By KnightsofRound 11 Comments
Seeing as I am a fairly huge MK buff, I have come across quite a bit of information in the wake of Comic Con '08. Several new characters have been announced, which is really cool; Jax, The Joker, Kitana, and The Green Lantern... more on them later. I haven't really given any concrete thoughts on this game since it was announced, other than simply saying I think it looks a lot better than I original thought, and I that I really want to play it.
So feel free to join me in my jouney as I obsess over the Mortal Kombat side of the game in the first of two parts, the second being my analysis of the DC Universe characters.
Known Mortal Kombat Characters
Sub-Zero is my favourite MK character, so naturally I was already excited from the beginning when he was shown alongside Batman for the initial teaser. I like how they kept his new costume design traditional, instead of going back to that armour design he had for MK: Deception. It was a cool design, but it doesn't didn't really fit Sub-Zero... I've always known Sub-Zero as a ninja with his traditional black and blue ninja suit... so it is good to see them continuing with that for his new design.
I also love what they did with Sub-Zero's special moves, so lets take a look at what he has so far in MK vs. DC Universe.
Iceball: This is the traditional Sub-Zero projectile. The updated version of it in MK vs. DC Universe looks sweet.
Slide: Another traditional Sub-Zero move. I never really liked Sub-Zero's "Cold Shoulder" move that replaced the slide in Deadly Alliance. It served its purpose, and was good for catching people off-guard, but it just didn't feel like a Sub-Zero move. They actually gave his slide move to the new character Frost, and I believe tried to pass it off as some sort of novice move or something or other. Thankfully the slide has returned in MK vs. DCU, and looks to have some new snazzy graphical effects as well. It doesn't look like you can actually slide under the opponent and launch them into the air anymore like it used to, but we'll have to wait and see.
Freeze-Counter: I'm not sure what the official name for this move is going to end up being, but it looks like the successor to the Ice Clone move. Instead of creating an ice clone of himself and jumping backwards in hopes of having your opponent touch it, Sub-Zero actually freezes himself. What happens is if you freeze yourself and then an opponent tries to attack you they will become frozen, and then Sub-Zero will jump down from above and attack with his Kori Blade. Looks like a really nice replacement to the Ice Clone move, that actually makes sense to replace it with. This move also looks like a much better way of catching your opponent off-guard as well.
Ice Nugget: This is one of Sub-Zero's new moves that looks really sweet. Normally I'm not really a big fan of projectile variations that simply just shoot up to the top of the screen and come down onto the opponent, because they usually miss and leave you open to attack. This move doesn't function like that though. What Sub-Zero does, is he shoots an ice beam diagonally upwards into the air above where his opponent is standing. This creates a giant block of ice above their head that comes crashing down on them and shatters on the ground. The thing that I like best about this move is that you can use it against hovering opponents, like when Superman floats up into the sky, you can use it against him to counter any of the moves he is about to use. So this definitely looks like a cool move that I'm excited to try out for myself.
Ice Teleport: Sub-Zero has NEVER had a teleport move before, so I was actually a little surprised to see him given this move. The only problem I have with it is that in last gen's 3D MK games I never really found teleport moves very useful with any of the characters that actually had them. This is because whenever you use one the opponent automatically turns to face you and they can instantly block any attacks you try to throw. So for a skilled player, using teleport moves against them is kind of pointless, unless they finish with an attack, like Scorpion's Teleport Punch move. Fortunately it looks like they may have changed it so that your opponent doesn't automatically switch to face you instantly after using a teleport move, so they might actually serve some use for attacking, other than just confusing your opponent slightly.
I haven't seen Sub-Zero's fatality yet, but I am going to assume that with the T rating, Sub-Zero's Spine Rip fatality will NOT be returning in MK vs. DCU. My prediction is that they will give him some sort of freeze fatality similar to a few other ones he has had... where he will freeze the opponent and then they explode into chunks of ice or something.
