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Mortal Kombat – Freddy Krueger, First Impressions

Freddy’s a classic example of “don’t knock it ‘til you try it”. Sure he doesn’t fit in with the MK Universe, but c’mon, if you didn’t show up in Story Mode your relevancy should only be taken with a grain of salt. Watching the king of nightmares go into action is quite an amusing sight. It’s like watching a schizophrenic monkey perceive every living person as a walking banana – going all out to peel them. Freddy is as aggressive as he is quick, packing an assortment of devastating strings. When it comes to close-quarter combat, he’s got his bases covered, but he can also hold his own as a distance fighter.

Freddy has a total of three projectiles. He can either detach his claws as airborne missiles, or send them scurrying across the ground. The third is an odd attack called “Sweet Dreams”, a droplet he summons from the sky that homes in on the opponent’s head. If it hits the opponent, they’re placed in a short stun, however it isn’t unblockable. The beauty of this attack is to utilize it when an opponent is knocked down, upon waking up they’ll be forced to block it – locking them in place to maintain momentum and open up mixup possibilities.

Other options for distance strikes come in the form of Freddy’s “Hell Spikes”. At either close, mid, or far-range he can summon a set of spikes from the ground: the close version is ideal for proximity block strings in conjunction with Sweet Dreams, which is even more devastating in the corner. Mid and far-range versions are ideal for ending juggles. All enhanced versions place the opponent in a heavy stun upon impact which opens possibility for combos. If you manage to stun the opponent at a distance, you can close the gap with a teleport. Until the game gets patched again, producing high damaging combos with Freddy actually isn’t all that difficult, at least when compared to the other DLC characters.

Perhaps his most interesting weapon of choice is the Nightmare Stance (yeah, I’m laughing too). By doing down, back, rear kick, Freddy goes into a special crouch. Tapping lead punch performs a high-range launching slash, rear punch does a mid-range slash, and lead kick issues a low claw sweep. You can cancel into Nightmare Stance from virtually any of his chain combos which can either extend combos on impact, or if your strings are blocked, Nightmare Stance at close-range lives up to its name as it forces the opposition into a wild guessing game: the low sweep creates the aforementioned locking situation, mid-slash knocks down those who attempt to block low, and from the launching high slash you can connect with an X-Ray.

Krueger’s X-Ray is probably his most disappointing aspect in terms of presentation. Merely stabbing the guy in the chest and then scratching their face? Not the type of thing I’d expect from a monster that frightened me as a child. However, in gameplay, it gets the job done with a lunging, upward slash as a startup. His fatalities however exude the OG horror charm – I never tire of watching both. Above all, compared to the other single player endings, Freddy’s is about as close to anything that makes sense in MK. That, and he has the best Babality.

If you’re still anti-Freddy, then from someone who’s been on both sides, sometimes it’s not a bad idea to take a break from serious. Sometimes it’s good to revel in things that don’t make sense, as it’s one of the finer little things in life we don’t take the time to appreciate. I mean how often in life do you get to see stuff like this?

screenshot

I rest my case.

FYI, the free Retro Cyber and Unmasked Sub-Zero skins have been integrated into the recent 1.04 automatic patch update, so you won’t be seeing them on the online katalog or PSN Store. Much thanks to Premonitionist for his Freddy Krueger combo video!

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in August 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @S_Chyou.

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