Mortal Kombat 1 Review: 7 Ups & 3 Downs

9. Kombat Is Overwhelmingly Technical

mortal kombat 1 liu kang
NetherRealm Studios

Unsurprisingly, MK1 has tightened up and revised many fighting mechanics from previous instalments. On top of that, it's introduced new features, such as air-blocking, perfect parries, and taunting. It's also the first entry in 17 years to bring back Air Kombat, allowing fighters to take to the skies to brawl.

But that's not all. Taking part in the tutorial, players can learn about Advanced Blocking, Anti-Air Attacks, Frame Data, Zoning, Block Pressure, Hit Pressure, and a dozen other mechanics.

Now, it goes without saying that this is a lot to take in.

It doesn't help that many of these strategies require frame-rate perfect timing. While practicing in the tutorial, some players will not even attempt certain techniques when they see how unnecessarily complex they are to perform.

To be fair, the tutorial displays a timer that indicates when to press each button while performing a move, which is a huge help. Nevertheless, players will find themselves trying to pull off the same move 50 times before getting it right.

But it's not the mechanics' complexity that's most frustrating, it's the fact that they're mostly pointless. The Story, Towers, and Invasions can be beaten on Normal or Hard Mode without utilising the more intricate skills. Performing these techniques often proves so difficult, it's more sensible to stick with Kombos, Special Moves, and Kameos.


James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Horror Movies Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85