Excerpt: Mortal 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 player's quest for an "outstanding" victory.
Excerpt: If you’ve been weary about the release of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, you might want to reconsider. As most of us know, games from the series that go outside the traditional fighting formula haven’t been that great. Mythologies was boring and Special Forces was nothing short of abominable.
Excerpt: What surprises me the most about Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is the fact that it took Midway this long to realise the potential of a Mortal Kombat-inspired scrolling beat-em-up. Of course, there was a little title known as Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, but did anyone actually play that? I suppose Mythologies' biggest downfall was that fans knew what it could have been, and what it clearly wasn't.
Excerpt: Wipe the awful taste of Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero and Mortal Kombat Special Forces from your mouth. There’s finally a good action game in the franchise. MK: Shaolin Monks may not return the series to its 16-bit golden age, but it manages to provide decent co-op gameplay with plenty of nostalgic touches. Taking place immediately after the original arcade game, Liu Kang of the Earthrealm has just won the Mortal Kombat tournament.
Excerpt: Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is a remake of Mortal Kombat 2, of sorts. The story picks up where the first Mortal Kombat left off and the second began, with Shang Tsung on the run and Outworld's emperor Shao Kahn threatening to take over the Earth realm. But, instead of a side-scrolling 1-on-1 fighting game, this re-telling of the story is a third-person action game, similar in many ways to games like Onimusha or Devil May Cry... except with a strong Mortal Kombat flavor.
Excerpt: When you think about the efforts Midway has made to turn the Mortal Kombat franchise into something other than that of a pure fighter, try not to lump Shaolin Monks in with the publisher's previous attempts. It would be simply unfair to compare it to the likes of the rather flawed Mythologies: Sub-Zero, and it would be an out-and-out travesty to lump it in with something like the completely awful Mortal Kombat Special Forces.
Pros: More hidden MK content than you can shake Jade's staff at, A surprisingly solid brawling engine, made better by co-op play, Unlockable Mortal Kombat II arcade game, Painstaking attention has been paid to re-creating the MKII arenas and sounds
Cons: Too much backtracking gives the game a repetitive feel, Fairly short adventure, Difficulty level is all over the map, Graphics are technically not very impressive