Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection Review

Player(s): 1-2 (local or online)
Extra Features: Online Multiplayer, Leaderboards

Mortal Kombat: Arcade Kollection brings us back to the original MK games that were popular in the arcades of the 1990's. The collection includes Mortal Kombat (the original), Mortal Kombat 2 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Each game is ported from the original arcade version and the collection is priced at 800 points on Xbox LIVE or $9.99 on the PlayStation Store.

From the main menu, you can select between the three different Mortal Kombats and start a single player or multiplayer (local play) of each one. As already mentioned, each Mortal Kombat closely resembles its arcade counterpart though there are some differences brought on by the porting. From the main menu, graphical filters can be activated to change the look of each game. The graphics can be smoothed over or a player can enjoy them in their original look among other options. There is also a way to change the screen to give it an old standard TV look much like an arcade cabinet - the four edges of screen will fold to give it an old SDTV look.

None of the games are displayed in high definition. The collection only offers the same basic look. Mortal Kombat 1 still holds up well today, even though its gameplay is very slow compared to most fighters now. Mortal Kombat 2 truly passes the test of the time. MK2 still looks and runs very fluid for such an old game. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 still has some of the quickest gameplay out of any of the Mortal Kombat games thanks to its added run button and dial combos. UMK3 has the biggest finishing move variety out of the old Mortal Kombats.

Each Mortal Kombat in this collection has some sound glitches at some points. In the original Mortal Kombat, Goro would yell in the background and the stage music for his lair would continue to play during the third endurance match. In this collection, the stage music will stop often during the third endurance fight as Goro yells.

The sounds are sometimes delayed in each of the Mortal Kombat games - sometimes a soundtrack will play longer than it should as the screen changes or sometimes a sound will not properly match what is happening on the screen. The sound delays are not that much of a problem, but they will be noticeable to the most hardcore of MK fans that have followed the series ever since the first game and know the arcade versions well.

The CPU opponents in each MK are just as cheap as they were in the arcade version. The AI opponents are made to take quarters, so says Shang Tsung as he quickly morphs into Sub-Zero and slides under the spear that I just toss at him! The CPU will perform several maneuvers that a human player cannot easily do. If a player doesn't know the tricks to fool the AI opponents while fighting them, the CPU can be rather hard. This is the way the arcade versions were though, so this is hardly a flaw in a collection that wants to offer the arcade experience of each MK.

All of the games may be played online through ranked or player matches (friendly kombat). The online for the original Mortal Kombat is quite good! The matches are often free of lag and only have some slight slowdown at times. The matches for Mortal Kombat 2 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 have some very heavy slowdown however! The slowdown is so bad that it will look like the two characters on the screen are fighting underwater. This kind of slowdown makes both games very frustrating to play. UMK3 is near unplayable online thanks to its slowdown. If you're familiar with UMK3, you'll know that it requires several button taps to input the dial combos and the slowdown during online play will often screw up the timing needed for these combos!

I have played several online matches with all of the Mortal Kombats in this collection and Mortal Kombat 2 and UMK3 always have slowdown present in each match! Mortal Kombat 1 is very playable online however. I've only had a few matches with bad slowdown while playing MK1 online. Long story short, if you buy this collection for the online play, you'll only get a good arcade experience with MK1 while playing it online. If the online play for MK2 and UMK3 could be fixed, this collection would be quite good! Arcade Kollection does not run near as smooth as the past releases of Mortal Kombat 2 on PSN or Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 on Xbox LIVE.

This MK collection is great for a person that just wants the first three original Mortal Kombats for local play or for playing them single player. The sound issues that I mentioned above can mess up the experience a bit, but they are not game-breaking and can be overlooked. When it comes to online play, this collection falls flat on its face with horrible slowdown for Mortal Kombat 2 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 however. Only Mortal Kombat 1 is lag free during matches. What could have been a great collection with online play for all of the original MKs has been turned into a decent collection for those that mainly want to play single player or battle it out with a friend locally.

The Good:
+ Each arcade version of Mortal Kombats 1-3 is represented faithfully for the most part
+ Online play for Mortal Kombat 1 is great!

The Bad:
- Sound glitches in all Mortal Kombats
- The online play for Mortal Kombat 2 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 has some very bad slowdown (literally unplayable matches)

Final Rating: 70%. Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection doesn't score any flawless victories since it gets hit many times along the way with its flaws.