A few years ago the folks over at NeatherRealm decided to dabble in a fighting game outside of the typical Mortal Kombat bloodletting.
Mortal Kombat X is getting some fairly decent love on the PC with the news that Mortal Kombat XL will be available on the digital distribution software Steam on Oct 4, 2016.
Warner Bros. Interactive announced today that XL is in the works for PC by Qloc, a quality assurance and localization studio in Poland. XL aims to deliver the “ultimate Mortal Kombat X experience,” which will include the main game and all the content from the upcoming Kombat Pack 2. Current owners of Mortal Kombat X will also be able to download the latest patch for free on the same day, which will give players access to balance updates and the improved online experience.
Kombat Pack 2 features:
· Brand new playable characters the Xenomorph from Alien, Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre horror film series, Triborg and Bo’Rai Cho
· Apocalypse Skin Pack
· Previously released content including playable Goro, Brazil Skin Pack, Kold War Skin Pack and Kold War Scorpion Skin
Along with this pack, Mortal Kombat XL will also include all the content from the first Kombat Pack, which featured:
·Playable characters Predator, Jason Voorhees, Tremor and Tanya, with each accompanied by three themed skins
· Samurai Skin Pack
Mortal Kombat X is the latest instalment from NetherRealm Studios in the hyper-violent fighting game series Mortal Kombat, created by Ed Boon and John Tobias in the early 1990s. For the first time in the series, Mortal Kombat X allows players to choose from different variations of characters. This in turn affects both strategy and playing style. An original story drops players into the world of Mortal Kombat, showcasing notable characters from the series and bringing forth new challengers.
The series spawned several spin-off games, films, and television series. It’s high levels of violence, more specifically the extremely graphic Fatality system, helped lead to the creation of the modern-day ESRB rating system.
When Injustice: Gods Among Us first released in 2013, it was awesome. It’s kind of weird to think a full-fledged DCU superhero fighting game hadn’t already done, or at least in such a popular manner.
Pre-E3 week is well under way with yet another major game announcement before the big event starts.
NetherRealm Studios cracked the code when it comes to making a fighting game that’s appealing to both casual and veteran players.
In Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films, the outrageously violent fight scenes tread a fine line between repulsion and humour.
If you were a child of the 90s with a taste for blood, a videogame system, or a handful of quarters, then it’s safe to say that you fell in love with Mortal Kombat. The fighting game series devoted to ultra-violence made a major mark on pop culture, pissing off parents, enthralling kids, inspiring a decent movie with an astounding theme song, and causing an entire generation to shout out “Finish Him” in deep distressing tones. Few games have made such an impact for good or ill and even if the series petered out in the early 2000s, it came roaring back in a PS3 update a few years ago and was bloodier than ever. Now the folks over at NetherRealm and Warner Brothers Interactive have gone and done it again. Mortal Kombat X brings back all of your beloved kung fu psychopaths, wizards, monsters, and warriors with a next gen facelift and just enough new bells and whistles to make the series feel fresh again. Make no mistake, this is still Mortal Kombat. By now, you’ve got a pretty definite opinion on the franchise and this sucker will do nothing to change it. Personally I love it and the new edition made me fall in love with button-mashing blood-letting all over again. Joy!
The first thing that you’ll notice is the speed. This series and Street Fighter have always been primary competitors, with Capcom’s franchise offering the best speed, variations, and strategy and the clunky MK delivering the most violence and best visuals. The NetherRealm folks have managed to tip the balance this time. Their game plays with blazing style and ease. There are no wonky contact animations and no lumbering movements. It’s a rapid fire fighter with blood, and a damn good one. All of the fan favorite classic characters return, only now they all come with three distinct fighting modes a piece. That means that if you’re used to fighting as Scorpion from the last game and want to do it all the same way again, you can. However, if you want to take Scorpion for a spin with new variables and modes of mayhem you can do that too. It’s a great way of servicing the fans of the past while also pushing the series forward. On top of that there are also eight full new characters, which is a welcome surprise. Each and every one of them fits in well and offers something totally new. There’s a six-shooting cowboy serving up the gun action you’ve always dreamed of in MK, a bug-like woman with deadly tendrils, and my personal favorite a Beyond Thunderdome-esque Master-Blaster character that’s a little guy riding a big hulking guy that serves up just as much fun and varied gameplay opportunities as you’d hope.
