Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is a great action adventure game. It is fun to play and even more fun when you are able to
Attempts have been made before at giving the MK world some depth and story, but those attempts have been awful. Even the most devoted fans would have a hard time admitting they played these terrors, known under the guise "The Mythologies series."
With these two duds under the belt, the MK team had a lot to live up to, in the fact that their fighting games are still great, yet their story games are just not worth the time invested at all. They decided to give it one final try, and this time came out with a quality title.
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is a great action adventure game. It is fun to play and even more fun when you are able to play 2 player ko-op. Anyone who hasn't experienced the joy of tossing an enemy back and forth with your friend needs to find a way to do that right now. This review will even pause while you check it out, so go ahead and do it... Wasn't that great? Let's move on.
MK:SM goes back and redefines the story as it was taking place during the 2nd Mortal Kombat game. They flesh out the levels, with several locations and scenes from MK2. They add new depth to these locations, making them interesting to explore. Supposedly there is a secret area in every area of the game just waiting to be discovered. There are certainly a lot of secrets waiting to be unveiled.
You start off with Liu Kang and Kung Lao, and each of them has several moves, combos, and fatalities you can use. There are also some unlockable characters you can play through the campaign with, as well as a vs. mode with even more characters to choose from. Several characters from the first and second games have cameo appearances, from Reptile to Noob Saibot, and even the questionable Ermac, whose existance in the original two games was a mere rumor.
Graphically, the game is beautiful. The graphics are dark, but they are designed that way to represent the dark world that the Monks are fighting through. The animations, fighting moves, fatalities, anything you can think of from a graphical aspect is well done, giving you a dark yet fun environment to explore.
The music keeps with that dark theme, drawing you into the MK world. The sounds are authentic from MK2, and do not feel that dated as they are upgraded into this adventure game without losing the feel they first had. Everything from Liu Kang's Bruce Lee like cries to Kung Lao's buzz sound as his hat flies from his head.
The controls are easy to learn, the camera is well done, and there are very few, if any, times when you would be frustrated with either.
Again, two player "ko-op" is where this game really shines. You will have a blast with your friend as you play through this game, and even people who aren't fans of the Mortal Kombat series will enjoy romping through the levels and bashing on the anonymous baddies that try to stop you.
In conclusion, if you're looking for a great adventure game, then Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is worth checking out. If you are a MK series fan, then the adaptation of the story and the gameplay is something you will love and you probably already own this game.