Did gaming ever really get better after you first took control of icy ninja Sub-Zero and ripped out Scorpion's spine? Yes, yes it did - and it seemed for a while there that Mortal Kombat didn't notice. The last few chapters in the sloppy fighting game saga piled on more and more stuff without actually making it noticeably more fun than the old days. But the ominously titled Armageddon - the last entry in the series until it reinvents itself on next-gen consoles, according to its creators - finally kills the clutter and focuses the series on what it does best: fast-action fighting wrapped in over-the-top gore with chunks of humor on the side.
Instead of forcing players to memorize three completely different martial arts disciplines and move sets, Armageddon trims it to two - one being a specialized weapon, unique to each character - and lets you carve your way through every character who's ever appeared in an MK roster - more than 60, including obscure jokers like Stryker whom you won't mind tearing limb from limb. Or, in playable boss Goro's case, limb from limb from limb from limb.
The new fatality system gives you the chance to do that quite literally - when you're urged to Finish Him, tap a few buttons to rip off your opponent's arms. Tap a few more before the timer runs out and you'll remove his heart. If you're quick, you can sneak in five or six more acts of depravity. This keeps fatalities from being one-note sick jokes - now they're user-created, multi-staged, nine-or-ten note sick jokes.