The Bottom Line
The game is more like the arcade fighters of yesteryear, but even better thanks to the best fighting stick ever to grace a living room. Once again, fighting is fun thanks to "Mortal Kombat."
- Fast and fun, making "Mortal Kombat" 2D saved this franchise
- I loved Darth Vader in "Soul Calibur 4," but playing Kratos in MK is sublime
- The story mode is as fun as the old movies
- "Mortal Kombat's" special moves and combos are easier to pull off than most games
- If you can afford it, the "Tournament Edition" fighting stick is one of the best
- No skipping nor pausing cutscenes is a drag
- "Mortal Kombat" simply isn't as refined as some of the Capcom fighters
- "Mortal Kombat's" controls seem to work better with a fighting stick than the DualShock 3
- Publisher: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
- Developer: NetherRealm Studios
- ESRB Rating: M for Mature, violently mature
- Genre: Fighting
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Guide Review - "Mortal Kombat Tournament Edition" Review (PS3)
Fighting games rely on two things, balance and charisma. A good fighting game is like a fast, violent version of chess. The latest version of "Mortal Kombat" may not be perfectly balanced by fighting game standards, but it is the best version in years. Fights are fluid, fast, and while some characters are clearly better suited against certain opponents, for the most part the game feels fair.
Not only do all the characters have great combos and special moves but the new energy gage brings more strategy to the game. Much like "Street Fighter 4" you can use a part of the gauge (a third) to beef up your moves. But the real kicker is when you use a full energy bar to execute an X-Ray attack, if it hits, it not only does massive damage, but you're treated to an in-round mini fatality.
And therein lies the charm. "Mortal Kombat," along with "Night Trap," is one of the major reasons we have a ratings system for games. It is violent and gory. Though in this "post-Saw" era, it's more humorous that disturbing. But the violence, the wild characters, and the cheesy story make "Mortal Kombat" more fun that one would expect.
The story mode really makes the single player game, and it is far more cinematic than most fighting games. It has a three problems, however. First, you can't skip or pause cut scenes, and there are lots of them. Second, it is mostly lacking fatalities, they need the characters to stay alive for the next scene (I think we would have bought it even if we were allowed fatalities) and third, the video cut scenes look worse than the in-game graphics. It's fun, but it could use some polish.
Polish really is what "Mortal Kombat" could use more of. I hope the next "Mortal Kombat" is more of the same, just slightly more refined. Oh, and lest I forget, Kratos is amazing in the game, he makes getting the PS3 version an easy decision.
The MK "Tournament Edition" comes not only with great extra content, but one of the finest fight sticks to date. It's heavy, has a memory foam pad, so it works on your coffee table or lap, and looks and feels more like an actual arcade cabinet controller than a home one. From the concave buttons, to the bat shaped stick, the study construction and responsive controls put the official "Street Fighter 4" and "Tekken 6" fight sticks to shame. Open it up and there's room for the game and the included USB cable (but not much else). The stick is beautiful, and it's emblazoned with "Mortal Kombat" in curious, yet classy ways. This is the kind of video game hardware that will inspire jealousy in your friends.