The usual tower mode and challenges are included, but like the five hour story, it’s really just window dressing. This is a game designed for multiplayer and it delivers. Online matches play surprisingly smoothly given how gore-geously detailed this thing is and the competition is already irritatingly harsh. However, the best way to play Mortal Kombat X along with the rest of the series is by parking your butt on a couch next to a buddy and killing the crap out of each other between rounds of verbal abuse. As usual, that mode works best and beautifully with plenty of bells and whistles like team fights to change it up. Mortal Kombat X certainly never goes out of it’ way to reinvent the wheel; it’s Mortal Kombat, pure and simple. You know what you’re getting and NetherRealm delivered everything you wanted with just enough new characters, ideas, and designs to make it all feel fresh again. I assure you that if you’ve had even a remote interest in sampling the latest Mortal Kombat title, it will be everything that you were hoping for. This sucker is just as nasty, fun, and addictive as ever. It’s just that now the face-eating moves are more beautifully animated to keep up with new technology. What a time to be alive…
Read Phil’s bloody extended review of Mortal Kombat X in the April issue of CGM.
The fighting game genre has been a mainstay in the games industry for a plethora of decades. It has spawned, arguably, eternal franchises such as Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and Street Fighter that are well-known around the world. It installed the first, real sense of competitiveness, popularized arcades, and spawned tournaments with money prizes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Infamously, the genre was also the reason why games have ESRB ratings in the first place, as Mortal Kombat caused a prodigious upheaval upon its release in the 1990s.
Sega is credited with releasing the first video game to feature hand-to-hand fighting in 1976, called Heavyweight Champ. It featured black-and-white graphics with monochrome sprite visuals, gameplay from a side-view perspective, and employed two boxing glove controllers for two players. The game received a remake a little over a decade later, in 1987, with the most prominent addition being the change of perspective to behind the boxer, similar to Mike Tyson’s Punch Out games.
Though Heavyweight Champ was the first game to introduce the concept of fist fighting, and one-on-one combat, it wasn’t until the now defunct Technōs Japan Corporation’s 1984 title Karate Champ, and Konami’s 1985 title Yie Ar Kung-Fu that the fighting game genre was popularized, and the basis for modern fighting games was introduced. Karate Champ contained a best-of-three matches format that’s common in fighting games today, and was the first title to contain training bonus stages. Yie Ar Kung-Fu expanded upon Karate Champ, with characters to choose from with distinct personalities, and fighting styles.
In 1987, Capcom released its first competitive fighting game, and the inaugural game in one of its biggest franchises, Street Fighter. Though the original entry did not receive the same type of commercial, and critical acclaim that its sequel would be showered with, it established what the franchise would be all about – balanced gameplay, unique and eccentric characters, six button controls, and command-based special techniques.
Four years later Street Fighter II was released, and was quickly met with humongous success. It improved upon almost every single mechanic from the first game, including the command-based special moves. Players could choose from a panoply of playable characters, including Chun Li, Blanka, and Zangief. Capcom was initially reluctant to begin work on a sequel to Street Fighter, due to the game’s poor sales. But after Capcom’s other side scrolling brawling game, Final Fight, found success in the United States in 1989 the Japanese behemoth greenlit the sequel’s development.
Street Fighter II set off a renaissance for both fighting games, and arcades worldwide in the early 1990s – it’s credited with starting the fighting game boom. It was then, after being released to arcades, ported over to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, where it sold 6.3 million units. The various multiplatform console ports sold over 14 million copies, and by 1994 it was played by over 25 million Americans in homes and arcades.
