Posts Tagged ‘Mortal Kombat’

Call me a sucker for everything retro. When I heard that Midway Arcade Origins was coming to Xbox 360 I knew that I had to get it. Of course every time they offered a compilation of old school classics I ended up buying it no matter what console I had at the time, and Midway‘s retro offerings have been whored out on all of them to date. Sure nothing has changed since the time when I played most of these games back in the ’80s and early ’90s except for the fact is that this time there’s achievements. Challenge accepted! Now where do I insert the virtual tokens?

PROS:

More Than 30 Classic Games
Actually there are 31 games which solidifies the more than 30 games message in the advertising. Some of the games I really enjoyed including Smash TV, Total Carnage, Defender, Sinistar, Joust, Arch Rivals, Rampage, and more. Of course there’s some games in this collection that I wish would just die. Yes, I’m talking to you Pit Fighter and Spy Hunter 2. Overall this compilation of old school classics is quite enjoyable giving me some nostalgic memories of days gone by. This collection also has multiple ways of playing with Free Play where I can keep entering virtual quarters and play as long as I want, and Score Attack which only gives me a set number of lives. Score Attack is also the only way to unlock each game’s achievement.

CONS:

Terrible Controls
For a collection of games that have been faithfully emulated you would think a tweak or two in the control department would help. Sadly, that is not the case here. The main problems show up on titles that used trackball and steering wheel controls. The analog stick is the only alternative, but on games like Championship Sprint and even Marble Madness it can prove to be quite a pain in the ass to control. I’ve also noticed a slight hiccup issue with the analog controls in Smash TV. I don’t get it. The controls work great on the XBLA version. Why not on this one?

No Online Multiplayer
Multiplayer is included with Midway Arcade Origins in the form of couch multiplayer, but I think this collection would be even better with some form of online multiplayer. The games that were available on Xbox Live Arcade, before their delisting, had online multiplayer making for some fun. Sadly, the only online functionality this set has is online leaderboards. Maybe the thought of being number one on the leaderboards is enough for some people since the days of these games was achieving a high score. Then there are games like Rampage, Arch Rivals, and others that are much better with some competition both online and on the couch.

Missing Games
While Midway Arcade Origins features an eclectic collection of games there are a few titles that have been omitted. Where’s NARC? It’s on all the other collections, but not here. Why? How about Pigskin 621 A.D.? Arch Rivals is here, why not this one? Primal Rage? Hydro Thunder? I could go on and on. Some people out there on the internet message boards have even mentioned the Mortal Kombat games. I guess they haven’t noticed yet, but those games are in one “Kollection” on Xbox Live Arcade. Hopefully WB Games has plans on a follow up down the road, because there are so many titles for at least another release.

IN CONCLUSION

Midway Arcade Origins clearly fills the need for retro gamers like myself with a nice compilation of classic titles, but the control issues on some games along with the omission of other titles sort of hurts it. Some of these games are fun for a long time, but there are others that have aged so badly that I’ll just play to earn the achievement and then steer clear of them forever. This is a collection for serious retro gaming fans. Everyone else (especially those born after the early ’90s) should give it at least a rental just to see what gaming was like in the early days.

Developer: WB Games
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-2 (local multiplayer)
Price: $29.99

Pros:
Three MK classics in one low priced package

Cons:
It’s really tough to play
Online play is extremely laggy

Finish Him! That was the popular phrase in the ’90s when a certain arcade game challenged Capcom’s Street Fighter II for supremacy and caused senators to have heart attacks. It’s the game that helped bring across the infamous rating system that we have today. It’s the game that fans still just can’t get enough. Mortal Kombat! It was only a few years ago Mortal Kombat II was released on the Playstation 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 was released on Xbox Live Arcade. Now instead of console exclusives and fanboy wars everyone gets to enjoy the classics in one collection.

Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection is a compilation of three classic Mortal Kombat (Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3) games in one package. Back in the day we’ve all spent hundreds of dollars in the arcades and dealt with players who brought in game guides printed out from their computers detailing every move, finisher and secrets. While the recent release of Mortal Kombat rebooted the classic storyline with a few new twists (which was awesome by the way), the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection brings back those great nostalgic memories of yesteryear as well as remind us how tough this game really was even though I think we wer all better at the game back then.

Each of the Mortal Kombat games represented in this collection is perfectly emulated from their arcade counterparts. There may be some moments where the music is a little out of place, but it’s not enough to ruin the experience. Each of the games are also presented in their original 4:3 aspect ratio or you can choose an arcade cabinet look for a more authentic appeal. There is no widescreen support here which makes me happy because if there was the screen would be distorted greatly. Graphically, the games do look a tad dated. Good news here is that you can choose different options to sharpen or smoothen the look of the game.

As for the gameplay itself, each of the Mortal Kombat games I found best played using the d-pad instead of the analog controls. The d-pad reminded me of the days playing this game on my Sega Genesis. You can also use the analog sticks as well, but I felt more comfortable with the d-pad instead. I’m sure that most of you haven’t played these games in a long time so your not going to remember all the moves and finishers. Sadly, an option to show details on how enable certain finishers including Babalities, Friendships, Dead Pool Fatality and Mercy is not here either. Looks like you’ll be going on your PC or smartphones for that. Also the game seems to be a lot tougher to play unlike it was back in the day. While most of you have complained about this let me remind you that this was a game that was considered a quarter muncher so losing your money to it was a given. Now that quarters are no longer needed, just practice again and you’ll do just fine.

Mortal Kombat was more than just a single-player game. You didn’t go to the arcades or play the game at home for the story. You played because you wanted to show everyone that you were the best at it with any character. It was all about being the champion of your block and in this collection multiplayer is featured. Each of the Mortal Kombat games features online play both locally and online with friendly and ranked matches. Play long enough and you mght unlock some secrets like Pong in Mortal Kombat II. There unfortunately is one glaring problem with the online multiplayer. It’s extremely laggy. I played a few matches online especially in Mortal Kombat II and watched in horror as my character moved so slow on the screen. This has been noticable in all the games. Hopefully WB Games and Neatherealm Studios can patch this soon, because this could be a real dealbreaker to some fans.

At the price of only 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00), the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection is a steal. Three great games at one low price should be a no-brainer purchase. However, it does come with some flaws that will irritate some gamers to the point of bitter frustration. I’m sure that with a patch to fix the laggy online play fans will come back to play to prove who’s the king of the MK hill. I am looking for a few more challengers in the meantime. Until then, it’s time for me to get back into the swing of things in the campaign so the game doesn’t feel as tough. Double Flawless victory and Fatality is in the cards for me real soon.