If the name didn't tip you off, Mortal Kombat - titled exactly like the original game - is playing the "let's reboot everything" card. From a narrative standpoint, MK does something entirely different, since this story mode essentially acts as the "canon" timeline for the game.
Moreover, every Mortal Kombat game since MK 2 has had one common problem: being visually distinctive, but not exceptionally polished. For the first game, that's not a problem. Each fighter has a slick looking character model that rivals the attention to detail normally seen in games like Tekken and Virtua Fighter. It's easily the best-looking game in the series, and the key difference is that it looks good technically. Anyone who's played the original three MK games will feel right at home with the combat system, although it's still pretty clunky in comparison to Virtua Fighter, Tekken, and Street Fighter. For certain modes, your battles will earn you 'Koins', which can be spent in MK's Krypt, a map of concealed unlockables that contain extra goodies like concept art, extra Fatalities and alternate costumes. The new series returns to its roots stripping out 3D fighting movements, weapons and stances that had been used in previous MK titles over the last 10 years, bringing back the fighting system similar to that of the first three titles we all loved.
The game has different game modes including an awesome story line, Online Fighting Mode, Tag Team Fights and the Challenge Ladder, and don’t forget the the 1v1 mode to show your buddy his ass.
The story mode is very clever and well thought out. Mortal Kombat 9 is not for the squeamish or the faint of heart. Each Character has their own unique X-ray attack which is rewarded to you during a fight once you fill the fighting meter.
The fighting meter is built in 3 stages. Upon winning a fight or a challenge you are rewarded with Koins. The amount of Koins awarded varies on the difficulty of the challenge or fight. If you are looking for something different from the story line, then Mortal Kombat offers you the challenge tower. 300 levels of fights and mini games with lots of variety to keep you interested with extensive levels of frustrating yet addictive gaming.
The challenge tower is partly a tutorial process, while giving the more advanced player a true challenge. Aside from the challenge ladder, you also have the Arcade ladder which is a more traditional arcade mode. Players can quickly join ranked and un-ranked matches for 1vs1 and tag team brawls. There is also a King of the Hill mode that pits players in 1vs1 fights. This game is a must buy. Dedication made to the story line makes this game such a good one.
Mortal Kombat offers a full fledged Story Mode that will have the player live through the experiences and storyline (with some added liberties) of Mortal Kombat 1,2, and 3. You go through different chapters in the storylines playing as each of the selectable characters in the game and I must say the passion and dedication that Ed Boon and his team put into this mode is easily the best story mode for a fighting game series to date. There are some frustrating parts to this game when placed in certain 2v1 battles, and Shao Kahn in traditional MK fashion is a cheap SOB that will have you wanting to shatter the game disc. Beating story mode unlocks Cyber Sub-Zero and Quan Chi as playable characters in the game. Two badass characters in a badass game! Test Your Might is back (MK1) and this mini-game mode allows you to mash buttons in order to break different items wood/diamond/a head, etc.
There’s your standard Ranked Match, Player Match, and room creation. Rarely was I able to fight a series of matches with flawless online play. Here’s hoping that it’s more than just character balances that they’ll update the game with.
Different people play with different settings, so this sucks for Tournament play and isn’t viable. The default layout isn’t great for those of us who have a TE Stick for Capcom fighting games. Also, the practice mode is mad broken. Overall, this game is the right step to a rebirth of the series. It does have its drawbacks, but honestly what fighting game doesn’t these days. I highly recommend it as a must have game.
PC version not released yet (to be updated).