Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mortal Kombat (Xbox 360 and Kratos Edition) Guest review awwww snap.

As a lifelong Mortal Kombat fan, I may have some bias towards this review. But fear not, I can put away my fanboyish tendencies for 10 minutes. After many misfires, Netherrealm studios gives us a much needed return to form. Many fans, myself included, feel this was a necessary step in the franchise's life. In this resurgence of the fighting game genre, MK adds a boost to the lifeline.

Graphics: 8/10
Mortal Kombat boasts a 2D plane with 3D graphics. Every character is highly detailed. To the point of showing physical damage on the character models after a hard fought battle. No longer must we live in the days of palette swapped ninjas. The inclusion of X-Ray moves shows the detail I'm talking about. Organs, intestines, rib cages. If you've taken any anatomy class, all your old friends are going to be here whenever you hit your triggers.

Fatalities are back, after DC saved the world from them, and they are just as brutal as they ever were. If not, moreso. Skin is stretched to the breaking point. Unidentifiable organs hang from torsos. Fun for the whole family, really.

I do have a very specific complaint though. It seems to me that the graphics for the cut scenes in story mode are actually worse than the gameplay graphics. Which is weird to me, because every other game seems to have it the other way around. On the plus side, you know when you're about to fight in story mode, because the graphics are suddenly good. So you get a forewarning.

Story: 7/10
I don't really know what to say about the story. It feels like you're playing an over the top kung fu movie. For me, I loved that aspect. But if you're looking for a game with massive amounts of narrative, you're looking in the wrong place, I'm afraid. It does, however, explain a lot of character's backstories. Noob Saibot, Cyrax/Sektor, and Kabal come to mind. I'm trying to keep this spoiler free so I won't dive any further into it.

Music: 5/10
Nothing has really stood out to me, musically. MK comes with a catalog so you can order a CD of the soundtrack. I seen this before playing the game, so maybe I had high hopes. But as far as a review of it goes, I wouldn't buy the soundtrack. I think that pretty much sums it up.

Gameplay: 9/10
Now this is where MK really shines. Every element that made the first games so popular is here. And built upon. I had expected the nostalgia to wear off and leave me dissatisfied. Like pouring a fresh soda but the fizz wears off and you're left with much less of a beverage. But no, MK leaves your thirst quenched and your taste buds wanting more. To sum it up in a sentence, you've got a lot of shit to do. Story mode, classic ladder style, challenge tower, and of course, online fighting.

The return to the 2D plane adds what many MK fans have been wanting since MK4. An easy to maneuver field and easier projectile hits. The move list has many combos to learn, but the majority of what you use is most likely going to be made up on your own. If you had a favorite character from back in the day, there is a 95% chance they'll be here in all their former glory.

There's no sugar coating here, this game is straight up fighting. That's what you'll be doing. And if you're like me, you'll love doing it.

Etc(Exclusives Included): 6/10

The Krypt offers a graveyard full of creepily found extras. Concept art, alternate costumes, extra fatalities. Everything your heart desires. You'll have to earn it though. Koins earned through fighting, completing challenges and the story will get you everything. Proving again, nothing in life is free. Not even in a game you paid for. 360 exclusive is a king of the hill mode. I personally haven't played it but from what I understand, it's a lobby. I think that's a pretty terrible exclusive.

Kratos: 10/10
He's a beast and I hate every PS3 owner.

Overall: 9/10 Nearly
Flawless Victory
Every hope and expectation I had for this game was met. The nostalgia I felt when I first put this game in and ran through the ladder as Scorpion made me feel 9 years old again. As an incredibly easy to pick up game, I highly recommend it to anyone who has the slightest interest in the MK franchise, the fighting game genre, or the letter K.

-Crazy T-Rav

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - Fate Of Two Worlds (XBox 360)

Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I really have a thing for sequels that took 10+ years to come out, huh? Fans have long awaited the sequel to what many consider one of the best fighting games of all time. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was a hit, even 10 years later in this resurgence of fighting games. Arcades are a dying commodity, but the fighting game genre lives on. And man, am I glad for that. I grew up on the classics. Street Fighter I & II, Art Of Fighting, even the Double Dragon fighting game.

Graphics 9/10
I really like what they've done with the character models this time around. The sleek, glossy look every character model shares is a nice touch. For once, all the characters look like they belong in the same game. No more 1994 Morrigan Sprite.

The stages on this game are freakin' insane. The developers really put a lot, and I mean A LOT, of attention into detail. From the Daily Bugle's parade, to the Bifrost, the rainbow bridge in the background of Asgard. So much fan service went into this game it's great.

The moves, hyper moves, combos, etcetc all flow together so perfectly. The light shows of a heated battle never ceases to amaze me. A lot of time went into making this game and it shows.

Gameplay 8/10
I'll admit, when Capcom announced the control scheme was going to lean more towards Tatsunoko vs Capcom, I was a bit frustrated. Every Marvel vs. Capcom game since the first has "dumbed down" the control scheme a little more. There was the typical 6-button layout in Marvel vs. Capcom 1. Then they dropped it down to a 4-button scheme, and now 3-button [exluding the S button]. While each control scheme works for each game, I kinda wished it would've remained the same. I would've been completely alright with either the 4-button or 6-button button layouts. I prefer the 6. This game is still pretty tight on the controls front, though. Instead of having to figure out which button and direction is a characters launcher, everyone has the same button for it. S. I miss the old layouts, sure. But this one works just as well.

The computer seems to be completely random in what it wants to do. Trying to breeze through Arcade mode on Very Easy will sometimes surprise you with a 96-hit combo out of nowhere. Other than that, I have no complaints.

Story x/x
I hate to do it again but I really know nothing about the story. It's just their for filler, really. Galactus wants to eat planets, the Big Bads want to be bad. You get it.

Music 9/10
Most all of the music is flawless. The remixes of characters older music is great. The new themes fit the characters extremely well. I swear Dante's theme is directly out of one of the DMC games. They're great. I just downloaded the entire soundtrack for this game the other day, and I can NOT stop listening.

Extras 7/10
I really wish the endings would have been more than photo stills with text overlays. I feel they could've done so much better given the ending quality of SSFIV. Anime cutscenes with voice acting, you know. Instead we're treated to a simple picture and a few words. Even still, they're great. Each characters ending has tons of shout outs and crossovers. There's all kinds of titles, and icons to unlock. Call of Image galleries, music galleries, character bios. Enough to keep someone busy for hours.

Overall 8.25/10

After 11 long years, hundreds of misheard rumors, and hundreds of dollars in quarters spent in arcades, Capcom has really given their fans something to rejoice over. This game is solid. A must have for any fighting game fan.