Then, in 1992, came Street Fighter’s fiercest competitor, and arguably the most controversial game ever released – Mortal Kombat. Instead of trying to copy everything Street Fighter was doing right, including its visually pleasing aesthetic and art style, developer Midway and creators Ed Boon, and John Tobias opted for a more photorealistic, bloody, darker tone and style. Both Boon and Tobias originally had the idea of creating a fighting game starring action star Jean-Claude Van Damme. But, as the concept expectedly fell through the idea of a science-fantasy themed fighting game called Mortal Kombat came to fruition.
The characters of the original three games were created by rotoscoping; digital sprites based on filmed actors – a contrast with Street Fighter’s drawn graphics. Mortal Kombat’s “fatalities,” however, were the most controversial, and unexpected mechanic introduced to fighting games. Each character had his/her own unique moves, ranging from ripping a character’s spine out, to cutting them in half. These moves are solely responsible for the game ratings we have today, which were introduced a year later after the second game in the series, in 1994. There were several court cases involved, and birthed the first debate about whether or not video games should be banned, and if they influence poor behavior in children.
By 2012, the franchise had managed to sell over 30 million copies worldwide, and was still going strong decades later with Mortal Kombat X’s impending arrival. The initial 1992 title spawned a smorgasbord of sequels, movies, books, and imitators. It, alongside Street Fighter are the two most highly successful fighting game franchises.
By the late 1990s, the fighting game genre began to wane significantly despite the releases of excellent games such as both Tekken 2 and 3, which 3D fighting games where the player can move 360 degrees around the stage alongside Sega’s Virtua Fighter, weapon-based fighting game Soul Calibur, and a deluge of crossover fighting games. No other release, despite Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64 and GameCube, reached the same gargantuan heights as Street Fighter II, and Mortal Kombat I and II.
Super Smash Bros. was released worldwide after selling a staggering million copies in Japan. It only featured 12 characters from the start. The game’s sequel, Melee, was released in 2001 and was met with greater praise, acclaim, and commercial success. It had a bigger budget than its predecessor, and laid the blueprint for the future of the franchise. It sold seven million copies, and featured 26 playable characters.
Other crossover fighting games include the popular Marvel vs. Capcom, SNK vs. Capcom, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. In the early 2000s, international fighting game tournaments saw a rise in popularity, with Tougeki – Super Battle Opera, and Evolution Championship Series being the two most popular. A plethora of fighting game players have been able to create careers out of playing competitively for prize money. Daigo Umehara, PR Balrog, Justin Wong, and Luffy are just some of the most popular names out there.
By 2009, after a quite few years, the next main entry in the Street Fighter series was finally released. Street Fighter IV had arguably the same type of impact on fighting games as Street Fighter II had. The game received several iterations, which all managed to sell over a million copies, adding up to over eight million copies sold. In 2011, NetherRealm Studios, (largely made up of former Midway developers including Ed Boon), released Mortal Kombat, or “Mortal Kombat 9” – the entry that returned the series to relevancy after a few years of mediocrity.
This genre is here to stay. The excitement surrounding both Mortal Kombat X and Street Fighter V is considerable. Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS released last year to immense critical reception and sales as well. Though the genre did hit a lull for much of the 2000s, a strong resurgence inevitably arrived by the end of the decade. People just love to beat each other up with a controller in hand, and this competitive nature will always be here to stay.
Dear Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios,
Recently, you announced Jason Voorhees was a playable character for Mortal Kombat X, now rumours are swirling that Predator might join the fight too. Please stop. Mortal Kombat is a series that is amazing because of the characters you created. Scorpion, Sub Zero, Johnny Cage and many more are amazing because they are unique to the series. They have motivations, a history, and they don’t cost money to buy it’s fun to unlock characters by playing.
