The big story again this week continues to be the Playstation network being down. It’s been two weeks with still no definite word when all services will be restored. In Tokyo this week, Sony's Kaz Hirai held a press conference to reveal the company's plan for getting its PlayStation Network service back online following data theft and subsequent downtime that the service has been struggling with for the past two weeks.
"Following a criminal cyber-attack on the company's data-center located in San Diego, California, U.S.A., SNEI [Sony Network Entertainment International] quickly turned off the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, engaged multiple expert information security firms over the course of several days and conducted an extensive audit of the system," reads a press statement. "Since then, the company has implemented a variety of new security measures to provide greater protection of personal information. SNEI and its third-party experts have conducted extensive tests to verify the security strength of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. With these measures in place, SCE and SNEI plan to start a phased rollout by region of the services shortly."
The main bullet points are that PSN service will return this week, with most but not all of the features available, and when anyone tries to access it they will be forced to change their password. Sony is also promising it has implemented new levels of security and that it will be moving its data center location shortly, though the company's statement claims there is still "no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken."
As a 'make good' from Sony, when customers start up PSN next week, they will be greeted with a "Welcome Back" program that will include yet-to-be-named free content for download, 30 free days of PlayStation Plus service (or an extended 30 days for current subscribers), and 30 free days of the company's Qriocity music service.
I had hoped to bring you reviews of SOCOM Navy Seals 4 this week but with the PSN being down I’ve not yet been able play the game online and thus I’ll try to bring you that one next week. We’ve got a boatload of news including new screenshots from Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a Price drop in the Wii, and much more…
IN THE NEWS
Nicktoons MLB Comes to Video Games This Summer
The epic showdown that fans of America's favorite pastime have been clamoring for is on! 2K Play, Nickelodeon and Major League Baseball® Properties today announced Nicktoons MLB for the Xbox 360, Wii and Nintendo DS. For the first time, an all-star roster from Nickelodeon's Nicktoons series will take on players from all 30 MLB teams, delivering not only an unforgettable baseball gaming experience, but also the first to fully take advantage of Kinect for Xbox 360.
Nicktoons MLB will feature a dugout full of Nicktoons characters, including SpongeBob SquarePants, ZIM, Dudley Puppy, Fanboy, Chum Chum, and Ren and Stimpy, along with players from all 30 MLB teams, including Matt Holliday (St. Louis Cardinals), Andre Ethier (Los Angeles Dodgers), Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers), Jason Heyward (Atlanta Braves), Cliff Lee (Philadelphia Phillies), and Robinson Cano (New York Yankees). Custom created digital ballparks will add new meaning to "home field advantage" and range from the famed Fenway Park to the frigid Frosty Freeze Field.
Bethesda Announces Download Content for Fallout: New Vegas
Bethesda announced three downloadable content packs will be released in the coming months for Fallout: New Vegas. The three packs will be released simultaneously for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Honest Hearts, Old World Blues and Lonesome Road will further expand upon Fallout: New Vegas. Fallout: New Vegas takes all the action, humor and post-apocalyptic grime and grit of this legendary series, and raises the stakes.
Available on May 17, Honest Hearts takes you on an expedition to the unspoiled wilderness of Utah’s Zion National park. Things go horribly wrong when your caravan is ambushed by a tribal raiding band. As you try to find a way back to the Mojave, you become embroiled in a war between tribes and a conflict between a New Canaanite missionary and the mysterious Burned Man. The decisions you make will determine the fate of Zion.
In Old World Blues, releasing in June, you will discover how some of the Mojave’s mutated monsters came to be when you unwittingly become a lab rat in a science experiment gone awry. You’ll need to scour the Pre-War research centers of the Big Empty in search of technology to turn the tables on your kidnappers or join forces with them against an even greater threat.
Lonesome Road, available in July, brings the courier's story full circle when you are contacted by the original Courier Six, a man by the name of Ulysses who refused to deliver the Platinum Chip at the start of New Vegas. In his transmission, Ulysses promises the answer as to why, but only if you take one last job –a job that leads you into the depths of the hurricane-swept canyons of the Divide, a landscape torn apart by earthquakes and violent storms. The road to the Divide is a long and treacherous one, and of the few to ever walk the road, none have ever returned.
