Published on June 19th, 2010 | by Cameron Woolsey
Mortal Kombat 9 – A flawless victory?
EXCELLENT! FINISH HIM! FATALITY! Oh yes, I love my Kombat. But it aint easy being a Mortal Kombat fan, you know? The quality scale for MK games seems to be more like blueprints for a roller coaster. Some games are good, others are pretty damn awful. The series hit a peak with Mortal Kombat 2, and has been up and down ever since. The last best 3D MK game being, in my humble opinion, Mortal Kombat: Deception. MK vs. DC was a fun distraction, sure, but it wasn’t really Mortal Kombat. With the loss of Midway, fans everywhere felt that they may never see their beloved fighter make a grand comeback.
However, the MK team didn’t want to give up. Now known as NetherRealm Studios, the team plans on bringing Mortal Kombat back to it’s truest and best form. The team is refocusing the franchise back to the first three MK games and the game heavily reflects that decision. All the characters in the new Mortal Kombat have been taken directly from those three games. Confirmed so far are:
The first fight was with the classic match up between Scorpion and Sub-Zero. I’m happy to report that all of their classic moves are still intact; Scorpion still throws his spear and can use teleport to get behind the opponent; Sub-Zero shoots still shoots ice and can slide kick his opponent.
The game is in 3D but the fighters move across a 2D plane much like in the original games. There is no shifting around the arena like you could do in Mortal Kombat 4, either. This is strictly classic fighting. This allows for the return of many old arena favorites from previous games. Those I saw included The Dead Pool, The Pit, and the Living Forest. And yes, you can knock enemies into the acid in the Dead Pool and off the edge in The Pit, sending them to the spikes below impaling them while pulling their liver out and leaving it on the tip of the pike. Oh yes, did I mention the game is going to be violent? The team told us that this will be the goriest Mortal Kombat to date. And I wouldn’t take it any other way.
The first thing I noticed was how fast the fight went. The characters onscreen could move across the arena quickly and attacking speed seems ramped up as well. The two characters were also taking a lot of damage with every blow making me believe that fights in this game will be fast, frantic, and exciting. The characters will also sustain battle damage over time. Clothes will start to shred and armor will break. The man hosting the demo told us that even Scorpion’s face mask will start to break revealing his face underneath.
New to the series is a “SUPER METER,” which sits at the bottom corner of the screen for each player. OK, the “SUPER METER” isn’t my name, NetherRealm just hasn’t figured out a name for it yet. Calling it an EX Meter might not work out for obvious reasons. But the name doesn’t matter, what it does is far more interesting. The meter is charged up over time and can be charged all the way to level three. Using the SUPER METER™ at level one will increase the power of your fighter’s special move. The example I saw was when Reptile was up on the screen. Normally, when Reptile uses his force ball, the orb is approximately head sized and only serves the purpose of knocking the enemy a few feet in the air so Reptile can go in for a quick juggle attack. Using the level one power of the SUPER METER!!© will increase the size of the orb three times and knock the opponent far into the air for some devastating juggle attacks. The second level will allow you to break a combo. This is really helpful if you are being beaten down by quick attacks and need to stop the barrage long enough to recover. The third level of the SUPER METER!!!!® is worth the wait if you decide to save up on energy. A the press of the button, the camera zooms into the fray and your character hits the opponent two to three times while an x-ray view shows the internal damage being done. Bones break, organs shift and bruise, and blood just flies everywhere. I was instantly in love.
The last thing shown to us during the demo was the new tag-team mode. In tag team, you can choose two players to fight against an opponent with two others. Pressing a button will cause the characters to switch back and forth during the fight. You can use this to your advantage by bringing in your reserve fighter during combos to combine combos for insane damage. You can also simply bring in your reserve character to throw a special attack before jumping out of the fight. The fighter I saw had Mileena occasionally come in and throw her glowing pink sais across the screen before disappearing again.
The next Mortal Kombat will be faster, bloodier and more incredible than any MK before it. I cannot wait to get my hands on this game and revel in the insanity that is this game. Mortal Kombat fans, get ready to FIGHT!
Expect to see this game hit stores sometime in 2011.
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