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Bev Chen
10 Sep, 2011

Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection Review

360 Review | Not one for every game kollection.
Mortal Kombat is a series that needs no introduction, with the title being known to gamers both old and new. Ask any of these people what Mortal Kombat is and the answer will no doubt be something along the lines of “that really gory fighting game”. It certainly is the gore that has propelled the games into worldwide infamy, and as we Australian gamers saw earlier this year, it was what led the reboot to be refused classification. But while we won’t be able to get our hands on a copy (at least from retail stores anyway...), we do get to experience a dash of nostalgia with the release of the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection.

The Kollection comprises of the first three games in the series: Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II and the updated Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Selecting the game of your choice requires you to scroll through three arcade machines (which we thought was quite clever) and boom, you’re in. It’s worth noting here that the games themselves are direct ports from the originals. To some, this might represent a true blast to the past, but to others, this is a very questionable decision for several reasons.

Ah, hello to old friends (and foes).

Ah, hello to old friends (and foes).
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The first thing that you are probably going to notice is that the audio and visual quality has not been touched at all. As a result, you’re going to be treated to rather fuzzy sprites and tinny music and sound effects. The next thing you’re going to notice is that the gameplay is very dated. The controls are especially guilty in this regard. Of the three games, MKII was the only one with decent controls. We found the controls in MK very stiff and unresponsive, while on the opposite end of the spectrum, UMK3’s were very loose, leading to a lot of problems in executing fatalities, especially given the nature of the 360 controller’s analogue stick. Add to these control issues how incredibly unfair the A.I. is and you’ll notice how much the game has aged. There were times that we swear the A.I. cheated in front of our very eyes – “Wait, how was that even possible just then?” We do concede that cheap A.I. and clunky controls may have been part of the original games’ character, but none of this exactly bodes well for players picking these games up for the first time, especially if they are used to the newer games in the series.

Still, there’s something charming about leaping around the screen like a madman while hoping that maybe your opponent won’t grab you via some inconceivable method this time. But if you ever feel the need to – gasp! – actually play the game properly, the game does have a handy dandy move list available for each of the characters on the pause menu. Getting to the pause menu takes a little bit of time though, as you’ll have to wait for all of the 'Round 1' type of text to disappear before you can even access it. Maybe we’re just impatient, but little things like that do add to the flow of the game for us.

Remember this stage? REMEMBER?

Remember this stage? REMEMBER?
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Of course, the main drawcard of the Kollection is the addition of online multiplayer modes for each of the games. Contrary to what you might think, considering what we’ve said about the rest of the game, we didn’t find our experience with the online functionality too bad. The matchmaking feature is actually quite decent, allowing you to filter opponents based on a similar skill level. While our matches did suffer from random dropouts and the occasional lag, we’re willing to take that as our internet’s fault. We also found that MKII seemed to be the most popular (possibly due to the aforementioned controls).

The Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection is definitely what we consider to be a mixed bag. On one hand, you have unacceptable controls, hard-as-nails A.I. and extremely dated audio and visuals. On the other hand though, who can resist the booming “FINISH HIM” sound clip and those over-the-top, gore laden Fatalities? For 800 Microsoft Points, it may be a pretty good deal, especially for those trying to relive the old g(l)ory days, dated gameplay and all. But for the rest of us - is this really how we ought to be remembering the series?
The Score
The Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection is a package that will truly inspire nostalgia, for better or for worse. 4
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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14 Comments
2 years ago
...but that's Reptile!
2 years ago
yeah, cheated. Its not only cheats, the arcade machines had the difficulty turned to max. There was absolutely no-way you could beat them, as the computer would react the the controls u pressed and counter the move in a nano second.

While the graphics not being retouched i have no problem with, because hell i was there for MK1 onwards and if they updated them i probbably wouldnt of bought it. theres options to change the screen to the style of looking down at an arcade machine, and other graphic options) netherealm studios should of at least played with the difficulty settings.

For instance MK1 is easy enough to get the the second endurance match without sweat (just like i was playing in that hot asian bakery in merrylands back in 91) mk2 is just plain- throw -something -very- hard -at -the- wall- frustrating. lui kang esp, seems not only to have great ninja skills but some kind of mutant thought reading powers. Jump towards him he'll air fireball you. duck he'll drop fireball you. spend a fraction of a second looking at him after 'fight' and ull be bicycled kicked. Also, that 'i could of sweared i nailed him with an uppercut turns into how the HELL did he just throw me?'