Mass Effect 3 Delayed Until 2012
Lets hear a collective BOOOOO…over this news. The concluding part of the Mass Effect trilogy, original planned for the holiday season this year, has been pushed back to early 2012 to give developer BioWare a bit more time to make it…in their words…”the biggest, boldest and best game in the series, ensuring that it exceeds everyone's expectations." Let’s hope so!
Nintendo Announces Wii Price Drop
Nintendo officially announced the Wii's price will drop to $149.99 on May 15. The console will also feature a new bundled game, Mario kart Wii. The Wii bundle will include a Wii Wheel in either white or black, depending on the color of the system you buy.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Escalation Now Out on Xbox Live
Escalation’s four new multiplayer maps and unprecedented Zombie experience, featuring famed director George A. Romero, Robert Englund, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Michael Rooker and Danny Trejo, and an original music track from Avenged Sevenfold titled “Not Ready to Die,” will continue this global phenomenon.
The Escalation content pack’s new multiplayer maps include:
·“Hotel,” where players battle it out on the roof of a Cuban luxury hotel and casino against the vivid backdrop of old Havana
·“Convoy,” which delivers intense, close-quarters combat at the scene of an ambushed U.S. military convoy
·“Zoo,” which sets gamers on an eerie ride through an abandoned Soviet Russian Zoo with danger at every turn
·“Stockpile,” which pits players in a remote Russian farm town, housing secret WMD facilities
·“Call of the Dead,” Escalation’s Zombie experience that assembles a zombie-carnage dream team to fight against a new and undefeatable zombie horde menace, all set in the dark, ice-covered isles of Siberia.
Check out the latest Escalation trailer:
New Screenshots for Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Activision has release some new screen shots for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, coming out later this Summer…check a couple out! The Transformers: Dark of the Moon video game thrusts players directly into an original prologue storyline to experience the epic battles on Earth that will shape the events of the upcoming blockbuster film. Armed with a new gameplay mechanic called Stealth Force, fans will be able to instantly convert to a third, hybrid state that combines the weapons and firepower of Robot Mode with the agility and maneuverability of Vehicle Mode. Set in unique environments around the world such as the Jungles of Central America, Siberian military facilities, Urban Cityscapes and more, the game lets players assume the roles of a diverse roster of favorite TRANSFORMERS characters from the movie through a heart-pounding campaign to save mankind. Additionally, fans can play the game with or against their friends through intense, online multiplayer game modes as iconic characters.
Deep Silver and Square Enix Team up for Dead Island
Deep Silver and Square Enix, Inc. announced a collaboration in which Square Enix will be the Americas region distributor for Dead Island, the highly anticipated zombie action game with role-playing elements for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 systems.
“Square Enix’s impressive distribution and marketing capabilities, combined with their proven success with launching top-notch AAA titles, makes them the absolute best partner for Dead Island,” said Deep Silver Chief Operating Officer Geoff Mulligan. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with their dedicated and talented team and look forward to collaborating with them in order to bring Dead Island to gamers.”
Developed by Techland, Dead Island combines first-person action with a heavy focus on melee combat, character development and customization of a vast array of weapons. The engaging survival-focused gameplay aspects are combined with a rich and immersive storyline in which a small group of people find themselves in a tropical paradise turned into total chaos and carnage after a mysterious zombie outbreak. Cut off from the rest of the world, the player’s only chance to survive is to fight to the death and find a way to escape from the island.
With firearms and ammunition being scarce, the player must utilize day-to-day items as weapons for self-defense to fight off zombie hordes in intense, gruesome melee combat. Featuring four customizable, unique character classes and engrossing role-playing elements combined with an intense four player co-op experience, Dead Island stands out as one of the most comprehensive zombie experiences to date.
2K Games Announces The Darkness II
2K Games announced that The Darknes) II, the sequel to the million unit-selling 2007 title, The Darkness, will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation3 and Windows PC on October 4, 2011 in North America and October 7, 2011 internationally. Inspired by the supernatural horror comic book series created by Top Cow Productions, Inc., and developed by Digital Extremes, The Darkness II breaks from the sea of conventional first-person shooters (FPS), and takes players down a brutal and personal path as Jackie Estacado, wielder of Darkness - an ancient and ruthless force of chaos and destruction. Your first look at the world of The Darkness II is in the new debut trailer which can be seen at www.embracethedarkness.com.
