Monday, November 9, 2009

GameFAQs Review - Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (Wii)

Alas, poor Midway. From being a modest developer of classic arcade games to becoming the Mortal Kombat empire to becoming bankrupt and bought in pieces by Time Warner. Such a tragic tale for such a former powerhouse and gaming legend. It's going to be a shame that Midway is gone and that the Mortal Kombat saga is in the hands of Time Warner. One has to imagine how they're going to handle the saga now.

But enough about the depressing side: let's talk about Mortal Kombat: Armageddon for the Nintendo Wii!

So for those who don't know, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is the seventh fighting game in the Mortal Kombat series and is considered to be the closure point of that particular chapter in the MK story. Having gather just about every fighter that has been in a MK fighter (and a couple extra guys), it was a fitting and satisfying final hurrah for the PS2 and Xbox consoles before Midway unleashed their Mortal magic on the next-gen systems... in the form of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe... what bitter irony. Guess we know who won that battle, heh heh... Ahem.

But what about the Wii?

Obviously, the Wii isn't as powerful as the PS3 and Xbox 360 and couldn't handle MKvsDC. So to remedy this, Midway decided to bring over Armageddon to Nintendo's white box of wonder, but with a couple extra features - including a new character, new motion controls, and a couple other additions.

Now I've already reviewed the Xbox version of the game and since this is pretty much the same game, I've taken the liberty of "recycling" a couple blurbs here and there. This isn't a straight copy - there are minor notes and quibbles I'd like to point out in regards to the Wii version.

STORY: "After years of konstant Mortal Kombats, the Elder Gods have had enough. Fearful that the konstant fighting may lead to the destruction of the realms, the Elders placed a safeguard and... more kombat ensures. Or something like that. Anyway, a last tournament is held to see who can fight the elemental Blaze. Winner gets godlike power. You know something? MK games may not have had the deepest or most refined of gameplay, but they always had some semblance of good storytelling even if it didn't make sense. For this game, it seems no effort was made to concoct a good story and it was just thrown together just for the sake of getting 60+ fighters together to beat the crap out of each other. In other words, the story is now nothing more than an afterthought just like any other fighting game out there." 3/10

GRAPHICS: Because the Wii is essentially a slightly stronger Gamecube, expect the graphics to look as good as the previous releases of MKA, if not a bit better in some respects. For the most part, a lot of the character models seem to have been recycled from previous 3D entries in the Mortal Kombat series, but for the most part, they look fine, they're somewhat fluid and not quite stiff as I remember it being, and it's nothing too offensive outside of the violence. For the most part, Armageddon still looks rather nice and gritty... just the way I expect my Mortal Kombat games to be. 8/10

SOUND: "Mortal Kombat's strong point has been its soundtrack and this game is no exception. The music is consistent in quality with the last two games, so if you didn't like or didn't care for the music in the previous games, this isn't going to change your mind. The sound effects are also serviceable and sound like what they should. Even the voiceovers in the Konquest mode are pretty good. No major complaints here." 7/10

GAMEPLAY: Armageddon's arrival on the Wii brings with it special motion controls via the Wii Remote and nunchuk. Holding down a button and performing a motion will allow you to perform special moves. It's a nice concept, but half the time the moves don't really respond all too well. You move your fighter with the Nunchuk stick while regular attacks are done with the D-Pad on the Remote, which is a admittedly functional set-up but not preferable. At the end of the day, it's a wild experiment that might be worth a try for a couple matches, but at the end of the day, you're better off just popping in a Classic Controller or Gamecube controller, which work just as well as the controls on the Xbox or PS2 versions. As before, each fighter has two styles to fight with and it opens up a wide variety of options to use against your enemy. Most of the stuff that you can do in the older versions, you can do here. 8/10

FEATURES: Everything that was in the PS2/Xbox versions are available here - the only exception being the online component. While I never really cared for the online gameplay, most people will and this is something to consider when picking up this game. Other than that, you still have your Konquest mode (the action-based story mode), the Krypt system where you can purchase alternate costumes, arenas, and other stuff, and also the Motor Kombat minigame, which you can play up to four players via splitscreen. They also kept the fighter creation system, which is the same as the previous versions. But you're still limited to one fighter per profile, which is a disappointment. And... oh yeah, they added a new fighter to the roster; Khameleon... any fans of the character may be slightly excited by this piece of information. 7/10

CHALLENGE: Mortal Kombat games tend to have very cheap AI. While the recent titles are somewhat balanced, they still retain a brief level of cheapness. In Armageddon, playing against a CPU opponent is manageable and even the final bosses of the game are somewhat balanced and can be defeated with proper tactics. Of course, cheapness is in here too, but it's not as prevalent as it was in previous entries. The Konquest mode is pretty straightforward and you shouldn't too much of a problem beating it. And then there's the Endurance mode, which is exclusive to the Wii. It's a fairly solid mode that adds an extra challenge for those who need it. 7/10

REPLAY VALUE: "There's plenty to do in this game. In addition to the multitude of fighters, you have secrets abound, Konquest mode, the Motor Kombat game (which will last a few tries), and the whole multiplayer component. It all depends on whether your thirst for Kombat will be satisfied." 8/10

OVERALL: Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is one of the Wii's better fighters and that's saying something considering there are not that many dedicated fighters for the system outside a couple SNK compilation sets (which doesn't count) or whatever versions of Street Fighter is available on the Virtual Console (which also doesn't count). With that said, however, if you already have the game on either the PS2 or Xbox original, there's really no reason to pick up this version unless you really want to play as Khameleon or you just want to collect all the MK games out there. The differences between the two versions are really minimal at best and the lack of any online option is a hard hit for those who crave that sort of thing. But if you don't already have the other versions, then this is well worth the money, as it's the only Mortal Kombat of any kind you're going to get on the Wii for the foreseeable future. 8/10

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