Review – Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate and the Giants of the 1980s

by Nathan Dutil

Marcelo Jabulas | @mjabulas – Not sure if I wrote here when I first saw Mortal Kombat. It was in a games magazine, during a trip from Belo Horizonte to Patos de Minas, in December 1992. These “realistic” images shocked me. Months later, he paints a machine with MK in the Boyzão pub, a good guy who tried his luck in an old restaurant around the corner from Campos sales in the Gameleira district.

The pub became the paradise of the children who hung out all day in front of this arcade. The gang loved playing with the Scorpion, as it was easy to use the harpoon strike and apply Fatality (Defense and two Touchups), causing the character to breathe fire.

But it was really good to end with Sub-Zero, who ripped off the skull and spine, or Kano, who ripped out the opponent’s heart with his fingernails. It was the thrill of those kids who grew up watching horror and action movies on VHS.


It has been 28 years since then. The franchise has evolved a lot and now comes Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, the definitive version of the latest edition of the game, released in 2019 (read the review), which brings together all the expansions released so far. And the big peak that he’s back in the past. The game adds the characters Rambo and Terminator Model T-101, who are the huskiest guys of the 1980s and mid-1990s.

Not to mention that the game still features the Joker, Spawn, and Robocop. The cop from the future is another pop culture legend of the 80s. In other words, in one go, MK Ultimate activates a trigger in the memory of forties like me, who grew up memorizing lines of these greats. Best of all, a lot of these gems are replicated at the start and end of fights.

Old school

The Terminator has an ending that repeats the scene where he pulls the shotgun out of the rose box – when he finally meets the boy John Connor in a shopping arcade in Terminator II: Judgment Day. Much like the classic scene of Rambo sticking his knife a few millimeters from Murdoch’s face in Rambo II: The Mission. Anyone who has lived during this time knows what this means.

On the other hand, new generation kids, like my 10 year old son (who has already been constructively introduced to Rambo, Terminator, Alien, Great White Dragon, and Robocop), these veterans aren’t that exciting. For them, the traditional characters of the series (with their new costumes) are much more attractive.

And it makes sense, with each episode the fighters get even more sophisticated. In addition, there is the ability to customize fighters, unlock clothes and weapons, making the gang look for an exclusive look for their warriors.

On the 24th, Warner released a character look package from the 1995 film, featuring the face of Christopher Lambert, who played Raiden, as well as Linden Ashby Que (Johnny Cage) and Bridgette Wilson (Sonya Blade).


Okay, but let’s stop the romance and talk about the game itself. Ultimate does not differ in terms of gameplay from the base game. But for those who played Mortal back then, you’ll instinctively look for triggers to defend yourself.

On PS4 and PS5, the defense is in R1, which also makes it possible to apply blows using elements of the scenario. L1 is to grab the opponent. But the trivial is the punches, kicks, hooks and thefts.

Many hit commands have changed. That villain: two counterattacks and the punch doesn’t fire the Scorpion’s harpoon. The advice is to try everything with all the characters. half moon forward, half moon back, two keys forward, two backward, down and forward, or down and back, combining punches and kicks.

Already in the submissions there is a glue. Just go to the personalization menu. It is possible to unlock new fatalities. And in them there is the sequence of movements to be made. Another tip is to practice a lot with the computer, just to master the strokes and the controls. Entering an online room willingly won’t help you much.

Last breath

MK 11 has a generous energy bar, compared to the original 1992 game. The game also has a slower pace, which allows for better player positioning. But there is always that opponent who manages to initiate a streak that is difficult to reverse.

However, there is a solution. When the bar comes to an end, a momentary special option appears, Fatal Blow. Just press R2 and L2 simultaneously. This powerful blow is capable of being fatal when your opponent is within half a yard. However, it can only be used once per fight.

Some blood

Standard Mortal Kombat brutality continues as usual. The coolest thing is that the endings and combos of the new characters are loaded with catchphrases and elements from the movies. This skewer that Robocop uses to access the computer and also stock up on bad guys is handled with super close motion and slow motion.

Rambo and Terminator also have their precious moves. The Green Beret uses his arrows to pierce the enemy’s skull, just as the exterminator crushes his enemies.

last word

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is very inexpensive. A modern fighting game, but with elements that bring old school gamers back to action. The inclusion of characters who shone 30 years ago has been a marketing fatality. It’s impossible not to want to play Stallone or Schwarzenegger. Even the voices are the same as the voiceovers. That’s wonderful. At the same time, nothing tastier than a bloody submission as we did in 1993, at Boyzão’s bar.

With versions for PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X / S and Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, Ultimate can be purchased as an expansion for those who already have Mortal Kombat 11, or purchased as a single edition.

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