Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Backseat Gamer: Mortal Kombat X

We have a PS4!!  We can finally start gaming again and playing to new stuff we really want!
*cough*  Ok, now that that's out of my system...

Mortal Kombat has always been one of my wifey's true video games loves.  As a kid I didn't grow up with a game system, so I never experienced playing the game.  Still I knew of it and I absolutely loved (and still do) the live action movie that came out - in spite of all it's cheesiness.  I also enjoyed watching her play the last one, so needless to say we bought this with our new PS4 immediately.  This was a long time coming.

About 20 years after the events of MK9, most of the main characters are either dead, or trying to pick up the pieces.  Trouble starts up again, when a certain magical amulet goes missing and it's time for the newest team of recruits to take on the battle to save Earth Realm with a few old familiars.  

Back when this game was released, the PS3 version was delayed (and eventually got cancelled) so we were left with the choice to wait or find some other way to see the story mode.  This is the first game I can think of where we actually hunted down the full story mode online via Youtube because we really didn't want to wait.  I remember liking it at the time and loving the new characters.  And, when we finally got the system and the game, we happily played through the story mode again.

The new characters?  I love them.  I'll admit I was hesitant, because Soul Calibur also tried a jump forward in time with new characters and it was less them impressive.  However Mortal Kombat seems to have nailed it.  The new characters of Cassie, Jacqui, Takeda and Kung Jin provide excellent backstories, unique personalities and are easy to identify and associate the newest generation of fans with, plus they don't alienate the older fans.  Of that group I would have to say that Takeda is my favorite overall and favorite to play with, but I seriously love all of them (though Kung Jin is really hard for me to play).

There's also a whole host of new 'villains' from other realms that I really like.  Kotal Kahn is super interesting, taking a character based on Mayan and Aztec gods and adding him to the realm.  I especially love how some of the cultural aspects are part of his character, making him incredibly unique when compared to other fighting games I've seen.  I also really like D'voriah and Ferra/Tor more then I thought I would.  And Shinnok, while annoying, makes a pretty threatening boss.

Other well known characters are also back.  We get to see aged versions of Sonja Blade and Johnny Cage and others, while many of those who died in the last game come back as ghostly versions of themselves thanks to Quan Chi.  Added to that, there's several cameos of other lesser known Mortal Kombat characters worked into the storyline.  It's a bit of a disappointment that you don't get to play them and they aren't included in the DLC, but there's hope for in the future and it makes me excited to see the next installment, if they keep this up.  I continue to be impressed by how these new Mortal Kombat games have successfully rebooted things, without ignoring the previous source material.

The storyline is good, keeping the same cinematic scope as the last game and Injustice.  I really like this trend, where the fighting graphics and the cut scenes are so close to quality that you can actually watch it as a movie with very little adjustment.  The adding in of reaction commands was perfectly done.  Not too hard to interupt the story and create frustration, but instead they added to it in just the right way.

In the actual nitty gritty of the fighting game, there's a couple new mechanics worth note.  In this game, each fighter has three modes - which let the player pick what they want to focus on.  Fundamentally the character doesn't change, but the ability to choose if you want your character to lean a bit more toward magic, offense or defense actually makes the easier for players like me who are more of the button mashing type, and yet endlessly playable because now you have the option to master the same character in three different ways!

There's also the addition of challenge towers that change on a constant basis.  This reminds me of those endless iPhone games where there's just level after level and you can play to your hearts' content but translated for a console (without micro transactions, thank god).  There's a set of challenge towers that are normally with the game, but also a set of living towers that change frequently.  So, essentially, even after you've played through each character's story, you can always log in for a new challenge.  In that, I see this game having a seriously long life, even if the DLC doesn't continue.

The one thing we haven't tried yet is the DLC.  We plan on getting those next, but at the time of writing this review neither of us have tried the added characters.  Though I do love the idea of adding in horror movie baddies and making your own horror movie fighting game as time goes on.

The bad?  Hmmm, honestly I don't really have anything I dislike about this game.  I could play the whole thing, even with my minimal gaming skills.  I enjoyed many of the gross characters and fatalities and really don't have any complaints.  Other then why the heck didn't this come out on PS3? Damnit, that wait was agonizing!

How Much I Played:
I am proud to say that I played about half of the game with my wifey.  She and I switched the controller back and forth during story mode and I beat the personal towers with quite a few of the characters.  The krypt was all mine, thanks to the random jump scares that come up.  The only thing I didn't really play was the living towers, as those are stuck on medium and way past my skill level - but I am proud to say that I can beat the game on Easy and didn't have to use Super Easy the whole time ^__^;;;.

I do have to say, the most fun moment was playing one of the Test Your Might challenges and we had to work together, one of us holding the controller against the table and ready with the trigger, while the other mashed the buttons as quickly as possible.  That was a lot of fun!

Loved the hell out of this game.  It was a long wait and so worth it.  Now, I really really need that DLC.

Yep!  Back when the game came out, we threw together a quick closet cosplay for my wifey as Scorpion and here's some of the pix!

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