OXCGN’s Mortal Kombat X Review


Mortal Kombat X… what can I say? You make me cringe. You make me scream. You make me want to throw up. You made me love you. The newest installment of Mortal Kombat deserved a lot more fanfare than it received. It is bloody, smooth and engaging combat that drags you in for hours before kicking your head off of your body in the most satisfying of ways. Alongside a complex and detailed combat system is more personality and story than you can soak with the brain juices of your enemies. Mortal Kombat X delivers on its promises and devours the face off your days, afternoons, and nights faster than you can scream “Mileena.”

MKX brings with it a roster of fighters both veteran and new. A literal next generation of characters including the children of Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage, Jax, Kenshi: Cassie Cage, Jacqui Briggs, and Takeda respectively. Also new to the lineup is Kung Lao’s cousin Kung Jin, “bug-lady” D’vorah, Kotal Khan, cowboy outlaw Erron Black and “symbiotes” Ferra and Torr. Other staple favourites return and many characters make cameos in the main story. MKX combat has a twist: Variations. Every fighter comes in three unique flavours that can drastically affect the fighter’s style and tactics. For example, Cassie Cage comes in the Hollywood, Brawler, and Spec Ops varieties. Hollywood gives her a similar feel to her father Johnny Cage; Brawler makes her fast and hard-hitting; Spec Ops gives her Special Forces related abilities. The differences may seem minor in text, but a fighter’s variation can drastically change how they play. Brawler Cassie is very close quarters and uses lots of long, chaining combos to achieve victory. Spec Ops Cassie has access to more long ranged, ‘keepaway’ attacks. Both play very differently.

The variation system is a very welcome addition; it just plain takes longer for each character to feel “used.” It also allows you to find an enjoyable aspect to every character… it makes you want to play across the whole roster, rather than sticking to a few favourites. No matter what move set your fighter has, it would mean less if the combat weren’t so damn smooth. There is rarely a moment of model jarring or awkward stillness; combat flows and it always feels like when you press a button, something happens. However, something I did notice is that this game is HARD. Even on easy mode, I found myself gasping for breath at the end of a round, and at first even lost a few times. I’m no master of fighting games, but normally I can pull off enough flawless victories on easy mode. The computer AI can also get into the habit of spamming a particular move. However, this was only really prevalent when versing Jacqui and Corrupted Shinnok. Why this happened, is because every character is so much more in depth, and each has a ton of basic combos. The game is harder, because with a little practice, every character is a much more comfortable play. You never feel completely helpless when playing as certain characters, something past games have been painfully guilty of.

I said it before; this game is bloody. Fatalities are brutal, and brutalities are fatally awesome. The flawless transition between the final blow and a violent end to your opponent via a brutality is endlessly satisfying. Playing with a friend for the first time, a brutality left him quickly confused; yet equally impressed. They’re quick, violent ends to matches that vary in difficulty from simply executing a particular move, to connecting a certain number of other attacks in order to make it possible. Fatalities are… gross. They’re ridiculous, Final Destination level finishers that should have the development team put into psychiatric care; especially the sound guys. The gurgling and frothing that comes from my TV sounds like the witches from Hocus Pocus brewing up a potion in my bedroom. It is unpleasant, yet it’s a fatality.

MKX has character. Each fighter has more personality than I’ve felt any other fighting game has presented. Each fight starts with a completely personal exchange between the two opponents that speak volumes of their story and personality in a few short words. It’s skip-able, and most people will probably do just that, but every line brings more character to the fighters and the world they’re in. Alongside the short exchanges that carry so much weight, is, for once, a damn enjoyable story. MK9 was okay. It wasn’t a bad story; it was a fighting game story. It understood that people came for the fights and not the chatter. MKX, however, gives you reason to sit back and listen. The characters are wholesome; they have background, personality, and relationships that resonate with the story and each other. It’s a story of comrades among chaos, and follows the next generation Special Forces unit: Cassie Cage, Takeda, Jacqui Briggs, and Kung Jin, as they set out to defend Earthrealm, and the Universe, from scorned Elder God Shinnok. It’s a short story, yes, but it is an engaging, emotional venture worth the attention.