The Darkness II is a well of dark and imaginative violence that breaks from the traditional FPS conventions with its uniquely stylized gameplay. The fervid Quad-Wielding(TM) gameplay empowers players to slash, grab, and throw objects and enemies using ruthless Demon Arms, while simultaneously firing two weapons. Layered with intricate uses of dark versus light gameplay, the game engulfs players in a whole other level of sophisticated combat. Combined with a complex and twisted storyline, and stylistic violence that is visualized through a hand-painted graphic noir technique, The Darkness II harkens back to its roots of the comic book origins for fans and newcomers alike.
It's been two years since Jackie Estacado, now the Don of the Estacado crime family, used Darkness to kill the men responsible for his girlfriend's murder. Jackie continues to have haunting visions of his beloved Jenny since her death. He's tried to cope by bottling up his supernatural power, and now Darkness wants out. A sudden, unprovoked attack on Jackie's life heralds the start of a full-scale mob war, which has clearly been orchestrated by some outside force. The botched attempt opens the door for Darkness to reemerge, and sets Jackie on a journey to hell and worse, as he unravels the mystery behind the attack and the motivations of Darkness itself.
THQ Announces Download Content for WWE All-Stars
THQ announced the availability of the first downloadable content offerings for WWE All Stars, the company’s recent release featuring a unique, bold and energetic gameplay experience packed with an incredible roster of legendary talent and current-day WWE Superstars. Available now worldwide, the content offerings via Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network include the following:
The Million Dollar Pack – “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and his son, Ted DiBiase. The Million Dollar Pack is now available for download free of charge to consumers who pre-ordered WWE All Stars at GameStop/EB Games throughout North America.
Honky Tonk Man and R-Truth. Honky Tonk Man and R-Truth are now available for download free of charge to all WWE All Stars owners via Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network.
The American Dream Pack – Dusty Rhodes and his son, Cody Rhodes. The American Dream Pack is now available for download for a suggested purchase cost of 160 Microsoft Points or $1.99 via PlayStation Network.
DUE OUT NEXT WEEK
Brink ( Bethesda ) Rated T Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Brink is an immersive first-person shooter that blends single-player, co-op, and multiplayer gameplay into one seamless experience, allowing you to develop your character whether playing alone, with your friends, or against others online. You decide the combat role you want to assume in the world of Brink as you fight to save yourself and mankind’s last refuge. Brink offers a compelling mix of dynamic battlefields, extensive customization options, and an innovative control system that will keep you coming back for more.
Brink takes place on the Ark , a man-made floating city that is on the brink of all-out civil war. Originally built as an experimental, self-sufficient and 100% “green” habitat, the reported rapid rise of the Earth’s oceans has forced the Ark to become home to not only the original founders and their descendants but also to thousands of refugees. With tensions between the two groups growing, Security and Resistance forces are locked in a heated battle for control of the Ark. Which side will you choose?
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney) Rated E PS3 , Nintendo DS, 3DS, Wii, Xbox 360, PSP
LEGO®Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game is an action adventure game that brings the Pirates of the Caribbean world and all its colorful characters to life in LEGO Brick form. Players will experience all the memorable scenes from the first three films, as well as those in the upcoming fourth film, "Pirates of the Caribbean : On Stranger Tides," in the humorous and quirky LEGO Video Games style.
·Exploration: Players will explore familiar locations filled with interactive LEGO Objects and encounter more than 70 memorable and new characters while making their way through more than 20 levels
·Combat: The LEGO Caribbean is full of danger! Intense sword fighting moves give the LEGO Minifigure a brand new pirate flavor
·Unforgettable Cut Scenes: Some of your favorite scenes from the Pirates of the Caribbean films are re-rendered with LEGO Minifigures, in the humorous style synonymous with LEGO Video Games
·Puzzles: Players will need all their pirate cunning to find the hidden LEGO Treasures and discover the game's many secrets
·Two-Player Co-op: Players can join a friend or family member in the same room for two-player "drop-in/drop-out" cooperative action
·Freeplay: Building a collection of characters throughout the game, players can then use their distinctive abilities to gain access to previously unavailable areas.
