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Mortal Kombat 11 Review

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Mortal Kombat 11 Review
Mortal Kombat 11 Review

Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest in the long running Mortal Kombat franchise which originally started with Mortal Kombat 1 in 1992. Mortal Kombat 11 was developed by NetherRealm Studios and is published by Warner Bothers Interactive Entertainment. The game is available on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC.

For much of this generation of consoles, I’ve not really been so into the fighting genre of games. This year’s Dead Or Alive 6 was actually my first fighting game in a long time that I went and purchased and while I’ve always been a Mortal Kombat fan, I have actually missed the previous two titles in the series. The trailers for the game that I’ve seen and even the one I shared above never actually really caught my attention, even on release day. But what did happen on release day, was a lot of streamers started playing through the story mode and I started to watch it on the train on the way home, what I saw in the first half an hour intrigued me and I ended up purchasing the game later that evening on PC.

The story of Mortal Kombat 11 is one of the most well put together plots for a fighting game that I have seen. With so many characters in the game to follow, things felt well balanced and many of the characters got adequate time in the storyline. As a long time fan of this series, it brought me great joy seeing so many of the characters in game again. This game also features quite a lot of throwbacks to the 90’s character designs, which were what I used to play with the most years ago and I loved seeing those designs in game and in cut scenes yet again, with newer and far better graphics.

What happens in this story essentially is that Raiden has become corrupt by Shinnock’s power and has gone mad after killing Shinnock in battle. This makes Kronika very angry and as the God of Time, she starts messing with things to punish evil Raiden. This is what causes the past characters to come into the future and interact with their future self. I don’t want to tell anymore as I don’t want to spoil anything. But while it does all sound quite mad written down like this, actually it’s rather good. I was so hooked on the story, that I ended up not being able to put the game down for about 4 hours or so, which is about how long it will take you to get through it, granted you can beat the opponents quick enough. As a fighting game, I don’t really expect such a long story, but what we have here in Mortal Kombat 11 is basically almost a 4 hour CGI movie, featuring every character in the game and I loved every moment of it.

The gameplay is interesting. Compared to Dead Or Alive 6 which is a recently released game in the fighting game genre, there’s one main difference. In Mortal Kombat 11, fights are two dimensional, with the player only allowed to move their character backwards and forwards during fights. In a game like Dead Or Alive 6, fights are three dimensional, so characters can move in any direction, allowing them to dodge moves at times by shifting a characters position. If you have played the older Mortal Kombat games, a two dimensional one would have been Mortal Kombat trilogy, whereas Mortal Kombat 4 was three dimensional. Having the gameplay in this two dimensional format’yet again, helped to compress the fights and add pressure onto the player, you can’t simply run away. This means that players need to place greater emphasis on blocking and counters when facing tough opponents. In particular online matches, this 2D style made things feel particularly competitive with me and my opponent baiting each other constantly by blocking, unblocking and trying to find an entry point for attack and this pressure felt even higher when I was low on health and needed only 1 more hit to win.

Mortal Kombat 11 fighting environment - Mortal Kombat 11 Review

Mortal Kombat 11 fighting environment

Apart from the story mode, players can participate in a tower game. This is where AI opponents are stacked in a tower, with a final boss at the top. Like classic Mortal Kombat games (Mortal Kombat 4), you pick a character and fight every other character on the way up the tower until you beat everyone in the lineup. Reaching the end will give you rewards, such as currency to unlock certain things in the game.

While playing the game, you will earn points. These points/currency can by used in the game’s Krypt. The Krypt is the oddest part of the game I felt because basically what happens here is you are playing as a character in a three dimensional Shang Tsung’s island. In there, there are chests which you can open, you won’t know what’s inside. Some of them might cost you 10k. 2k, 5k etc of the currency you have earned and inside them are little prizes like art work, fatalities you can unlock, character skins and much more. To me, these chests just felt like loot boxes and I really would like to just use my currency to unlock items on characters I like to play. I would love to have more things for Cassie Cage, but instead I’ve gotten a whole bunch on Kabal items from the Krypt and I’ll probably never use it. It’s disappointing that the currency is used in this way as it takes time to earn it and I’d rather choose how I spend what I’ve worked for, not just get random stuff for my efforts. Who wants to grind and do all of this? It’s ridiculous!

In the game, the things that you unlock can be used to customise your character. You can change things like a character’s skin or you can choose different special moves that you can take into battle. I quite like this variation and it makes the online matches quite interesting to see what moves players have decided to equip for their characters. The customisation component of the game makes facing popular characters like Scorpion for example more unique, as the moves aren’t always the same every single time, different players have different move sets and I like that.

