Mortal Kombat Deception

Mortal Kombat Deception - Review Playstation 2

Here it is, Mortal Kombat Deception, the latest game in the long running blood fest series which features some great new characters and some old favourites, news fight arenas, some very different game modes and probably most importantly of all online play.

Mortal Kombat Deception offers a good number of modes to choose from, some of which are a bit bizarre but all the same quite novel. The first mode is the konquest mode which is a fairly dull story based adventure which you will need to play to unlock some goodies. The more bizarre modes are puzzle kombat which is a Tetris style game and chess kombat which takes the classic battle chess game and adds some Mortal Kombat flavour.

The one-on-one fighting is the core of Mortal Kombat Deception and as you would expect the action is fast, bloody, intense and usually fluid. The fighting system from Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance virtually remains in tact and each fighter still has three fighting styles of which one is always a weapon based martial art. For example Baraka's fighting styles are Silat, Hung Gar and Blades. Each martial art provides about sixteen moves which are comprised of pretty simple commands such as up + triangle. Then you have your special moves, some characters only have a couple while others can have up to four special moves. These moves are usually slightly more complicated than the basic moves but the impact is usually greater. So Baraka's chop, chop blades special move is down, up + X.


Mortal Kombat Deception - Review Playstation 2

Mortal Kombat Deception - Review Playstation 2

Once you have sussed the basic moves and the special moves you can start to create combos which will dish out plenty of damage but the commands must be entered into the control very quickly. There are a couple of different types of combo, you can go out and just give your opponent a good pasting or you can do something a little more tricky and pull off a juggle combo which demands perfect timing. The advantage of a juggle combo is that your opponent can't pull off a counter move known in MK as a breaker. A breaker is a simple move which is pulled off by pressing the directional button towards you opponent while pressing the block button. If the timing is good you will break the flurry of attacks coming at you and counter with a very strong punch which will usually see you opponent flying backwards.

So after learning the basics you will know roughly fifty moves per character. Then there are the combos and each character will usually have about seven combos per fighting style which takes the total up to about 70 different ways to attack your opponent. This provides you with virtually unlimited combinations of moves and endless possibilities for fights as Mortal Kombat Deception has 12 characters available to start with and another 12 characters to unlock later in the game.

Then there are the fatalities which are synonymous to the Mortal Kombat series. This time around each character has two fatalities, all as painful and gory as before. New to Mortal Kombat Deception are the Hara-Kiri moves which are basically suicides. If you are beaten by your opponent you never really like to see them perform a fatality on you, so now you can choose to pull off Hara-Kiri and top yourself. Baraka's Hara-Kiri sees him take out one of his blades and chop his own head clean off. Nice. Fatalities have always been just for show and now they are still just for show, but if you win a fight and you are able to pull off a fatality before your defeated opponent pulls a Hari-Kiri, things seem even more satisfying. This however is not very easy, as the winner has to get in position to perform the fatality whereas the defeated can Hara-Kiri in any location, so the defeated opponent has the advantage. None of this really matters anyway as both the fatalities and hara-kiri's are very entertaining.

Mortal Kombat Deception sees the return of the death arenas seen in the early days of the game, levels such as the death pit and acid filled dead pool. These are just a couple of old levels making a return, there are also a load of new levels with death traps. This time around the levels are fully three dimensional too, so levels have multiple floors, breakable walls, floors and roofs. This adds extra visual flair and action to the game that hasn't been seen in Mortal Kombat before. The death levels can give fights a very quick turn around, if you are loosing a fight the best chance you have of victory is to punch and kick your opponent off a cliff, or into a spiky grinder. If this happens in the first round you will not win the match, inexplicable your opponent will be back in one piece again ready for the next round. This has obviously been done like this for gameplay reasons and not realism. If you think of Virtua Fighter's ring out system, Mortal Kombat Deception's version is just a lot messier and a hell of a lot more entertaining.

The Konquest mode is something which most players will not enjoy so much, but unfortunately it is compulsory if you want to unlock extra hidden goodies such as new characters, new levels, alternative costumes, pictures and a whole lot more. In Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance you could unlock extras by simply collecting enough points through fighting to unlock koffins with in the krypt. This time around, certainly if you want the good stuff, you will have to play the konquest mode to find keys to unlock koffins and then you will have to spend the cash to get your hands on a couple of new characters.