MX Vs. ATV Alive (THQ) Rated E Xbox 360, PS3
MX Vs ATV Alive is a multiplayer motocross game for Next-Gen game consoles. Own the competition as you wrestle for position with tightly contested racing in the fifth iteration of the MX Vs ATV franchise. Feel the realism of the revolutionary real-world physics engine which has defined the racing genre. Live the sport as Alive captures the spectacle of motocross and the essence of competitive racing while providing the best riders and gear from the latest manufacturers. Features include: real riders and gear, extensive downloadable content, multiplayer support both locally and online, enhanced Rider Reflex, a new Bar Banging system and more.
MX vs. ATV Alive is simply the best MX vs. ATV game yet developed. Building on the franchise's physics engine, MX vs. ATV Alive delivers an enhanced racing experience that is easier to play, yet as challenging as you choose to make it. The difference is the approach to features like modes and tracks. Along with classic modes that everyone loves, Alive allows gamers to more easily tailor the game to their specific play style and likes via downloadable content. Can't get enough of a certain mode? Get online and pull down more of that content. Instead of the game developers deciding how much of each mode that you play, the choice is yours. MX vs. ATV Alive also has a dedicated online store that is live from day one, containing everything from rider gear, tracks, modes, etc.
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2011 Over the Nexus (Konami) Rated E Nintendo DS
You're a skilled duelist, built for battle, designed for destruction. But too long you've wasted away in the deserted city of Crash Town, keeping your talent stowed away, waiting, itching. You dream of achieving glory in the World Racing Grand Prix, and it just may be time for you to do exactly that. Join the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's fighters on a whirlwind trip to Domino City and prove what you can really do on the battlefield as you take on greater challenges and deal swifter blows than ever before. Morph into the champion you were destined to become.
The duel is bigger than ever in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship Tournament 2011: Over the Nexus with a vast arsenal of more than 4,200 cards on your side and powerful new features up your sleeve. Step up to the competition with the strongest deck possible, using the new deck diagnostic tool to help you plan a killer strategy. Unleash smooth attacks faster than your opponent can see them coming, thanks to hyper-efficient, updated duelist screens. Shock your enemy with the help of up to three teammates, or stake it out on your own to claim the top seat in the worldwide leaderboards. Embark on this exciting new adventure, from the wasteland of Crash Town to the glistening Domino City , and prove you have what it takes to be crowned the champion. May the best duelist win.
The First Templar (Kalypso Media) Xbox 360, PC
From Haemimont Games, The First Templar is a co-operative action adventure game in development for Xbox 360 and PC. The game portrays a dark and gritty view of the late 13th century where old friends become enemies, corruption spreads throughout the Church and fallen knights oppress the weak and renounce their oaths. The First Templar follows the story of two main characters - a French Templar, and his companion, a noble lady who has been proclaimed a heretic. Taking control over these two unlikely allies, the player must uncover the mysteries behind the Templar Order, play a role in a grand conspiracy, and discover the secret of the Holy Grail. The heroes face powerful opponents at every turn, in the face of the Saracen, King Philip IV of France and the Inquisition. The game also features both single player and co-op modes. When playing solo, the player can switch between the two characters, leaving the control of the second hero to the game's AI. At any moment a second player can joinin and take control of the AI controlled hero.
WRC FIA World Rally Championship (Deep Silver) Rated E PS3 , PC
The WRC FIA World Rally is the only title that features official cars, drivers, co-drivers and locations to create this epic motorsport adventure. Consisting of 13 races held all over the world for a three-day event, each location brings out the skills of the driving team to conquer every driving surface from gravel and tarmac to snow and ice. Everything is designed to give the player the sensation of taking part in the real championship as they race against their heroes. ROAD TO WRC: Face the extraordinary career mode which will allow you to go through the steps of a real driver of WRC! Start by building up your own team and participating in regional championship, moving step by step to most prestigious categories and conquering a contract with the official teams of WRC. TIME ATTACK: Choose your favourite car to set the record on your favourite special! You’ll be able to upload the ghost of your best performance and download those of the world record holders! ONLINE RANKING: Compete in the online section facing the other players worldwide: you’ll be able to organize or participate to completely customizable Single Stages, Single Rallies or Championships! Earn experience with your performances and raise your online ranking to become the Number One! INCREDIBLE WEATHER CONDITIONS: From the snowy tracks in Sweden to the dusty desert in Jordan , through the technical asphalt trails in Spain !
