This new "MK" has fewer than half that number - the cast of the first three games, a hidden character or two, and, for PS3 version owners, Kratos from "God of War" (and has there ever been a video game character more suited to the hyper-violent fighting of "Mortal Kombat" than him?).
The game jettisons the multiple fighting styles of the previous few games, with each character now given a set of basic and special moves and several combos. All the moves are easy to pull off and not difficult to string together. (Most result in a spurt of blood at minimum - the series' signature extreme violence and gore are intact for the HD age.) A power meter provides several benefits as it charges up via combat. The first level adds extra power to special attacks. The second allows a character to break out of a combo, and the third activates each character's X-ray move, a punishing attack in which the camera zooms in to show the internal damage being inflicted. The result is a game that plays better than any "MK" in memory, with fast-paced battles that don't depend on memorizing long strings of commands. The game can't quite go toe-to-toe with most other prominent fighting games, but put it up against any other "MK" and there's little contest.
The game has several modes, and "Koins" earned through play in all modes can be used to unlock new Fatalities, costumes, concept art, music and other goodies in the game's "Krypt." The game also features tag-team options, online matches and several minigames.
The arcade-style Ladder Mode pits players against a succession of opponents and must defeat boss enemies at the end. The game's Story Mode has players fighting through several chapters in the "Mortal Kombat" story, each focusing on a specific character for several battles. And the Challenge Tower consists of several challenges for each player, in which battles must be won under specific conditions - both fighters may be slowly losing health, for example, or the player may be restricted to one move, or only special moves...The latest game in the Mortal Kombat series is a return to form for the franchise. This is 2D fighting at its best – fast, furious and fun. It’s obvious from the outset that Mortal Kombat was created with a level of expertise, dedication and care that few games these days possess. It’s telling that Ed Boon – the director and co-creator of the original Mortal Kombat game released in 1992 – remained at the helm for this project. 19 years later the series has finally come of age, and a true classic is in our midst. So what makes this game so great? First and foremost, it’s that the developers were not prepared to cut any corners in making a game which would reignite the franchise and leave an indelible mark on the fighting genre. Almost every element you encounter in Mortal Kombat is masterfully executed; from the graphics to the animation to the presentation.Secondly, it’s that the game stays true to the series roots yet updates a variety of elements to take advantage of modern hardware. The gameplay feels fairly similar to Mortal Kombat II but the graphics and sound effects are some of the best we’ve been treated to this generation. If you played any of the Mortal Kombat games from the 1990s you’ll likely get a chill of excitement when you first pick up a controller and experience the game in motion. Also, the series’ trademark gore and excessive violence have not been scaled back one iota – in fact the latest Mortal Kombat is bloodier than ever.
Thirdly, Mortal Kombat is uncommonly content-rich for a fighting game. I haven’t seen a studio go to such lengths to flesh out a fighter with worthwhile content since Namco brought the arcade hit Soul Edge to the original PlayStation in 1997. There’s easily 20 hours of entertainment stored on the Mortal Kombat disc, and that’s before you even engage in the excellent multiplayer portion of the package. Now that I’ve outlined some of Mortal Kombat’s best features, let’s explore what you can expect from the game itself. There are a ton of modes to enjoy in MK, but the one you’ll probably want to dig into straight away is Story Mode....Story Mode comprises 16 chapters, and in each chapter you’ll fight as a different character. The story is basically about the forces of good versus evil, with the thunder god Raiden as the central protagonist. Each character you play as is one of Raiden’s allies, so unfortunately you never get to experience the story from the evil end of the equation. Each chapter consists of around 4 or 5 fights, and an in-game cut-scene plays between each bout. While these cutscenes lack innovative camera work or effects, they are often humorous and entertaining, and do a great job of shifting the action between the game’s many stages and providing a motive for beating your opponent into a pulp. Story Mode lasts a good 5 hours or so, and +/-64 fights/cutscenes later you’ll be faced with this mode’s dramatic conclusion. Very few fighting games have anything comparable to MK’s excellent narrative efforts, so the developers must be commended for all the time and resources they committed to this portion of the game.
According to NetherRealm's Ed Boon, the NPD figures don't count "special versions" of Mortal Kombat, in which case the game sold over 1 million units in April. Sony also confirmed to 1UP that the 13% increase in PS3 systems sold is year-over-year, in which case that adds up to about 204,304 PS3s. And Nintendo confirmed its systems' sales figures, according to MarketWatch: 172,000 Wiis (down 38% from April 2010) and 194,000 3DSes...Overall, Mortal Kombat is a dream come true for fans of the original games. It should seem as exciting to connoisseurs of the 2D fighting genre as a Final Fantasy VII remake would to RPG enthusiasts – it’s that monumental of an accomplishment. Often gamers have a tendency to always be looking ahead to the “next big thing.” But when a game like Mortal Kombat comes along it’s vital to take a step away from those titles not yet in our grasp, and enthuse about the modern classic we have right in front of us, nestling nonchalantly in our disc tray.