As a long time gamer I remember a time when I had money part of the fun was playing through your games and unlocking characters through talent, not by the size of my wallet. I am a very cheap proud gamer, who takes pride in showing off my skills by unlocking the whole roster by beating the game countless times on different settings and difficulties, wasting away weekends and free time grinding through the games you made. The only thing standing in the way of the entire roster and me was my determination, not the size of my wallet.
So I ask, do these characters have motivation to fight in Mortal Kombat? Or are they just really cool and lets fans live out dream fights they never thought were possible? I ask because motivation matters to people. Not how badass they are, or how gruesome their fatalities can be. Like most fighting games from that era, story is just as important as the gameplay. If you do that, why not make them unlockable instead of making me pay to play as my favourite movie monsters ever?
I know you are all very busy, and I won’t take up any more of your time. But hopefully this letter makes you realize I don’t like to pay for things there are some things more important than badassery. Continuity and originality will pay the bills.
Last time we got Freddy, now we have Jason Voorhees. Today, Warner Brothers Entertainment and NetherRealm Studios announced the icon of the Friday the 13
movie franchise will make his way to the upcoming Mortal Kombat X via download pack.
He won’t be the only character available, as the pack comes with two other Klassic Kombatants. Those who download the pack will also receive the Samurai Pack also get character skins for Ronin Kenshi, Samurai Shinnok, and Jingu Kitana along with alternate skins for each one.
We’re not sure what to expect from him just yet. We reached out to the PR firm that works with Warner Brothers for some additional info, but we’ve yet to hear back. But from the short 20-second video we got, we can see Jason’s trademarked machete will make an appearance. He also has some really great posture. It looks like Jason has been taking care of himself.
This isn’t the first time Mortal Kombat added outside characters to their series. In the last title, Freddy Kruger entered the tournament and in 2008, DC superheroes fought the Kombatants. Honestly, I think it’s pretty cool that the series doesn’t get caught up in it’s own history. Horror movie icons work really well in the lore of the series, and if they give these characters some motivations to fight, it could add some intrigue to the game. At the very least, it appeals to people who might not be fans of the fighting game, but like their slashers.
If you’re looking forward to playing as the ergonomically correct Jason Voorhees, you’ll have to wait until Sept 14 2015. This DLC will be available for it at launch. It will even be packed in with the Mortal Kombat Kollector’s Edition.
Ah Mortal Kombat, oh how I’ve missed you so. Ever since I first laid my hands upon my friend’s Sega Genesis controller and beat the living daylights out of them I’ve been under your bloody, gore-filled spell. With the recent announcement that Mortal Kombat X is coming out, we here at CGMagazine have been excited to rip our friends and enemies’ heads off. Between ninjas, super cops, and inter-dimensional creatures, the rosters of Mortal Kombat are as vast as they are awesome. Without further adieu, here are our top five Mortal Kombat characters.
5. Johnny Cage
In videogames, every cast needs a cocky jerk archetype character. For Mortal Kombat, Johnny Cage is that jerk.
Johnny Cage has been the egotistical, narcissistic, overconfident, and yet loveable movie actor that finds himself in the Mortal Kombat tournament.
Cage was originally based off of Jean-Claude Van Damme when the first Mortal Kombat game was a movie tie-in for the movie Bloodsport and has appeared in almost every single Mortal Kombat game.
Most players will remember him from his comedic fatalities such as his Mortal Kombat 2 fatality where he uppercuts an opponent’s head off, and the proceeds to uppercut them twice more producing two more heads, as well as his abuse to an opponent’s testicles.
Overall, Johnny Cage is the comedic character in an otherwise straight-faced world and helps by adding a lighter contrast to the dark toned series.
Even though he’s one of many coloured ninjas in the Mortal Kombat franchise, Reptile is one of the best.
