Mortal Kombat always has been, and always will be.
Masked Ninja: GET OVER HERE!!
Clueless Gamer: Me??
Masked Ninja: No, I’m talking to the OTHER guy with a spear impaled in his chest!
As some of you may have guessed, yes that is Scorpion, the Netherrealm spectre of Mortal Kombat fame. The latest installment of the popular fighting game, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance provides gamers with a plethora of new ways to inflict bodily harm on their friends. The cast of playable characters brings together combatants from Earthrealm, Outworld, and Netherrealm.
Right off the bat, you are presented with a cinematic movie bringing you up to speed on the MK universe. The sorcerers Shang Tsung and Quan Chi form a “Deadly Alliance” and plot to use the souls of defeated foes to restore the Dragon King’s invincible army. In what appears to be a very short amount of time, the two manage to dethrone and kill Shao Kahn. Their only other opposition is Liu Kang, whose soul is absorbed by Shang Tsung after a very brief and dirty battle. Raiden gathers all of the fighters of the Earthrealms and takes them to join their allies in Outworld. The Mortal Kombat tournament begins, and that is when the fun begins.
As with all the other Mortal Kombat games, the player is presented with the opportunity to try his/her luck at climbing the ladder of fighters and becoming champion. In addition to Arcade mode, a new Konquest mode allows the players to develop their skills with each of the individual fighters through a series of ten missions each. Along with the first eight basic missions that basically teach you how to perform such complex actions as walking and…walking backwards, the total number of Konquest missions rounds out at 218.
Besides the little tidbits of back-story that are told in blurbs before each mission, this proves to be a very monotonous journey. The missions consist of nothing more than going through each character’s attacks, special moves, and combos. Each character has two martial arts forms and a weapon style that can be switched mid-battle—nay, even mid-combo. Therein lies the true purpose of Konquest: practicing these slightly tricky button combinations. The only other reason for subjecting yourself to this is to collect different Kurrency that allows you to purchase items in the Krypt. Kurrency is obtained by defeating your opponents in Arcade mode, completing missions in Konquest, or by wagering already earned Koins in a duel between you and a friend in Versus mode.
As far as the technical specs of the game go, it looks beautiful: fluid graphics throughout gameplay and occasional movies you can unlock. The music and sound in the game is average, what you might expect from a fighting game. There was really nothing that stood out as superb in my mind. The GameCube version of the game, which is what my review is based upon, is where the lower score from controls comes in. The analog stick is unavailable as a choice for controls, which I was disappointed in. The D-Pad is a must and the longer reach you must make on the GCN controller is slightly more annoying than if you were playing it for, say…PS2. I must say that extended gaming sessions can become slightly tiresome, but you do grow accustomed to it eventually.
Overall, the game provides a superb Mortal Kombat experience. The addition of a new minigame, Test Your Sight, similar to the street hustle known as Triple Monty, joins the button-mashing frenzy of Test Your Might. Konquest and the Krypt are welcome additions to the Mortal Kombat franchise. However, this game does have one major flaw that goes against all that is regarded holy in the realm of Mortal Kombat. Each character has one fatality…one, just one. The other -ality things? They are gone too. Stage fatalities? Gone. The pit? Gone.
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance certainly ranks as one of the better fighter games I have played recently. I would recommend this to any fan of the series, although diehards may be incredibly turned off by the lack of finishing moves. For those just entering the arena of Mortal Kombat, the game provides more than enough back-story to get you caught up and prepped to kick some ass.