Published on April 30th, 2015 | by Don Parsons0
Mortal Kombat Review
Summary: A top-notch followup to a previous GOTY candidate, MKX is a very worthy sequel.
The Mortal Kombat series has seen its ups and downs. Most recently, the series spiked and saw a tremendous comeback when Nether Realms Studio rebooted the franchise a few years ago. Following up on the success of that game, Nether Realms released the tenth game in the series, Mortal Kombat X.
The story in Mortal Kombat X takes place a few decades after the last game, with several new characters having a tie to the classics. Everything centers around Quan-Chi trying to revive Shinook from an amulet he was imprisoned inside of by Johnny Cage years back. The story bounces back and forth between characters, playing the mostly-good side of things depending on how you look at it.
Every chapter is centered around a character that I had to fight with, and much like my minor complaint with the reboot (and Injustice: Gods Among Us), the first few fights had me scrambling to learn a new characters moveset and sometimes ended in a loss. This is disheartening because if you don’t win the first time, the amount of koins you win (for the Krypt) is a fraction of what you would earn if you had won the match.
Lucky for me, the story was well-told and entertaining enough to keep me focused on the tale that was being told so the matches were just an interactive bonus. Several new characters had a new spin on their classic counterpart, such as Cassie Cage, the daughter of Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage whom is working in a Special Forces unit under both her parents. Her partners, Jacqui (Jax’s daughter), Kung Jin (Kung Lao’s cousin), and Takeda (Kenshi’s son whom trained under Scorpion), had equally interesting roles in the game.
D’Vorah was another new character I enjoyed because of the story. Playing as her was okay, but her story and how it snaked around Kotal Khan was an enjoying, albeit short, character arc. Kahn’s other henchmen, Erron Black and Ferra/Torr on the other hand left me wanting more.
All in all, the story mode, even though it only lasted a few hours, shows that NetherRealm Studios has mastered the art of telling a story in a fighting game, something rare in the genre. During the last half of the game, I was very much glued to the TV to see what would happen.
Of course, I would be remiss to not address the character selection, as they changed things up this time. The roster is a little less varied in terms of characters, however each character has three variations. Scorpion, for example, has Ninjitsu, Hellfire, and Inferno variations. Ninjitsu adds some length to certain attacks because Scorpion wields dual swords in combat. If you choose the Hellfire variation, you’ll get a few new special moves to play with. Lastly, if Inferno is picked, players can access a Demonic Minion. Each variation also has a slightly different character look to them, and some Brutalities can only be accessed via certain variations.
The gamechanger for me this year is the Live Towers. Story mode only lasts a few hours and I certainly recommend playing through it, but afterwards, you are either going to be spending time playing online, playing with friends on your couch, or playing by yourself through towers. I didn’t spend much time with the reboot after the story because I’m not into playing fighting games online. Live towers are an evolution of the standard towers that we are all used to. Except they change daily or hourly, offering me a new challenge on a regular basis. Each tower has a set of modifications, such as starting with 10% health or lightning randomly shooting down from the sky and frying whomever it happens to come in contact with. I have spend a bunch of time playing through towers, and have had a blast racking up wins with the four-armed beast, Goro.
Mortal Kombat was a great reboot for a series I grew up with, and showed that a fighting game could be something more than just for hardcore fighting gamers. Mortal Kombat X refines what its predecessor started. Online matchmaking has been enhanced and simplified with rooms, live towers add more for gamers like me who don’t want to play online, and the story was a great continuation to the revamped world NetherRealms has recreated. This is a prime example of how a sequel should be.