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Mortal Kombat (2011) - Tag Team Mode Information
Many fighting games have tried to incorporate tag-team matches into their mechanics. Tekken Tag-Tournament pitted players into 2v2 battles while the world of Versus games allows players the option of 3v3 combat. Taking this a step further, King of Fighters 2011 added the tag battle option to its lineup of different modes while even Capcom have dabbled in tag battles with the hallowed Street Fighter series. With that said, Mortal Kombat (2011) is the first release in the series to feature this game mode. This article sheds further light on the mode’s mechanics as well as insight on what to expect out of a Mortal Kombat (2011) tag team fight in the new game.
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Advantages of the Tag Oriented Gameplay
The tag-team mode is accessed via the main menu of the game. When the player highlights and clicks the option, they will enter a character select screen, whereby two players are chosen on either side of the screen. Players will be able to select from the full roster -- or at least the characters they have unlocked at that point -- with the first selection opening the battle for that chosen tag-team. There are no set teams that players can select, although a pre-game trailer showcased the two cyborg Lin Kuei Sektor & Cyrax together as well as adversarial ninjas Scorpion & Sub-Zero fighting alongside one another. To reiterate, any pairing is possible when selecting a tag-team.
Obviously the advantages of including a tag-team mode in the new MK release instead of packaging some kind of kart racing (which they’ve already tried) mini-games are there. The importance of four-player, party combat may not necessarily be amplified, but having the option of playing with multiple friends instead of just one is a huge boon for this new mode. Whereas before players would sitt out every other game if they were in a party or room of several people, now they can get into the action right away. While it may have been merely a novelty for other fighting games to use it, Mortal Kombat and the rise in console online play will likely see this feature gain a modicum of popularity.
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Problems & Solutions To The Tag-Team Mechanics
In the actual mode, there are three separate ways for a player to tag in their second character selection. Firstly, players can execute a normal tag, whereby the entering character simply replaces their partner with no additional advantage other than that their health may be higher etcetera. The other two tagging actions are variants on each other. The tag assist allows the entering character to appear on screen and execute a single move directed at an opponent, before quickly darting back off screen. This can be especially critical during extensive combos. Lastly, the tag attack will see the entering character perform a move on the opponent and subsequently remain in battle, to continue the fight in place of his partner.
There are problems with the Mortal Kombat (2011) tag team mode however -- as players have been keen to criticise post-release. A dearth of tag oriented moves makes the mode feel somewhat hollow, with neither X-Rays or Fatalities being mode specific. Players will notice that their regular fatalities or X-Ray moves are the only ones they can perform. It should be noted that creating tag fatalities for the many tag-team iterations that can be selected would be very time consuming for NetheRealm. Lastly, the Versus series allows characters a portion of health recovery when tagged out, which Mortal Kombat either ignored or regrettably overlooked when developing the game mode, as many would prefer its usage.
A series of articles focusing on different gameplay modes and characters in Mortal Kombat 9 (the 2011 release).