Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 11/16/02 | Genre: Fighting
Mortal Kombat is a game of controversy. When it was first released, it quickly become a hit and players rushed to arcades to spend time defeating their opponents with lots of blood and fatalities. Midway continued the series with Mortal Kombat 2, which most fans of the series consider to be the best game in the series. However, as parts 3 and 4 were released, and arcades lost popularity in the US due to powerful home consoles, players grew tired of Mortal Kombat franchise. After much speculation and waiting, Midway has gone back to the drawing boards and have released Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance, a title that plays like the classic earlier incarnations of the series while still maintaining elements that are necessary in a good fighting game.
There are a mix of new and old characters in Deadly Alliance. Those returning include Johnny Cage, Kano, Sonya, Jax, Cyrax, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Kung Lao, Raiden, Kitana, Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, and Reptile. The new characters are Frost, Kenshi, Li Mei, Mavado, Drahmin, Hsu Hao, Nitara, and Bo Rai Cho. Each character has three different fighting styles they can use within a match. One of these fighting styles for each character includes a weapon. This adds a little depth to the game. However, my biggest complaint about all fighters is that they are essentially a button smasher. True, you can learn how to do combos and special moves. But for the most part, the button smasher will win a large amount of the time.
Graphically, MK Deadly Alliance is stunning. Within each level, the 3D backgrounds are beautifully illustrated. One of my favorite background elements is the rain that falls in some of the levels. You can actually see little puddles of water on the ground. Besides the backgrounds, each of the characters is also great looking. Once a fighter wins a match, the game zooms in to a close-up of the winning character. It is here you can make out some great details on their face and body.
A new addition to Deadly Alliance is the Krpt, By using your profile, you can earn Kombat Koins within the Konquest or Arcade modes. Once these koins are won, they will then appear in the Krypt. You can then enter the Krypt and take the koins you have won to purchase coffins. Each of the 700 coffins is a different price and has hidden characters, new stages, new costumes, concept art, photos, and more. This was a smart move by the developers because I predict very few players will ever find enough time to earn all the koins needed to open up the 700 coffins.
My biggest complaint with the GameCube version is the controls are not as good as on the PS2 version. Because you are not allowed to use the analog stick and forced to use the tiny, GBA sized d-pad, players will have a hard time controlling the action on the screen. The other buttons seem to work alright. I just find the GameCube to not be a very good system to play a fighter on.
Overall, Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance is a very good fighter. While I tend to believe fighters should only be rented since I tire of them quickly, if you are fan of the genre and want to try and open up all 700 coffins, you will have a great time. However, if you do have a PlayStation 2, I prefer that version over the GCN.