Mortal Kombat stories

How Mortal Kombat 11 killed its reveal and why I think Street Fighter 5 feels like a sinking ship right now

As if NetherRealm Studios' massive Mortal Kombat 11 reveal event wasn't enough, we got a pretty massive news drop over this last week from seemingly all corners of the fighting game landscape.

We kick off this week's podcast with Steven "Dreamking" Chavez as he was able to make it to said MK11 reveal in person and got firsthand experiences with the upcoming title while the rest of us merely got to watch from afar.

Steven helps break down how the game feels, how the game looks, what its new mechanics seem to bring to the table and one or two small details that gave him some hesitation. All in all we're very excited for the next Mortal Kombat, and would go as far as to say it could threaten to become the top fighting game dog.

Catalyst and I then jump into some recent happenings in Dragon Ball FighterZ, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Street Fighter 5 as there are developer-driven tours and/or leagues for all three at this point.

After a month with no direct SF5 Season 4 news, I'm starting to feel less and less motivated to play. While this may not be representative of the entire community by any means, I have heard others share similar sentiments.

We close things out with a discussion of why SF5 is feeling somewhat like a sinking ship at the moment, and what Capcom needs to start doing to bring it fully back up to the surface.

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'Crushing Blows are a calm version of Street Fighter 5's Crush Counters' - Justin Wong offers his opinions on Mortal Kombat 11's game play

There's no doubt Mortal Kombat 11 is one of the most gorgeous looking fighting games to date, but how will it stack up with other titles come tournament season?

Justin Wong was able to attend NetherRealm Studios' special reveal event and got some hands on time with the current MK11 build. As such he was able to come away with a plethora of notes about the game's unique fighting system.

As far as similarities to Mortal Kombat X go, Justin states that there are really only two gameplay consistences: three variations for each character and then commitment to strings. That's about it.

From there, Justin details a good handful of new traits that set MK11 apart from its predecessors. Especially since there's no longer a run mechanic, combos are relatively shorter this time around. That said, Wong states that they still do a lot of damage.

The fighting game pro also discusses the new Crushing Blow mechanic, which he loosely compares to Street Fighter 5's Crush Counter. If certain requirements are met (which vary from character to character) your fighter will perform an enhanced version of their move that doles out extra damage.

From widened throw tech windows to Flawless Blocking, there's plenty more to delve into. Hear what Justin Wong has to say in the full video below.

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Ed Boon teases a surprise and recognizable face will appear in Mortal Kombat 11

Some developers like those at Capcom are now using techniques to bring real textures and actual models / actors into their games with upcoming titles like Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry 5, and now we know how that technology looks in a fighting game.

Ronda Rousey was the first revealed to be the voice of Sonya Blade at the live event last week, but Mortal Kombat 11 is also going a step further by using real actors and their faces this time around with digital scanning instead of the standard crafted 3D modeling from prior games.

Content creator and reviewer Brian Tong got the chance to sit down with MK co-creator Ed Boon at the event to talk about the signature surprises and Easter eggs the series is known for along with how new technology has changed the development from prior games.

While talking about the new facial scanning in Mortal Kombat 11 and how it's almost like going back to the digitized actors of the first games, Boon reveals there is at least one more familiar face from the real world that will be making an appearance as a character within the fighter.

"We find real people and scan their whole face. It's not a 3D model or sculpting a nose," said Boon during the interview. "We have a huge, huge surprise coming up for a face that you're going to see in Mortal Kombat. That's all I'm going to say."

The studio head refused to say more beyond that for the surprises left to be revealed for MK11 though he does talk about how surprising the fans is partly what drives his team to come up with more creative ideas — and he jokingly de-confirms that Chrome will be in the game. You can check out Brian Tong's full interview with Ed Boon after the jump, and let us know who you'd like to show up in Mortal Kombat 11 in the comments.

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NetherRealm Studios is looking into cross-play for Mortal Kombat 11, but it likely won't be included at launch

Mortal Kombat 11 was finally fully unveiled last week at NetherRealm Studios' live events where we got to learn so much about what's going to be in the new fighter, but it also left us with even more questions we do not have answers to.

Cross-platform play for video games was one of the hottest topics of 2018 with Fortnite's inclusion of the feature and Sony's reluctance to allow it on the PlayStation 4 to the point where now almost every developer is asked whether their multiplayer titles will include the feature going forward.

Wccftech approached NetherRealm's Game Designer Derek Kirtzic about the chances of cross-play making it into Mortal Kombat 11 to which he reportedly replied that they aren't discussing details about that now, but "it is something they are looking into and hope to do at some point."

