It's been a long, long time since I expressed my thoughts on an MK game, much less an actual review.
So: here it is!
The tenth (!) iteration of the infamous, giblet-flying fighter has made some notable changes to the 24 (!!) year old franchise. Newcomers, oldcomers and fallen gods make their way in what is evidently a new beginning for the mythos.
Taking place 25 after the events of the last game, MKX tells the story about the return of fallen Elder God Shinnok, who 20 years prior, invaded our beloved Earthrealm with his Netherrealm cronies. After being defeated by Johnny Cage (WHAT?!?), Raiden uses an amulet to trap the Krazy Kombatant, since he can't be killed (Elder God, see.)
Cue present day, and we are introduced to a new generation of protectors.
Characters like Takeda, who is son of Kenshi.
Jacquie Briggs, daughter of Jax.
Kung Jin, cousin of Lao.
and Cassie Cage, daughter of Sonya and Johnny.
These whipper-snappers play a crucial role in MKX's trademark cinematic Story Mode, which is ripe full of cameos, betrayals and twists one would find in a martial art soap opera.
Other fresh faces include Kotal Kahn, Erron Black and D'vorah, with some notable guests joining the ride. Of course, it just wouldn't be Mortal Kombat without fan-favorites like poster boys Sub-Zero and Scorpion, Mileena, Quan Chi and of course this writer's favorite: Kano.
The gameplay is what you would expect an MK game to be. The usual three rounds, special moves and Fatalities are still the order of the day. But of course it wouldn't be a proper installment without a new gimmick to get grips with, and this time it's three styles to choose for each fighter.
Although the difference between each style seems minor, they can open up whole new ball game. Liu Kang, for example, has the Dualist Style, which can alter his chi and either heal damage or buff his damage, while the Dragon's Fire Style focuses on his flame attacks.
Each kombatant has 3 styles to choose from, so getting to grips with a particular character might take some practice, but the result is an oh-so-satisfying mish-mash of varied gameplay that's sure to please fighting purists.
Kontent-wise, MK has always rose above the competition, and this is no exception. Along with the usual Arcade, Survival and Random Kombat Towers, there is also an Alliance Tower with numerous challenges.
* Unfortunately, I was unable to test these online modes at the time of writing, as my 'net is on the fritz. But rest assured I will update this review once I do!
And of course, let's not forget why MK is known as the King of Kontent: The Krypt.
This iteration of The Krypt is, quite possibly, the best version yet. Instead of a regular menu, this Krypt is done in the style of a classic (klassic?) first-person adventure game of the late 80's - early 90's. Not content of just walking up to a coffin/dead body/egg sac and pressing A, The Krypt is filled with items to find that help you access other areas, plus an occasional puzzle to solve (and an enemy to defend against.)
It's this type of amazing presentation that just makes other beat-'em ups look amateurish by comparison. From the custom menu arena, the utter gobsmacking detail on each character to the amount of unlockables from the aforementioned Krypt, Mortal Kombat X is a truly gorgeous, Kontent-filled game.
After waiting nearly a year to play this (Warner Bros is still guilty of Game of the Year Editions, unfortunately), I can honestly say this was worth the wait.
Is it better than the last Mortal Kombat, of which I consider it my absolute favorite? After much diliberation,
No. No it isn't. But certain aspects, like multiple Styles and a better Krypt, put on a equal pedestal.
Yeah, I wussed out on a proper answer. Sue me.
A quick side-note: I was initially worried whether or not my excitement for the franchise had waned over the years. Getting older changes your taste in things, especially things that mainly appeal to the teenage market. Had my enthusiasm for this franchise dwindled?
Well as you probably know by now, it hasn't. Like veterans Jax, Johnny, Sonya etc, getting older should not affect your enjoyment of things you have a soft spot for since childhood. In fact, I have never been more excited for the franchise in a long time.
I eagerly anticipate Mortal Kombat LXX when I'm 88.
I agree with you I waited a whole year too. Best MK yet and it is huge I mean 41 GB.
Thanks a lot for expressing your thoughts on an MK game, I enjoyed reading your actual review.