Mortal Kombat X review

A couple of weeks ago I finally got around to buying Mortal Kombat X. If people are wondering why it took me this long, I haven’t had an Xbox One until last fall and I haven’t had a chance to play much. Anyway, here’s the review…

Gameplay: 4/5 – The gameplay is actually really nice and I’ve gotten quite used to the simplified special moves. I also think it was interesting that NetherRealm brought back the different fighting styles for each character, though I feel it’s weird you can only choose one for each game-mode. The interactive background items (introduced in Injustice) are also a fun little addition though don’t change much. Really my biggest complaint is how after MK9’s very balanced roster, this game has a number of characters (Kotal Kahn, D’Vorah, Sub-Zero etc.) who are just dreadful to play as.

Graphics: 4/5 – I feel really mixed on this. The game has some really cool visual elements and some of the locations are very rich with detail. A lot of the characters’ alternate costumes are also really nice looking but that is sort of the problem. Most characters’ main outfits are dreadful! They’re either super dull (Bo Rai Cho), have the character wearing something unnecessary on their face (Liu Kang) or are just generally not that hot (Cassie Cage, Jacqui Briggs). However, since most characters get at least one alternate costume anyway, that’s not a huge problem. I’m just annoyed that characters have to look like a horse’s ass by default.

Animation: 4½/5 – Character animations are really detailed (and gross) but really it’s the cutscenes that win me over on this. However, the standard victory poses have gotten really boring for some reason which is why I’m lumping off half a point, but only half since you can skip them. Also, it may be just me, but I don’t think all the Fatalities are as funny as they used to be.

Music: 2½/5 – Same old, same old. The soundtrack in the cutscenes and in a few of the fight arenas (Goro) are nice but really nothing here stands out.

Sound: 5/5 – The voice-acting is excellent. I really gotta tip my hat to the actors who make all the characters sound awesome (even if some of the stuff they say is kinda dumb). No complaints here.

Plot: N/A* – Spoilers Ahoy!: The story-mode got a really mixed reception from me this time (and not just because of the Quick Time Events). Firstly, I did really like the Junior Kombatants and felt like they could have actually carried the story all by themselves. Perhaps because NetherRealm didn’t feel confident though, they had to throw in Raiden writhing in his own self-pity to just spice things up. Quan Chi’s revenant spawning got a little mixed for me and I really didn’t like how almost all of the good guys from the previous game became villains. However, Scorpion is cured from being a revenant (which was surprisingly awesome) and Johnny Cage’s lineage became central to the story. This was kinda cool.

However, the new characters turned out to be a massive disappointment after the promising beginning. I thought Kotal Kahn and D’Vorah could have both been interesting characters, but Kahn particularly seems to have the logical reasoning skills of a five-year-old (and Reptile’s not much better). I liked D’Vorah when it looked like she doubted Mileena’s competence as Outworld’s ruler but then she turns out to be just another fucking pawn which just made her suck a lot.

The finale was kinda neat and makes me curious for the follow-up to this title. However, over-all I felt that the story was a little all over the place and not nearly as good as the previous game’s.

Replay Value: 4/5 – There are some really fun game modes in this one and the Krypt seems quite interesting. The only hindrance is that some of the characters aren’t very fun to play as but for most of them, the thought of gathering (better) alternate costumes is appealing.

Score: 80% – Mortal Kombat X is a very passable follow-up to Mortal Kombat 9 and certainly better than Injustice but it’s got a lot of small annoyances that I wish wouldn’t have been an issue (chief amongst them the art-direction and unbalanced roster). I really hope that NetherRealm picks up on these weaknesses.

* Fighting games don’t get a plot-score.