Category: Gaming

REVIEW: MORTAL KOMBAT X

Mortal Kombat X dropped a day early in Australia, which threw all my plans into array. I was supposed to be cooking dinner that night for the household, and organizing some of my work into order, but as soon as my brother confirmed to me that the store was indeed selling the game off the shelf, I made the long trek out to the stores and returned with the game clutched in hand. Forget dinner plans, forget organization – I needed to see some brilliant high-definition Fatalities.

I’ll admit that I haven’t played every Mortal Kombat game along the long list of entries. Notable games that I’ve dedicated myself to include the original trilogy, Deadly Alliance and Shaolin Monks, as well as the later versus DC game and of course the brilliant Mortal Kombat 2011.

MORTAL KOMBAT X

So far, not one of those has stood up to Mortal Kombat X as a completely polished fighting game. While some of their stories, or their rosters, might have the edge over X, this new release has seen NetherRealm step up once more and deliver quite possibly the best fighting game for years to come, and that’s not even including my fanboy bias. The flow of the game is what makes it so seamless. You can drop straight into a fight with one of the twenty-four fighters on hand and the ‘kombos’ come easily, the fights are clean, the graphics blow any Mortal Kombat you’ve seen before out of the water, and it all just seems to fade into the background once the punches start raining and the blood comes out in troves.

One of the massive announcements that came with the game was that an entire one third of the roster would be made up of entirely new fighters. No reskins or rebooted characters here – eight new characters made by NetherRealm to fill the ranks of the MK elite, and this choice is one of the reasons that the new X really is a knock-out punch. Gone are most of the fighters that we had access to in MK9, much to the disappointed of my brother, who racked up so many hours playing Smoke that I swear he muttered something about fire and smoke in his sleep, but in their place come exciting new changes and brilliant new additions.

It’s a shame that, for now, Smoke, Noob, Kabal, Stryker and a host of others have been left by the wayside, but they were in the back of my mind when I delivered my first bone-crunching combo with Kotal Kahn, the Aztec warrior that now rules over Earthrealm. While Cassie Cage, Jacqui Briggs and Takeda are all children from former characters, Kotal Kahn, D’Vorah and Ferra/Torr all boast intuitive new designs and gameplay styles.

REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 217

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. 217

Half-Decent Alert: S.H.I.E.L.D. Spoilers Ahead! So go watch the episode first if you feel strong feelings about the recitation of television shows.

You would be forgiven after watching the first twenty minutes of ‘Melinda’ for thinking that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was about to dull-down an interesting story. Fortunately, the slowly burnt backstory about what happened to Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Weng) in Bahrain is finally cracked open reveal a more connected world that you’d realize.

Bahrain is explored through various flashbacks throughout the episode. Taking us seven years in the past, before The Avengers has occurred, we see May and Coulson (Clark Gregg) handling a super powered individual. All goes terribly wrong, leaving May psychologically scarred. This is the strongest element to this week’s episode. Agent May, AKA the ‘Cavalry’, has always been an inaccessible character because her past has been purposefully untold. Breaking though this barrier allows the audience to finally experience her anguish; an agent force into a brutal conflict with a super powered mother (Winter Ave Zoli) and her insane young daughter (Ava Acres), forced to kill both.

Admittedly the entire Bahrain sequence is the darkest Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been, and while it is no Netflix’s Daredevil the action in ‘Melinda’ is some of the best ABC has produced. Finally we have access to the reason behind May’s separation with Dr. Andrew Garner (Blair Underwood) and her intense concern regarding super powered people.

Rating: 8/10 Double Decent

Pros: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gets gritty and services some long running stories.

Cons: First half is cloudy before the payoff.

Why you should watch it: All the threads are coming together for the season finale as the cast pair off into some interesting combinations.