Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

June 27, 2007

When [i]Mortal Kombat: Armageddon[/i] was released for PS2 and Xbox late last year, it marked the end of an era, drawing to a close Midway’s long running fighting game franchise. The game was an appropriate punctuation mark on the series, offering nearly every character and a host of varied modes, all for a very reasonable budget price of $20. Over half a year later, Armageddon has arrived for the Wii, now sporting a non-budget price tag. But are the changes worth the extra money?

The most significant addition to this port is of course the inclusion of motion sensitive controls. However, while fighting by waving the Wii remote through the air is amusing for the first few plays, the controls are eventually revealed to be unreliable and glitchy. In most games, this sort of control would suffice, but the technical precision required for a fighter just isn’t there. Once a friend discovers the game’s support for GameCube and Classic Controllers, everyone else will be forced to switch or be dominated.

Also added to this new version is the Kreate-A-Fatality game mode, allowing players to use gestures in lieu of preset animations to create unique finishing moves. While this is an interesting idea, the resulting kills aren’t nearly as fun and full of character as the originals.

The version also adds in Khameleon, the female version of Chameleon from the N64 version of [i]Mortal Kombat Trilogy[/i]. This really isn’t a selling point, though, as the title wasn’t lacking in number or variety of fighters previously, though Midway’s eye for completeness with this version is appreciated. All of these additions compensate somewhat for the Wii’s lack of online multiplayer, though even so it hardly feels like the game is worth more than double the asking price of the game on other consoles.

However, for those who can’t pick up the cheaper PS2 and Xbox versions, [i]Armageddon [/i]for the Wii does pack a lot of punch beyond the core fighting game. The one-player Konquest adventure mode isn’t a masterpiece, but as a mechanism used to unlock other items in the game the mode is more than adequate. Similarly, while it’s unlikely that characters generated using the game’s Kreate-A-Fighter mode will ever turn out as unique as those available already, players willing to unlock everything can create a fighter that matches their style.

Then there is Motor Kombat, a super-deformed kart racer starring cartoon style versions of the game’s fighters. The diversion makes for a bizarre change-of-pace from the main game, though this seems fitting for a series that has always had a penchant for the bizarre.

Altogether, the Wii version of [i]Armageddon [/i]isn’t better than those for other platforms, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. The fighting is solid, and once players tire of novelty offered by the Wii remote, there are other controller options to fall back on, foresight on Midway’s part that does not go unappreciated. That said, if Midway comes to its senses and brings the price down to $25 or $30, it’s a worthy addition to any collection. As it is, the next-gen tax makes it only worth it for fans of the genre.

Score: 3/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.