Take note that when you fight in the weapon stance you will inflict more pain on your opponent but buy the same token you can sustain more damage should you opponent get the better of you. Some of you maybe disappointed that the uppercut move has been binned, but there is no need to worry, each fighter has at least one launch move which has the same desired affect as the uppercut punch. The launch moves are accompanied by juggle moves that will let you keep your enemy in the air. All this adds up to some serious combo potential. You can start with a combo which, finishes with a launcher and adding some juggle moves (or repeating launch moves) to keep you opponent in the air and then just before they hit the ground hit them with a special move. This combo is a simple example of what is possible; you can actually start a combo in one fighting style and finish it in another style. The possibilities are endless.
Fans of the series will not be able to use all the moves without looking at the moves list because the moves have been quite radically changed. Scorpion can still throw his spear but the move is not the same as in previous titles, secondly some of the classic special moves are gone, such as Scorpions teleport and Raiden's torpedo moves have been replaced with a generic shoulder charge. Rather than unbalancing the game these changes have made MKDA incredibly balanced even though some characters have more special moves than others. This may not sound quite right, but due to the large focus on combos, you do not have to rely on the special moves as much as you did in the previous instalments of MK to win fights.
MKDA features a good mix of old and new fighters, although there are bound to be some people who are disappointed because there favourite fighter has been left out of the roster. The returning characters are Cyrax, Jax, Johnny Cage, Kano, Kitana, Kung Lao, Quan Chi, Raiden, Reptile, Scorpion, Shang Tsun, Sonya and Sub Zero. In addition to the veterans there is a good selection of new characters: Frost is a female version of Sub Zero. Bo Rai Cho, a fat drunk who pukes everywhere. Kenshi is a blind tai chi master who uses telepathic powers. Mavado, he has some cool ropes that enable him to move around the arena in style. Lei Mei is your basic female fighter. Drahmin really is not a very nice chap; he is a decomposing demon that is always covered in flies. Nitara is a vampire with wings. Hsu Hao is a kind of demon with a "Kano'esq" heart implanted in his chest and that is about it.
MKDA has a couple of new modes to offer, the first being Konquest Mode. The Konquest Mode is similar in many ways to a training or tutorial mode, it takes you on a journey through various sections that will show you the various basic moves for each fighting stance, special moves and various combos increasing in difficulty. While on the journey through the Konquest mode the game will attempt to tell the story of each character via text at the bottom of the screen. It would have been nice to have these stories told through speech rather than just text. After a few sections you will probably get bored of the text interludes and start skipping them.
The second mode is The Krypt. When starting the game you will be asked to create a player profile, this will keep track of Koins that you will earn through the Arcade mode and the Konquest mode. There are a total of 6 different koin types which consist of Platinum, Gold, Sapphire, Ruby, Jade and Onyx. Once you have some earned some koins you may spend them in the Krypt. Here there are nearly 700 coffins which contain various goodies or not as the case may be. You will find a variety of different things in these coffins ranging from development sketches to new characters (locked at the start of the game), new fighting arenas, costumes, more koins and various pictures. This does sound like a great idea, but in practice it doesn't work very well. Imagine saving up loads of koins just to find out you have bought a picture of the development team. This is generally the case too because the decent stuff is few and far between. This feature would certainly have been better if there where more high quality goodies in the coffins. But to help you get off to a good start here are the coffins for some of the characters.
Cyrax CN 3003 Platinum
Drahmin UR 6500 Sapphire
Frost IV 208 Ruby
Hsu Hao MW 3317 Jade
Jax SA 3780 Ruby
Kitana KI 2931 Sapphire
Nitara TI 4022 Gold
Raiden XG 3116 Jade
Reptile LL 3822 Gold
Did someone mention blood? Err yes, there is tons of blood in Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance and it looks great too. After unleashing a combo on your opponent, blood explode creating a small red mist in the air and then will roll down their body and fall on the floor where it will get stained and smudged by the fighters. The rest of MKDA looks very impressive too, as mentioned all the generic animations are gone so each fighter looks very different when fighting and walking. In general the animation is very good and solid. The textures also look very nice. The projectiles could have been executed a bit better as most of them look like clusters of small coloured balls. On the whole Deadly Alliance does a very good job of bringing the Mortal Kombat series into full 3D.
The sound is what you might expect should you have played any previous Mortal Kombat games. The announcer is still doing the same thing after all these years; phrases such as Flawless Victory, Finish Him are still here. Unfortunately the commentator could have played a role in the Konquest mode narrating the story, but it wasn't to be. Sound effects wise you can hear a lot of slapping, scuffing, groaning and bone breaking going on which does its job very effectively. The music is pretty good too, it is very similar to the previous series musical scores, and so, it feels just right.
Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance has made it in the 3D world of beat'em ups in good shape. The complete overhaul of the game has paid off as Mortal Kombat is now a very unique 3D fighter that has its own niche market for those who want something different to the Virtua Fighter and Tekken one the market at the moment. Most of all though MKDA succeeds in the most important area, it has fun oozing out of every orifice.
8.5 out of 10