Ed Boon has stated that he doesn't think they are even finished with Sub-Zero yet, so he may get 1 more move before the game ships, which is cool. He already has quite a few, but since Sub-Zero is my favourite character I say the more the better. He also said that they are considering making him invulnerable to Superman's freeze breath, which I wouldn't have a problem with. Superman looks to have a ton of really powerful moves, and freezing Sub-Zero just seems a little weird since he is a master of ice powers.
I will admit that when I first started playing Mortal Kombat back with the old 2D games, Scorpion was originally my favourite character out of the bunch. He was still even my favourite character when Deadly Alliance came out. I don't know exactly where, why, or how, but somewhere in between Deadly Alliance and Deception, I became a massive Sub-Zero fan and have never looked back since. Obviously Scorpion is still one of my favourite MK characters, but he definitely comes second to Sub-Zero now.
Anyway, I must say that as with Sub-Zero, I love the updated look based on his traditional costume. Deception had some really neat designs for some of the returning characters, but some of them felt like they took a few liberties that just went a little too far off what fans loved. However, Scorpion I think probably had the best updated costume in Deception out of any of the characters.
I might be missing a few things, but this is what I know about Sub-Zero so far in MK vs. DCU.
Blood Spear: The traditional Scorpion move, just wouldn't be Scorpion of Mortal Kombat without this attack. Nothing more really needs to be said, this move is awesome. The only thing though, is that in recent games there has been a significant lag time with this move if the opponent blocks it, that leaves you open to attack for a long period of time. I think this is fine, but they should probably reduce it a bit, as it feels kind of restrictive when you can't do anything for a second or two after your opponent blocks it.
Hellfire Punch: Another popular Scorpion move which I have caught during some gameplay footage. Glad they have continued to bring back the traditional moves, instead of the kick variation they had of this move in Deception. Although they did replace the kick with the punch in Armageddon as well. This is a great move because it is a teleport move and instantly connects with a powerful blow too.
Hellfire: This was a new special move that first appeared in Deadly Alliance. Scorpion summons flames from the depths of hell under his opponent. This is a decent move but I never really used it too much when I played as Scorpion, but it looks a bit better in the new game.
Flames: I don't really know what else to call this. It functions exactly like Blanka's move from Street Fighter II. Looks like an awesome new move though.
Foot Grab: I am also not sure what this move is called, but Scorpion slides across the ground, grabs his opponents feet with his, and then slams them on the ground from side to side.
So far scorpion only appears to have his "Breathe Fire" fatality, in which he removes his mask and spews out flames. Looks pretty good, but hopefully the characters will have at least 2 fatalities each.
It seems like Scorpion's special moves list is completed, but I am not sure if the foot grab is an actual special move, or just some sort of common special move thing. Anyway, Scorpion looks pretty good so far, but I am a little surprised that his Backflip Kick hasn't returned yet, which was in all of the previous 3 MK games.
It would appear as if the MK team is mostly focusing on bringing back classic MK characters, and Sonya fits right in with that theme. From what I have seen of Sonya in action she looks like she has MASSIVELY improved since the previous generation's trilogy of games. She is also really the first time Sonya has been updated since Deadly Alliance, because in Armageddon they just brought back exactly how she was in Deadly Alliance (She did not appear in Deception).
Even though she looks a bit manly in the face (something I think they could probably touch up on) I like this design for Sonya much more than her Deadly Alliance design. Sonya is supposed to be a really tough Special Forces character so I think this design gives that description some much-needed enforcement.
Energy Rings: A classic Sonya projectile move that has not been seen in MK for ages. One of the things I have noticed with Sonya is recent games is that she seemed to be lacking a good projectile attack, and this looks to improve that. It also helps that this move appears to be combo-able so you can do two of them in quick succession. It is one of the few special moves I have seen that uses this combo thing Ed Boon has been talking about, where you can do two of the same move really fast.
Inverted Bicycle Kick: Yet again, another classic move that has been lost in the depths of time. Thankfully the MK team seem intent on bringing back classic GOOD special moves, instead of medeocre replacements which they have done with a few characters recently. This is basically a vertically upwards variation of Liu Kang's bicycle kick, and is a great move.
