Mortal Kombat X, 2015
Signed up the 22/06/2017
Mortal Kombat X is an epic action-packed fighting game developed by NetherRealm Studios. It serves as the 10th (hence Roman numeral "X") "main" installment in the series, following from the events of it's prequel, Mortal Kombat 9 (which is simply titled "Mortal Kombat")
Mortal Kombat XL, released 2016, is just Mortal Kombat X with all the DLC packs.
Available for play on the PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Sonya, Johnny & Kenshi during Shinnok's Invasion
The structure of Story Mode is the same as Mortal Kombat 9 and Injustice: Gods Among Us in that it is spilt into multiple chapters - 12 in this case - that each focus on a character and have you controlling that character in 4 fights.
The main events of of this installment in the series take place 22 years after the events of Mortal Kombat 9, when Shao Khan was defeated. Two years after his defeat, Earthrealm is invaded by Shinnok, a former Elder God, and his army. Part of this army includes the sorcerer Quan Chi and undead familiar faces like Liu Kang and Sindel. Long prologue short, the team - Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, Kenshi and Raiden - manage to stop Shinnok from corrupting the Jinsei, Earthrealm's life force, and seal him in his own amulet.
20 years later, you follow a team lead by Johnny Cage consisting of Cassie Cage (his daughter), Jacqui Briggs (Jax's daughter), Takeda (Kenshi's son) and Kung Jin (Kung Lao's cousin) as they attempt to help stop a civil war in Outworld and recover Shinnok's Amulet, which was stolen, before it's power, and who likes inside it, are released.
The story itself does keep your attention, but it's not very interesting. It's an overly done story we've all seen many a time, and I guess that's the game's downfall. Of course, other events such as the civil war and the characters involved in it offer a more interesting side to the bigger picture. I found myself enjoying this "side story" more than I did the tales of Quan Chi and his plans to bring back Shinnok. The many new faces to the Mortal Kombat series will probably also keep you glued to the cut scenes since we humans take so much interest in the unknown.
Oh yeah, you can probably get through the game in one (long) sitting, depending on your difficulty settings. It's short and (sorta) sweet.
What will also force you to pay attention are the quick time events in the cut scenes. Time slows down just as the button(s) you should press shows up on screen. It's a pretty sweet way of making sure you're a part of ALL the action - not just the actual fights, but the cut scene fights as well.
Sub-Zero vs Ferra/Torr
If you've played a Mortal Kombat game, then this installment will be VERY familiar in terms of gameplay. It's your usual "hit 'em with the combos while dodging & blocking here and there". Makes it sound like Tekkem or Street Fighter, but it isn't. Returning from Mortal Kombat 9 is the use of X-Ray Moves - the gruesome "mini fatalities", if you will. And, as always, Fatalities and Brutalities are in the mix. Multalities from Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks would be cool if it were practical :(
Speaking of Fatalitites and Brutalities, a lot of them are unlocked by using Koins - the game's currency. Other than the above mentioned, they're used to purchase secret items, costumes, and concept art in the Krypt. These are earned from playing the story mode, conquering towers, pulling off really cool combos and using already unlocked Fatalities. There are other ways to farm coins, details for which are scattered across the internet realm. Mortal Kombat is a pretty mysterious game, so you won't know what you're purchasing until you purchase it. Like a "open of a surprise", but you gotta pay for it.
This system is pretty cool, as it motivates you to keep playing and practising to earn more Koins and unlock more. These days, fighting games come with all the characters and moves already unlocked, so a system like this is kinda nostalgic.
Like father, like daughter
This game relies on not only your ability to memorise and execute combos, but also your patience and ability to see the perfect opportunity for a strike. By combos, I don't mean a long chain of commands; just a classic LEFT, RIGHT, TRIANGLE/Y to execute a move unique to a character. You have the freedom to create your own long chain, and if you build up your skill enough, you can (for quite some time) juggle your opponent. This is quite handy when you're in a pickle. Your timing and knowledge of your character's moves need to be impeccable, though. You've also got an interactable environment just in case you wanna smash someone with the nearest something... or someone (lol).
Mortal Kombat X is not like Tekken where you can press every button frantically to increase your chances of winning (which usually works, but also depends on your opponent). BUTTON MASHING DOES NOT WORK! It's just like Mortal Kombat 9, or any other MK, really (I mean, NetherRealm IS behind it). Pressing every button against a somewhat experienced player will guarantee you a loss faster than the PlayStation 2 logo appears after inserting a brand new game disc.
As with pretty much every fighting game out there, there's an online component. I haven't had a chance to play online with my bad connection, but from what I can tell watching the Pro League championships, it keeps you on edge. May not be the same edge as when you're playing a championship or against some of your mates during a chill session, but it's different from playing against the computer; it's better.
MKX allows for the player to choose one of 24 characters to use as their beat-em-up soldier. MKXL adds to that 9 more playable characters from previous DLC packs, which include Alien (the Xenomorph), Predator (hot damn!), Tanya (reminds one of Mileena and Jade and Kitana and the like), Jason Voorhees (you already know!), Tremor (a nasty looking mother-SHUT YO' MOUTH), Triborg (a cyborg character), Bo Rai Cho (familiar face from Deadly Alliance), Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre - yeah, that guy) and Goro (the original 4 arms that Ben Tennyson has nothing on).
There's quite a few fresh faces in the main roster. This game is like the next generation MK in that it mainly revolves around the next generation of MK fighters - the sons and daughters of legends like Sonya Blade and Kenshi. Some of these fresh faces in turn offer fresh new moves that are based on, but not entirely defined by, whoever they're related to (for example, Cassie Cage and her dad's Glow Kicks). MKX did "new" right.
Graphics and Designs
MKX is powered by Unreal Engine 3. Before making sure, I really thought it was 4. THAT'S how good the graphics are. The environments are really pretty, and the water graphics - wow, the water graphics. The realism absorbs you into the gameplay with the water from the rain and blood shimmering across the character's body. It's expected though. Unlike open-world games, fighting games have "less open-world", therefore more attention to the small fighting stages and characters is given.
The detail in the facial expressions is pretty decent. Some of the character designs, like Cassie and Jacqui seem pretty... generic. It's not a bad thing, bit it's not a good thing either. More uniqueness in design wouldn't hurt.
Can we wrap this up already?
In my opinion, Mortal Kombat X is in the top 3 Mortal Kombat games out there. The gameplay is fast and fluid, the graphics are impressive, and the action is spine-chilling and bloody. The story isn't the best out there, but it's still pretty entertaining and keeps you glued. If you enjoyed MK9 or Injustice, you'll DEFINITELY love this fresh installment!
PS: THAT POST CREDIT SCENE DOE!
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