A Close-to-Flawless Victory

User Rating: 9 | Mortal Kombat PS3
I'd been waiting for Mortal Kombat to return to glory. Even though the PS2/Xbox era games were fun, they weren't great, and the 3d plane style of fighters always frustrated me. Then came MK VS DC, a T-Rated effort that felt like the spark had left the franchise.

Thank God it didn't.

MK is fun, difficult, classically-styled, and more importantly is brutal.

-Back to basics: We're back to the classic 2D fighter set up of old, allowing for faster and more furious fights. The power meter moves and brutal X-Ray super moves add a nice new touch to the old formula. Most importantly, though, is that MK is back to M-Rated territory, not holding back from its brutal and over-the-top violence that weigh the fights down into more than just sparring matches. The fatalities in this game are hilariously disgusting.
-Kontent: Yes, it's like content, but with a K. There are a plethora of fighters here, all from previous MK games (even my favorite, the much-hated Stryker, who I find to finally be a worthwhile addition to the franchise in this iteration), as well as a giant amount of unlockables in the Krypt. Concept art, music, costumes, and learning new fatalities are all on the table. There is also a giant Challenge mode that is exactly that: a giant challenge.
-Story: My favorite part. MK has an amazing story mode, following an alternate version of the events that unfolded during the first 3 MK games. This is a bold way to further the often overly-convoluted storyline of the MK mythology, and is thoroughly entertaining in its presentation and challenge.

-Difficulty: This one isn't a huge deal, but Shao Khan is the worst kind of motherf***er in the world. I never lose my temper when gaming, despite my ability to get frustrated, but that guy is so cheap that I have thrown controllers (and then suddenly come back to Earth with a sobering "what have I done?!"). The challenge mode is also a contender for fury-inducing madness, but that would be the point, then, isn't it?
-Online: I've never been able to play online without horrible lag. Some people have it better than others I guess, but even after upgrading my houses internet connection to 20MB/s, games are really slow, with some moves not registering until half a second to a second after I hit buttons.

In the end, this is a masterful return to form for the franchise, and I hope their next sequel can up the ante. After all, these are big blood-bucket-style shoes to fill.