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PAX Prime 2010: Mortal Kombat

PAX Prime 2010

I’d like to apologize to the GameShark writer that I kept stabbing with ice swords. It was my first time playing the new Mortal Kombat and I was trying out a bunch of inputs. Most of them ended in ice swords being rammed into your chest and face.

I don’t apologize for freezing your legs and pulling your torso off of your spine, though. That was awesome.


The new Mortal Kombat is a great mix of old-school and modern fighting game conventions. Ditching last generation’s style of 3D fighting, this new game returns to the classic 2D field of play, and the art direction is nigh-on perfectly in sync with the old games, sans digitized pictures of actors. Still, from far away, this fighter looks exactly like an HD arcade classic.

Gone, though, are Mortal Kombat‘s crazy long input strings. This version more closely resembles Street Fighter and BlazBlue, as far as control goes. Most actions require one input, usually some form of direction and an attack button. This goes for Fatality moves too, which in my case (playing as Sub Zero) meant pressing RB and RT. That seems like a simple command for the brutal cutscene that followed, but I still felt pretty badass.


“We want to please as many people as we can,” the dev I spoke to said. “The game needs to appeal to classic MK fans, but we’re also trying to draw in the fighting game community in general. In the past it’s been like, you know ‘not a tourney level fighter’ or whatever. We want it to be tournament level.”

Given that me and my fellow media member were already playing footsies with each other with acid and ice balls, I’d say that goal could be realized. I couldn’t really say for sure, though, because I couldn’t pull Justin Wong away from thrashing PAX attendees at Street Fighter IV to try it out.

Either way, the game’s animation, sound, and graphics are already top notch. Every impact feels solid and brutal, and the backgrounds are sharp and detailed. Even if they don’t achieve their goal of a tournament level fighting game, the new Mortal Kombat will still be a load of gory fun.

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in October 2006.

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