Mortal Kombat 11 does appear to be poised as having the best shot of upcoming fighting games to be among the first big titles to include complete cross-play across all platforms now that it runs on Unreal Engine 4.

Street Fighter 5 of course offers cross-play between PlayStation 4 and PC plus it also runs on Unreal 4, but we have yet to see a major fighting game feature the multiplayer option for three or more different systems.

Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, are also working on technological advancements to make cross-platform play, saves, voice chat and other features more universally available for developers in 2019.

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Ready for Mortal Kombat 11's arcade mode? Here's nearly 15 minutes of 'Towers of Time' game play

The incredible information drop that was the Mortal Kombat 11 reveal event is the gift that keeps on giving, and while we're still excitedly exploring game play, Fatalities, character appearances and the like, we're also happy to be able to share some footage of the game's single player arcade mode.

Considering the little we know about MK11's main story line, (basically only that it deals heavily with time travel) we're not surprised to find that the traditional arcade ladder is called "Towers of Time."

History Behind the Warrior was able to capture footage of his travels through this mode, and has since shared it on his YouTube channel for the rest of us to get a taste.

Similar to Mortal Kombat X's "Living Towers," the Towers of Time will change and rotate over days, weeks and months. Finishing these ladders offer special gifts including loot, artifacts and in game currencies such as koins, souls and hearts.

Considering this is an early build with a very restricted roster, we imagine the towers here will eventually become a bit more elaborate with more characters and item drops. History Behind the Warrior's video here certainly does give us a good idea of what to expect, though.

Continue on to see said video and then be sure to let us know what you think of this particular MK11 mode as you see it here. Will you be braving the Towers of Time, or are you going to stick to strictly facing off with friends in Versus?

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'Johnny Cage has a damn good chance of being in the game' - Maximilian covers the potential roster hints from the Mortal Kombat 11 reveal event

It's all speculation right now, but after a handful of Mortal Kombat community members got their hands on a build of the upcoming Mortal Kombat 11 last Thursday, they immediately started documenting all the little potential hints from both within the game and the presentations surrounding it.

Maximilian was amongst those fortunate enough to get some hands on time, and has since produced a video compiling all the known character references we got from the event.

The current character select screen offers room for a total of 25 fighters, seven of which are already accounted for as Scorpion, Raiden, Sub-Zero, Skarlet, Baraka, Sonya and Geras were all playable at the event. We also know that Shao Kahn will be making his way to the roster as a special pre-order bonus character.

The remaining spots are all fair game at this point, but we've seen more than a few references that lead us to believe (with varying levels of confidence) that Kano, Rain, Kitana, Cassie Cage, Noob Saibot, Liu Kang, Kung Lao and others may be en route.

If we had to call out one character as most likely, we'd probably go with Kabal, seeing as he was directly teased during one of Thursday's many announcements. With their obvious showcasing in the game's story mode, Liu Kang and Kung Lao seem like fairly safe choices as well.

Things get a little more hazy from there, as old school favorites like Kitana, Kano and Rain all appear in stills amongst the game's menus. Give Max's video a watch and let us know who you think will show up on the roster in the coming weeks.

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Here are all of the main variations from Mortal Kombat 11's playable build and their wacky names

Like what we saw with Mortal Kombat X, character variations are back in Mortal Kombat 11 as players are treated to three unique tastes for each of their favorite characters.

While keeping the characters in tact, each of their sub-themes grants them access to different tools therefore allowing players to a wider breadth for personal expression and style.

This could mean the difference between playing the character as a rush down or a zoning type. For instance, let's say Sonya has one variation wherein she has access to far-reaching projectiles, one that enhances her up close attacks and then perhaps one that favors her use of gadgets from the mid range.

We got to see seven characters during last week's MK11 reveal event, each with distinct load outs. Our very own Steven "Dreamking" Chavez was the lucky recipient of one of those fancy black envelope invitations, and so he was able to attend in person and get images showing all available variations along with some examples of what you can do with the characters' wardrobes.

You'll notice names such as "Boon's Main," "Frozen AF," and "Sonic Foxy," as NetherRealm Studios chose to put placeholder titles instead of showing us the finished products. As we understand it, these will not be the variation names come the game's release in April.

Though the names and character costumes are customizable, we do get to see are the thumbnail images depicting the special moves available for each variation. For example, Sub-Zero's shows him performing an ice wall technique as well as his new ice daggers projectile.

