Monday, October 11, 2004

Finish Him!

Finish Him!These immortal words were first heard in arcades around the world in 1992. Over the past twelve years there have been several subsequent iterations of the Mortal Kombat franchise.
Last year saw the series first true venture into the realm of truly 3D arenas with the release of 'Deadly Alliance'. Recently, the sixth major release 'Deception' takes the experience online. There are the usual updates including more characters, more ways to kill defeated opponents (fatalities), and other bells and whistles. However, the addition of a chess-style combat game, a puzzle mode, and the mini-RPG 'Konquest' mode make this an impressive upgrade. Ultimately though, the major appeal of Deception is the fact that you can challenge opponents online. The game is fully integrated with XBox Live! and supports rank-based opponent matching. This means that when searching for games online, you can specify the skill level that you would like to face in terms of 'Better', 'Equal', or 'Worse' than your current ranking. This is a welcome addition to someone who is used to getting completely owned when they venture into gaming-cyberspace and means that most of the fights are kept very close. Playing against other humans means that the game is based more upon psychology than ultra-fast reflexes, as applying strategies and tactics can actually work.

Despite the variety of game modes though, the most satisfying aspect is getting home from work on a Friday night and taking out a whole day's stress on someone hundreds of miles away. After both of you have dealt out more punishment than a cartoon character could survive, one combatant is afforded the honor of applying one of the game's signiture 'Fatality' finishing moves, the ultimate in animatic destruction.

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