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Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance

Developer: Midway | Publisher: Midway
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 11/16/02 | Genre: Fighting

Mortal Kombat was the game, which revolutionized video games when the series first debuted on the Sega Genesis back in 1992. Mortal Kombat was the first game to include blood in a video game and became irresistible to both console gamers as well as arcade gamers as well. It was known as the one of the best multiplayer games out for any console at the current time. These gameplay enhancements have now become a tradition in most fighting games. The Mortal Kombat series has taken the last few years off to tune up for the next generation consoles. Is the new Mortal Kombat the best game in the series?

The long time off has given Acclaim a chance to include new features that would make the Mortal Kombat experience more enjoyable than before. With an improved graphical engine, old characters, new characters, new fatalities, new moves the Mortal Kombat series has reached new heights. The game’s single player mode structure has changed little. You choose your character and begin fighting AI controlled opponents. After defeating each opponent, the difficulty level increases and you work your way up to the final boss. This is where the first in game problem lies. One of the biggest problems that have plagued fighting games is the AI of your opponents. At certain points in the game the AI seems to be very cheap and you’ll kick yourself crazy before going back to play the computer again. At the beginning of the single player mode your opponents put up no fight at all and usually as your progress further the skill level of your opposition increases too much. The beginning player will soon learn that the game is simply more than bashing buttons. The game requires you to use your smarts in using the right combos, blocks and tactics to defeat your opponents. The single player mode is very challenging and should provide a limitless experience for beginners while the Mortal Kombat veterans shouldn’t have too much trouble wrapping the single player mode.

The multiplayer mode is where most gamers will get their bang for their buck. Deadly Alliance contains one of the most enjoyable multiplayer experiences any fighting game has to offer. The multiplayer mode does have one problem that sticks out. Sometimes your opponent can pin you in a corner and beat the living day lights out of you using weapon-to-weapon combat. Many players will get frustrated as its very difficult to use a move to prevent yourself from being hit further with someone’s weapon. For example... Scorpion’s sword. One thing that makes Mortal Kombat stick out over all the other fighting games is the easy accessibility to switch between weapon-to-weapon and hand to hand combat with the press of a button. Most characters contain weapons while other characters have added combos to make up for the lack of weapons. Like I mentioned before this game contains new characters, which fit in quite well. One of the most humorous characters it the drunken master who pukes out vomit as one of his moves. Old characters such as Sub Zero, Liu Kang, Scorpion, Johnny Cage and Kano return with old and new moves. Sub Zero has his old freezing move while Scorpion still has his harpoon.

The fatalities are done quite well for the most part. Another problem, which this game suffers from, is how difficult it is to pull of three or four button combos. You’ll find yourself constantly and simultaneously mashing the buttons in order to get something to work. What would a Mortal Kombat game be without the large amount of blood each game shows? This game is no different. With more blood and more brutal combos hardcore fans will love the addition will love the addition of more blood.

One area in which the Mortal Kombat series has stayed ahead has been the graphics. This game some what disappoints those hoping to play a beautiful looking game. The characters look like plastic and rubber while the game looks too much like a cartoon when it really shouldn’t. Although one cool feature many will find interesting is the innovative idea of adding something called real-time facial damage. As the fights progress your character or the opposing character will sustain facial damage depending on the size of hits delivered on that particular character. Some of the backgrounds are interactive while others are not but at least it’s a start for fighting games. The game’s graphics don’t compare well with games such as Virtua Fighter 4 or Tekken 4. The blood effects are brilliant the lighting techniques and particle effects are executed well.

The sound track is nothing to call home for but at least the game’s sound brings back the good old memories the sixteen-bit days. The player grunts are done well for the most part. The only two real problems with the sound is the low speech the commentator uses in the game. The humorous past that Mortal Kombat 2 for the genesis presented seems to have disappeared in this game. There was no sign of any person coming up on the screen and yelling the famous line “Toasty!â€? after upper cutting your opponent.

The controls are very important in all games but are no more important than in fighting games. The basic controls such as punch, kick, block, and so on are very straightforward but the more advanced combos such as freezing your opponent with Sub-Zero can get a little tricky at certain points. With a few tries beginning gamers should catch on quite quickly. Luckily the in game menus have a list of all combos and basic move each character possess. So if you are playing during a match you can pause the game and check your characters moves. For the fatalities during the “Finish Himâ€? sequences is where the controls begin to get difficult. The fatalities contain a series of buttons that must be pressed simultaneously or very quickly. This may sound easy but trust me its not. But hey, practice makes perfect!

With over 650 unlockables such as secret characters and behind the scenes video’s gamers will have their stomachs satisfied. Not only does Mortal Kombat contain a lengthy challenging single player mode but it also has a robust multiplayer mode as well.

Anyone who doubted that the Mortal Kombat series was still alive have been proven wrong. Sure this game has its share of flaws but many people will forget about that with all the game’s strong points. I highly recommend this game to anyone who has any interest in fighting games, especially those who were disappointed with Tekken 4 or people who have a craving for the Mortal Kombat series. Love it or hate it the Mortal Kombat series is one to delight the hearts of fighting fans this Christmas holidays.

By Siddharth Masand - 01/21/03
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Violence

Screenshots for Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance

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