May 042011
Authors: Ian Hopkins

Back when the first “Mortal Kombat” came out in 1992, parents and politicians alike were outraged, and from their anger came the Entertainment Software Rating Board, created to rate video games for their age-appropriateness.

However, the controversy hasn’t stopped there.

“Mortal Kombat’s” violence is so grotesque that any person in Australia who imports or purchases the game is subject to a $110,000 fine –– approximately $120,000 here.

So moms and dads of America be warned: Fighting game “Mortal Kombat” is back and prepared for another round of gore-gushing and spine-crushing fun.

The most important aspect to any fighting game is the ease of controlling your fighter; “Mortal Kombat’s” simple and fluid controls make it a prized fighter.

Even a rookie like myself myself have too much of a problem performing the combination attacks, which is an impressive feat because these chain attacks generally require three or more buttons to be quickly pressed in a specific order.

And while each particular combo attack needs to be memorized, each character has roughly the same set of button combinations making the game easier for a novice to master the controls.

When I turned on “Mortal Kombat” I was expecting ultra-lifelike characters and blood to fly after every powerful punch.

Surprisingly, the game looks more like a graphic novel –– complete with cringe-inducing images of “Kombatants’” shattering bones and snapping necks.

This isn’t even close the worst “Mortal Kombat” has to offer.

The game offers fatality moves after fights that allow players to completely disembowel their opponents, no visual detail spared.

The action doesn’t stop there. The game’s offline and online fighting modes can keep people entertained for hours. These game modes feature two fighters or teams entering the arena. Only one can leave alive.

“Mortal Kombat” isn’t just a bloodbath, though; there’s a story to it, something much deeper than other fighting games.

Traditionally, a fighting game pits a player’s chosen combatant against fighter after fighter. “Mortal Kombat” leaps further, guiding players through an intriguing plotline that sets the good “Earthrealm” and evil “Netherrealm” in a battle for control of Earth.

 With constant plot twists, the story never gets boring.

However, there’s no option to select a difficulty for novice or expert fighters, causing a few problems. Certain fights can literally take hours to win, which is unfortunate because you can’t progress through “Mortal Kombat’s” storyline until each battle is won.

Not only are some of the fights difficult, but also they can get monotonous. Memorizing combo attacks takes some time, so I had to resort to using the same three or four basic yet effective moves to win some of the fights.

The commercials don’t do “Mortal Kombat” justice. It is a thoroughly enjoyable fighting game for all levels of players. The gratuitous violence and gore may turn some people off, but this game is a must-have title for fighting-game enthusiasts and curious “Kombatants” alike.

Video Game Reviewer Ian Hopkins can be reached at

Mortal Kombat:

  • Graphics: 4 stars out of 5
  • Sound: 3.5 stars out of 5
  • Controls: 4.5 stars out of 5
  • Gameplay: 3.5 stars out of 5
  • Overall: 4 stars out of 5
  • Systems: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
  • Replay Value: Moderate to High
 Posted by at 5:40 pm

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