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Good: Copious modes, online play
Bad: Stilted gameplay, cheesy characters
Ugly: Countless Baraka head-shot loading screens
SHANE: Deception establishes a specific standard by which all other fighters must be judged--no other game comes close to offering such a substantial variety of game types, options, and extras. Take, for example, the massive Konquest mode: Here, Midway morphs the previous MK's Soul Calibur-inspired single-player game into a full-fledged role-playing experience. Sure, its 1999-era visuals, dippy fetch quests, and amateur-hour voice acting can't hold a candle to, say, Final Fantasy X, but for a freebie it's fantastic--you'll spend countless hours wandering the countryside, looting huts, and unlocking hidden characters for your trouble. Don't be surprised if Soul Calibur III and Virtua Fighter 5 "borrow" this idea lock, stock, and harpoon-spear.
Likewise, the new Puzzle Kombat mode delivers a Tetris-esque puzzle melee, …