The original Mortal Kombat was one of those video games that changed the world, pioneering the genre of fighting games. The new Mortal Kombat X is the first title to be released across platforms, including mobile. Has developer Netherrealm Studios finally set the standard in how to make a fighting game for the small screen?
The answer is yes and no. No, Mortal Kombat X is not the killer fighting game you are looking for. Yes, Netherrealm Studios did crack how to make a fighting game—with its earlier titles like our favorite WWE Immortals and Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Tap, Tap, Tap Some More
Mortal Kombat X follows the same formula as WWE Immortals and Injustice: Gods Among Us, but it has been dumbed down to a point where it is boring. All you do in the game is tap. And tap some more. Then tap again. And keep tapping. Where Immortals had swipes for special moves, where Injustice had tap-and-swipe combos, MKX has nothing more than tapping.
Tap the screen to attack. In case you are getting relentlessly attacked, hold down two fingers on the screen to block. This just reduces the impact of an attack though, you’ll still lose some health. The only time you swipe is to execute a fatality or a special move, and that too is about matching on-screen instructions.
It gets boring very quickly. Not only is it repetitive, there isn’t significant difference in how players attack, unlike Immortals or Injustice. In fact, some browser-based fighting games are more entertaining than MKX on mobile. So whether you are using Reptile or Scorpion, you won’t have to change your strategy. Just keep tapping till the other guy drops, or you do out of sheer ennui.
Same Old, Same Old
Each round is a three-vs-three battle. You can tag one of your three players in and out at any time. Kill all of the enemy’s players to win the battle and progress. A win gives you coins and souls, which can be used for in-game purchases and items, like players or booster cards.
You can buy fighters for coins and upgrade them by playing matches. You can also buy booster cards, to increase damage, health or other elements of any character. Each has limited stamina, which regenerates after you level up. If you’re out of stamina, you can choose to wait for it to regenerate with time, or trade in three souls for an instant regeneration, so you can play on.
Fighters are available in bronze, silver and gold categories, and the capabilities are proportional to how much you pay for them.
There’s a power meter, which builds up as you fight. The power meter has three levels, each acting as a special move to inflict extra damage.
Multiplayer Mode and Challenge Mode will give you daily battles and longer tournaments for big rewards.
If this all sounds familiar, that’s because it is exactly like Immortals and Injustice. The only real difference is in the graphics of MKX and the ever-popular gory fatalities.
Mortal Kombat has a legacy of being unabashedly gore-filled, and especially creative with its fatalities. In those aspects, MKX lives up to the expectations.
The fatalities are what you will see in the full console game, so you will be treated to some hilarious ones like Cassie Cage taking a selfie while vanquishing an opponent, or truly blood-curdling ones like a fighter’s face being chopped off and dropping to the ground with his brain still throbbing. Needless to say, this game is not meant for kids. In fact, the Mortal Kombat series is among the most banned video games in the world.
But more than the fatalities, MKX sets a new standard in mobile video game graphics. The movements of the characters are incredibly smooth, the character and background design is detailed and rich, and the overall slick feel of the game makes it a visual delight.
Free, But Well…
Yes, Mortal Kombat X is free, but it has in-app purchases. Normally, we advise you to disable in-app purchases to avoid accidental spending. But in MKX, it seems difficult to go beyond a certain point without these in-app purchases. If that annoys you, try some free mobile games with no hidden costs.
After progressing quite a bit, you hit a wall which seems insurmountable without spending real money. You can’t keep fighting and earning coins and souls because you don’t earn enough through regular fights. Plus, as already stated, the fights get boring very quickly. It almost seems geared towards frustrating you into swiping your credit card.
Should You Download It?
Graphics aren’t enough to save a game. Mortal Kombat X delivers on style, but lacks in substance. There isn’t enough to keep you hooked to the game.
If you have already played WWE Immortals or Injustice: Gods Among Us, then stick to those. If you haven’t, download those instead of MKX. All you will miss out on are the fatalities, which you can catch on YouTube anyway.
Console, PC or Mobile?
Mortal Kombat X will be launching on Android soon too, as well as PC and consoles. Which platform will you be playing it on?