Kombat is back with a vengeance. Shaolin Monks is
a very diverse game, blending elements of fighting,
action, adventure, puzzles and some role playing.
These different genres work well together and the
arcade-style controls allow gamers of all skill levels,
yes even beginners, to pick it up and play immediately.
the start of the game you can choose either Kung Lau
or Liu Kang. Each are martial arts experts with different
moves, combos and animations. Kung's specialty is
a Dr. No-inspired bladed hat while Liu is able to
shoot fireballs. There are more characters to unlock
and fight against including Scorpion, Reptile, Johnny
Cage, Sub-Zero and Kano. The enemy characters are
an eclectic mix, running the gamut from ancient Asian
mythology to Western cartoon and comic book villains.
It's interesting to see whom you will encounter next.
most games, regardless of genre, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin
Monks is blessed with both great single and multi-player
modes. A co-op mode, known as the Ko-op mode to you
Kombat fanatics, is an excellent team-based experience
that lets you partner with a friend to take on a seemingly
endless gang of enemies. The neat thing about this
mode is that you or your partner don't have to be
evenly matched in skills. As I mentioned the gameplay
and control system is user-friendly. A weaker player
will be able to take on the stragglers or keep an
eye out for sneak attacks while the better player
can take care of the majority of the fighting.
in an RPG, experience points are awarded for specific
accomplishments. In this case, making uninterrupted
combos and fatalities. You can make hundreds of points
for a good fatality. The points can then be spent
on purchasing more moves, combos, fatalities, brutalities
and throwing moves. You can even upgrade some of your
moves to make them longer and more powerful. Every
move or item that you purchase is fully explained
and demonstrated in the menu.
really impressed by how accessible the game is but
it does get really tough about halfway through so
don't think that you're getting off easy. I can certainly
see a lot of beginners throwing in the towel as the
difficulty does ramp up at an extreme pitch. There
are plenty of carrots-on-a-stick to keep players enthused.
Unlockables include mini-games, movies, moves, artwork
and games demos such as a playable version of Mortal
the co-op journey you will find various health power-ups
that will keep you and your buddy replenished. At
any given moment you can steal your partner's health
by attacking him. Conversely this could also happen
to you. You can't trust anyone, and this game definitely
leads one into temptation.
only problem I have with the co-op mode is that you're
invisibly tethered to your partner. Since it's not
a split screen you can't properly battle enemies to
the left and right at the same time since the screen
isn't big enough to go in both directions. This will
leave one of you vulnerable to attacks from enemies
of either side that remain off-screen. There's really
no way around this except to try to remain close to
your teammate at all times and avoid splitting up.
with an arcade gameplay style, the game also shares
an arcade-style look. The graphics are colorful and
clean but they vary in quality depending on the style
of the character. The environments may not have a
lot of depth to them but they do have interactive
elements such as spiked walls and pits that you can
use to help you destroy the enemy. The voiceacting
is edgy and nervous sounding. It's very unrealistic
and doesn't convey the proper emotions. Only the music
indicates how we should feel. Even the cutscenes don't
make sense, especially in the single-player mode.
you're looking for a fight you came to the right place.
If you're looking for something more than just a fight
you've also come to the right place. Mortal Kombat:
Shaolin Monks puts the mental fun back in fundamental.
Mortal Kombat franchise is like a cockroach, drop a
nuclear bomb on it and it will not die. Try as we may,
with horrible movies and laughable games as a constant
reminder, Mortal Kombat can and will never be forgotten.
we see Mortal Kombat re-entering some dangerous waters,
namely the action-adventure genre. With huge failures
in the past, it was almost a rule that Mortal Kombat
would never enter the action-adventure realm again.
This time is different. This time, Midway has all
the right moves.
Shaolin Monks has one of the shortest learning curves
compared to most of the games today, which is a good
thing. The controls are fairly simple yet intuitive.
The typical MK moves are still here, your jumps, quick
and heavy attacks and of course, launch attacks (the
infamous uppercut). Your special moves are now as
easy as ever to pull off. Instead of having to bash
mind-numbing button combos, the R trigger acts as
your special move modifier. You do have a power meter
for your special moves, so you won't be able to just
sit there throwing fireballs all day.
to say, the Fatality is still around. The beautiful
thing about fatalities in Shaolin Monks is the ease
of execution. In the demo, both Kung Lao and Liu Kang's
fatalities were quite easy to execute. Unfortunately
you will have a fatality meter as well, and while
the Special Meter will replenish on its own after
a few seconds, the Fatality Meter can only increase
when you get combos. We expect that multiple fatalities
will be available.
of dispatching enemies with your fists, hats or fireballs?
