had found out of Quan Chi's involvement in the death of his family and
began to pursue him throughout the Netherealm. During his escape, Quan
Chi entered a portal that sent him to ancient writings where he discovered
the history of his amulet and about the Dragon King's invincible army.
He managed to escape from the Netherealm using a secret portal and approached
Shang Tsung with an offer to join forces and rule the realms together.
Quan Chi established a "Soulnado" in Shang Tsung's fortress with the agreement
that Shang Tsung would use some of the souls to animate the army. Together,
they approached Shao Kahn and attacked him, seemingly killing him in his
weakened state. It was later revealed that they killed a clone, and that
the real Shao Kahn had escaped. The Deadly Alliance then double-teamed
and killed the only one who could possibly stop them, the Mortal Kombat
Champion, Liu Kang.
Raiden once again rallied
the Earthrealm soldiers to stop this impending threat. Also included in
the battle were newcomers Li Mei and Nitara. Nitara's realm had been merged
into Outworld against her will, whereas Li Mei was trying to free her land
from The Deadly Alliance. Others joined the fight as well, including the
newly reprogrammed Cyrax (now working for the U.S. Special Forces Unit
with Jax and Sonya), as well as Kenshi, a warrior who had been blinded
by Shang Tsung's treachery and who sought revenge, and Sub-Zero the younger
brother of the original Sub-Zero and the new leader of the Lin Kuei. Unfortunately,
these heroes were unable to stop the Deadly Alliance, as the two sorcerers
overcame all foes, destroying the majority of the opposition.
I think Raiden is one of the
"hidden" characters... possibly? lol.
storyline begins where Deadly Alliance's left off, and that's precisely
where I'm going to begin my review.
The prequel's introduction with Liu Kang's apparent "Death" was
memorable and borderline epic, but Deception's intro is a different story (no pun intended).
Due to the silly, lugubrious narrator and the manner in which the intro is presented,
it's awkwardly unclear whether it's supposed to be "serious" or just
During the introduction,
two prominent characters seemingly get killed off (Raiden & Shang
Tsung) but then "magically" awaken only a few minutes later.
I suppose that can make sense because they're both
gods or whatever, but it comes off as an ineffective (and laughable) story
element because it's done so quickly. The thing is, they were obviously going for a more serious
tone, but this intro will most likely evoke chuckling. It actually almost makes
the game seem like its for kids or something... but I'm pretty sure it says "M for Mature" on the
If you remember correctly, they made a huge deal about Liu
Kang being killed by Shang Tsung in the Deadly Alliance storyline. Well guess what... he's back as a selectable
character (as "Zombie" Liu Kang).
also supposedly died (as seen in his previous MK4 ending), but he has also returned
to the roster without any explanation. So I'm guessing no one really dies in Mortal Kombat....
Why even bother with a silly story about "death" in
the first place if it's
gonna be like that?
well, so the story is sketchy... it's not the end of the world since we're
talking about a fighting game. Let's move on shall
There are over 26 selectable characters, each
with access to 3 different martial arts styles that they can "swap" during gameplay. While
the idea sounds good in theory,
the underlying flaw is that the majority of
fighting styles are nowhere near authentic (although they claim to
be). Actually, some of the animations are so silly and poorly done that they're almost a "mockery" of
If you don't care about martial arts then you probably won't notice, but the purists will.
Seriously though, the fighting stances alone are so laughable and
bad... anyone that stands like that before a fight simply isn't a threat. lol.
Moving along, most fighters have some sort of projectile
and a fairly decent selection of special moves. However, some movesets are
small and blandly designed overall. Some of the new special moves are well designed,
but others are just plain uninspired and/or overly ridiculous.
Each character also has two fatalities at their disposal and one Hara-Kiri
(where the player can kill himself at the end of a match)... yeah great idea,
just kill yourself FTW!
...uhhhh, I don't get it.
Most fatalities are fairly well-designed this time around and do their job as
fatalities, but quite honestly... I don't think fatalities have the same effect
as they did in the early 90's. To me, it seems like Midway is just trying to cash in on the shock value of gratuitous
violence all over again. Since the current generation of fighting
games are heavy on technical & deep gameplay, winning a match using technique
is eons more impressive (and satisfying) than doing some silly tap-tap
button command and watching a redundant fatality move. I guess it might work for casual gamers that
get off on violence, but most fighting game players are looking for more these days.
How's that "Monkey"
out for ya?
Deception uses a very similar gameplay
engine to the prequel, Deadly Alliance. The system hasn't exactly evolved
for the better, but there are some new gameplay elements. Combo Breakers
have been introduced in the MK series for the first time, but they're more of a frustrating obstruction during a
battle than an enhancement to the gameplay. Combo Breakers worked in Killer Instinct
10 years ago, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to work in Mortal Kombat... that Ed Boon...
always "borrowing" ideas.
