Although I preferred SNK and Capcom fighters as a teen, I’ve grown to really enjoy the Mortal Kombat series. Although the game was light on gore, Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe had a very solid engine and treated both sets of characters with respect. I loved it and it went on to win our 2008 “Fighting Game of the Year” award. So far, Mortal Kombat 9 has captured my heart like no other game this year, and I’m still playing it now while Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 is rarely used (although part of that is I have a lot of reviews and the other part is I’m waiting for UMvC3). With all this in mind, I decided to pick up the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection. After all, it was only $10. Sure I owned all three games for various other systems and I even have MKII for the PS3 already via Midway, but this was all three games in what was promised to be an “arcade classic” quality collection. Well, the truth is MKAK is FAR from that. After only a few hours with the games, here are ten quick (and pretty grumpy) thoughts on the Kollection.
1. Woah. The game froze up for a noticeable amount of time after I changed some settings the first time. I thought the game was going to crash. Not the best first impression to make.
Mortal Kombat 1
2. SEVERE lag between the time you hit the pause button (Which is select instead of start? Who the hell thought that was an intelligent decision? It’s also the only button you CAN’T change on the controller.) and the time it actually goes into effect. There is some lag with button presses as well. Hell, it’s worse than what we saw in last week’s Street Fighter III: Third Strike The time you are allotted to do your fatality is almost non-existent. The time you have to input your fatality is drastically reduced from other versions of the game I’ve played.
3. I honestly don’t remember having to go through an “endurance round” after beating every playable character. I remember a version of the endurance round in Ultimate MK3, but not in the very first game.
4. Man, MK1 plays like crap. There, I said it. I have loved the past few games, but man does MK1 show how far behind it was to King of Fighters and Street Fighter II back in the day. It’s still better than Pit Fighter though.
Mortal Kombat II
5. I have fond memories of MKII. Hell I bought it for the PS3 back when Midway was still around for a scant $2.50. Remember the days before trophies kids? Sadly, there are again noticeable control issues and bugs here that are NOT in the earlier PS3 version of Mortal Kombat 2. I’ve seen things like CPU character shooting projectiles off before the “BEGIN,” characters jumping through moves, severe collision detection issues, attacks hitting through blocks, moves hitting when characters are too far away for them to hit, and the same control lag issues that plagued MKI in this version. This is downright unacceptable. If this is a straight arcade port why does one play pretty flawlessly and another have so many problems?
6. LOTS of problems getting the game to recognize Fatalities, Babalities and Friendships. I’ve done Raiden’s friendship twenty times in a row and it won’t accept it a single time. It’s one of the easiest one to pull off too!
7. Much like MKI, this version of Mortal Kombat II is so far from “arcade perfect,” that it is laughable. The earlier PS3 release of the game is far superior and hell, the Midway Arcade Treasures port for the Game Cube, Xbox and PS2 has less bugs and control issues that this turkey. This is a massive disappointment to me and I have to wonder if anyone actually playtested this thing.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
8. This is both the best and the worst of the games. It’s the most playable and it doesn’t have nearly the lag problems the other two do, but when there’s a bug, THERE’S a bug, I was fighting Jade and before we got the “begin” she did a jump kick across the screen to hit me and was halfway done what would turn out to be an INFINITE COMBO before the match was actually supposed to begin. By the time I got control of my character, her attacks still went through my block and I was dead by the time the counter’s time hit 98. How the hell did THAT get through QA?
9. A lot of the UMK codes don’t appear to work. Many were tried, both with online opponents and with two players on the same console and they didn’t stick. As well, we ran into a bug after playing a two player match on the same console. The game went back to the “choose what mode” screen and wouldn’t accept any input for a while. Then when it did, it would only let the winning player go into the normal Kombat tower. This only happened once, but again – man, what a bug.
10. Like the other games, there are several noticeable problems here. Your character is frozen for a second or two after unpausing the game, Anamalties have a problem being recognized and while Ultimate Mortal Kombat is the best of the three, it’s still got far more issues than any “arcade perfect” game should have. I can play this on my Sega Saturn or Nintendo Game Cube with far less issues that I’m having on this PS3 one. This is about as bad as it gets.
There are so many problems with Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection that this “Ten Thoughts” can’t even begin to cover it. Look, I like Mortal Kombat and MK9 is arguably my game of the year. This shoddy half-assed collection is so badly done that it’s not worth any amount of money, much less the $9.99 they are asking for this. This is so far from “arcade perfect” it’s not even funny. Stay far away from this thing and stick to the cheapo version of Mortal Kombat II. It might not have trophies, but at least it’s extremely playable. You know it’s bad when I can honestly say the Sega Saturn version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 or the versions on Midway Arcade Treasures 2 play better than what’s in this collection. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to the earlier MKII game so I can remember how good that game is supposed to play compared to the one in this crapfest.