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Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance Review

Ok, I am going to say this up front, i think Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance is an excellent game and is a must have not only for MK fans, but for all fans of the genre. Not only that, but IMHO MKDA is the best fighting game on the market right now. Here is why:

Graphics - let me see how to put this, the visuals in MKDA are breathtakingly beautiful, drop dead gorgeous, and simply put - flawless. Every single character model is immensely detailed, up to the last little wrinkle on their clothing, complete with facials expressions and bruise marks depending on the amount of damage taken during the fight. Lightning and special effects are just about some of the best in any game and easily the best in the fighting genre right now. And that's not even mentioning the backgrounds, which are nothing short of a piece of art. Each one is incredibly detailed with sometimes multiple events going on in them, and not only birds and flowing water, I am talking people moving about and going on about their business here, which makes for an amazingly rich and rewarding gaming experience. And it's not the characters and backgrounds only, every single piece of graphic in MKDA, including menus, icons and such, is beautifully designed and rendered. It's obvious that the creators took their time on this one and put a great amount of work and effort into it and it shows. To put it simply, MKDA is a sight to behold and easily the best looking fighting game on the market.

Sound - sound is also excellent. Each stage has its own very atmospheric music, background sounds like thunder, water and such are also present and high quality, and last but not least all battle cries, pain yells, etc. fit the MK mood and enrich the gaming experience.

Gameplay - wow, does the gameplay rock or what?! over 20 characters, each with 3 unique to them fighting styles, two hand-to-hand kombat and one weapon based. All hand-to-hand fighting styles are authentic martial arts with their specific stances, kicks, punches and so on. Not only that, but in Konquest mode, a brief history of the martial art in question is often given. Every single kick, punch, and throw not only looks amazingly beautiful but it also feels real and authentic, something that could not be said about about MK4. A fan of Bruce Lee's? Want to master Jeet Kuon Do? No problem. Or maybe you would like to stick to some of the more traditional martial arts - Karate? No problem again. Now granted, not every single move in a particular style is represented in MKDA, but depth there is aplenty. The emphasis this time around is clearly on hand-to-hand or weapons kombat and not so much on special moves as in previous games, but that most certainly does not mean special moves are done away with. On the contrary, they are there and they are magnificent. Wow, and I almost forgot the combo system. The only thing I can say about is ''WOW.'' Pulling off combos in MKDA is challenging yet intuitive and the ability to switch between martial arts on the fly provides for some truly devastating and amazingly cool looking combos. You must see this to believe it. And to summarize, the gameplay in MKDA is just as good as any fighter out there and better than most, and definitely all as far as I am concerned, of them.

Replay Value - with close to 700 coffins to unlock in the Crypt Mode, more than 200 missions in Konquest mode, over 20 endings to see, secrets yet unknown, Test Your Sight and Test Your Might minigames, the MK koins, and a versus mode, MKDA is all about replay value. And this was certainly one of the main ideas during the long development cycle of MKDA, having in mind that the game was meant for console release only and the single-player experience therefore was vital to its success. There is certainly more gameplay in terms of quantity here than in Tekken 4 or Virtual Fighter 4 or just about any other fighter for that matter. Value - there are some shortcomings here, however. My biggest complaint about the game is the lack of a final boss and a spectacular way in which he/she vanquishes. A big, lavish, scary, and very hard final boss would have made for an even better game, but he/she is not there, as far as I know. Another thing, why the cut scene endings? After MK4, the PSX version at least, having FMVs 4 years ago this seems kind of outdated. Now, a great many a people have complained about the presence of one fatality per character only and about the supposed absence, yet unconfirmed, of stage fatalities. I, for one, am not bothered by the number of fatalities but by the fatalities themselves. A few of them are old ones from previous games, and several others just leave something to be desired. In the end though MKDA is an outstanding game and I give the MK team big kudos for sticking to their guts and making the game the way they envisioned it and not a crowd pleaser.

Bottom Line - buy it, buy it now!