Sunday, October 02, 2011

Mortal Kombat Review Updated

I'm about a month behind with this one but better late than never.

Mortal Kombat is a great game and you can check out my entire review here, however now that the atrocious online lag from launch has been fixed I've updated my review to include some proper thoughts on the game's Xbox LIVE experience.

If you've already read my original review, I've posted the update below for your reading convenience.

Early this past Summer, the horrendous lag that plagued Mortal Kombat's online play since launch was resolved via a Title Update, and as promised, now that I've spent a lot of time with the game over Xbox LIVE I'm updating this review accordingly.

Lag is still present, especially if your opponent has a lesser internet connection, but what remains is negligible and it's just a shame that it took NetherRealm Studios about two and a half months to resolve the issue. When the Title Update was released I was enjoying Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe and grinding that game's online play as Scorpion. In August, I turned my attention to Mortal Kombat and looking for a new kombatant to spend a lot of time with I selected Mileena as my champion.

In a little over a month I played a grand total of 252 Ranked Matches, winning 143 of those with a Best Streak of 12 games. I made it into the top 5000 players and greatly enjoyed myself, so much so that Mortal Kombat has now become my most played game over Xbox LIVE (in terms of number of games). Considering my limited time for gaming these days, that certainly says something!

Like any other fighting game many players simply spam or try to cheap their wins, but for the most part so long as you think while you fight and learn the patterns everyone copies from one another you should be able to do fine. NetherRealm Studios also releases regular balance updates which happen seamlessly when you connect online, and this further refines and balances the overall gameplay experience.

What is a shame is that like Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, several of the online-based Achievements are glitched. If an opponent disconnects or even quits a match early legitimately, the match may not count towards some rather time consuming Achievements. As a result, "Wavenet" and "The Competitor" can take a lot longer to earn amongst others, but at least you'll have a blast while doing it.

I also dabbled in King of the Hill and it seems like a really great game mode. It's fun to watch others pound on one another and to tinker with expressions for your Avatar, and when you're fighting in a match yourself you can easily switch to full screen mode by pressing "Back," which I recommend as it'll help you focus better.

My only gripe with King of the Hill is that in a full room you're going to spend a lot of time spectating, possibly more so than playing, which doesn't work so well for me given I usually only have an hour a day to game. With that amount of time at my disposal when I'm online to play I want to play, simple as that.

Regardless, I'm quite glad that Mortal Kombat's online play was fixed, at least from a lag perspective. There's a robust online experience here with great Ranked and Player matches to be had, and King of the Hill adds in a new aspect of fun if you've got the time to kill. I do wish they would have added Test Your Luck as a Multiplayer mode as the random variables would have made for some great and unique matches, but I suppose one can't have everything.

Really though, Mortal Kombat is an excellent experience and an extremely complete package. There's so much to offer on the core game disc that if you have any interest in fighting games or the franchise at all you need to pick this game up

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