Mortal Kombat: Sholin Monks

Danny Andrews

Danny Andrews

Mortal Kombat: Shoalin Monks is the latest in the Mortal Kombat series. This time, however, the creators steer away from the traditional arcade fighter that the series is known for and opt for an action-adventure game.

If your memory of the last Mortal Kombat action-adventure game (the horrendously bad Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero) makes you cringe involuntarily, then you must use this game as an opportunity to renew your faith in the Mortal Kombat series.

The story of Shoalin Monks is a back-story to the series itself. It starts at the climatic final battle of the first game. The evil shapeshifting sorcerer Shang Tsung isn’t happy about losing the tournament to rule earth, so he starts the chain of events that lead to the sequels.

You play as either Liu Kang or Kung Lao. Either character is basically interchangeable, with no individual abilities to drastically change the game. You get individual special attacks, but they don’t change your game play experience from play-through to play-through. The fighting system is a joy, with light attacks, heavy attacks, throws and launches at your disposal. Honestly, with quick reflexes and the right technique, you could make a juggle move that would rival any other fighting game on the market.

The game starts off fairly easy, with the difficulty increasing after the first three levels. If you don’t take your time to find the secrets inside the game, or have extraordinarily good eyesight, your game play will stay very linear. The only time you have to travel off the beaten path is to find concept art, extra characters for a versus mode or to find hidden special moves.

If you’re a Mortal Kombat fan, take some time and at least rent this game, if only for the feeling of nostalgia you’ll get from playing levels and enemies you’ve fought a thousand times before. You shouldn’t be disappointed.

Four stars out of five.