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Mortal Kombat 11 features nod to Ronda Rousey's UFC and WWE career; here are all intro dialogues for the currently revealed cast

We had our suspicions, but it wasn't until the Mortal Kombat 11 reveal last week that we officially found out that WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey is the voice behind Sonya Blade in the upcoming edition of the long-running franchise.

Especially in such aspects as character introduction dialogues, series co-creator Ed Boon has always made sure his games were filled with clever nods to related pop culture material. Mortal Kombat 11 is no exception to this at all.

So what are we getting at here? During her notable run in the Ultimate Fighting Championship as well as here in her current career in the World Wrestling Entertainment, Ronda Rousey has chosen her ring entrance theme to be none other than Joan Jett's mega hit from the early 1980's: Bad Reputation.

Should players find themselves in the Sonya Blade mirror match, (Sonya vs. Sonya) they'll be treated to a quick nod to the aforementioned track as the first Sonya calls out the second for her "Hollywood fling," prompting the second to respond with a line from the Jett's famous chorus.

We've actually got footage of all the currently revealed characters' intro dialogues thanks to Gamer's Little Playground, with the above interaction popping up around the 3:36 mark in their video.

Our fingers are currently crossed for Geras' inevitable reference to Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," which we'll hopefully see in future dialogues.

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Ketchup and Mustard showcase Sub-Zero's specials, combos, game play, Fatalities and more in Mortal Kombat 11

Having gotten to play a fair amount of the upcoming Mortal Kombat 11, PND Ketchup and Mustard already have the basics down and are showcasing some of the revealed kombatants in a new YouTube series.

While we caught sight of him during the MK11 reveal event, we actually didn't see too much gameplay for franchise mainstay Sub-Zero, as all of the exhibition competitors chose other fighters during the live stream.

The killer cryomancer is back again with a fresh yet familiar look and feel as he puts new twists on his iconic ice moves. Ketchup and Mustard kick off their "Chose Your Destiny" series with the blue ninja, showcasing what he's capable of this time around.

They begin by showing Sub-Zero's gruesome Fatalities, both of which keep in step with his traditional theme of decapitation. We won't spoil any more than that for you here.

Sub's normals are relatively strong according to the condiment brothers, making him an ideal character for those who just want to pick him up and start playing. He can poke from decently far away, has good high/low mix ups and decent confirms that can lead into good damage.

It should be noted that all of this comes from an early build of the game, and as such the content of this video is subject to change between now and when we're all able to play. Continue on to get a good look at Sub-Zero in MK11.

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Mortal Kombat 11 changes the way you perform enhanced moves and I'm not so sure I like it

Updated: Added a quote from Ed Boon on the matter and edited the story to reflect what was said.

Earlier: Last week, fans were treated to the incredibly exciting Mortal Kombat 11 reveal event that took place in both Los Angeles and London. NetherRealm Studios and Warner Bros. put on an excellent show, with live streams broadcasting all of the major announcements and festivities that went down at each location.

I was fortunate enough to get hands-on time with the first publicly playable build of Mortal Kombat 11, and after several hours of game time, one of the most prominent mechanics that stood out to me and left a lasting impression was the new "amplify" system.

Essentially, amplifying a special move is similar to what we've seen in past Mortal Kombat games and also in the Injustice series — though it was called "enhance" and "meter burn," respectively. Mortal Kombat 11's amplify system makes an important change to pulling off these EX moves, and to be perfectly honest, I'm not too sure that I'm a fan.

In order to pull off an amplified version of a special move, you'll have to learn what unique input initiates it for each attack. For Scorpion's Spear, you'll need to hit Back Punch to amplify, but his Hellport requires an up and Front Kick input to make it enhanced.

In previous NRS fighting games, these beefed up special moves were performed by hitting a single button after inputting the attack or hitting the button simultaneously with the face button that activates the special move. Think something like down, forward, front punch + block for an enhanced fireball.

With every character in Mortal Kombat 11 having a different input for each of their amplify-able special moves, another layer is added to the learning curve. While a more intricate combat system in a fighting game isn't necessarily a bad thing, it feels like making this aspect a bit more complicated is more of a chore than anything.

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Ed Boon feels like Mortal Kombat 11's custom variation system won't work for the competitive scene but may have base variations for that purpose

During Mortal Kombat 11's reveal event, we learned about the presence of Baraka, Skarlet, Sub-Zero, Sonya Blade, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, and newcomers Geras and Kronika. Kabal was also briefly teased within the blink of an eye. The character select screen features 25 slots — 18 that are blank.

We also had a chance to witness mechanical changes to the series like the Crushing Blow system and the changes to the meter. Mortal Kombat 11 will feature more than the three variations per character that Mortal Kombat X brought to the table.