Virtua Tennis 4 (Sega) Rated E PS3 , Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii
The world's top stars return - The top players in the world return, joined by some of the most exciting up-and-coming contenders; an all-star line-up of 19 players includes Nadal, Federer, Murray, Sharapova, Wozniacki and Williams. Tennis stardom awaits - A totally new World Tour sees the VT career mode go RPG'; designed to encourage replay value and with an element of off-court fame, each decision affects your career path meaning no two careers will ever be the same. A true online hub - The new online center offers the world's first engaging online tennis experience; designed using the popular Virtua Fighter 5 technology, the matchmaking system promises more competitive games, and online tournaments will seek to find the ultimate Virtua Tennis champion.
Superstars V8 Next Challenge (Deep Silver) Rated E PS3
Superstars ® V8 Next Challenge puts you in the driver's seat of the most prestigious high-power production class cars from the official Superstars® Series and takes you through some of the most beautiful tracks Italy and Europe have to offer! Combine the thrill of racing with gorgeous scenery and a variety of licensed Touring cars and you have the ultimate extreme V8 driving experience. Superstars® V8 Next Challenge also delivers pure realism on every track. Feel exactly how a 2 ton car slides through a tight turn on the Kyalami track; change your gear ratios to get you off the starting line faster or to give you more power on the straightaway, fine tune your suspension to deal with the mixed layout of Vallelunga.
Is it raining? Better make sure your engine is tuned accordingly and your tires are swapped. Pit yourself against the greatest racers currently burning up the track: Multiple Championship winner Gianni Morbidelli in his BMW M3 E90, Roberto Benedetti in his Cadillac CST-V, Andrea Chiesa in his Maserati Quattroporte and many others! If you're a racing fan with a taste for the finer things in life or a racer looking for a new thrill, Superstars® V8 Next Challenge delivers it all. The question is, are you up to the challenge?
LEGO Battles: Ninjago (Warner Bros) Rated E Nintendo DS
LEGO Battles: Ninjago is the latest game based upon the LEGO toy line and the new Ninjago figures and playsets. This game is different than the other LEGO video games like Batman and Harry Potter in that at it’s core it is a real-time strategy game with unit and structure building. The game features a campaign mode that is played out in four acts, each with several different levels. There is also a skirmish mode that lets you play against a friend. The campaign game is a pretty straight-forward, good vs. evil plot. You are a part of a team of young Ninjas who are trained by Sensei Wu, master of the martial art known as “Spinjitsu”.
You are seeking four fabled weapons to protect them and keep them out of the hands of the evil Lord Garmadon and his legions of skeletal warriors and other monsters. Garmadon and Wu just happen to be brothers as well.
Your first task will be to make it to the Dojo, the central hub of the game. Here you can change the gameplay options, purchase items in the store or input cheat codes, journey into the training room to hone your combat and unit-building skills, and choose your type of game. There are also rewards you can gain after achieving certain in-game goals. Some levels have you moving as an entire team of Ninjas along with Master Wu while others are solo missions. In any case you move by either using the DS stylus to click on a unit, or trace a square around an entire group to move them all at once. Your real-time strategy commands are basic and include orders such as a shield icon which assigns a character to guard an area. You pick two points with the stylus and the character(s) will move back and forth between the two points, waiting for an enemy attack. The sword icon is your attack command. There’s also a spell book and spell icons for casting magic spells. When you select a builder unit, he can build new buildings such as keeps and barracks’, he can harvest blocks for building, ore repair building that have been damaged in enemy attacks. The building types are important as they can be used to build new troop units or upgrade existing units.
The challenge, even on the hardest difficulty level, isn’t too tough and LEGO Battles: Ninjago is clearly aimed at the 12 and under crowd. Most of the levels have you traversing the lands, collecting blocks and other treasures, and fighting off skeleton enemies. Probably the biggest challenge is keeping an eye on the map for skeleton attacks in other areas…this is where you may be clicking back and forth to repel more than one attack at a time. There are some rather cool cut scenes but overall the graphics are below average. It’s like you’ve take a trip back to 8-bit land which is disappointing. Furthermore, the characters are so small that it’s often hard to select the right character if they are in the midst of a battle and bunched together. Add to that is the Ninja team essentially looking the exact same except for different color robes and the visuals are underwhelming to say the least.