Although making his first playable appearance in Mortal Kombat 2, Reptile actually made his debut in the original. If players played on The Pit while shadows crossed the moon in the background, and got a double flawless victory without blocking and a fatality they’d then face Reptile, who at the time only had the moves of Scorpion and Sub-Zero rather than his own moves.
Even though he looked human in the original Mortal Kombat games, his special moves such as his acid spit and tongue grab fatality made it apparent that he was in fact an actual reptile who is also apparently a ninja.
Reptile was the start to the ongoing legacy of Ed Boon and John Tobias teasing and pulling pranks on the Mortal Kombat fan base. It also made the series infamous for hiding features, cameos, and characters in following iterations of Mortal Kombat which made gamers want to play more to uncover all of the hidden gems in the game.
Oh, and he can turn invisible, and that is pretty damn awesome.
3. Sonya Blade
The original femme fatal of the Mortal Kombat franchise is also one of the best characters in it.
Sonya is a member of the United States Special Forces and joins the original Mortal Kombat tournament to arrest the criminal Kano. Originally the rivalry with Kano was suppose to be with her partner Jax Briggs, but Boon and Tobias decided that it should be with Sonya instead, as there were no women in the original Mortal Kombat roster.
As Sonya appeared in more Mortal Kombat games, the more her backstory and motivations were fleshed out, and eventually became a strong female character, rather than the woman in the goofy spandex suit during her debut.
There have been two different people who have used the Sub-Zero name. The first was in the original Mortal Kombat, but was killed off by Scorpion. The younger brother of the original then took the name of Sub-Zero and has been ever since Mortal Kombat 2.
Much like his name suggests, Sub-Zero has the ability to manipulate ice and uses it to slow down and defeat his opponents. From shooting a ball of ice to freeze enemies, to creating a patch of ice on the ground to throw them off balance, he uses his powers in new ways each game and are incredibly fun and entertaining to use.
Even more iconic than his ice powers, his original fatality where he rips the head and spinal cord off an opponent is the most memorably fatality in the entire Mortal Kombat series. It was so brutal that the fatality alone helped to create the ESRB, and it had to be censored in some home console ports of the game.
The superior half of the original coloured ninjas is our number one Mortal Kombat character.
Scorpion was a powerful ninja before being assassinated by the original Sub-Zero, which led to the complete extinction of his clan. He was then reborn as a hate filled hellspawn who eliminated everyone in his way to exact revenge against Sub-Zero and anyone else who had a part in his clan’s downfall.
Being a hellspawn, Scorpion has a wide array of powerful and iconic moves at his disposal. His teleport attack allows him to disappear and quickly reappear behind an opponent, it has been a great way to mix up and counter opponent’s attacks.
His most iconic move however is his spear. He tosses it out from across the screen while yelling “GET OVER HERE!” Opponents unlucky enough to be hit by this get dragged toward Scorpion while stunned, leaving them open to combos.
Scorpion is the only character to appear in every Mortal Kombat game and is loved by fans all over the world. He was even the only Mortal Kombat character to appear in NetherRelm’s DC Comics fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us.
He also helped to develop the Mortal Kombat brand from his catchphrase alone. Even if a gamer isn’t a fan of the series, or has never played it before, they’ll instantly know Scorpion and Mortal Kombat from just from hearing “GET OVER HERE,” which is something that no other character from the series has even come close to doing.
After months of teasing, hinting, and speculation, Ed Boon has finally announced that NetherRelm Studios next game is Mortal Kombat X.
The trailer shows the classic match of Sub-Zero and Scorpion beating the living daylights out of each other.
It looks like the X-ray attacks and counters from the last Mortal Kombat game will return, and weapons may make an appearance again. It also looks like players might be able to interact with certain items in the environment on the stage much like NetherRelm’s last game Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Nothing else has been revealed other than the trailer, and a 2015 release window, but EVO 2014 is just around the corner so there could be another reveal there, much like Ed Boon did with Injustice in 2012.