`Kombat' tries to regain its fighting title

January 16, 2003|By Omar L. Gallaga | Omar L. Gallaga,COX NEWS SERVICE

Mortal Kombat is an old chestnut for gamers, a series that was controversial for its over-the-top violence in its day (the early 1990s), but now seems quaint next to a new generation of blood-'n'-guts game play.

Now, Midway Home Entertainment updates the franchise with Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, a nimble fighting game that improves upon MK and its sequels with a deeper fighting system, improved graphics and a multitude of extras to discover and unlock using "kurrency" earned in the game.

Each fighter, many from the original games, has three distinct fighting styles, which can be mixed into attack combinations.

The game sports a shiny, refined look, including progressive damage (the more your fighter is beaten up, the more bruised and bloodied he or she will appear), the infamous "fatalities" (which seem more kitschy in 2003 than they did in 1993) and nicely animated environments.

Most of all, though, it's a great head-to-head fight game to play against a friend and manages to break the rut that 3D-fighting games have hit over the last year.

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is rated M for mature audiences.

It's available for the Playstation 2, XBox and GameCube at $50 and for the Game Boy Advance at $30.

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