Or How Not To Perform Keyhole Surgery.
To stay on this wave of gore released by my review of Deathgasm, I’d thought I’d review something else from my recent blood-soaked birthday and try my hand at reviewing this ting.
As a relative newcomer to the world of Mortal Kombat, I didn’t really know what I was going into. Well, I knew it was a fighting game, but would it be like Tekken and my much beloved Soul Calibur? Or more similar to Street Fighter? Turns out it would be the latter; a 2D classic fighter. Thankfully, I had played and loved Injustice: Gods Among Us and this wasn’t much different.
There are a variety of game modes to choose from, none of which a particularly revolutionary, but are done really well. You can play through the Story (which we will get to later), Single Match, Living Towers (Arcade mode with modifiers) and Test Your Luck, as well as King Of The Hill and Survivor. Once you’ve picked your mode o’ choice, you’re plonked into standard MK fare. Polished and perfected, MKXL has incorporated elements of its DC predecessor, Injustice, in its gameplay, with the addition of Environment Interaction and X-Ray Moves. Each stage has a variety of objects, each with a brutal attack linked to it, my favourite being throwing the old lady, aww yeah.
In addition to this are the aforementioned X-Ray Attacks, which allow players to perform a devastating attack, whilst using our favourite Sniper Elite effect, X-Ray, once a meter has charged. I, for one, love this addition as it allows more casual players who may not necessarily know the button combos for a Fatality or Brutality to witness the famed gore of the series. It can also serve as an interesting tide-changer to spice up multiplayer as your meter increases when you take damage.
On top of this, we still get our favourite Fatalities and Brutalities recreated in beautiful current gen graphics, making every drop of blood… and jaw… and brain… and heart… and intestine… and spleen… and limb spilt seem that much more real, and therefore that much more awesome. That, along with sickening and yet, somehow orchestric, sound design, make for good time, fun time, very, very nice time. They’ve also gotten a lot more creative since their last outing, with each character finding hole new ways to tear you a new one.
The more traditional gameplay of the game, i.e. punching, kicking, combos etc., is almost flawless. Extremely fluid, yet not too fast-paced, and a whole lot of fun. While some characters, like Scorpion, are perfect for beginners thanks to the ease of their 12-hit combos, others, like Quan Chi, are more difficult to master, giving the game a steep and very welcome learning curve, promoting replayability.
However, Scorpz and Quanny Quanny Chi-Chi aren’t the only sadistic suckas that make up this game’s roster. Thanks to the addition of the various DLC characters, Mortal Kombat XL’s roster is made up of 33 Kombatants. 4 of these are Alien, Predator, Leatherface and Jason Voorhees. Out of these four, my personal favourite is Alien. Not only because it’s the main antagonist of my favourite horror film, Alien is my preferred DLC character due to its fast-style and linkable attacks, which go hand-in-hand with my jump-oriented play style. My least favourite would have to be either Predator or Jason, as these are slower and more powerful, which doesn’t really tickle my testes, or float my boat. When not revelling in the glory of DLC, my favourite normal character is most likely Cassie Cage, the game’s main protagonist and daughter of Johnny Cage. Like Alien, her move-set is extremely versatile and fast-paced, making for some top notch combos. On top of this, her X-Ray and Fatalities are by far the most entertaining and the most thought provoking. How can you punch, and crush, a woman’s testicles? You don’t, apparently. Just a straight shot, right to the babymaker.
Without giving too much away, the story was surprisingly awesome. While this may not have been intentional, I felt as if, during the cutscenes, I was watching an eighties action movie, a really good eighties action movie, like a McTiernan or summat. The dialogue was beautifully cheesy and the plotline was awesomely ridiculous and, though they weren’t actually in the story, the addition of Alien, Predator etc. really added to the overall retro feel of the game. However, I felt there were too many cutscenes and QTEs, which led me watching a lot of the game. What really grabbled my gutsmucket was when the cutscenes included fights that I could’ve done, same going for QTEs. If I wanted to watch a game, I’d be playing MGS.
Multiplayer is the backbone of most fighting games, however, and that is another area the game does remarkably well. Local multiplayer is so much fun it should be very much illegal, which it is in some countries, looking at you Germany. I think it’s also important to mention how fun it is to watch, because if you’ve got 6 friends and 2 controllers, some of them are gonna have to watch. No worry, because the constant stream of violence in MKXL makes watching your friend rip your other friend’s spine out an absolute blast. Online multiplayer, on the other hand, is a very different and tragic story. Whether it be the scumbagginess of others or my own lacking in the ability, but I didn’t fare to well in my all too brief time in the online department. Although I think my skill, though not amazing, ain’t too shabby, there was a lot of “cheating” going on in my opponents. I use the word “cheating” quite loosely but repeating the same really easy 12-hit combo every time must be frowned upon. But I’m not bitter, no, no.
Overall, Mortal Kombat X-tra Large is a top notch game. As a fighter, it’s almost without fault, with a wide-range of characters and fluid, entertaining gameplay. It’s visually appealing and sounds great. However, I still don’t feel like they’re doing anything new or revolutionary and, though it works to great effect, the game redoes a lot of what Injustice did 3 years prior.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations
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