Kiss of Death: The last move I have noticed from Sonya's arsenal in the gameplay videos that I have seen. This is a move Sonya has had since the first MK game, but was originally a fatality. It turned into a regular move in Deadly Alliance and has stuck ever since. I'm glad to see that they brought it back, because it is a useful move that is also one of Sonya's unique moves as well.
Fitting with the classic theme on the MK side I am going to take the liberty of assuming that Sonya is going to have her Kiss of Death fatality back as well. I am not sure exactly how it will work, but I can't really think of anything else that they would try to replace it with.
I think they have made some SERIOUS improvements with Sonya, and I am glad to see that. She looks like a much better character so far than she has been in the last few MKgames. Also like I have said before, I really like her new design, it makes her look like a way tougher character who can actually beat the crap out of guys like Kano for a living, unlike her Deadly Alliance design.
Shang Tsung like everyone else has had a classic re-design, harkening back to his MKII days, which is arguably Shang Tsung's most popular design. It would be pretty neat if they included his original MK1 design, but who knows. I am definitely glad that they went back to this design for Shang Tsung. His special moves also seem to have gone back to his more classic moves as well, ditching the newer ones he had in Deadly Alliance.
Flaming Skulls: One of Shang Tsung's original moves that was replaced by regular fireballs in Deadly Alliance, is once again returning in favour of the same move that replaced it. This kind of begs the question why you would replace a flaming skull projectile with just a regular fireball, downgrading much? Anyways, this move looks really cool and also appears to be combo-able like Sonya's Energy Rings attack.
Upward Flaming Skull: A new move for Shang Tsung, that is a variation of several different moves that have appeared throughout the recent 3D games. He shoots a fireball into the air off screen, that then comes back down on top of the opponent wherever they are standing. These moves weren't that hard to dodge in the previous games though, but we shall see how it will eventually turn out. They can be useful for kind of catching your opponent off guard though.
Teleport: My memory of Armageddon is a little hazy, but I cannot remember if Shang Tsung had a teleport move in that game. I didn't really use Shang Tsung too much in Armageddon, but I did use him occasionally in Deadly Alliance. However, it has been so long since I have played Deadly Alliance that my memory fails to remember if he had a teleport move. Regardless, it seems only natural to give him a teleport move, and this one functions where Shang Tsung sinks into what looks like a lava pit in the ground and comes out of the ground in a similar fashion behind his opponent. For a sorcerer like Shang Tsung it's good to have some trickery stuff going on.
Switch Places: A new move for Shang Tsung that fits the sorcerer trickery thing that I like, could be an interesting move combined with the teleport to really confuse the enemy, and maybe get in some combos too. I like where they are going with this.
Soul Steal: This is a move Shang Tsung gained in Deadly Alliance, which actually replenished a small portion of his health when used. This move was clearly inspired by his classic soul stealing fatality. I am curious to see if it will still replenish his health in MK vs. DCU though.
As I have said before, with the classic feel that this game seems to be going for on the Mortal Kombat side, I am going to take the liberty of assuming that Shang Tsung will have some variation of his Soultaker fatality where he consumes his opponent's soul. Nothing too gory, that seems like it fits in with the T rating, and the character as well.
I like what I have seen with Shang Tsung so far, but it still would be nice to maybe get some limited form of shape-shifting in here. They probably won't have it due to it probably being fairly complicated to code for, and then the loading and what not. This was a vary popular ability Shang Tsung has had, but who knows, there is a slight possibility we may see it make a come back. Shang Tsung did have this ability in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks though, which was cool to see him use when you fought against him, but you couldn't actually play as Shang Tsung in any of the game modes.