There’s a good amount to do in the campaign mode and you can also choose to play as the bad guys. While it’s no World of Warcraft, it does serve as a basic introduction to RTS type games. Skirmish lets you play in multi-playergames such as Annihilation, King of the Hill, and Capture the Flag and probably offers a bit more of a challenge to the more experienced game player. LEGO Battles: Ninjago isn’t as strong as some of the previous LEGO games but it’s fun and a good game for younger players. Grade B-
Mortal Kombat (Warner Bros) Rated M Xbox 360, PS3
I was never a big Mortal Kombat game back in the day, preferring the action of Street Fighter, Tekken, or dare I admit, Killer Instinct, but with the reboot of the classic fighter series all I can say is…WOW! And boy do I apologize for not being able to come up with an adjective that is more thoughtful. Oh, this new incarnation still pushes the limits of blood and gore to new and soaring heights but it now has a depth of character that was always lacking in the earlier games. Mortal Kombat successfully reinvents itself by maintaining the mutilating fatalities that made the game a hit in the 1990s but also offering a lot of great new gameplay features to attract a new generation of fans. The Developer, NetherRealm Studios also earns another feather in their cap for delivering a game that hardcore gamers will be able to sink their teeth into but one that is also easily accessible for new or casual fans.
I say that because the initial menu system can be daunting with its sheer vastness of single player, multi-player, and online play options. No matter where you stand in the skill bell curve, it’s worth your time to first visit the training area where you can learn the basics of combos and fatalities…without actually becoming a victim yourself. I know most are tempted to jump right into the action but at least take a few minutes to explore training mode…there’s plenty of time for ass-kicking later.
When you move onto story mode you’ll find that there REALLY is a story mode and this as much as anything sets this Mortal Kombat game apart from previous ones as well as other fighting games. The story tends towards the outlandish, melodramatic side but it’s punctuated with gorgeous cinematic sequences that immerse you into the game. It’s not just simply moving on from one fight to the next but there’s a reason to move on and that truly draws the player into the game. If one can still recall the last MK game from 2005, the story begins after the events of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, where almost all the fighters are dead, leaving only Raiden and Shao Kahn. About to receive a final death blow, Raiden casts a spell on his amulet, now shattered, to contact his past self and quote "He Must Win!" before he is killed. This development helps to introduce new characters and lets you play the story mode as several different characters as Raiden tries to help the fighters of Earth prevail. All of the familiar fighters in the series like Johnny Cage, Scorpion, Liu Kang. Jax, and Sonya are here along with Kratos from God of War.
The Story mode is not just engrossing but playing through it allows you to build up points which can be used to unlock all sorts of bonuses including new fatality moves. You can also take on the Challenge Tower which includes some 300 specific challenges providing currency rewards upon completion; these include challenges like "Test Your Might", "Test Your Sight", "Test Your Strike" and "Test Your Luck" challenges. The "Test Your Might" challenge includes rapidly pressing buttons and specific timing to destroy blocks of varying difficulty; and "Test Your Sight" involves following an object hidden under a cup or skull and must be completed by revealing the object after they are shuffled. A new mode to the series is the four-player tag team where two players can join together in combat vs. the computer or online against another team. It gives you the ability (ala Marvel Vs. Capcom) for one player to come in and out of the stage and perform "assist attacks", or can perform "special entry attacks".
Again like the latest Marvel Vs. Capcom we are treated to a 2D fighting game but in a 3D environment. Call it 2.5D if you want but it is a breathtaking experience. The characters show the result of a tough fight with battle damage to themselves and their clothes. Controls are slick and responsive and indeed, simplified over what you’ve seen in the past. Now don’t gasp and have a cookie…simplified doesn’t mean dumbed down. Well, it does a bit I suppose but it also means they’re more intuitive. Pulling off combos isn’t as simple as button-mashing but requires some precision and set up…some combos are pulled off by starting with normal attacks, others with special moves or juggling attacks. It will be up to you to experiment with what works best for you. The new control scheme also makes it easier to pull off fatalities which are a welcome improvement. While there is an occasional lag, online play is relatively glitch free and cements the game as a hit. The lobbies feature ranked, unranked, and private matches in one-on-one, tag team, or King of the Hill where 10 players compete in a mini-tournament. A leaderboard keeps track of your wins and stats.
Mortal Kombat features nearly 30 characters right off the bat with more promised via DLC like Kenshi and Skarlet. With a load of characters, a truly immersive story mode, and multiple gameplay options, this IS the best Mortal Kombat yet! Grade A-
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