Demo Impressions: Mortal Kombat
Upon reporting on Mortal Kombat being banned in Australia, I expected massive blood and gore with broken bones viewable at every second of the game. In a way I was relieved because DC Universe vs. Mortal Kombat was a very disappointing game for me because the lack of gore (which I wanted to see!). No Australians…I’m not relieved that you don’t get Mortal Kombat, I’m relieved because the ban should have confirmed that this rendition will be extremely violent. Ever since the very first Mortal Kombat came out all those years ago…THE SERIES HAS BEEN EXCRUTIANTINGLY BLOODY. Sadly, except for the fatalities, I don’t see why this game would be banned anywhere. Let’s hope that since this was a demo NetherRealm Studios toned down the blood a bit. Otherwise Mortal Kombat fans…this game shows great potential! (Special info on fatalities at the bottom of the article).
As with all demos you are restricted on what you can access. With the Mortal Kombat demo you can only play Ladder mode, with four different characters, on two different levels. Ladder mode normally contains ten different stages you progress through but you can only play through three of them. Don’t worry though because the demo is very replayable. Once you beat the demo and sit through a short “trailer” about Mortal Kombat, you can get right back to fatalitying people. Is that term coin marked? Anyway the characters you can choose from are Scorpion, Johnny Cage, Mileena, and Sub-Zero. The two levels you’ll have access to be a forested area with hanged people from trees which have faces and walkways that connect towers with a huge volcano and moon in the background.
Once you finally get to the gameplay many a gamer will instantly know what to do. The two fighters enter in some stylish way while taunting each other before the fight. The deep voiced narrator says, “Round one…fight” and it’s on! As usual you’ll see your health, character name, and time at the top of the screen. However, what’s new is the super bar at the bottom of the screen for each character. These yellowish bars are for performing more complicated/powerful moves and combo breakers. They fill up in three segments and are filled by getting hit or performing combos but seem to fill up quicker by taking damage.
The core gameplay is the same Mortal Kombat we’ve come to know and love; a series of button pushing to perform combos or simple attacks, grapple, and guarding (it may be a bit different from last decade’s standards). That doesn’t need much explanation but what does is the new feature called X-ray attacks. To pull off one of these amply named moves, you’ll have to have a full super bar and then press L2 + R2 + attack. If the move lands a small “cutscene” will play showing you’re assault on the opponent. Each X-ray attack varies on the character but all show you mutilating your opponent and revealing the bone/muscle damage caused by the attack. (I.E. Scorpion’s– Punches opponent’s face hard and steps on ribcage. Johnny Cage’s– Punches opponent’s groin multiple times and elbows back. Sub-Zero’s– Gouges out opponent’s kidney/stomach and headbutts. Mileena’s– Jabs knives into opponent’s stomach multiple times and knees head). The attack does a good amount of damage but hardly half a player’s health.
The demo’s overall feel is wonderful. The graphics are good (not great) and disappointingly blood doesn’t splatter as much as you want. When the fatalities and X-ray attacks occur there is plenty of gore but that’s it. Another cool thing consists of partial in-game damage to character’s outfits and even the blood stays on where it splattered. (I loved it when half of Scorpion’s mask was ripped off). The last noticeable prevalence is something hardcore fans will enjoy and newcomers will hate. YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING WHILE FIGHTING. You can’t just button mash and expect to win. Not only do you have to know combos/moves, but timing seems to be more important in Mortal Kombat than any other game.
My only complaint is the difficulty level. You can choose from beginner, easy, medium, hard and expert. The problem lies in the fact that medium difficulty feels like super beginner and expert difficulty plays like medium. Some may not even find that as a problem but a lot of fighting game enthusiasts might. (For the record, fighting games are far from my specialty. So for me to say that the difficulty is a problem should mean something). Again, this like the violence could be toned down for the demo. All and all…the demo is great. It’s fluid, fun, and pulling off combos is rewardingly challenging. I suggest everyone download this demo when they can.
For those of you staying for the fatality information…welcome. They are in this Mortal Kombat rendition and they are gruesomely satisfying. However, it is much easier to pull off fatalities as they only consist of four-five button commands. Plus, there is another gruesome move called stage fatalities. These life ending attacks are utilized using the level you are on. (I.E. A character falls off a bridge and gets impaled on spikes below gouging out organs). Although stage fatalities are fun to pull off…the classic fatalities are just more fun. Read the four playable demo characters fatalities below.
Scorpion’s – Takes out a sword and cuts opponent’s body from waist to waist, decapitates head, kicks mangled body, and slices head in mid-air.
Sub-Zero’s– Freezes opponent’s lower body and rips top half completely off (intestines show).
Johnny Cage’s– Punches opponent’s head clean off, rips body from legs, and holds the head as a trophy.
Mileena’s– Plunges knives into opponent’s chest, coy kisses player, and then rips head off and eats it.