Recently Announced Mortal Kombat Characters
Right off the bat I have to say that I LOVE Liu Kang's new design for several reasons. First of all, they did not make him a zombie this time. When Liu Kang originally died in the opening movie to Deadly Alliance I will admit that I was extremely shocked that this had happened. Liu Kang was the champion of Mortal Kombat and Earthrealm's saviour on numerous occasions. So killing off Liu Kang at first seemed like a good plot device, because technically no one is really ever dead in Mortal Kombat. Liu Kang however, was the first character to have been killed and then later brought back as a zombie. I remember a lot of people were a little disgruntled with Zombie Liu Kang in Deception and Armageddon (although he did have a regular human alternate costume, his storyline still revolved around the zombie version).
Anyways, it is nice to see Liu Kang get the respect he deserves and back to kick some seriously ASS. I also love the new Mortal Kombat champion belt they gave him, which definitely suits him since he IS the champion of the original Mortal Kombat tournament. As far as I know there has been no gameplay footage of Liu Kang yet though, so we will have to wait and see what is in store for him. That being said, I am going to take a stab at what his special moves will probably look like.
Flying Kick: This is a pretty standard move, but it has been a Liu Kang classic for so long I would be surprised if it finally got axed. Basically Liu Kang jumps into the air and flies towards his enemy kicking them, and they go flying. I fully expect this move to return, but maybe they will add some twist to it to make it more exciting.
Flying Bicycle Kick: Liu Kang just would not be Liu Kang without the Flying Bicycle Kick which has been a staple in Liu Kang's arsenal since it was first introduced. Basically he flies towards his opponent kicking them repeatedly in a bike pedaling motion. This move is hilarious, annoying as crap, and just a classic move. Expect this move to return 100%.
Dragon Fire: One of Liu Kang's original moves, where he shoots a dragon fireball at his opponent. In Deception and Armageddon he could also do a crouching version of this projectile attack. I fully expect the regular version of this move to return, but I am not sure about the crouching version.
I am going to predict that Liu Kang's Shaolin Uppercut fatality will be making a come back in this game. It will probably not be a very brutal move as for the whole T rating thing, it will probably be the same as the original version where he launches them up into the air and they slam into the ground defeated.
His design is excellent, and I expect the listed moves to return, but hopefully they will freshen Liu Kang up with a couple new moves that fit his style. I will be looking forward to seeing what they come up with for Liu Kang.
Jax was just recently announced at Comic Con 2008, but has not yet been shown in-game. There also is no render released for him yet, which is why I have his Deadly Alliance design on display. I watched a video that I will embed at the bottom of this blog post where they announced the four new characters at Comic Con, and people actually kind of "awwwed" in disappointment when Jax was the first character announced which sort of pissed me off a bit. Yes I realize Jax probably isn't very popular with comic book fans, but he is a fairly noteworthy and popular character in the Mortal Kombat franchise. From the render that they posted on the screen it looks like Jax will be going back to his Mortal Kombat 3 look. Granted he hasn't changed a ton since then, he didn't look like he had the shades, the hat, or the gun & ammo.
Anyway, I will take a stab at his movelist as well.
Ground Pound: If I am not mistaken, Jax has had his Ground Pound move in every single Mortal Kombat game he has appeared in so far. As you can tell by the name he slams the ground to cause damage to his opponent and stuns them briefly as well. If this move doesn't return I will be extremely surprised.
Piston Punches: This is a new move that Jax received in Deadly Alliance, and also carried over into his Armageddon appearance. (Although almost every character who wasn't in Deception but was in Deadly Alliance was the EXACT same in Armageddon). This is a pretty good move, and can actually be kind of cheap too. Jax moves forward while throwing a punch of rapid punches with his bionic arms.
Single/Double Missile: I'm going to assume that with the retro theme they seem to have going with the MK cast, that Jax will have at least a couple of his old moves make a comeback. This move seems likely to replace his Machine Gun projectile attack from the recent games. Mostly due to the fact that this seems like a prime candidate for the whole special move combo thing some of the other characters have going on.
I'm going to leave it at three for now, even though he has a ton more, because there is also room for them to give Jax some new cool moves, and these seem like the most likely candidates to return to me.