Konqest mode sees you take control of a character called Shujinko, an aspiring martial artist that wants to learn new ways of fighting. You will walk around various locales and learn new fighting techniques and find hidden goodies. Basically Konquest mode is a glorified training mode where you must complete certain tasks to open up the next area of the level. It might sound alright now but when you see it you will be thoroughly disappointed, it looks dull and it is pretty dull to play. All the missions or objectives are basically go from point A to point B fetch something and learn a few more moves. Occasionally you will have a good fight with you tutor, but most of the time you just have to repeat commands that are displayed on the screen. The only one reason I have spent time playing the Konquest mode is ton gain new characters and levels, other wise I would not have even spent 5 minutes on it. If you are a beginner in the fighting genre or you are now to Mortal Kombat you may find some use in the Konquest be learning the basics of the game.

So the one and only reason why 99% of player will play konquest mode is to unlock extras. What you have to do is walk around huge areas and collect coins, and walk around a bit more and collect more koins. These coins can be spent in the krypt to open koffins. You can also earn koins from playing the other modes in the game with the exception of the online mode. You will notice some koffins are locked and require keys and it is for this reason that you will need to wonder around the konquest mode, just to find the keys to unlock certain koffins that usually contain the games initially unplayable characters. The problem is many of the keys are well hidden so if you want to spend as little time as possible in the konquest mode I suggest you download one of the many guides that tell you where all the hidden keys are located. If you're determined to find the keys yourself, beware because this could bring down the whole MK experience.

The puzzle kombat and chess kombat modes are far more enjoyable than the konquest mode if a little gimmicky. You can play both these games, on or offline. The puzzle combat difficulty ramps up quite quickly after you defeat a few successive opponents on the run. You may find puzzle kombat is probably too easy to start with the difficultly level becoming to difficult too quickly. Although the difficulty level isn't balanced puzzle kombat is a great little mini game that is very similar to Tetris and all the other puzzle games of this type. You have to match up the coloured blocks with the same coloured blocks that have already fallen. You will see the odd special icon that will fall, if you match these with the similarly coloured blocks that have fallen the blocks of that colour will smash and the same number of blocks will fall on your opponent's stack of blocks.

Chess Kombat is equally entertaining, you pick you characters to play as pawns, the bishop, the rooks, king and queen etc. Then your players are laid out on a chess board. As in the real thing it is a turn based game. When two pieces on the board meet you will have to go and fight for the square, the winner remains and the looser is removed. There is a way to take advantage of your opponent, on the board there are a couple of flashing squares, once occupied with one of your characters this will give all your characters a health boost. At the end of the day, chess kombat comes down to fighting a heck of a lot of people.

The online mode is a major development for fighting games, and for Mortal Kombat Deception it is probably the greatest attraction. From the start everything is nice and easy, you can find a match with no problems and believe it or not the game runs very smoothly and appeared to be lag free, which for this type of game is absolutely imperative. A real bonus to the online mode is the ability to play any one of the characters, including the chatacter which are locked on the offline game. The secret to MK online is finding an opponent of a similar skill level. Al in all this is a really good effort from Midway, the first of a kind on a console and it works very, very well. Everyone should be very excited about this.

Mortal Kombat Deception now looks better than ever before with exception to the konquest mode which is a real let down. The fights are animated very well, there is the odd movement which looks a bit awkward but in some ways that is part of the Mortal Kombat trade mark that some how manages to give the game character. One of the greatest improvements are the arenas, when a fight is in full swing the breakable arenas add even more action to the fight and it looks fantastic too. The arenas look very well finished, just as good as any other game of its type and some of the death traps look very gruesome, especially the spiky grinder, it looks even better when some poor sould gets crushed in it. The audio is another area where Mortal Kombat Deception scores very well, the screams, punches, cracking of bones are all still there and the very sinister voice of the announcer is still here, a real MK trade mark. You just can't fault the sound one bit.

Mortal Kombat Deception is a great game that adds some slightly bizzare elements to the mix and manages to pull it off. Off course fans of the previous titles will just love Deception as will the fans of Deadly Alliance. The area that Mortal Kombat Deception really excels is the fighting, online or offline. The fighting system is very well thought out and with the added breaker moves the tactics can evolve to a higher level. Then there is the online mode which is simple astonishing especially considering this is the first of a kind for any console, it's a really great effort and very enjoyable to play. MKD packs a whopping punch where it counts.

9.3 out of 10


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