Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks

2005 - Midway Games - Midway Studios LA / Midway Games

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 First off, I have to say that the intro for this is awesome! Pure Mortal Kombat storytelling and does a great job of hyping you up for the game.

The game itself is totally different to other Mortal Kombat games & plays more like an action platformer and reminds me a lot of the original God of War. This is not another MK sequal but a spinoff and a bloody good one at that.

You start the game with only 2 playable characters Liu Kang & Kung Lao, with the chance to unlock Scorpion & Subzero later.

The game is a challenge from the start, you will need to get to grips with the blocks & combos pretty quickly to survive. No button mashing in this one. The boss fights can range from easy to ridiculous at times, especially the Shao Kahn fights. You just end up running around spamming projectile attacks until he's dead. 

This really lets the game down a bit during the last few fights because you feel like the game is dictating to you how to play. if you try to be different the game has counters ready and boy do they sap your health quickly.

My biggest gripe is the save points. I only encountered 2 in the first 2 hours. The game does autosave at the beginning of an area, but it doesn't reload your last save, so if you saved before a boss fight then died, you have to quit the game and load it from the main menu, otherwise the game auto loads from the last checkpoint.

Sometimes I do feel that the game is sticking 2 fingers up at you if you try to play the game differently to how they want you to. for instance the only way to get 100% completion is by playing the 'Ko-op' mode (which isn't drop in/out) because certain areas are inaccessible without 2 players. So if you don't have a friend nearby who is willing to go through the entire game with you then good luck unlocking everything.

also, you do get to unlock the full Mortal Kombat 2, but to do so you have to complete 5 'Smoke' missions in the campaign. During my playthrough I found a big fat 0, so go me!

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