Saturday, May 28, 2011
Mortal Kombat (PS3)
On Thursday I got invited to come to a friends house the next evening, because he'd just gotten Mortal Kombat. In anticipation, I pulled out my copy of Super Street Fighter IV. Never got to playing it much, being that I'm a more goal-driven person and SSFIV doesn't really feed into that.
But they did have a training mode of sorts, in the guise of a challenge mode, which seemed like a good way to get to know the characters, as it had you do all of their special moves and combos in increasing complexity. So the gimp is standing in front of me, waiting for me to unleash my devastating combo fury... but I can't pull it off, because you have to have lightning-fast fingers to perform the next move in the combo. Over and over and over and over... and eventually I give up in frustration because I can't even complete the training mode.
As much as I play video games, I have to say I've never been particularly good... because I'm kind of a lazy gamer. SSFIV seems to be catering to the good players. It reminds me of why I don't like most racing games. At some point in the first minute, I WILL crash, and then I won't see the other players again until they lap me. Maybe if I tweak out for hours on end, I could be that good too. But I don't want to devote weeks of my life to playing a racing game or a fighting game.. I want to pop it in, play a few rounds, and move on. The learning curve on many of these games discourages that.
On a side-note, my most anticipated game of the year is Twisted Metal. I can't believe there aren't more vehicle combat games out there.
Mortal Kombat felt more friendly. I went in blind against my friend, and he murdered me. But then he stepped out of the room, and I stepped into the training mode. It gave me the basics, and then I selected a specific character, Reptile, and learned his moves. I was already feeling more confident that SSFIV made me feel.
Then I jumped into the fatality trainer... it let me practice... and more importantly, SEE, all of the characters fatalities. Each character has three fatalities, with two that need to be unlocked. I hope they saved the good stuff, because I thought the initially available fatalities were for the most part unspectacular. I did unlock Nightwolf's second fatality, which was cooler than most of the ones I'd already seen, so that may very well be the case. At this point, I changed characters to Stryker, because he had my favorite fatality, and I liked that he started every match proclaiming "police brutality". Part of my disappointment was visual, too. Why do the backgrounds disappear? Holding up my opponents head would be more impressive if the arena was still there to show it to.
Then I went and explored single player... and there's a lot to do. Did I mention I'm a goal-driven gamer? This was a lot more appealing to someone like me. Many of them are pointless, but I'm drawn to pointless tasks.
After messing around a bit with the challenges, I wanted to do the single-player ladder. I set it on retartedly-easy because I wanted the experience of running up through it before my friend came back. The first few fighters barely even moved. Easy flawless victories, which gets a lot of points to unlock stuff, if you're looking for a cheap way to do that. They got a little harder further up the ladder, but never really any threat. Then I got beat my Shang-Tsung. Maybe I just got lazy... played him again and finished him, and moved onto Goro. Goro tore me up, repeatedly. All he needs is three or four shots at you and you're dead. I was pretty embarrassed that it took me four tries to beat Goro on beginner. Shao Khan... took three times too. And he takes breaks to laugh at me.
I also messed around with Kratos a bit. I was pretty impressed that he felt like Kratos, and as such was unlike any other character in the game, but without feeling out of place.
Style-wise, I really prefer the cartoony approach and character diversity of SSFIV. I've heard Marvel vs Capcom may be a bit more forgiving, and I think I'll give that a try in the near future. But ultimately I think Capcom is catering to the hardcore gamer, whereas Mortal Kombat lets me feel better about myself, and gives me a lot more to do. Street Fighter is probably going to get traded in very soon. 4/5 stars for Mortal Kombat.