GAME STUDIO DESCRIPTION: Experience 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.
PLAY: Shaolin Monks comes with two types of gameplay; solo or co-op. You start off with both Liu Kang and Kung Lao. There are pluses and minuses of solo play. First, you don’t need someone sitting there with you all day but on the negative side there are a lot of elements in the game where you will need someone else, particularly when it comes to unlockables. It makes very little sense but I can only say we didn’t like it either.
The actually game play isn’t entirely different from the usual fighter style versions. You mash the buttons and fight. There are combos that you can put together but the difference here is that you don’t have to memorize a half-dozen button sequences. And in case you are wondering there are fatalities. You can build up experience points that will allow you to gain new moves. They are a lot of fun–if you can remember them.
You come across many different characters—some you will remember. The original environments are brought back in Shaolin Monks. Bring back the past adds a nice touch of nostalgia for fans.
The ability to play different levels has its downfalls. You will need to go back and forth in areas. Just when you get to the end of a level and think its over you realize you have to go all the way back through it. There isn’t a lot of depth.
GRAPHICS: The design isn’t going to blow your mind. It’s merely adequate. The characters aren’t modeled very well—they actually look like the Mortal Kombat of a few years ago. The arenas are recreated. That is great for big fans but not for those of use who want to look at something new.
SOUND: There isn’t much to mention. The sound doesn’t explode. It’s very similar to the original Mortal Kombat games. This isn’t the usual fare so why are we subjected to the usual audio? Even the sound effects are the same. They can chalk it up to nostalgia but we call it lazy.
FRANKLY: Shaolin Monks is a tad more than a fighter with the ability to walk through the levels. Shaolin Monks is very simple and effective. In the end if you can’t play this with a friend it’s not nearly as fun.
+ Richie Wright