More specifically, players will be able to customize and create their own variations by adjusting the number of available moves that each character has access to. Game Informer sat down with Ed Boon himself to talk about the custom variation system along with other topics.

When asked if Boon thinks that the competitive scene will tinker with the custom variation system, he stated that this probably won't happen as they aren't "regulation." This is very similar to Injustice 2's gear system.

"They want regulation. They want, 'these are your tools to work with, and there's no changing them,'" said Ed Boon. "So we knew this was more of a feature that the mass market would certainly love. But the competitive guys, they want a regulation pool table, a regulation basketball court."

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Iconic Mortal Kombat 2 stage Fatality brought back in Mortal Kombat 11 as Sub-Zero Brutality

Especially due to the lack of spoilers that inherently come from internet culture, Fatalities and Easter Eggs in the early Mortal Kombat titles had a special surprise and pop to them. You might play through one of these games a handful of times before even seeing a finishing move performed, and even more rare were the stage Fatalities.

The first time you knocked someone into The Pit in MK1 was a very memorable moment, and sometimes a total accident as all one needed to do was perform an uppercut after "FINISH HIM!" appeared on screen, and developers doubled down on this in MK2.

In addition to bringing The Pit back, devs also included The Dead Pool and Kombat Tomb as stages that offered unique Fatality opportunities. You'd never expect it because they remained completely out of sight during game play, but Kombat Tomb hid a long row of vicious spikes on the ceiling above the camera's view.

Figure out your character's special input and you could knock your defeated foe up into said spikes, leading to one of two animations where they'd either bleed out or slowly slide down and eventually fall back to the floor.

It seems NetherRealm Studios has given this nostalgic 90's title a callback in the upcoming Mortal Kombat 11 as Sub-Zero has a Brutality that clearly echos this older kill move.

Jake "PND Mustard" Neal posted the following footage on his Twitter showcasing the Brutality. As a bonus, we've included an MK2 stage Fatality compilation from SuperKiroChan after the jump.

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Mortal Kombat 11 in Russia will include an exclusive Soviet-themed costume for Skarlet

Skarlet was one of the seven characters officially unveiled during Mortal Kombat 11's big reveal event last week though it appears as though she'll be receiving some extra love in the former Soviet Union.

During a reveal event taking place in Moscow, Russia, the country's special edition of the new fighting game was announced to come with a costume for Skarlet that will be exclusive to the region — for the time being at least.

This new Kold War outfit for Skarlet gives her back her red hair from Mortal Kombat 9 along with a heavily stylized Soviet military hat and coat in her signature red and black colors plus a mask across her face that contains a red star.

NetherRealm Studios released a similar set of costumes for Mortal Kombat X with the Kold War Pack which saw three Russian-themed outfits added to the game with Motherland Sonya, Tundra Sub-Zero and Revolution Kano — though those weren't exclusive to the country.

North America's Premium Edition of Mortal Kombat 11 appears to just come with a steelbook case and Kombat Pack for the game plus Shao Kahn DLC and beta access for those that pre-order it. A $300 Kollector's Edition is also up for pre-order which includes the aforementioned content and a 1:1 scale Scorpion mask based on his new look.

There is no official word yet from NetherRealm as to whether we should expect to see this cool rendition of Skarlet make its way West at some point in the future, but we can at least take a gander at it plus the Kollector's Edition in the gallery below.

Skarlet's Russia exclusive costume in Mortal Kombat 11 image #1 Skarlet's Russia exclusive costume in Mortal Kombat 11 image #2 Skarlet's Russia exclusive costume in Mortal Kombat 11 image #3
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Sent in by Sean_Saibot.

Geras can add or subtract 30 seconds from the clock for timer scam shenanigans — UltraDavid breaks down Mortal Kombat 11's newest combatant

Mortal Kombat 11's reveal event showed us the return of many fan favorites like Baraka and Skarlet to the roster. Although Kronika appears to be playing a major role in the story, the only confirmed newcomer so far is Geras.

Geras is Mortal Kombat 11's grappler archetype. In other words, this character has UltraDavid's attention as he tends to prefer playing grappler characters in fighting games.

Recently, UltraDavid uploaded a breakdown of Geras on the UltraChen YouTube channel. Thanks to the custom variation system, Geras players will be able to choose abilities like Quick Sand, Gauntlet of the Ages, Bed of Spikes, Shifting Sands, Lost Time and Spare Time, Sand Simulacrum, Reawakened, Reverse Time, Stepping it Back, and Sand Pillar.

