Review by RidleysShadow

Reviewed: 06/04/07

Mortal Kombat gets Kreative. It's a K instead of a C, get it?

MORTAL KOMBAT! Many people should recognize this battle cry well, and the famous fighting game is back and on the Wii, with all the unrealistic amounts of blood and gore intact. For an ultimate battle, the story in this game is pretty weak. All of the fighters from the Mortal Kombat universe have been summoned to fight against a fire-spawn called Blaze and claim the ultimate prize. There are 60 characters, and each one has their own ending, which don’t really explain anything, unlock with an adventure mode that while fun, has a somewhat cheesy story.

Like its predecessors, Armageddon is a fighting game, and like the last two entries in the series, it has a distinct style. Each character has a fighting style based on real fighting styles, and a weapon. You fight with the control pad on the Wii remote and move with the nun-chuck, and it works remarkably well. Each character also has an arsenal of their own unique special moves ranging from Scorpion’s classic spear move, Nightwolf’s spirit arrow, and Bo Raicho’s puke puddle. The special moves can be activated through holding B and performing certain gestures with the Wii remote, like moving it side to side, or making a half circle to the left. For the most part these are responsive, but I have trouble with the up and down gesture. You can have some pretty crazy matches with all these characters, and the fact that each fighter is different adds to the experience. A huge complaint about this game though, is that they removed most of the awesome combos from the last game, Deception. Now most of the combos are simple and are no longer than 4-5 buttons at the most. This disappointed me a lot, as I always had a lot of fun pulling of ridiculously long combos. Mortal Kombat is known for its fatalities, brutal finishing moves that usually end up completely destroying your opponent. They’ve replaced the old system for fatalities, which before was inputting a certain button combination quickly. You know either perform Wii gestures or use button combinations on the Wii remote to do sections of a fatality, like ripping off an arm, or punching them in the face. It’s fun to do, but I’d rather have the character specific fatalities back.

The arenas are filled with “death traps” in which you can knock your opponent into a certain part of the arena and it will either kill him or hurt him. A lot of these can be used for cheap deaths, but it keeps you on edge and can be fun. There’s also a Konquest mode, which is more of an adventure game than a fighting game. In it, you play as a guy named Taven as he goes on a quest, and meets all of the Mortal Kombat characters. The controls work a lot like the fighting part, except Taven also has some special moves which can activated by holding C on the nun-chuck and pressing an attack button. Basically you go around levels solving puzzles that usually involve killing people and fight people using the attack buttons. There are boss fights, but you fight them through the normal combat of the main game. Konquest is a bit short, but is still a pretty hefty adventure, and its length is increased by the fact you’ll most likely have it to play it over to unlock everything. There are 60 relics, which are hidden. Every ten you collect, you get an award like a new character or arena. If you miss any of them, then you’ll have to beat Konquest mode, then go through it again just to get it back. This is very annoying, so try to make sure you get them all the first time.

Finally, there’s a Motor Kombat mini game. It’s a kart racer like Mario Kart, where you choose from a few of the characters in the main game and race around in courses relating to Mortal Kombat. Each character has their own special, but a lot of them aren’t all that useful, like Cyrax’s bomb, which will go behind you, but most people can easily avoid it. There are a few power-ups like a speed boost and the ability to use your special, but it’s not really that detailed. It’s simple fun, and good fun at that if you have four people to play with you.

There’s a ton to do beyond those 3 modes as well. By playing any of the above you earn koins, which is the currency of the game. With koins, you can buy stuff from the shop, called the Krypt, which holds alternate costumes. Beyond that though, there’s not much else to look at, let alone buy. The koins have another use though, and that is to be stuff for Kreate a Kharacter mode. In this mode, you make your own character with things you buy with the koins. It’s a highly customizable mode, allowing you to make tons of different guys, and you can change every item’s color to suit what you want. After you choose its appearance, you can give it its own fighting style and weapon and select what moves it has. It’s cool for the most part, but for weapons you can only choose between swords and axes, which is a shame because there’s a variety of weapons used in this game. You can also name it, give it special moves from the pre-made 60 characters, and give it its own ending after you beat Arcade mode with it. It’s a fun mode and should keep you busy for quite awhile.

The Wii adds a new character, Khameleon, and Endurance Mode. If it weren’t for the lack of online play, this would be for sure the best version of Armageddon to get, but if you absolutely have to have online look towards the Playstation and Xbox versions. Khameleon doesn’t really add much, but I though Endurance Mode was very fun. You use one health bar, and fight as many people as you can to earn koins. As always, Mortal Kombat has a somewhat dark soundtrack, and unfortunately not too much stood out to me. There’s voice acting for Konquest, but it’s not that impressive, I find the agonizing screams to be more convincing. The graphics are a slight step up from the last game in the series, but not by a whole lot, and it probably won’t wow you. But of course, there’s a ridiculous amount of gore and blood loss.

Mortal Kombat for Armageddon has a few shortcomings, but that doesn’t stop it from being very fun, and if it weren’t for the lack of online play, this would be the best version no question. I think this is a ray of hope for fighting games on the Wii.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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