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Mortal Kombat: Deception (PlayStation 2) artwork

Mortal Kombat: Deception (PlayStation 2) review


"Despite my prudish nature and enrolment in something called “Library and Information Studies,” there is a part of me that wants to get piss ass drunk, rip off my clothes, and throw myself onto a pile of naked women. I'd never admit to it in my every day life, and you could never tell from looking at me, but there is a deeply disturbed creature in the back of my head that wants to be called a “bad boy,” to feel finger nails and teeth digging into the skin on my back, to have intimate contact wit..."



Despite my prudish nature and enrolment in something called “Library and Information Studies,” there is a part of me that wants to get piss ass drunk, rip off my clothes, and throw myself onto a pile of naked women. I'd never admit to it in my every day life, and you could never tell from looking at me, but there is a deeply disturbed creature in the back of my head that wants to be called a “bad boy,” to feel finger nails and teeth digging into the skin on my back, to have intimate contact with bodily fluids, and to watch another person moan in pain as they endure my immeasurable girth.

I'm not trying to be candidly gross here, I'm making a point. This is not just the reason that you are playing Mortal Kombat: Deception, it's the only reason a game like this even exists. Don't try to argue with me about this, to claim that you came for the deep gameplay or invovling characters – you're here because you need the blood, you need the fatalities, you need the blatant misogyny and testosterone churning men. Admit it and you'll enjoy the experience more for it.

I'm factiously paraphrasing Freud here when I say that all human beings want to 1.) kill things and 2.) have sex with things. Okay, perhaps we want to do other stuff too (like eat the things we kill), but banging and killing stuff is one of the more dominate, albeit deeply repressed, aspects of the human condition. Think of it as sort of a Darwin-esque type of pornography, your genes vs mine in a cruel world.

Mortal Combat -- excuse me, Kombat is a testament to our ability to express these strange needs symbolically, without the need for copious volumes of alcohol or awkward small talk with strangers. Gameplay centers around the most ridiculously inane execution of canned input combinations that perform a series of static fuctions, e.g. you memorize buttons, push them, stuff happens. There are some other touches – like you can side-step (wow!) or counter an attack (golly!) -- but by an large, you will commit the most effective combo your character has to memory and pushes those buttons repeatedly in the given sequence. To make things even easier, all of these moves are listed in the pause menu, so you will never forget how to perform such titilizing attacks as “bad girl,” “rising staff,” or “sharp as hell.”

No one is playing Mortal Kombat for clever fighting and we all know it. We want to see fatalities and costumes that are so slutty that even my other head couldn't have come up with them. With two fatalities, one hara kiri move for when you lose, and two costumes per character – not to mention bloody arena death traps and exaggerated bust physics – there is plenty of phallic aggression to go around.

Of course the true goal of all Mortal Kombat games isn't to win a fight, it's to humiliate your opponent by executing a fatality – forcing him or her to their knees, thrusting your shaft down their throat, and seeing it burst through the other side of their skull through a series of timely button presses – and the series's trademark fatalities are at their best here. Limbs are hacked off and used to beat their former owner to death, heads are crushed with bare hands, faces are eaten off, torsos are separated from legs, and other acts of crazed violence are executed with an over-the-top style that can only be described as hilariously disturbingly fucked up (in an awesome way).

How disappointed are you when you try to finish off your opponent but end up doing a light punch to your partner instead? You wanted to go all the way, to thrust your hand deep inside your partner's chest, to rip out their spine, and to shoot a load of bodily fluids all over the screen as Scorpion lets loose an ecstatic moan, but you end up finishing the fight before your partner has even started. You sense that even your opponent is dissatisfied with the performance.

Once you tire of arcade matches and Konquest mode – which is just arcade mode and training exercises strung together with some poorly written dialogue – you can try your hand at the hilariously unoriginal Puzzle Kombat and Chess. Try not to get caught up dwelling on depth here, otherwise you'll miss the point.

With all the violence, blood, b-rate dialogue, and thin layers of cloth containing impossible weight, Deception is the visualization in video game form of all the repressed violent and sexual energy you've been harbouring since the first time you opened up a Sears catalogue as a kid to look at underwear advertisements. Brawny, firm men pitted against half-naked women, all wielding staffs or swords or some other object of obvious phallic significance, may not be the thing to engage you intellectually – hell, one might even call it misogynist or offensive – but it manages to hold one's interest just for the spectacle. If they could have worked Oedipal urges into the mix, Mortal Kombat: Deception might have been the most cathartic game ever made.

Rating: 8/10

dagoss's avatar
Community review by dagoss (January 25, 2009)

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WilltheGreat posted January 26, 2009:

I...I don't think I'll ever look at a fighting game the same way again.
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dagoss posted January 27, 2009:

You're welcome ^_^

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