of the first game, yet he has metal arms) in general, it's a real hoot to wander about, before realising you just walked into Rain or Ermac or something.
This mode is also where you find the Koffin Keys, which are what you use to unlock the major items in the Krypt, like characters, arenas and costumes, but this is something I'm very annoyed about. You see, these Keys are found in chests scattered around the realms, and many of them only appear on certain dates/times/days(the game has and in-game clock). This is infuriating, with players being forced to wait at a certain spot at the map, sometimes for a game-month at a time, just to unlock a character's costume. Without the aid of the Internet, most gamers would probably never come close to collecting even half of the secrets contained within Konquest mode.
But that isn't where the modes end either. Also thrown in are Chess Kombat, which I'll readily admit I don't understand all that well, and Puzzle Combat, which is Super Puzzle Fighter, only with SD versions of MK characters instead of Capcom's icons of the genre in the middle of the screen in this Dr.Mario clone. I have to say that for a little bonus mode, this is actually really quite cool, and I've probably spent as much time in this mode as I have fighting.
The game, when fighting, controlls in the same format as the last game, two punches, two kicks, a trigger to block, a trigger to switch styles, black to throw. As I say, response couldn't be accused of being perfect, something highlighted when you are forced to perform long-combos in Konquest mode, but it isn't un-usable, and they are easy to pick up and learn.
The graphics couldn't be accused of improving over the last game either. While the character models are still decent, they still don't look Xbox quality, and I havent seen an effect in the game that couldn't have been accomplished on a Dreamcast. In the case of some of the Konquest mode visuals, the same can be said, only replace Dreamcast with PlayStation.
In fairness, the stages are very detailed, and while one could be said to be plot-buggering, it is undeniabley cool to fight in Shang Tsung's prison, with each cell filled with a fighter not playable in the game. Come to think of it, a good few stages in the game are plot ruining. How can you fight on Shang Tsung's island? I thought it got destroyed after the events of the first game!
If one thing keeps up a high standard for the game, it is it's sound. The music once again captures the wonderful gothic Oriental feel the games should have, and really goes a long way to setting the atmosphere. The voices, mostly used for grunts and such, are all passable, and never grate the nerves.
When all is said and done, Mortal Kombat Deception isn't an outright bad game, it just infuriates me that Midway's approach to it seems to have been "if it's broken...chuck on some cool new stuff and nobody will notice". And while the new stuff is cool, it doesn't hide the flaws still remaining from the previous, hardly perfect, game. While MK fans will enjoy it, if only to see the next installment in the plot, casual fighting game fans could do much better, and this game doesn't deserve any better a score than it's predecessor recieved, and given that I haven't actually enjoyed it that much, I'm not going to recommend it either. Had Midway put in all this new cool stuff onto a game that fixed the problems with the fighting engine(you know, the most important part of the game!) this could easily have been pushing 5 stars, on the grounds of the new stuff alone. As it is, their brazen cheek has irritated me, so 3/5 and no recommendation is what I'm giving Deception.
Review also posted on Epinions.com