£3.99 delivered from Gamestation.
Mortal Kombat, the curse of spelling pedants and easily offended parents everywhere, has returned (again)--and this time it's making a proper effort to reclaim its crown as king of the beat-'em-ups. Just like movies and music there are some games that just seem to be a product of their time, appearing ridiculous when dragged kicking and screaming into the present day. Mortal Kombat suffered just such a fate when it was given one sequel too many and people realised that badly digitised 2-D characters in a dumbed-down version of Street Fighter II wasn't quite in keeping with the zeitgeist.
Sensibly, instead of trying to do just the same old thing with better graphics, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance brings that most unexpected of presents to the beat-'em-up party: a new idea. Specifically, it gives you the ability to switch, at the press of a shoulder button, between one of three different fighting styles for each character. This works tremendously well, allowing you to change from ranged to close-up to weapons attacks, for example, with ease. The ability to see physical damage appear on your opponent during the course of a match is also a nice touch, but thankfully they haven't thrown the baby out with the bathwater and all the old Mortal Kombat extras are still here: there's a ton of spilt claret if you so much as touch the other player and a range of spine-ripping fatalities and brutalities to show off with at the end of a bout.
Admittedly the graphics still aren't all that great, but they do the job and quite frankly anything that manages to make Mortal Kombat fresh and exciting again is doing very well indeed