Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Review: Mortal Kombat: Deception (XBox)
Posted by Shocker :: 1:27 PM


Realtime? It's when I write down what I'm thinking as I play it. Yes, it's kind of tired, but I don't think it's ever been done for Video Games. Plus, I already wrote two full reviews tonight, and I'm not really expecting to play this too long (Yes, I am assuming it's going to suck before I start playing it. Reason: It's probably going to suck. Expect professionalism, however). This game is most likely going to suck.

12:20: Skip intros, ah ha, Arcade mode. Good ol' Arcade mode.

12:21: What the hell did they do to Sub-Zero? Anyway, after looking through the fighters assembled (12 selectable initially, 12 more to be unlocked), I have chosen Kobra. Why? HellifIknow.

12:24: After first match, some notes: punching on people in this game can be really fun. Unfortunately, it invites comparisons to games like Dead or Alive and Virtua Fighter and Tekken. These are not comparisons this game wants to make.

12:25: WHAT THE FUCK, why did ERMAC just pull out an Axe on me? AN AXE? (Why the fuck is ERMAC in this game?)

12:27: After playing with the buttons I have discovered that Kobra has a weapon as well! A pair of sticks! It's not quite an axe, but it'll do, pig.

12:29: Further playing around reveals that playing with these sticks is actually kind of fun. However, it doesn't make any of what's going on on the screen make any more sense. It also invites comparisons to Soul Calibur. This is not a comparison this game wants to make.

12:30: I have lost my first match to Mileena, and have now picked Sub-Zero.

12:33: I have lost my second match to Mileena. Where the FUCK did Sub-Zero's moves go?

12:34: I have picked, after much consternation, Scorpion. I have also taken out his sword. It is scary how much this game looks like a 3D version of Time Killers. This is not a comparison this game wants to make.

12:37: I have lost my third match to Mileena. I am picking Baraka, the only guy who should actually have sharp, pointy things.

12:40: I have beaten Mileena. What, bich?

12:43: I beat some chick known as Ashrah. When it came time to finish her, she broke into a million bits. Then the game noted she committed Hari-Kari. Oh come on already, Jesus.

12:47: I have lost to (quite possibly the most ridiculous looking character in the game, and that's saying something) Bo' Rai Cho. I will not Kontinue.

12:48: Okay, here's the deal: The problem with the combat in this game is the exact reason that Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus (XBox) failed and why games like DOA and VF have succeeded: those games are intuitive. This game is really, really not. For a hand to hand fighter, the best one can hope for is that their offense flows into some sort of cohesive form. For a game sporting at least 2 fighting styles per character, plus an entire weapon style, that still isn't happening. Moves are still performed like the game is in 2D: Down, Left + X = Move. Well, the problem is in 3D, left and down (especially down) aren't really explicitly defined. Does "Down" mean duck, does it mean as you're moving down? Does it mean as you're holding down? Do you hit down and the button at the same time? Effective fighting games fill up all of these slots with moves that flow well, and create the fighting style from that. They don't say "Well, a 'Choy Lee Fut' fighting style has these 20 moves" and then proceed to cram them onto the joypad in any which order. They also make use of the fact that just about every button on the PS2 and XBox is analog and allow for pressure-sensitive attacks. This game does absolutely none of that. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. CHESS AWAITS!

12:55: So instead of king/queen/bishop/knight/rook/pawn (I guess chess names, while not chess itself, is for pussies), we have Leader/Champion/Sorcerer/Shifter/Grunt. I'm not exactly sure which piece we've lost, but who cares. Chess isn't a perfectly balanced game or anything.

12:57: I have always wanted to play a game of battlechess where you actually fought out the positions for the squares in a good fighting game. Unfortunately, I'm stuck doing it here. *sigh* This bites. I'm actively trying to lose, now.