Needless to say, the theme behind Geras appears to revolve around time manipulation. For example, Geras can add 30 seconds to the clock with Spare time and remove 30 seconds with Lost Time. Note that the time cannot go below 9 seconds with Lost Time.

According to UltraDavid, Geras is the type of fighter that wants to be up close against opponents. He is not considered to be a footsies monster. While he might have some difficulty against zoners, he does have access to a few tools to make it more challenging to keep him out.

Here's a quick look at Geras' timer scam abilities. Once again, this is thanks to the custom variation system.

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Hit the jump to check out UltraDavid's video breakdown for Geras.

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Mortal Kombat 11 is splitting enhanced specials, defensive options, and supers into separate resources

It has been revealed that some of Mortal Kombat 11's mechanics will create a unique experience from what was provided by Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X. In particular, alterations to the meter management will be very different at high level play.

This is because Mortal Kombat 11 has split the meter into three separate resources. There are unique meters for enhanced specials and defensive tactics. In addition to this, using a character's fatal blow — which are similar to x-ray attacks in previous entries — will no longer deplete your ability to use enhanced specials or combo breakers.

In Mortal Kombat 9 and X, x-ray attacks were extremely seldom in high level play. Generally, competitors only made use of this expensive attack as a game ending option because combo breakers could not be triggered.

That's because the opportunity cost was too steep. Simply put, enhanced specials and combo breakers were just better in most situations. Using an x-ray attack would just cut off access to the better options.

In addition to this, meter for enhanced specials and defensive options will gradually fill up over time regardless of the actions that are being performed. There's no longer an incentive that awards a play meter upon landing the first hit of a match.

The game's dynamics will change quite drastically as a result of these new mechanics.

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NetherRealm Studios appears to have accidentally leaked Reptile in Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11: The Reveal live event went down two days ago where we saw the new fighter in action for the first time plus a number of the returning favorite characters from the series' long history. Now, it appears as though we know one more scaly fighter we should expect to see coming.

In an interview at the reveal locale with Dualshockers, Art Director at NetherRealm Studios Steve Beran appears to have let slip that Reptile will very likely be among the launch roster of characters for Mortal Kombat 11.

Seven fighters were initially unveiled during the live event with Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Sonya Blade, Baraka, Skarlet, Raiden and newcomer Geras, but even more could be seen in the trailers and around the venue.

Kabal was teased in the blink of an eye, Liu Kang and Kung Lao appeared in the MK11 gameplay trailer during the story mode, and Cassie Cage was spotted talking to Kitana in some behind-the-scenes footage, so we already know of at least 12 characters that should be there — 13 if Kronika is playable.

During his Dualshockers interview, Beran reportedly discusses the new Towers of Time mode in Mortal Kombat 11, which is likely based on the other tower modes from previous titles, where players can use modifiers to help them progress through the ranks including one for tag teams.

Beran describes the tag function almost more like an assist found in other tag fighting games where a secondary fighter will "throw a few blows, and then hop back out" before he name drops the green ninja.

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Attendees received the best parting gift ever at the Mortal Kombat 11 reveal event in Los Angeles

The big Mortal Kombat 11 reveal event took place yesterday in Los Angeles and London. Fans around the world tuned in to the live streams to see what NetherRealm Studios had up their sleeves for the next big installment in the Mortal Kombat franchise, and the company certainly did not disappoint with their reveals.

Some fans were lucky enough to attend the event, and by the blessing of the Elder Gods, I was one of the fortunate souls chosen to attend the show in LA.

The large facility where the event took place housed numerous set ups with a playable build of Mortal Kombat 11 (naturally), a large stage where all of the main attractions were held, a marketplace setting featuring an art showcase, a Mortal Kombat tattoo spot, a bar, and much more. As if reveal day wasn't amazing enough, the folks who put it together had one last cherry on top for attendees as they left.

Walking back out of the main entrance after the day concluded, I was handed a duffel bag with a large, yellow Mortal Kombat logo on it. Inside was what felt like a large item, but I didn't know what it was until I got home.

To my surprise — and I'm sure to the surprise of everyone who received one — inside the bag was a large hourglass with the Mortal Kombat logo on one end and the date commemorating the event on the other. This gift, apparently, is presented by GameStop, and it is easily the best memento I have ever walked away from a gaming event with.

The hourglass is a significant item for Mortal Kombat 11 due to the game's story having a heavy focus on time and different timelines. You probably remember seeing two versions of Scorpion — one that looked like he did from back in the early Mortal Kombat days — in the initial Mortal Kombat 11 reveal trailer.

Anyway, here are some not so great photos of the gift from yours truly.

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