In the world of videogames one thing is certain you have people who play games out of love and those that do it for the money. This couldn’t be more evident than countless magazines giving Vice City a perfect ten, if that game is perfection please stop my gaming habits now. With such great games already on your plate for the fall season why would you play a rehashed version of a game that came out last year? The world and how it works is such a mystery to me, but alas this is a rant and I am allowed to wander aimlessly into speech so you can read it and call me a moron for hating an over hyped cash cow, so sue me I am a gamer and a gaming journalist who still plays these games for the love of the play not the money in my wallet. This brings me my review of Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance, which if you hadn’t caught on my rant above was from the mediocre scores this game is receiving. Being compared to Virtua Fighter is an insult to MK, so don’t expect me to reference it anywhere in this review.
Well since I am reviewing this for all three systems let’s get one thing straight, there are no differences. Minus a cleaner on screen display for the XBox and Cube all three are carbon copies. Being based off of the PS2 version is usually a bad thing but this time Boon and company did an amazing job of capturing what the PS2 can do and even made some great ports. The character animation is unmatched by any other fighter. There is so much detail in each fighter from swaying clothes to visible bruises and cuts. The blood is in abundance here, no lack of the great red stuff MK fans have come to know and love. It even collects on the ground during the fight and remains until the last limb is crushed in the climaxing fatality. Great stuff.
The arenas are also top quality, sporting awesome particle effects, reflections, and gorgeous textures this game has it all. Sure some XBox specific details added would have been a welcome addition as it stands this is one of the best looking fighters ever. Now for the technical shit, the frame rate is smooth, textures are fabulous, and the overall look of the game is amazing considering which system is was built on. This game truly shows what a good developer can do with any set of hardware. I would go as far as saying that this IS the best looking fighting game ever.
Anyone who follows MK knows that an MK game without Dan “Toasty” Forden is like just wrong. Luckily Mr. Toasty is at the helm once again and it couldn’t more evident. Traditional MK style music blares in the background as you pummel your enemies into a bloody pile! The voice acting is also good, sure it isn’t top grade stuff, but it’s MK! The sound effects are fabulous, grunts and groans never sounded better. The weapon sounds, environmental effects, and various background noises are perfectly blended into an already gorgeous game outlining the perfect package. Of course the XBox version is superior in the sound department with true Dolby Digital but the PS2 and Cube versions sound pretty damn good as well.
Forget what you know about MK, in fact throw your old MK style out the window. This game redefines how the series was invented and trust me it’s welcome. The old style, while still awesome, needed a few tweaks and MK DA has finally given MK the depth it truly needed to compete with the “so called” top dogs of fighting. First and foremost this game has three fighting style for each character. Ranging from Jeet Kune Do to Lui He Ba Fa there is a massive amount of variety. Each character possesses two hand to hand styles and one weapon style, this adds limitless possibilities to the combo front, the best part is you can make your own combos by experimenting with the moves, great stuff! The attack buttons are also laid out differently. Instead of your normal HP, LP, HK, LK you have Attacks 1-4 and a Special Move button, combined with the loved or hated block button to round out the package.
Each style uses a different attack button uniquely, for instance with Sub Zero’s weapon style two of the attack buttons actually are kicks, the amount of gameplay and move combinations are absolutely astounding and could take months to master. Now the conflict of which controller is best suited for MK, this is a debate flaming across message boards all over the country. Honestly who cares? I mean you can play this game with each controller the same, if you have troubles with the XBox controller then you are not a gamer, gamers suffered with the Jaguar controller for fuck’s sake. Learn to live with it, those complaining the Cube D-pad is too small, perhaps your hands are a bit too large spanky! Honestly play the damn game on your system of choice and quit bitching, it plays fine on all three consoles.
If this all wasn’t enough have I talked about the size of the single player game yet? On top of your standard arcade and versus mode you also have what is called a Konquest Mode, this is where you can take each character through ten stages and learn their moves and some combos to aid you in your wins. You also earn what is called kurrency, this is used in the krypt to unlock the koffins. There are 676 koffins in the krypt that you can unlock with such goodies as artwork, videos, and even new characters and stages. This adds so much to the game and makes you want to play for hours on end unlocking koffins to find out what’s in all of them. Truly a welcome addition to the expanding MK universe.
Honestly I have tried over and over to find something wrong with this game, sure most people who know me figured it would get this score, most expected it. Truth is when I got my game I knew it wasn’t going to live up to the hype I had put into my brain, the problem is that it surpassed my expectations and has ruined all other fighting games to follow it. I feel that all past MK fans will be in total love with this game and even casual fighting game fans will find something to please them as well. In the end Mortal Kombat DA is the epitome of fighting games and I feel it will take years to overcome it’s greatness. Soul Calibur has finally been replaced and thy name be MK. More than recommended…REQUIRED!