Midway will have you playing levels over and over
again with the different environment options that
can be used to take out your opponents. I was fighting
some beasts, which resembled Orcs from Warcraft, in
a room that had giant spikes on the ceiling with a
fire in the middle of the floor. Needless to say I
quickly hopped around and tossed some baddies into
the ceilings, watching them squirm while stuck on
the spikes, and run burning after I tossed them in
became super jazzed when I started seeing some stuff
from the Mortal Kombat universe. Johnny Cage and Reptile
make cameos in the demo, as well as the original Pit
level. You start off at the bottom of the Pit, and
yes, you can lob an opponent up and onto the spikes
in the famous level. Pretty soon you'll have to make
your way to the top of the Pit via a platformer like
jumping puzzle. And yes, once at the top you can uppercut
your enemies down into the spikes below, and doing
so treats you to a cute little cut scene.
presentation in the Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks demo
was top notch. The graphics were great, the sound
was a bit too loud in some areas but overall awesome,
and the incredibly easy gameplay made for an all around
fun Mortal Kombat experience. And best of all, Baraka
stabbing monks through the face. So in the end, Mortal
Kombat Shaolin Monks should help redeem the aging
Mortal Kombat franchise with its new action-adventure
look. Keep an eye out for shish-kabobed monks, September
when you thought Mortal Kombat was going to stay the
same forever, Midway goes and changes it all up. But
don't panic. They changed it for the better! Well,
that's not entirely true, as Shaolin Monks isn't a
fighting game, it's an action adventure game!
Kombat: Shaolin Monks is an Action/Adventure title
driven by both intense single and multi-player action.
Similar to the recently released Mortal Kombat: Deception,
background interactions (i.e., acid pits, living trees,
spiked ceilings, etc.), multiple new fatalities, and
action-based puzzles will also play an important role
in the players quest for an outstanding
victory. Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks will feature
an impressive line-up of Mortal Kombat characters,
as well, that make frequent appearances as enemies,
in boss battles and during several additional in-game
Ever MK Action/Adventure with Multi-Directional
Kombat System. Levy attacks in any direction at
any time, all the while not losing focus on the
primary target (with unique animations and properties
for every direction). Experience incredible depth
of combat via Strings, Juggles, Special Attacks,
Air Combat and Fatalities.
or Two-player co-op gameplay. Play as Liu Kang or
Kung Lao, each with their own unique repertoire
of four Attack Styles plus Special Attacks,
and Fatalities. Unlock additional characters and
abilities through various gameplay systems.
Comprehensive Fatalities, New Multalities, Brutalities
and Classic Special Attacks.
Fatalities per character! With 3 levels of Fatalities,
unleash bigger and better versions as your hero
Level 2 let loose the incredible Multality, a room-clearing
wave of destruction destroying multiple enemies
at one time.
3 allows vicious Brutalities.
classic attacks such as Kung Lao's hat throw and
Liu Kang's fireballs.
Kombat. Discover weapons throughout your journey
and use them to increase the damage on your enemy
Environments. Melt enemies in acid pits, impale
them on spiked ceilings, and hang them from hooks.
Combine background interactions with Combat to solve
unique action-orientated puzzles. Hurl an enemy
into a spiked wall and leap from their impaled body
to a higher area!
Kombat Mythos. See the infamous Mortal Kombat Tournament
from the eyes of Earthrealms mightiest combatant
Shaolin Monks Liu Kang and Kung Lao. Explore the
Outworld in its entirety
revisit the classic
Mortal Kombat 1 and 2 stages in 3D! Fight and interact
with a slew of classic Mortal Kombat characters,
such as Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Kitana and Goro. Seek
and discover the myriads of MK secrets.
Character Customization. Choose from several paths
in which to spend experience points gained from
battle! Augment your heros abilities for incredible
feats of agility, such as running along walls
choose to augment any of 4 trees of Special Attacks
to unlock new attacks unique for each character.
the Mortal Kombat franchise from an entirely new
action/adventure perspective with the first ever
Multi-Directional Kombat System and explore the
Mortal Kombat II universe as two of the series'
favorite Shaolin Monks: Liu Kang and Kung Lao.
PS2, X (Shown)
Release: Sept 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review By Cole
(OUT OF 5)