Mortal Kombat’s Inner Konflict
Mortal Kombat has certainly been limping along in the past decade. Starting with Mortal Kombat 4, the series has managed to coast by on prior fame and gimmicks, but even this was unable to keep Midway afloat for too long. Their latest game: Mortal Kombat vs DC, despite the surrounding buzz over classic Mortal Kombat characters duking it out with classic DC superheroes ala Marvel vs. Capcom, only showed itself to be the final nail in a coffin bullt from bad design decisions.
However, Mortal Kombat fans – those loyal and skeptical – have something to be excited for: A new addition to the series that seemingly aims to wash its hand of its sins post-21st century. Despite early reports that the next Mortal Kombat game would be a complete reboot of the franchise with only Scorpion and Sub-Zero returning, the Mortal Kombat 9 trailer (working title) has completely dubunked this, and has received very positive reception.
Mortal Kombat 9 Trailer Details
The Mortal Kombat 9 trailer opens to Raiden and Shao Kahn charging into each other for a punch (the lander of said punch is left a mystery). Immediately we are shown the second-to-most anticipated feature: the gameplay. The trailer showcases the “new” 2.5D style of gameplay, indicating that Mortal Kombat has finally scrapped the atrocious 3D combat they have been attempting to get right for ten years. The game now highly resembles a 3D Mortal Kombat II or III, and Mortal Kombat fans are aware that this is a very good thing for the series. The trailer is also quick to confirm playable characters – all of which returning from Mortal Kombat III and earlier: Johnny Cage, Kung Lao, Mileena, Sektor, Reptile, Sub Zero, and Nightwolf. The game also exhibits several stages, all of which are remakes of those of Mortal Kombat II. Some characters also make cameos; Kira is seen in the background of the arena instead of Sonya or Kano, and she definitely contributes much more here than she ever did on the roster. Some big names, notably Liu Kang, are absent from the trailer – but a good guess can be made as to whether or not he’ll show up.
The trailer also exhibits combo attacks. While Mortal Kombat is no stranger to combos, those seen in the trailer are far more sophisticated (and individualized) than what we’re used to seeing in a Mortal Kombat title. Among these are Mileena performing her rolling attack, carrying Sektor into the air with two teleport kicks, and sending him back to the ground with two sai blasts. Kung Lao is also seen performing a triple roundhouse before throwing his hat-saw into his opponent before they hit the ground. So far, fans have reacted positively to these combos; However, it has also raised concern over “dial-a-combo"s (combos that are pre-existing within the game and performed un-haltingly through simple memorization), or excessive juggling.
Mortal Kombat 9 News
One aspect of the trailer that got many excited were the apparent inclusions of tag team combat as well as assists (being able to call a “partner fighter” out to quickly run in, perform an attack, and immediately bail out). Johnny Cage is seen speeding out to deliver two of his green energy balls, while Kung Lao pops in to chuck his hat toward the opponent. Whether or not assists are vulnerable during their attacks have yet to be seen. Sub Zero also fades away into a wisp of ice when he tags Kung Lao to take his place, confirming special animations for switches. Tekken Tag Tournament proved years ago that tag battles add a completely new layer of fun to the fight, so naturally Mortal Kombat fans are eagerly anticipating the ability to enjoy this very feature with four players in online combat.
More Bloody Mortal Kombat 9 Details
The trailer made certain to assure all that the blood and gore that the series has practically skated on for the past decade has not been dropped. Fatalities make an appearance and Kung Lao is the first to partially spoil his, throwing his razor-sharp hat into the ground where it spins in place as he drags Sub Zero, whose legs are parallel to the spinning blade on both sides, toward him as the Mortal Kombat logo spares us the sight. Also, while it’s unclear if this is also fatality or some sort of new mechanic, Johnny Cage is seen delivering blows to Sub Zero that are highlighted with a pretty neat effect: their skeleton becomes visible through their skin and muscle tissue where you can see the bones rattling and shaking from the impact. Again, it’s unknown whether or not this visual emphasis signifies a trailer, or Mortal Kombat 9’s “gimmick of the iteration”. The game also confirms environmental fatalities, with Cage taking an epic fall into the Pit at the insistence of Sub Zero’s classic Mortal Kombat uppercut.
Has Ed Boon Finally Learned?
At the moment, Mortal Kombat 9 news is scarce, and as Ed Boon is one of the original minds behind the series he’s naturally in the front-lines when it comes to taking the blame for Mortal Kombat’s recent failures. However, could the recent success of Street Fighter IV have shown him that maybe sticking closer to the foundation might be a better idea? Boon has been quick to reassure MK fans that the new game will contain “mature presentation, reinvented 2D fighting mechanic and the best, most gruesome fatalities ever!”. You certainly can’t argue that any skepticism floating in the air is unwarranted; However, if anything is objectively true, it’s that NetherRealm Studios' decision to take a few steps backward, are a lot of steps forward that have MK fans hungry for more Mortal Kombat 9 details.
This post is part of the series: Mortal Kombat 2011 Reviews
A look at the upcoming Mortal Kombat 2011.