There are 24 characters to choose from, 12 from the start and 12 you’re going to need to earn. Along side the returning characters, like Sub Zero and Scorpion, are a bevy of new fighters. There’s Ashrah who looks like a female Raiden, but has a few surprises up her blouse. Hotaru looks cool and is sporting flags, but seems to be limited by only having two special moves. And then there’s tough girl Kira and tough guy Darrius taking the place of Sonya and Jax, but not really adding much to the roster. The new characters are fun to play with, but they just don’t seem as interesting or creative as some of the past combatants.
Of course, it’s not all new characters in Deception, as a lot of past favorites make their first 3D appearance. Here we have the return of Baraka, one of the most popular characters from Mortal Kombat II. He still sports the long blades that jet out of his arms (think: Wolverine, except with long swords), but somehow a lot of the brutality has worn off. I had similar problems with some of the returning Ninjas, like Ermac, Smoke, and Noob Saibot, who just didn’t do much for me this time around.
Deception also plays host to the return of Nightwolf, the Native American character that seemed to embody every bad stereotype you could think of. Kabal also finds his way into Deception, but like Nightwolf, just seems very out of place in this Mortal Kombat universe. Ultimately these characters add very little and don’t warrant leaving out many of the best characters from Dark Alliance, like Kung Lao, Kano, Reptile, and others.
Even if there aren’t all the characters I could hope for, at least they feature more fatalities and special moves than ever before. Unlike Dark Alliance which only featured one fatality per character, here all of the fighters have two different finishing moves. For the most part these fatalities are better, and of course gorier, than those found in past Mortal Kombat games. New to Deception is the Hara-kiri, which allows the dead party to end their own life before the other person has time to finish them.
Being a Mortal Kombat sequel you’d expect a great deal of hidden items, and Deception is not going to let you down. The problem is, to earn these extra characters, stages, and costumes you’re going to have to endure the Konquest mode, a painfully boring adventure mode that can’t decide whether it wants to be an exciting quest or a straight up tutorial. Early in the game you are given access to a portal that will take you to various realms of this Mortal Kombat universe – Earthrealm, Chaosrealm, Netherrealm, etc. – where you will solve mysteries, fight aggressors, and constantly train. You see, most of the Konquest mode is made up of you learning every move, combo, and throw for every single character in the game. It’s one tutorial after another, painfully ripping all the fun out of what should be an exciting bonus feature.
When you’re not learning how to perform a 12-hit combo you can search around the various realms for hidden items, treasure chests, and floating Kombat Koins. You can also talk to the town folk and see if they are in need of your help, usually resulting in a quest to find a specific item or deliver something. You can also challenge various Mortal Kombat figures scattered throughout the realms; here you will be forced to fight under their rules, which generally gives them an unfair advantage.
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