Mortal Kombat strikes back

Ashley Nadeau

Sequels usually have a hard time living up to the original, especially when the original is a cult classic. In any series, you walk a fine line between the Empire Strikes Back and the Phantom Menace.

The same can also be said for video games. Think of Zelda 2 and Mario 2, these both followed hugely successful games with an entirely different spin and feel. Every subsequent release taking a different interpretation of the original, eventually leading the series critical and financial success.

One game series has felt many ups and downs over the last 20 years. Mortal Kombat was initially released for arcade in 1992 by Midway games and with its latest release for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, it goes back to its roots, starting with the name its self.

Coined simply “Mortal Kombat,” this ninth game in the series aims to take what made the original so great and refine it for modern audiences. What does that equate to? Pure, unadulterated, gratuitous violence and a solid 2D fighting engine.

Bloody is definitely an understatement. Elaborately gruesome character and stage fatalities will leave parents cringing while satisfying the blood lust of even the most hardened fanboys. With the new “x-ray” moves, players can really feel the brutality they unleash on their foes.

To some, Mortal Kombat always had a clunky and difficult to pick up fighting engine compared to other fighters, but in this release controls are refined and easier to work in special moves and combos.

Midway’s bankruptcy might be the best thing to ever happen to Mortal Kombat, as this Warner Bros release could be the best MK game to date. Not only does this game feature the most in-depth Mortal Kombat story mode, but also one of the most in-depth story for any recent fighter. The only, but major drawback being the inability to skip cut scenes.

With tons of unlockables, tag-team multiplayer, refined controls and a revealing story mode this Mortal Kombat is no Phantom Menace.