Rather than having minigame rounds of defeating grunt enemies or completely baseless test your might challenges, small sections of the story use quick-time events. The quick-time events sit on an odd precipice; I enjoyed them and they added to the story over taking away from it… yet they were used only a few times in the first half of the game, never to be seen again. It almost felt like they’d forgotten they were doing it halfway through. They feel tacked on; not in a “they don’t need to be here” way but rather a “they’re only kind of here” way. I wouldn’t ask for one in every cutscene, but there were a lot of moments where I expected one where there wasn’t.

Speaking of expectations, I’m not sure what ones I held for faction mode. It’s the one promise MKX falls a little behind on. They didn’t exactly give false hope, but it definitely doesn’t have the impact they seemed to expect it to. Beyond getting some ‘koinage’ should your faction win an invasion, and the faction kill fatalities… there’s not much else there. It also seems terribly balanced towards the Lin Kuei faction, who completely dominated the first invasion I experienced. Whether it was an oddity, or an issue they need to address with unbalanced faction numbers, it’s not quite the beast it was hyped up to be. Living towers, however, live up to their name. They are different towers that change periodically and have different goals, and in the future will supposedly allow one to try out a DLC fighter. They offer a consistently changing objective to work toward, something very few fighting games offer bar achievements.

One of the biggest surprises for me was the Krypt mode. I went in expecting to wander through a grid of graves, or corpses, or anything gruesome, and spent my accumulated Koins on alternate costumes, music, and concept art. What I got was a smaller game in itself. The area is huge, and broken up into a bunch of different themes, that are all somewhat of a puzzle. Certain areas are locked off via one of the fighter’s items such as Raiden’s staff or Kung Lao’s hat. Finding these items will allow you into the barred area where more unlockables await. There is also a passage of time in the Krypt, measured by a clock on the HUD. Different times coincide with different events, such as special golden chests appearing, which are significantly cheaper than normal grave unlocks. However, hidden items and golden chests aren’t the only surprises the krypt has hidden in it’s shadowy halls.

Pros:

  • Fighters are varied and as complex as they are welcoming.
  • The story is engaging and well worth the experience.
  • Variations offer a welcome twist to each fighter.
  • Living towers offer consistently fresh goals to achieve.
  • The Krypt is surprisingly in depth and exciting.

Cons:

  • Faction mode does not live up to its hype.
  • The game can feel slightly difficult on first play.
  • Some AI can get a little “spammy” at times.

TL;DR

Mortal Kombat X surprised me. Its characters are well thought out and its story is remarkably enjoyable. The combat is beautifully fluid, satisfyingly gory, and incredibly complex when mixing in the new variations and returning brutalities. Faction mode didn’t quite deliver on its hype, but the ever-evolving living towers bring new goals at least every hour. Mortal Kombat X was an unexpected gem in my personal 2015 games collection, but it’s sure to stick around for a while yet.

9.5/10

Launch Trailer For Mortal Kombat X Beats Up The Competition, Forces Itself To The Front Of Your Attention Queue With A Big Sign Saying Watch Me


Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released the Mortal Kombat X Official Launch Trailer, preparing fans and gamers for the epic narrative of Mortal Kombat X to unfold on 15 April in Australia. The launch trailer, directed by System Of A Down bassist Shavo Odadjian, sets the stage with glimpses of iconic moments, a cast of new and returning Kombatants and heart-pounding fight sequences set to the band’s hit song, Chop Suey!. You can view the new Mortal Kombat X Official Launch Trailer below:

Mortal Kombat X Gets a Release Date and Preorder Character


Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment confirmed that Mortal Kombat X, that is being developed by NetherRealm Studios, is planned to release worldwide from 14 April 2015 which will be available for the PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. In addition, for people who preorder through selected retailers, will be getting the legendary series character Goro as a playable combatant on launch day. Goro, the feral, four-armed Shokan warrior is making his first appearance in more than eight years.

Mortal Kombat X combines cinematic presentation with all new gameplay to deliver the most brutal Kombat experience ever, offering a new fully-connected experience that launches players into a persistent online contest where every fight matters in a global battle for supremacy. For the first time, Mortal Kombat X gives players the ability to choose from multiple variations of each character impacting both strategy and fighting style. Players step into an original story showcasing some of the game’s most prolific characters including Scorpion and Sub-Zero, while introducing new challengers that represent the forces of good and evil and tie the tale together.

