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Mortal Kombat – Kenshi, First Impressions

While Skarlet may take time to learn, Kenshi is the direct opposite. Think of him as another Noob Saibot, where he could rule the day with his own workforce of self projections. However, Noob might as well pack it up and close shop, because there’s a new sheriff in Spam Town.

Whereas Noob’s clones visibly traverse from their host, Kenshi’s telekinetic projections can materialize around the target. Meaning, jumping over them is not going to happen. The Tele-Flurry always appears right in the opponent’s face (hit or miss if they’re airborne), issuing an automatic combo. Because of its locking factor, it becomes an immediate weapon of choice. By the time your opponent figures out that ducking evades this attack, that’s when you start using the Telekinetic Slash. This summons a projection from above that drops on top of your foe; guaranteed to slice crouching fighters, unless they block high. Since you can summon this overhead at three different ranges, it can also be used to shut down jump attempts. Whilst enemy fire can disrupt the “clone” assembly line, Kenshi can reflect them back (at a faster recovery rate compared to Nightwolf’s). The enhanced version also absorbs projectiles to regenerate health.

These moves alone can cause opponents to take up residence at one point of the screen. But if the opposition begins to creep up, you have the Spirit Charge, a projected shoulder tackle that compensates its fixed distance with its jet propulsion start up. If the opponent is about to close the gap in the air, the Rising Karma is the best anti-air of choice. In fact, it should be the only anti-air of choice given its lofty reach, making uppercuts a thing of the past.

Albeit ‘keep-away’ is the more tempting approach to playing Kenshi, contrary to Noob, the swordsman can hold his own at close range. Without meter, Noob usually deals around 20% damage with his combos. Kenshi, on the other hand, can easily pull off meterless combos ranging from 35%, and more if you tack on his X-Ray. Even without incorporating it into combinations, the X-Ray is incredibly lethal. Following traditional Mortal Kombat projectile physics, it can pass through other thrown objects. Even if you have a delayed reaction, the X-Ray’s startup has a unique reflect property.

As Skarlet’s fatalities were one hit wonders, Kenshi’s are a more appeasing selection. The fatalities exhibits Kenshi’s intended style of mixing finesse with ferocity, which unfortunately was already placed in question no thanks to his over-abundant collective of projections.

Overall, Kenshi’s a guy that you’ll either love, for being able to induce ‘the blind leading the blind’ scenarios, or hate because you’re at the other end of the stick. Luckily, for guys like me, Kenshi isn’t bound by the needs of keeping it long distance; being able to switch between toe to toe and distance fighting with relative ease. As long as that option exists, and knowing that NetherRealm will continue patching the game, I can say that I’m generally pleased to re-welcome this kombatant into the fold.

Remember to download the new Compatibility Pack, which includes the free Klassic costumes of Noob Saibot and Smoke. Special thanks to TylerLantern for his amazing Kenshi 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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