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The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

Mortal Kombat 1 review


“It has begun!!” This quote from 1995’s “Mortal Kombat” movie was just the start to all the spin offs and sequels to the 1993 classic arcade game created by John Tobias and Ed Boon. 


Mortal Kombat is a fighting game that has two modes: a 1v1 player option and a story option. The story option revolves around two realms: earthrealm and  outworld. In Outworld, the game’s main concept of a martial arts tournament takes place. 


Mortal Kombat 1, the 12th installment in the franchise, is a good and helpful introduction to any new players and also fun for returning ones. 


Story line

 Mortal Kombat 1 is a complete restart to the franchise coming from its last games dlc“Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath” when Liu Kang defeated Shang Tsung and began a new timeline in his image using kronikas hourglass. 


Shang Tsung, the game’s antagonist,  and Liu Kang, the game’s protagonist, both come from past installments in the franchise. Shang Tsung was a merchant who, after being persuaded by a mysterious god, became a sorcerer and magical scientist. Liu Kang is a shaolin monk turned god. 


It has a multi-hour story with its own fresh plotline that pays tribute to older games by adding to their story lines and using their characters. This play mode has 15 chapters where players play as a different character in each. 


The game’s story follows a four act structure. The first act reintroduces Mortal Kombat, the second builds up the tension, the third finishes any side stories off and sets up the final act. In the final act, the game’s final fight takes place, which wraps up the entire story and sets up the next game.


The game’s story, though, is no way perfect and it has a few flaws that tend to bring it down and ruin certain parts of the game.


One such flaw is the reliance on single character lead chapters to move the story forward instead of letting the game’s story influence the character you play as. Also, because the game’s characters come from so many different places, it can feel a bit cluttered at times. Characters like the deadly alliance and Damashii, originally from separate games, both appearing together makes some of the plot complicated. 


The game takes a large turn at the end with its final act. At the end of this game, there’s a large turn in the story that feels sort of thrown in with the ending being a twist on the final showdown from “Armageddon,” and the game starts to feel rushed and gives you the feeling that they ran out of time and just threw everything together at the last minute.


And although these problems are big, they aren’t unfixable.


With the easiest thing to fix being the big idea of character driven chapters for a few characters which causes the game to have story choices that lead to a fight with these characters.


Instead of letting each chapter be made up of multiple different fights from separate characters in each fight the game has separate chapters for certain characters, which wouldn’t be a bad thing but the chapters don’t cover each character and leave the rest of the characters to be played as on your own time out of the story.


One way to fix this would be removing the chapters and just allowing you to play as the character that fits best for that fight instead.


While all of these characters together complicates the game, it also brings the story a nostalgic feeling and a graphical improvement to the blocky and old style of the old 3D graphics of the early 2000s.




In “Mortal Kombat 11,” the most recent version of the game before “Mortal Kombat 1,”  the gameplay relied on a changeable fighting load out for each character and three different customizable gear pieces for each character.


But in Mortal kombat 1, there is a new way to play.  There are no more changeable fighting styles, and the three customizable gear pieces are limited to one for each character.  


In addition to these changes, Netherrealm Studios added a new feature called kameos.


Kameos sort of work as a second character in each chapter, but only have a few move sets and are summoned after pressing R2 on your controller, throwing them into the match to get a quick hit in before running off screen.

These kameo characters gave Netherrealm a way to bring back characters as playable characters in the game without having to design a whole new move set. It also gives characters who aren’t able to be rendered properly as main fighters a chance to be played.


But Kameos aren’t the only part of Mortal Kombat 1’s gameplay.


With the reintroduction of classic mortal kombat characters comes a whole new set of moves for each with gimmicks that make each special. With characters like Havik having a very unique fighting style that can be very mesmerizing in a very graphic and artistic way.


With characters like Sub Zero, their moves and combos can feel weak for every combo you hit because it doesn’t feel like you do an equal amount of damage for their combos, and then others, like Raiden and Smoke, feel like they do too much damage for every attack they do.


One of Mortal Kombat one’s best improvements has to be its new twist on its original characters, especially the Lin Kuei.


One of the game’s improvements is how each member acts and its big twist of Scorpion being Kuai Liang and not Hanzo Hasashi in this new timeline. Having the rivalry of Scorpion and Sub Zero continue with a new reason for them to be at odds is also a plus.


This gives the game the same feeling as the past few, but with a new twist to bring in new players and past ones.


And with a large line up of 23 characters and 15 cameos there’s a wide variation of how you use them.


One option would be to play strategically by using each of their abilities in a way where they help one another. Another would be to play more loosely by picking the character and Kameo that catch your eye and just playing with who you think looks cool.


I think although these new inclusions are a breath of fresh air and add the lack of customization when it comes to the fighting styles can be annoying and make everything feel boring after a while.


But, besides that, the gameplay keeps a nice even balance with each character with the exception of a few like Raiden and Smoke having an overwhelming range of attacks that can deal too much damage at times.




Many of Mortal Kombat 1’s characters are characters from older installments of the game. Because of this, the game feels like a reintroduction to the characters that people know and love, like Scorpion and Subzero, who have been the main faces to these games for a while, but with a twist on them. 


The 3D characters that are included in the story are treated as if they are new characters, like Ashra and Li Mei. Other 3D characters, like Reiko, Havik and Nitara, appear as kameos, having large parts in some chapters, while playable in others.


Other characters are changed quite a bit. One of these changes is the Tarkatans. In the original game, they are a cannibalistic race located on outworld. In this iteration, the Tarkatan is a disease that turns anyone with it into a cannibalistic and sadening creature of misfortune, keeping the character’s basic aspects, but adding in a new twist by making it an illness and not a race.



The story has a twist and shows off its characters as their own people with different and individual stories for each that all come together and move the story forward, which cant be said about the rest of the games.


This game keeps a nice and fresh feeling with  its big change to scorpion being Kuai Liang and not Hanzo Hasashi in this new timeline. But still having the rivalry him and sub zero continue with a new reason for them to be at odds. 


These changes give the game the same feeling as the past few but with a new twist to bring in new players and past ones.


But some of these characters can feel like they were just Wasted with the lack of care for characters that aren’t the most popular compared to characters like Scorpion and Sub Zero who have full character arcs. 


With characters such as Nitara there is a big downgrade to her character with the new voice courtesy of Megan Fox that can feel underwhelming with her lack of experience in voice acting.


All in all though the characters in this game aren’t perfect by any means, But they do have a wide variety of characters from each of Mortal Kombat’s eras making a fun and enjoyable experience.




At the end of the day, Mortal Kombat 1, though not a great game, succeeds in certain areas and has a good story that sucks in the player. With its unique characters, driven gameplay, and thoughtful story telling, Mortal Kombat 1 is a good game with minimal problems to sit down and play if you have the time. I give Mortal Kombat 1 a 8/10.


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About the Contributor
Derek Lee Rodriguez, staff writer
Derek Rodriguez is a sophomore in his first year of journalism. Derek is the student director for the play and in his free time he enjoys watching movies,playing dnd,and watching his favorite show community. Derek has been described by people as charismatic,friendly,and stoic at times. Derek can be spotted around school with his film and comic shirts, his messenger bag across his chest, and his curly brown hair.

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