Overall, the gameplay seems a bit more rough around the edges this time. The
system is (yet again) entirely too dependent on "tap-tap" chain combos &
juggles, and not enough on timing and range (which is a staple
of a quality 3D fighting game these days). Deception also puts an emphasis on stage
fatalities, as quite
a few stages contain pit fatalities or "instant death traps". Some of the stage fatalities are
entertaining (the first couple of times that is) and I give them some points on
innovation, but I don't feel it's very
"fun" as a gameplay element in the long run. Knocking your opponent
into a death trap with a combo or two, or vice versa, is far too easy to pull
off... which means it doesn't take much
skill to win a match in most cases,
but I suppose it can be amusing for casual gamers who might enjoy seeing someone
get crushed to death or fall on a giant spike repeatedly.
*sigh* The violence & gore shock value might be the only thing that this series
has going for it these days, and that sure seems to be the main focus in Deception... with gameplay being an after-thought. Tisk
Chess Combat... kinda
fun? Kinda gets
boring in 4-5 minutes.
Deception's graphics are fairly decent overall, but
certainly not the best we've
seen from a 3D fighter. There isn't much of a visual improvement over the prequel
either, which is disappointing. Characters appear a bit on
the skinny side this time around and don't seem to have much
weight to them, which
I think is the result of a low polygonal count. Overall, character
detail seems to have taken a step back from Deadly Alliance. On the
bright side, several
classic MK stages have returned in Deception (with the original music themes
intact) and they actually did a nice job
on the overall stage designs. However, the BGMs aren't particularly exciting and
something we've heard before many a time. There's a lot of grunting and moaning
going on, and as expected, not very
much talking... almost sounds like a really bad porno (not that I've
watched really bad pornos or anything).
Something else I have to point out is that
several of the new characters introduced in
Alliance (Nitara, Mavado
& Hsu Hao) were scrapped as playable characters this time.
Instead, you can actually see
them in Deception's jail stage, behind bars (where those crappy designs belong).
That's just epic planning right there: Introducing new characters in a
Mortal Kombat game and then sticking them in a jail cell in the sequel?
Good one Midway! (For the record, it almost seemed like the dev-team took my advice on those crappy
Unfortunately, Deception features a brand new selection of ratherboring character designs that don't
nearly live up to the classics. And on top of that, Deception is missing many
fan favorite characters that made the MK series so great in the early 90s.
I used to be
an MK fan... but I can't say the same anymore.
Beran, Luis Mangubat, Herman Sanchez, Jennifer Hedrick
2, Gamecube, Xbox
Oct. 4th, 2004
Mar. 1st, 2005
Overall, MK: Deception isn't terrible in casual play. You can
still have some fun projectile wars and "type your friends an ass
kicking" if you waste enough brain space to remember any of the combo
In case you haven't figured it out for yourself, Deception falls short when you compare it with the top 3D (and 2D) fighting games of this
era. Deception blatantly seems to bank on "violence for the sake of
violence," instead of delivering a truly solid gameplay experience.
Switching fighting styles
mid-game is a cool novelty, but as I stated before, most of the fighting styles
fail to impress. For example: Scorpion wouldn't know Hapkido if it punched
him in the junk. I actually teach Hapkido in real life... (been doing it
for almost 20 years) and I can
confidently say Scorpion does not perform one single Hapkido technique. It's okay Scorpion,
you're still cool... someone just lied to you and taught you some fake
I wouldn't have such a problem with the fighting styles in the game if they
didn't claim to be authentic martial arts... and if they didn't look
so damn sloppy 80% of the time.
The story & presentation also feels a bit
"forced" and rushed this time around. It's pretty clear that more
thought was put the prequel's presentation and cinematics. Deception might be worth a buy if you're
looking for some simple, violent and stupid entertainment... because there's not
doubt you'll find yourself laughing at random things during the game.
are indeed some good unlockables and flashback movies that are worth seeing... it's definitely
cool to be able to look back see how far Mortal Kombat has come (and where
it went wrong). In closing, I guess Deception is a mildly entertaining
fighting game for the casual crowd, but that doesn't mean it's "good".
KONQUEST, CHESS KOMBAT, PUZZLE
MK: Deception's revamped Konquest mode revolves around a new character
called Shujinko. The new "adventure style" mode is somewhat fun, but
ends up being monotonous. It's like a "dollar store" version
of Shenmue... lots and lots of looking for people and talking. Some of the dialogue is so stupid that it's
funny... actually, some of it was
sooo stupid that it actually motivated me to keep playing it all the way
Was that your plan Midway? Well it worked....
As a bonus mode for a fighting game, Konquest is a decent playthrough. It has
a few cool moments, cut-scenes &
interesting environments to explore, but overall the mode felt more like a chore to finish.
Take to the streets
with your favorite Tekken characters.
also includes two mini games, Chess Kombat and Puzzle Kombat ( a straight
up rip-off of Super Puzzle Fighter).
Seriously, I haven't seen such a blatant rip-off since Fighters History... Capcom should sue their balls off.
The Krypt also returns from Deadly Alliance but seems like more of a
rehash this time around, featuring tons of of useless "krap" to unlock.
Only kidding... some of
the commentary movies are actually hilarious to watch... (you have to hear Boon tell the audience how "his favorite character is
There's definitely some good unlockables, and good thing... because you'll most likely need
some further incentive to play this game besides the "amazing" gameplay.
(Hope you sensed my sarcasm there).