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Mortal Kombat 1 Isn’t A Flawless Victory, But Still Has Kharacter

Platform(s): PS5 (version reviewed), Xbox Series, PC, Nintendo Switch
Genre: 2D Fighting Game

Trust Netherrealm Studios to kreate a kompelling single-player experience for its fighting games, even if it’s not as strong as its past works.

 

Kongregation

Basically the 12th game in the long-standing 2D fighting game franchise that has gore and finishing moves as its selling point, Mortal Kombat 1 has somewhat improved fighting game mechanics. For newbies, the fighting mechanics are solid and there’s a tutorial to get you sorted with the basics. For veterans, this is the best version of the game’s roster. From your revved-up main “shoto” characters like Liu Kang to even unique playstyle characters like Geras and Shang Tsung with his “different form, different movesets” ordeal, no two characters are alike.

Despite the confusing title (since the original 1992 is technically Mortal Kombat 1), this iteration’s kung-fu and ninja-filled roster is the best one yet. The kicker here is now you get to select a partner called Kameos; these kharacters are from past MK titles and have assists that range from buffs to extra projectiles, to even moves with armour. You can get creative with the fighting moves and combos here once you get the hang of the assist system; the gameplay feels so much faster here than in other MK iterations.

Which is why it’s a little jarring that the rest of the package isn’t as solid.

 

Kombat Kontrol

Not to say that it’s completely lacking, but Netherrealm Studios has done much better. While the game’s single-player story mode does change up the character roles quite a bit and recontextualizes everything, it’s clearly tailor-made for both new players and old. Those fresh into the series can enjoy the series’ defined lore of alternate world tournaments and kung fu action, along with some character development portions for the Earthrealm warriors. The buddy relationship between the new Johnny Cage and the new Kenshi is one such standout moment among a few, as well as the final fight involving multiverse-style alternate kharacters that elicit laughter from the most ardent of MK lore fans.

However, the other mode, Invasion, isn’t as strong a centrestage single-player mode. Compared to Street Fighter 6’s RPG World Tour mode, the big chessboard single-player mode is quite a grind and slow in pacing. It takes ages to get to where you’re going. The fights and obstacles are fun to deal with, and it’s equally as grindy as Street Fighter 6’s. But maybe the mode needs a fast-forward button to get through the “boarding” process. Otherwise, it’s pretty fun to kustomize your kharacter of choice with gear aplenty, powering them up to crazy heights and having them fight in different bouts and challenges.

Plus, there’s also a few elephants in the room to address: one character in the roster is locked and requires you to finish the single-player story mode to unlock. Shang Tsung, an important kharacter in MK lore, needs to be purchased separately. For a full-price game that has kompetitive tournament value, this is a jarring decision that reeks of money-grubbing kourtesy of its publisher.

Still, Mortal Kombat 1 is a solid 2d fighting game offering with lovely assist-based Kameo gameplay that allows for fun competitive expression and kreativity. While it’s not up to snuff to past titles like MKX and MK11 in terms of packed single-player kontent, it could have been much more paltry and barebones. As far as gateway 2D fighting games go, this one’s a keeper, at least for a few months of play and single-player mode fiddling.

 

Final Skore: 70/100

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Comment(3)

  1. Mortal Kombat 1 Switch Update Arrives; Addresses Major Improvements & Fixes | Kakuchopurei

    October 12, 2023 at 11:04 pm

    […] our Mortal Kombat 1 review, we said. “As far as gateway 2D fighting games go, this one’s a keeper, at least for a few […]

  2. Omni-Man Beats Mortal Kombat 1 Fighters To Bloody Bits In New Trailer

    October 15, 2023 at 1:58 am

    […] Mortal Kombat 1 is now available for the PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch and PC. Check out our full review of the game by heading over here. […]

  3. Mortal Kombat 1 Unveils DLC Character Ermac With Dynamic Gameplay Trailer | Kakuchopurei

    April 9, 2024 at 11:32 pm

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