1:00: Hey, I saw my first fatality! A black guy named Darrius (not Jax!) just ripped my arms off, and then beat me with them, and decapitated me. I guess black Kombatants have the market on ripping arms off, or something. That's how it's goin' down in tha hood.

1:01: Into puzzle mode. Can this be fun, please?

1:03: No, no it can't. Let me give you a brief rundown: pieces come down from ceiling. Slowly. Every time a piece falls, a two giant-head fighters punch and kick each other at the bottom of the screen. Since the match goes on for 5 minutes, they're both basically wailing away at each other for that entire time. Meanwhile, you're stuck playing this boring ass game. I'll recap the puzzle game itself quickly too: think of Dr. Mario, without the viruses.

1:06: Oh hell, I just realized there is a Konquest mode. WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO KONTINUE? In order to Kontinue on to Konquest Mode, I need to enter a Kode. WTF? I don't have a Kode!

1:07: Okay, Profiles, create a profile. Well this is nifty, they want me to create a 6 button passkode to access my profile. As if this game wasn't konvoluted enough, now I need to remember a locker kombination to get to my profile. Instead of, say, just selecting the damn thing. Even XBox's parental controls don't make you remember a 6 button code. Anyway, my Kode is "XXXXXX". Please don't steal it!

1:09: Hey, that was actually kind of a nifty intro. Decent cutscene to start my Konquest. I am now a young apprentice named Shujinko! This... is not good voice acting.

1:14: There's something hilarious about me sucker punching a guy in the face until he bleeds, and then him telling me "Korrect!" as he bleeds off a pint.

1:16: Oh no. Oh no. Oh no oh no. There are RPG elements in this. This cannot be good.

1:18: Solved a villager's dental problem by punching him. And received money for this. I am not making this up.

1:21: Apparently during my delivery of dental services, I punched and killed an old woman. And I apparently run like the Flash.

1:24: The breakdown of our once peaceful society is komplete. I have now punched and killed every person capable of being punched and killed. I have also, apparently, annoyed a lot of other people by punching them a lot. Before my mind dekays, I am putting an end to this.

1:26: I have ditched the Konquest mode and the noble path of ol' ironfist Shujinko and have moved into The Krypt, which is of no value to me, as I have no Koins, so I kannot open any Koffins (you think I'm making some of this up, I know you do). In leiu of that, I have decided to count the number of Koffins present - 380. Yep. Unless I miskounted.

1:30: I am embarassed for having played this. The fact that my internet access is down is, I swear, the only reason why I continued with it. The Mortal Kombat series really, really needs an overhaul- starting from this awful engine they're running with now, and ending with deciding what the hell it wants to be: A cheesy, 3D version of Time Killers, or a serious, mature fighting game that respects the players' intelligence. I give it a point for having the nuts to try and screw with Chess. Otherwise, what we have here is pure krap.

- Dan

Dan is SOOOOO Wrong. Puzzle Kombat is addictive and a lot of fun, Chess Kombat has some interesting strategy applied to it (but could have been better), and if you played Deadly Alliance, you know how to play Deception. There is a learning curve, but the beauty of the fighting engine is that you can back off take your time, and pick your spots, or go all out with the button mashing and still have a good time.

Hara-Kiri's are also an excellent addition, with the loser having the option to kill themselves BEFORE their opponent pulls off a Fatality. ANd playing online is pretty much perfect - I have experienced absolutely zero lag in my matches (I think I'm 18-6 online, btw) - the person I've been playing might as well have been in the same room with me - it was that good.

Konquest mode is fun, but they hid too many things in it. It takes a LOT of effort to unlock everything you want to unlock, and not everything is very easy to find at all. Granted, I suppose you feel more rewarded after doing it, but after awhile, I just reverted to cheat sheets 'cause I got frustrated.

To sum up, I'm CERTINALY not saying BEST GAME EVAR~! or anything like that, but it's solid, and if you're an MK fan, you will definately get your money. I would have given it a 3 or a 3.5.
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