Mortal Kombat 9 (Xbox 360) – Full Review

The ninth Mortal Kombat hit the shelves earlier this year, but I had to wait until my birthday to play. After completing the story-mode, I can honestly say that it was worth the wait. Remember to check out the Top-10 Hottest Chicks from Mortal Kombat as well.

But now on with the review.

Gameplay: 4,5/5 – Though there is some unevenness in the characters, the gameplay of the new Mortal Kombat is fantastic. I had rather hoped that MK9 would have been a full-3D rather than 2½D fighting game, but I can’t really complain since the format really works. However, I can’t give the gameplay an absolute full score, since for whatever reason, after almost two decades, Midway decided to alter Liu Kang’s move-set for no apparent reason, making him much harder to play.

Graphics: 4,5/5 – The sets are modelled after those found in the first three games and the level of detail is impressive. The character models and particularly some of the new costume designs are also excellent, but I’m also glad the creators didn’t entirely alter the characters to be unrecognisable. Plus, the sets change noticeable depending on whether you’re fighting at the centre or the edges of the arenas which was a smart move to keep the arena’s looking varied. I’m knocking half a point off though for some of the female characters’ hair-physics which can be a tad awkward at times.

Animation: 5/5 – In-game animations look excellent and the X-Ray special moves are also quite impressive to look at, even if they come off a tad gimmicky. However, the reason this game receives a full score on the animation department are the excellent cut-scenes in the game’s Story Mode. It really feels like you’re watching a new Mortal Kombat film and seeing a bit of serious story-telling in the MK series is something I’ve always appreciated.

Music: 3,5/5 – Once again, I really wish Midway would finally take a cue from the MK movies’ soundtracks and add similar adrenaline pumping stuff. It’s bad enough that the music happens to be recycled mostly from the first three games, but all it does is illustrate how uninspired the soundtracks have always been. Well, at least in the cinematics the music becomes slightly more lively, so I’ll give them half a point for that.

Sound: 5/5 – Nothing to complain about. Not only are the audio-effects great, the game gets a lot more voice-acting thanks to the story-mode and I have to say that Johnny Cage definitely steals the show right off the bat with his smart-cracks.

Replay value: 4,5/5 – The solid gameplay and graphic look, as well as the strong and expansive story mode make this a truly worth-while entry in the series. The characters have proper ending animations as well which also gives you plenty to do in the Arcade mode and of course you can once again buy extras from the Krypt with the Kurrency you kollect… er, collect. However, apart from the alternate costumes, I don’t find most of the extras that exciting.

Score: 90% – Mortal Kombat 9 impressed the hell out of me. For a reboot, it handles the storyline of the franchise really well and as a fighting game, it manages to kick massive ass by adding something old with the new. There’s no denying that this is easily the most polished, well crafted title in the franchise and absolutely a must play for any serious MK fans.

Review History

Score: Gam: Gra: Ani: Mus: Sou: Rep:
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon 78 % 4 4 4 3,5 4 4
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe 77 % 4 4 5 2,5 4,5 3
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance 76 % 4 4,5 4 2,5 3 5
Mortal Kombat (1) 75 % 4,5 4 4 3 4 3
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 73 % 4 5 5 1 3 4
Mortal Kombat 2 67 % 3,5 5 5 2 2,5 2
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