Jax's fatalities have always been pretty brutal so I'm not sure what they are planning with him. They will either try and get his Arm Ripper fatality to come back, or they will go for something less gory, but physically brutal. Such as Jax unleashing a fury of brutal punches into his opponent then slamming them into the ground or something.
It is too early to tell how Jax will turn out since there has been nothing seen of him so far, but with the right combination of new and classic moves I think he can turn out to be a great character. We will just have to wait and see what they decide to do with Jax's movelist though, because there is a pretty long list of things they can toy with for the new game.
Kitana's new design from what I saw appears to be this really cool combination of her classic and Deadly Alliance designs. I am just glad they didn't stick with the purple outfit that was her secondary from Deadly Alliance, and her primary in Armageddon, because I really hated that costume. Anyway, like Jax and Liu Kang there is barely any information about Kitana, but I will take a shot at her moves list anyways.
Fan Toss: This has been a recurring move for Kitana, so naturally I would expect it to return, as ther special moves have always revolved around the use of her fans. This would also be an easily combo-able special move as a projectile too, since Kitana has two fans.
Fan Lift: Like the fan toss, I would be really surprised for this move to be omitted. This has been one of her most useful special moves since she was first introduced to MK, so expect this move to come back as well.
Pretty Kick: A new move given to Kitana in Deadly Alliance, I expect this move to come back because it was pretty useful. It wasn't really like bicycle kick at all, but it was the same type of move in the sense that she flies towards her opponent kicking them a bunch of times. This was a really good move to use after a successful fan lift too.
I am going to say that her Kiss of Death fatality will come back in some way (not the same Kiss of Death as Sonya, it is completely different). She basically takes her mask off and kisses the opponent, and then they inflate and explode, or just blow up, or something like that. I'm not sure how they will do it in the new game, but I expect this to come back in some way or another.
Kitana was probably one of the best characters from the MKII era if you knew what you were doing, but seems to have gone downhill in the recent games. Hopefully they bring back some of the classic moves and give her some new useful ones as well to get her back on top of her game.
Future Mortal Kombat Character Predictions
Ed Boon has said they will be announcing either two or four more characters at Leipzeg, so I am going to take a guess at who I think will be announced.
The main reason behind why I think Noob Saibot will be announced next is because if you go to Noob.com (Ed Boon's website) all it says on the site is www.noob.com at the top, and then under it, it says "Tobias?"
Well first of all, Tobias no longer works with the MK team, and hasn't for ages. Second of all, Noob Saibat is Boon and Tobias backwords. So the only two words on the site would turn into Noob Saibot.
I also think with the recent revelation that Noob Saibot is actually the original Sub-Zero, which is a plot device that hasn't been revisited since Deception (Armageddon was almost non-existent in the story department outside of Taven and Daegon in Konquest mode) they can make Noob Saibot Sub-Zero's new main nemesis, and make their stories intertwin, since Noob Saibot seems pretty intent of killing his younger brother for some unknown reason.
I must say that I really miss Raiden. Raiden has always been one of my favourite Mortal Kombat characters, and it was really cool to see him go it alone against the Deadly Alliance in the opening movie of Deception after everyone else had been defeated. Unfortunately Raiden was defeated, and then the Dragon King was resurrected which just made things worse. Raiden sacrificed himself to try and destroy the Dragon King, but all he ended up doing was killing himself, Quan Chi, and Shang Tsung (the Deadly Alliance).
Afterwards Raiden's godly essence was recollected back at the heavens or something and he was reformed as "Dark Raiden". Ever since then he has been kind of a dick and his appearance also drastically changed.
Mortal Kombat just isn't Mortal Kombat without Raiden, and I hope to god the good Raiden finally comes back, because MK has felt really hollow without him leading the heroes and offering wisdom.
And thus concludes me obsessing over Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. If you managed to get through all that then I salute you good sir, you must share a similar obsession with Mortal Kombat as myself. I will be posting the second part of this representing the DC side at some point but I am not sure when. My knowledge of the DC characters and Universe is also much less than Mortal Kombat though, so expect it to be a lot shorter than this one.