Released: X360, PS3
This was a doozy and really threw MK fans for a loop but also made them very angry. This was the first Teen rated MK game since DC wouldn’t let the MK team have them tear apart DC comic heroes. The DC heroes performed “Heroic Brutalities” while the DC villians and MK characters performed Fatalities, but they weren’t gory at all. Instead they were silly Teen friendly ending moves and were really not fun to watch. The fighting system, however, ditched the old one from the 128-bit era in favor of the classic gameplay yet it was still in full 3D. Gone were the other modes, but a new story mode incorporated how the DC and MK universes were merging. The voice acting was greatly improved and the game took on a new graphics engine using the Unreal 3 Engine by Epic Games. The game looked amazing and online play was still intact which made me happy.
The “Breaker” system was still intact, but the older mini game of Test Your Might was incorporated as Free Fall Kombat and Klose Kombat which wasn’t seen in the new MK game. Free Fall allowed players to knock each other off the arenas and duke it out with timed button presses to fill up a meter. Close Kombat did the same thing but zoomed the camera in. These were nice additions to the series, but didn’t really add much to strategy. A new type of mode (similar to MKT‘s Aggressor meter) was Rage mode which allowed you to become invincible and super powerful for a short time. There were also new timed special attacks that were nearly impossible to pull off so these were never really used.
I loved the game for the smooth fighting system, and the DC characters were unique to fight with, but the weird mash-up still didn’t settle right. There were no other modes so it was kind of bare bones, but DLC characters were promised until Midway tanked in mid-2009. After that the game was abandoned, but it did release another Kollector’s Edition which had a comic, a special cover, a making-of DVD, and an art book. The MK team regretted making a T-rated game despite the game selling in the millions.
Released: PS3, X360
This is probably the best Mortal Kombat ever made (to me anyways) because of how crunchy, powerful, and amazing the comeback fighting system is. The game has 3D graphics but a 2D fighting plane, and gone are the complicated combos, weapons, and stuff of the 128-bit system. The game has no new characters (thank God!), but returning favorites from all past MK games. I mean not just all past games, but only from the first 4 games. There are no characters that were made in the 128-bit era at all. The only “new” character is Cyber Sub-Zero, but this was welcomed by fans. Returning are mini-games Test your Might, Sight, and the new Test your Luck, and Strike. There is also a new tower mode which has a bunch of mini-games and fighting parameters so it’s a blast.
Konquest mode is finally gone, but the new story mode has amazing voice acting, and the story is really good. It has a cinematic element to it and feels like the most complete MK story due to it actually telling the story of the Mortal Kombat tournament. The game also introduces tag teaming for the first time as well as the return of Kombat Kodes last seen in UMK3. The graphics are also phenominal using the Unreal 3 Engine once again with returning arenas from all past MK games. A new X-Ray move is brought to the table which lets you fill up your meter and the camera zooms on the action and you can see bones shattering and organs bursting in X-Ray form. This is very unique, thrilling, and just down right cool.
While the old “-alities” haven’t returned yet Kratos (which is only playable on the PS3) can perform a Babality which hasn’t been seen since UMK3. New DLC characters are also promised, which is relieving. This new entry is also the highest rated 3D MK game to date which is worth celebrating for MK fans. I just love this new Mortal Kombat and it’s more addictive than the other games, but my favorite part? The return of the Krypt for the fourth and best entry. It’s HUGE this time with four different areas, and tons of new content to unlock. The MK team went all out with two different Kollector’s Editions one featuring bookends sculptures of Scorpion and Sub-Zero as well as Ermac’s classic outfit, and an art book. The Tournament Edition has a beautifully crafted arcade stick.
2012 and Beyond…
What’s next in store for Mortal Kombat? With a strong 256-bit line-up this era is still in it’s infancy. There are so many possibilities available, but I doubt we’ll see another game until at least 2013-2014. With two new handhelds out (Sony’s NGP, and Nintendo’s 3DS) there’s even more options for the MK game to expand. Another adventure game? I hope so! Another fighter featuring digitized graphics again? Yes please!