OXCGN’s Fighter Within Review


fighter-within-xbox-one-kinect-exclusive-game-logo-art-transparentPoor implementation leads to a poor game

Of all the launch titles for the Xbox One, Ubisofts Fighter Within is the one you should completely stay away from. Not because it’s a bad game, but because it has the most poorly implemented Kinect functionality ever. Fighter Within, is the first piece of shovelware to be seen on the Xbox One, and it’s sad that this type of game wasn’t supposed to make it’s way over to next gen but unfortunately it has. After the mistake that was Fighter Uncaged, I honestly don’t know what Ubisoft were thinking when allowing this game to proceed.

With an unknown developer at the helm the moment this was announced, trouble was the only outcome possible for this game.

Roundhouse kick of disappointment
Roundhouse kick of disappointment

Continue reading OXCGN’s Fighter Within Review

OXCGN’s PlayStation Vita Mini-Review Game Roundup


FEATURE_Vita mini reviews

PlayStation Vita Mini-Review

Game roundup

by Alex Baldwin

©2012 Alex Baldwin

With the holiday season upon us, there’s sure to be a lot of PlayStation Vitas exchanging hands.

We’re big fans of Sony’s latest here at OXCGN, and it’s only right that we assist in avoiding the crushing disappointment that comes with receiving a shiny new console, but a horrible game to play on it.

Don’t have time to hunt down reviews for all the major Vita games? No worries, we’ve got you covered!

The list below is a handy summary of each game with pros, cons, and overall ratings of most major Vita game releases (in alphabetical order) since launch, with all being owned and played by yours truly over the course of the past eight months since launch.

Note that the rating assigned to each game may not match that which was given in an earlier review of the game by a different reviewer.

Find out which Vita games to pick up this holiday season

Injustice: It’s not another MK v DC Universe


Injustice: It’s not another MK v DC Universe 

For one thing, it has Batman!

by Arthur Kotsopoulos

©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos

Upon arriving at Warner Bros booth to check out Injustice: Gods Among Us which is being developed by Netherrealm Studios, my expectations had not been set.

I had a completely open mind, ready for whatever they had to throw at me.

I spent the next 20-30 minute sitting with no prior knowledge about this game apart from the fact that it’s set in the DC Universe and it’s the second DC fighting game developed by Netherrealm Studios.

Injustice: Ready…fight! This way

OXCGN’s Mortal Kombat Review: Kool or Krap Kombat?


OXCGN’s Mortal Kombat Review

A brutal return to the fighting genre

by : GrathiusXR

©2011 Arthur Kotsopoulos

Whilst the movie is still far from being revived and though Kevin Tancharoen’s mini web series received less than stellar responses, Mortal Kombat has been brought back to its roots by Netherrealm Studios, the newly formed company under Ed Boon and Warner Bros (WB) replacing Midway.

With the earlier iteration titled Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, fans of the beloved franchise cried foul.

The game was nowhere near the same caliber as previous MK games, with stale game play and fatalities that were pretty lame and looked like regular combo moves.

That, however, has changed with Mortal Kombat under Netherrealm Studios. Continue reading OXCGN’s Mortal Kombat Review: Kool or Krap Kombat?

OXCGN’S Pre-E3 Early Walkthrough Report GT5 – FFXIV And More


OXCGN’S Pre-E3 Walkthrough

We got here early to take look at some surprises

by AXIS of Reality

©2010 Alex Baldwin

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Click Image for E3 OXCGN Panorama View
Now that the three of us from OXCGN (Editor in Chief Grant, News Editor Aaron and myself Alex, Features Editor) have all arrived here in Los Angeles for the gaming event of the year, we decided to rock up to the convention centre for an early peek, and registration with Microsoft for their various events.

And it’s a good thing we did too. With numerous posters, banners and booths in the process of being precariously strung across every available surface, a few little secrets and slip through the nets for inquisitive journalists such as ourselves to snatch up. Here’s a few of the rather interesting tidbits we observed:

OXCGN’s initial Observations on Saturday.

Come check out the pre-E3 news wlakthrough . . . >