Friday, 2 September 2011

Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection Is A Dire Disappointment

Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection has finally arrived on XBLA (click to queue to your Xbox).

With my nostalgia goggles equipped, I gleefully load up the international treasures Ed Boon has resurrected. What I was met with was an absolute travesty of a port for Mortal Kombat...

To start off, the interface isn't really that bad. You have 3 rotating arcade cabinets, each containing the respective MK title from: MK1, MK2 and UMK3. For 800 Microsoft points, it's a steal on paper. In the options, you get to turn your screen into a cabinet style screen with faux bendy screen corners. You can also add those choppy scan lines symptomatic of a 90's classic television for the full nostalgia experience.

But dig a little deeper by actually playing and the picture starts to change.

First of all, the AI. Ohhh, the AI. They are the most mind reading-est, rubberband-iest sons of b*t*c*es I have ever had the misfortune of playing against. There is ZERO fun factor when playing against this sorry excuse of artificial UNintelligence.

I tore my hair out putting up with the AI in MK1. AI in that game seems to simply choose to read your mind. Whatever input and subsequent move you perform, the AI will simply counter it. Throw a projectile and the AI will instantly jump over and air kick you. Try to uppercut and the AI will quickly duck and uppercut you back. It reaches silly proportions once you hit the Endurance matches.

This is not the version I grew up with. The SNES version was actually fun and challenging to play and come back to. I'm not sure but I believe they ported a crazy arcade cabinet version, unmastered and untweaked. I can certainly see how Ed Boon made a living back in the day. If I spent a quarter for every 'Continue' I had to continue...let's just leave it at that.

MK2 was a headache for a different type of rubber-banding. The AI here seems to want to continuously rush (by rush, I mean walk) towards you and throw you.

Throw, throw, throw, dead...

Did they actually play their game before they shipped it? Did nobody say "Wait a minute, we need to fix our AI because the game just cant be shipped and sold in this state"?

UMK3 is the only remotely playable game in this kollection. It remains largely faithful to its classic arcade iterations, with fair AI (except for Jade and Kabal, but they were never good).

The online has a fair few features such as leaderboards and private lobbies. But the online component is in dire need of fixing. The game's framerate almost halves entirely when playing online.

All they needed to do was port them over properly with online functionality. It seems that they couldn't even accomplish that. Even the critics took notice.

For shame Ed Boon. How can you fail so hard after the superb Mortal Kombat 9 you released not too long ago?

But you got your money. You fleeced the most loyal of Mortal Kombat fans into this nostalgic rush job that did not tick any of the boxes. These weren't the MK games I grew up around and I certainly won't be revisiting them after this disaster. 800 points wasted for all I care.

If you are reading this and already have UMK3 from XBLA, don't even bother getting this. If you still want to witness this nostalgic circus mess of a port, be my guest and waste your points. Back to the lovely MK9 I go...

Maybe you should get your AI to predict the lottery Ed, they sure have no trouble predicting everyone's moves.


  1. The "very easy" setting is a lie. Worst $10 I ever spent. Haven't beaten a single ladder.

  2. Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection offers their fans the chance to play through the games in their original arcade state and rediscover all their favorite characters, fatalities and environments as well as relive some of the franchise’s most memorable secrets. In addition, this new collection will feature online play, leaderboards, achievements and trophies.