Mortal Kombat 11 character customisation screen - Mortal Kombat 11 Review

Mortal Kombat 11 character customisation screen

The online component of the game is a place where I have spent hours playing there. So far my experience has been good with my only frustration being that I am not good enough to win as many games as I would like. I’ve had a few games where me and my opponent are fairly matched when it comes to our skill level and this is great. But I’ve also had a bunch of one sided games where I could just not do anything to my opponent, they just keep somehow doing special moves and massive combos and I can’t even stand up. This happens too much at times and with players being so good in such a short time, I do wonder if they’re cheating somehow, it is online on PC so it could be possible, but I don’t really know.

There is an online ranking in this game and I am keen to see how I do when it opens, I am in no way a great player, I’m average at best, but I still want to give it a go. Hopefully something can be done to balance matches in the Kasual 1v1 mode, I cannot tell if it’s just random opponents or if anything is even balancing the matches for players. So far it seems like overall, matches are just with random players based on my experience so far.

Aside from the main fighting game modes, there’s also a practice game mode and tutorial area. This area is very handy for players that are new to fighting games and as a long running franchise, it is good to see that the makers of Mortal Kombat are still trying to do something to welcome in newcomers to the franchise and this training area helps to train new players in what to do.

The graphics in this are rather good. I have never seen Mortal Kombat look so well, although on PC, I did have some issues with hair textures. Some characters’ hair looked a little weird and something was wrong with it. Animations were rather good, fatalities and in game animations are also done quite well. Locations are also very interesting to look at and their textures are very nice. In general, Mortal Kombat 11 is a very nice looking game.

Overall, I loved my experience with Mortal Kombat 11. The game brings fans the best of the Mortal Kombat series by having both the classic characters and present characters all playable in the same game. The story component is about 4 hours long, but is much more than I expect from a game of this genre and the tale told was quite interesting to follow. Graphically the game looks brilliant. There were a few hiccups though, like the online matchmaking being a little unbalanced for me at times and I had a problem with the hair textures. I also do not really like the whole Krypt system for unlocking things, it’s honestly ridiculous. But overall, I had a great week with Mortal Kombat 11 and spent hours playing online. I’m happy to recommend this game to fans or newcomers to the series as it’s quite welcoming for them too. Mortal Kombat 11 was one of the better fighting game experiences I’ve had in recent years and I’m keen to keep playing for the next couple of weeks.

Bryan loves writing about movies, TV shows and games and tries his best to give a balanced and honest view in all his reviews or opinion pieces on Resident Entertainment.

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Sea Of Solitude Review

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Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude is a game which was developed by Jo-Mei Games and was published by Electronic Arts. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin. It is a single player third person adventure game. The game has the player control a character named Kay who explores an abandoned and flooded city.

This was a game which caught my eye only very recently when I first heard about its release. After watching the trailer, I thought the art style, strong colours and animations looked very interesting. Also as a person who went mad one day and subscribed to EA’s Origin Premiere late last year so that I could play some games I had missed out on over the years, I was pleased to see something new added to the store that wasn’t a typical Electronic Arts style major franchise game. Knowing I could get this one for free was enough to give it a go. But if you’re not part of that program to get it for free, I’d say that the $26.95 asking price for this digital title is certainly worth it.

The game isn’t too long, most hardened gamers will probably be able to finish this one in a single session, which I actually managed to do yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself, but I’d say to expect about 3 or so hours out of it, a bit more if you look around for collectables.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

On the surface, Sea Of Solitude is about a young girl named Kay, who is searching through a city, which is for some reason flooded. You start the game all alone on a tiny boat, way out at sea on the water. You make your way to the city, where you find a monster clad in darkness is blocking your path. Through exploration and activating certain things, Kay brings light to an otherwise dark city.

Underneath the main plot though, is a game with strong messages and themes related to loneliness and relationships. Kay as a character is someone who has become lonely, isolated and quite depressed after issues with her family and her boyfriend. The game sends the player on a journey to free Kay and other characters from suffering from the effects of loneliness and related themes. What I didn’t expect this weekend, was to play a game which seemed to have the objective of tackling these mental health issues in this way and I never expected to play something this weekend from the gaming genre with such deep meaning to it.

