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March 2, 2003
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
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Attacking with weapons.
"Fatality". It was the early 1990's and that single phrase alone created excitement among gamers, and cries of censorship from parental groups and governments resulting in mandatory game classification in Australia. Following the success of the first three games things started to fall apart with poorly developed games such as Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero the woeful Mortal Kombat: Special Forces. These games effectively destroyed the series. With the release of the Dreamcast however the series was revived with Mortal Kombat Gold, a strong title that combined good graphics with the classic gameplay. All up the previous games in the series have sold an phenomenal 19 million copies worldwide, proving just how big an audience the game has.

I'm not going to explain the storyline in this game because in reality it's really a side issue to the game. This is a fighting game, plain and simple. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance contains over 20 character including returning favourites such as Johnny Cage, Kung Lao, Scorpion, Raiden, Sub-Zero and Sonya Blade as well as new characters including Frost, Moloch, and Kenshi. Fights take place on any of the sixteen stages, each with their own look, and often traps to watch out for. As you should know Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is primarily hand-to-hand combat, but also allows you to use weapons and projectile attacks to takes out the opposition. In fact one of the biggest changes to the fighting system is the inclusion of three different fighting styles for each combatant, two of which are hand based while the third involves the use of weapons. Changing between the styles is as easy as pressing L1 on the controller.

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Scorpion battles away.
Once again the most controversial aspect of the Mortal Kombat games, the fatalities, are returning and they look bigger and more gruesome then ever before. Like the very first game each character has a single fatality to perform which includes some grotesque, but very cool, ways of totally destroying the opposition. Before you ask the "babalities" and "animalities" are gone from the game.

One of the biggest problems with the previous titles in the series was the lack of longevity. Midway have this problem sorted for Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance with the ability to enter the "Krypt", which is comprised of more than 600 "koffins" that players can purchase with "kurrency" earned in the game. These "koffins" are filled with new characters, new arenas, alternate costumes, behind the scenes documentaries, concept art as well as other hidden surprises. This should have you coming back for quite some time at the very least.

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Check out the blood!
Problems are pretty few and far between. At times I felt that the fighting itself wasn't as fluid as in other fighting game such as Sega's Virtua Fighter 4. At times the combos aren't as easily strung together as you would expect. Another niggle is that while the developers have implemented a story type quest mode the details of the story are only displayed on static screens. It would have been nice for some small cut scenes or a little more variety as it becomes tiresome with over 200 battles to complete.

When looking at the graphics it is clear that a lot of attention has been paid to the small details. No longer do the fighters just have blood gushing from their faces when struck but each characters has several levels of physical damage such as cuts and bruises to the face. The blood now also trickles down each fighter's bodies.

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Battle in the snow.
Sound in this game is definitely worth cranking the volume up for. The actual effects of kicks and punches landing are spectacular, easily amongst the best heard in a console fighting game. Likewise the music is very atmospheric and sets the mood for every single battle. The music has been provided by Arista Records' Adema, who created a theme song called "Immortal" for this game. This song is also available as a pretty cool video clip in the extras section.

Overall, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is a fine comeback for a series which has struggled over the last couple of years. The graphics and sound are very solid while the gameplay has been given a shot in the arm with a new fighting system. If you were a fan of the original Mortal Kombat games but lost interest as I did then you may want to take a decent look at this title. Well done Midway.

GRAPHICSBloody and brutal characters. Occasionally dull backgrounds.
SOUNDThe effects are meaty, the music atmospheric. Pretty good overall.
GAMEPLAYDefinitely the best MK game in years, but needs more fluidity.
VALUEEarn money to unlock the "koffins" will have you back often enough.
OVERALLMortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is certainly the best game in the series for quite some time. I really loved the original games and this latest game brought back many memories. A well rounded, if not overly polished fighting game. Check it out.

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