MK9+interactables and character variations. The interactables I'd be okay if they weren't in the game. They don't seem to really affect it that much. So, their inclusion isn't offensive. Character variations can be really cool. It makes it that much harder to be better at the game though. You have to know all of these nuances for the currently 87 variations in the game. Brutalities are a cool thing too. It makes me think of Samurai Shodown where the final hit can just split your enemy in half, but these have the creativity of fatalities. It's really great when you weren't expecting them to happen as you land you're final blow. They also make me think of fatalities in MK1, 2, and U3. Those fatalities were over so quickly unlike the gore shows that we have today. I like the gore shows. Not complaining.
This game looks (mostly) really pretty. The kove particularly seems to be a really good stage to show off the graphics. The waves in the background look really good. After certain fatalities you can see the wet wood of the pier. The blood from your opponent spilling onto that looks amazing. Then, there's the faces. Some of the faces still look weird to me. Especially Cassie Cage for some reason. Maybe it's because I mained her at the beginning and had more time to study her face. I think it's her eyebrows. Certain tiny things look really bad. Like the end of Tremor's first fatality. I know he's DLC, but that shouldn't excuse it. Doesn't really matter, but iono that's HOW bad it looks to me. The women of MK while still wearing mostly non-functional clothing are at least a little more realistically proportioned.
INTRO DIALOGUE. This is a really neat idea. Too bad every character only has two different animations when they come in. Also, a lot of the exchanges feel really stilted or make little sense. A lot of Goro's dialogues start with him just saying the other person's name and that's super lame. I would've expected different stuff for when you choose undead versions of characters too, but that doesn't seem to matter. Would've loved to see different things happen dependent on costume and stage choice. Like instead of both character walking in the stage maybe Sub-Zero would be waiting for the opponent to approach when he fought at the Lin Kuei temple. I'm really into narrative features of games, but I can see why they wouldn't spend too much time messing with this. In about 99.9% of matches people mash OPTIONS to get past them.
Speaking of narrative, ever since MKvDCU NRS has loved making giant movies for their fighting games story. I still really like this idea. MKX might have the worst story of the four games that they've done this for. MK9 was really good, but maybe that's because they've had 20-ish years to mess with that plot. It felt real weird for Cassie to be the main character. Some parts of the story made NO sense. Eh, I take it back. MKvDCU was still worse. I think the best approach to story would be combining the Arc System and NRS methods. The highly cinematic approach with NRS but applied to each character individually. Especially in Injustice, a lot of characters just didn't get their due. Plus, DLC characters would have the ability to have some story at that point. I'd pay a few more dollars for more story content.
This game can be really fun depending on how you're playing. Locally vs. online I mean. The online functionality... is not great. While having a bunch of online modes, NRS still really hasn't made a fighter that feels great online. If I've only been playing MKX online for a while it starts to feel okay, but as soon as I play KI it become apparent how bad it is. They should bite the bullet and invest in some other company's tech. *cough cough* GGPO. Maybe not GGPO itself, but rollback definitely seems like the best choice for fighters. Lucky for them, that they brand recognition. I doubt as many people would play this online if it wasn't MORTAL KOMBAT. It's a shame because I really do like MKX, but I won't be coming back to it very often because online is where fighters live nowadays.
Last note: I really don't like how NRS does DLC costumes. For starters, DLC characters only have one costume. That's really lame. 5 of the 29 characters have one look. Second, all the characters after MK2 aren't getting any love save Shinnok, Kenshi, and Quan Chi which all have a grand total of one DLC costume. Scorpion now has 6 DLC costumes and 13 of the 29 characters have zero DLC costumes. A part of fighting games to me is connecting with the characters and, I don't know, I really don't like seeing the developer spending more time on a certain group than others. I get to stare over at Scorpions with all their cosmetic options while I'm playing Tanya I have the choice of one costume and two colors. It really sucks as a fan of a character that is left out. This is something they've done since MK9 and it bothers me. :(