In many ways, Sea Of Solitude reminded me of my experience with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which was also a game that focused on mental health issues and is still a game I hold in very high regard. Both of these games were experiences that I could not put down once I started playing as I just had to find out what was going to happen with my character. Games tackling these mental health themes and the issues involved are quite rare in this medium, so when an experience like this does come along, it’s very unique and interesting. The difference between Sea Of Solitude and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is that Sea of Solitude is a little lighter in tone and not the intense gruelling experience that Senua’s was. This makes a player’s time with Sea Of Solitude one that is peaceful to experience.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

The art style in Sea Of Solitude is something I enjoyed looking at. The animations are very rounded, colours stand out on the screen and the use of blacks in contrast with visibly bright blues, whites and orange was what I loved the most. The music and also the voice acting, was soft and did fit in well with the tone of the game’s themes and art style. All together, visuals and audios seemed to be just right.

The gameplay in Sea Of Solitude is something I’d say is probably a little simple. It’s essentially a platforming game where you will jump, swim, drive a boat and shoot flares onto enemies. There aren’t any button combinations to learn or any level up systems. The game is accessible to people of most ages and even to people new to gaming could easily pick this one up and get through it.

Overall coming out of playing Sea Of Solitude, I was filled with positivity and happiness. The story is quite heavy when playing through it, but very warm in the end. The art style and animations are nice to see and the sound and voice acting was just right. I do like to see that the games industry can use the medium to tackle such heavy topics and release games like this which show how well this medium can tell a story and provide its audience with something of great meaning. I’m happy to recommend Sea Of Solitude for your gaming collection.

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Stuber Review

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Stuber Review

Stuber is a film which comes directed by Michael Dowse and stars Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani and Betty Gilpin. The film is an action comedy adventure about an Uber driver and a policeman who go on a wild ride together.

Going in to see Stuber I didn’t really know where to set my expectations. Knowing only that the film was a comedy, meant I went in for the lols and didn’t expect all that much from the story. But coming out of the film, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not really that great.

The film starts off okay and the opening scene features both Vic (Dave Bautista) and Sara (Karen Gillan) engaged in a dangerous shootout with some bad guys. Both are seriously injured and Vic loses his eyesight, which means he gets some urgent surgery. His eyes need time go recover, but as soon he’s able to walk he calls for an Uber and continues on with his police business, which is catching the bad guys who got away in the opening scene. This is where Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) comes in and the journey between this awkward duo begins.

I wish I could say that it was all good once the Uber ride began but it wasn’t. The film is only really mildly funny. Dave Bautista who I do really like in action films really isn’t great at comedy. Kumail Nanjiani basically was just screaming and yelling the whole time and talking about his Uber rating and reviews. I admit I did find some of the bad reviews he got from his previous customers in the film funny when they were shown, but that’s about it. Some of the jokes were also drawn out way too long. Dave Bautista’s character being blind was kind of funny in the first minute when you saw him trying to walk around without being able to see. But it’s only funny once and they did this joke over and over again almost all the way until the end!

In addition to this, for quite a bit of the film, I wondered if this was some sort of product placement or advertisement for Uber. There were so many mentions of Uber, Uber reviews and the difference between Uber products and services. What are we paying to watch here? Who cares about Uber!?

In the end I would suggest avoiding Stuber at the cinema this week and choosing literally any other film currently showing. After leaving this I instantly thought that Stuber needs to be on my list of worst movies of 2019 which I created just after seeing this and that says a lot because I was not compelled to make one after seeing X:Men Dark Phoenix.

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The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019: Updated Chart

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Biggest Album Debuts of 2019

The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019 – Billboard has been publishing a list of the most popular albums in America every week since March 1956. They include the “equivalent album units” for the albums in the top ten. What’s not included is a way to view the biggest debuts for each year.

For anyone else who is curious, here is a chart that ranks the biggest album debuts of 2019.

NOTE:

  • This only covers first-week album sales in America that debuted in the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart
  • EPs are included in this list
  • “Equivalent album units” factor in traditional album sales, concert ticket/merch bundles and streaming numbers

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL AND UPDATED LIST

ArtistAlbumFirst Week “Units”
Jonas BrothersHappiness Begins414,000
Ariana GrandeThank U, Next360,000
Billie EilishWhen We All Fall Asleep313,000
Backstreet BoysDNA234,000
BTSMap of the Soul: Persona230,000
KhalidFree Spirit202,000
Juice WRLD

Tyler, the Creator

Death Race for Love

Igor

165,000 (1) (2)
Vampire WeekendFather of the Bride138,000
DJ KhaledFather of Asahd137,000

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL AND UPDATED LIST

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