Please Rate This Review: Mortal Kombat Second Opinion
Finish Him..... I would, but the lag is so bad I can't hit him.
HIGH The story mode.
LOW The online multiplayer.
WTF Why did my fireball go straight through him?.
Brad's review of Mortal Kombat highlights many of my own thoughts about the offline experience of the game. So instead of rehashing what Brad has already said, this review will focus mostly on the one area he did not talk about: online gameplay.
Now before I get into the meat of the review, allow me to set the mood. I purchased my copy of Mortal Kombat for the PlayStation 3 because it has an extra character and stage, where as the Xbox 360 version does not. Well, the day after Mortal Kombat released was the same day in which Sony took the PlayStation Network offline, in what would become a three-week long service outage. Being that Mortal Kombat is the first fighting game I've played since the first installment of Street Fighter 4, I decided to use the down time to knock the rust off. So, for three-weeks I practiced; improving my technique and mastering multiple combo strings for multiple characters.
The whole time I was doing this, the desire to showcase my skills online seemed to grow tenfold each passing day. After all, what good is it to become adequate at a competitive fighting game if there's no way to compete with anyone. Sure, there's offline multiplayer, but constantly beating the few friends I have who enjoy fighting games only goes so far. Not only that, but after seeing how good of a job Nether Realm did constructing an excellent single player experience, see Brad's review, I had really high expectations for the online multiplayer.
With all that being said, maybe you the reader can now better understand just how disappointed I was when PSN came online, and I discovered just how terrible Mortal Kombat's online play really is.
How bad is it? Mortal Kombat's online play is so bad that it makes pulling off advanced combos near impossible. In the many matches I have played, I have yet to hit a combo that contained more than five hits, and I'm lucky if I hit more than one of those. Some of that could be chalked up to skill level, but it takes a mighty skilled person to hit long combos consistently when half of the inputs either don't come out or come out late. I'm not saying that every match is like this. I have had some matches where there was very little lag present, but these matches are so rare that it seems most people have grown content with just using their character's special attacks over and over.
If that wasn't bad enough, the area hit hardest by lag is the game mode I was most excited for: King of the Hill. I love the idea behind King of the Hill. The game mode starts with up to six people waiting in a theater. While the first two players are competing, the others are watching on the theater screen. After the match is over, everyone rates the winner on a scale from one to ten, before the next person in line gets a shot. This game mode reminds me of the arcades from my youth, where the winner would keep playing until he or she lost. Unfortunately, every King of the Hill match I have participated in has been borderline unplayable. The lag I experienced during these matches was so bad that combo strings were the last thing on my mind. It was a chore just pulling off basic movements and special attacks.
Some might say that lag problems could be solved by only challenging players with good connections, and when joining a room, the quality of each players connection is displayed. However, I have yet to find a single person with a displayed connection quality lower than four out of four bars. It's kind of hard to challenge the players with the best connection when the game is telling me that everyone has the best possible connection.
Mortal Kombat is not a bad game. Like Brad said in his review, the offline experience is “the high point of the entire series.” I just wish it had an online experience of the same quality.
Disclosures: This game was obtained via [retail store] and reviewed on the [PlayStation 3]. Approximately 70 hours of play was devoted to single-player modes, and the game was completed and 10 hours of play to multiplayer modes.
Parents: Keep far away from children. The violence is very graphic.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Story mode has subtitles. Audio has little effect on the ability to play this game.
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