Also, no, the xbox controller is not the best solution, but that shouldnt come into the final score as anyone worth their grain in salt and love of fighting games should of picked up the new version controller with the swivel d -pad, or at least a 3rd party pad with proper d-pads. No point saying 'the controls suck' yes they do with the original xbox 360 controller, but then thats for ALL fighting games
2 years ago
Oh if u want a score outta 10, id give 7.5-8. Netherealm could of at least played with the difficulty settings, because the originals were coin addicts. But i guess partly because i remember the originals so well at the acrade i spent 125 bucks on the snes version without gore! (92). But mk1-3 are for me, at least, some of my fondest fighting game memories, so i love this collection.

Now to hope for some more classic fighting games, World Heroes 1+2, Primal Rage, and plzzzzz SOMEBODY, Killer Instinct
2 years ago
I'd probably also give it a 7.5 to 8 out of 10 too, but at least half that score is simply nostalgia.

the difficulty is brutal though, i agree, and while i get that as an arcade machine, it was designed to "steal" money, i don't think that difficulty is all that fun applied to the home market. I'm not talking about "fair" difficulty, like in something like Demon's Souls, which punishes you for not being prepared, this game really did "cheat".

it took me a while to get into the groove of the controls though - and i wonder if this was a relic of the original game, and we've moved on from that, or if it was the controller (X360, in my case), because most of the problems i had, seemed to stem from the controller, but it could just be it was highlighting the problems of the game. (if that makes sense?)

eventually, i was ok with the normal fights, and even Endurance fights, but the bosses were really where the money-grabbing style of arcade machines of the time come through.
Goro had reach beyond his arms, and Shang Tsung's AI seemed built around counters to my inputs more than anything that felt real.
it did make me wonder how much i must've spent on the game back in the day. i finished it several times, and after playing it here again, i doubt a single instance was on a single credit...

it was also a shame that it seems that the achievements for "kompleting" each of the games seems to require completing them with everyone on the roster - that, or my game is bugged, since i've completed MK1 twice now (Sub-Zero and Scorpion, of course. icon_razz.gif) and neither has unlocked it for me.
2 years ago
^ The achievement is supposed to unlock when you beat it with any character. I've heard alot of people having the same problem as you, others get lucky and it unlocks as it should. I'm surprised this hasn't been patched yet.
2 years ago
I had a go at this at a friend's place today, it's serviceable enough for MK fans but can't say I enjoyed it.
2 years ago
So pretty/very average huh? Guess the games have aged pretty bad. So 1 is too chunky and 3 is to weird. Ahh well, thanks for saving me some money, Bev. I was pretty keen on getting it... but not anymore.
2 years ago
SO when is it hitting the Aus PSN Store?
2 years ago
stuffandthat wrote
SO when is it hitting the Aus PSN Store?
it won't be; considering mortal kombat 9 was RC'ed I doubt they are interested in releasing the collection here.
2 years ago
Trex0321 wrote
Also, no, the xbox controller is not the best solution, but that shouldnt come into the final score as anyone worth their grain in salt and love of fighting games should of picked up the new version controller with the swivel d -pad, or at least a 3rd party pad with proper d-pads.
You mean has an arcade stick right?
2 years ago
evil_kenshin wrote
stuffandthat wrote
SO when is it hitting the Aus PSN Store?
it won't be; considering mortal kombat 9 was RC'ed I doubt they are interested in releasing the collection here.
It's already up on the XBL Marketplace...PSN shouldn't be any different.
2 years ago
ThunderCurls wrote
evil_kenshin wrote
stuffandthat wrote
SO when is it hitting the Aus PSN Store?
it won't be; considering mortal kombat 9 was RC'ed I doubt they are interested in releasing the collection here.
It's already up on the XBL Marketplace...PSN shouldn't be any different.
It is though. Looks like Sony's decided not to go ahead with this one.
2 years ago
fupoisme wrote
It is though. Looks like Sony's decided not to go ahead with this one.
Or it's being put on PSn late. It wouldn't be the first time.
2 years ago
The PSN only gets updated weekly also.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  31/08/2011 (Confirmed)
Genre:
  Fighting

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