I have played them since MK1 and was a big fan until they made 4 which was absolutely horrible. MK5 is actually called MK Deadly Alliance cause it's a much different game altogether. You have your basic grab the controller and fight a friend type mode with 10 characters and 10 unlockable characters.
This is where it is different, how to unlock all the characters. There is a mode called Konquest mode, which doubles as a training mode for each character. For each mission you complete you get money, with this money you can unlock coffins in the crypt....there are 676 coffins and I am still opening them. You can get things like characters, alt. outfits and such, funny extras, etc. Plus you are learning moves and combos for each character along the way.
The style changes are great with each character having two hand-to-hand styles and one weapon style. The combo system is vintage MK button sequence, but with the added twist of switching styles in between. So you can very well have a three style branch combo. Combo's are not one hit kills though I have yet to see a combo over 33% and that is VERY rare. Battles can be lengthy between two experienced players and there are usually alot of "OH DAMN" comments to amazing hits that just look over the top
It is an EXCELLENT game and I highly reccomend it for anyone itching to get a new fighting game.
...Oh yeah, and there are Fatalities as well