The 9th installment of the game in the Mortal Kombat series is finally here. Simply entitled ‘Mortal Kombat’, the game was released on 19 Apr, to the delight of Xbox 360 and Playstation fans.

Here’s a summary of the game’s story: Big, bad Shao Kahn is messing up the world with his evil acts. He kills everybody at the end of the Mortal Kombat storyline, so Raiden sends a message back through time to prevent it. The result? Alternate history, as characters scramble to prevent themselves from suffering such a fate.

This NetherRealm Studios productions is like a hybrid of arcade fighting game ‘Tekken’, and crossover series ‘Marvel vs. Capcom’. Mortal Kombat 9 integrates the realistic action seen in Tekken and a whole wide variety of characters, just as Marvel vs. Capcom would have it.

One clear improvement made to this game that sets it apart from its predecessors is its fighting engine. Previous games in the Mortal Kombat series have always faced one extremely pressing issue that turns most players, even ardent fans of the game off – the fact that the fighting engine in the game is not fluid enough to suit the players’ preferences.

This game is much more than just eye candy, as this time, the player’s strategy plays a big role in determining the winner of each brawl which ensues onscreen. Power-wise, the characters in the game are imbalanced, with fan favourites Kung Lao and Liu Kang dominating fights against newbies like Skarlet, a kunai knife-welding character brought into this installment.

With new game, new characters are brought in and Mortal Kombat is no exception. Cyber-Sub Zero and Kratos are the new additions to the family, with the latter being an exclusive character to the Playstation 3 version of the game. As with how he would behave in his native game, ‘God of War’, Kratos’ moves are derived from its third installment.

Of course, the main draw of this installment of Mortal Kombat is its blood-curdling graphics, and yet again, they do not disappoint. The fatalities are awesome, with each and every classic character featured in this edition.