If you’re one of the people that have a Playstation Plus account, then you’re in luck as on March 7th, a demo of the upcoming Mortal Kombat game hit. Non PS+ subscribers will have to wait until March 15th to get their hands on the demo. As a Playstation Plus account holder and a long time fighting game aficionado, I downloaded the demo and played through it with all four characters and felt like sharing my first impressions for those of you that still have a week to go before you can hear phrases like “GET OVER HERE!” or “Flawless Victory” emanating from your TV.
1. Okay, the front attacks are Square and X and the back attacks are Triangle and Circle. That seems sort of backwards and unintuitive, doesn’t it? It works though. You just have to think of it more as left and right attacks rather than front and back.
2. First time through, I played with Scorpion. I’m not a fan of the new Fatality for him. Sure it looks neat, but it feels like it should be with a different character. I actually think his non fatality winning pose where he descends into hell is cooler. I’m looking forward to my Gamestop preorder so I can have “TOASTY!” back.
3. After that I tried Sub-Zero, then Johnny Cage and finally Mileena. I didn’t like Sub-Zero as much. His fatalties were sluggish and unresponsive compared to Scorpions which I could pull off every time. At the same time he had some easily repeatable juggle combos. Cage was pretty tight across the board and it was easy to spam the computer with a never ending stream of Shadow Kicks if you are a frame counter (Thank you, years of SNK games). Mileena was a lot of fun just for jumping neck attack and her fatality. In fact, all the characters seemed pretty balanced and twisted. That was a nice change to see.
4. I absolutely loved that you got a full mini Mortal Kombat complete with Goro at the end of beating Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Mileena and Johnny Cage. That was a nice touch, but unfortunately you can’t fight Goro. It’s a swerve. Boo-urns. Way to tease us Netherealm Studios!
5. X-Ray Moves are kind of neat, but they don’t do a lot of damage and they kind of break the flow. I love that they try something new. Johnny’s X-Ray shatters your groin. That might be the most gruesome move in the game.
6. I rarely used the SUPER BAR that is straight out of Capcom’s fighters. It’s just fancier and more powerful versions of moves and honestly my mind just went into the old classic moves I still had running around in my brain. The bar is a bit hard to read regarding whether you have enough energy to use “enhanced attacks” or not. I was expecting it to read from left to right, but in fact it reads from right to left. It took me a battle or two to get my head around that.
7. Stage Fatalities are awesome. They range from characters being eaten by treants to getting your face melted off by lava. After you beat the demo you are shown some other stage fatalities like Liu Kang getting his head smooshed by a taxi cab.
8. After you beat the demo, you’re treated to a pretty incredible package of things in the game. I saw characters like Jade and Sindel as playable characters, but also people like Stryker too. Really, did someone actually want Stryker back? Still, it’s amazing to realize how MANY characters there are in the Mortal Kombat universe and how they all have their own personalities. It’s pretty cool that they are cramming the game full of them. Twenty Six characters total plus DLC characters to boot.
9. Lots of extras. We’re getting Test Your Might, Test Your Strength, Test Your Luck, Test Your Sight, Test Your Strike AND a Roulette game (the demo shows us HEADLESS KOMBAT!) and even a page out of the Marvel Vs. Capcom book with Tag team mode.
10. Overall, I was really impressed with the demo of Mortal Kombat. It was fun and could be as fast or slow paced as you wanted. It definitely looks like Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 is going to have a challenger on its hands, and with both games looking as good as they are, I can definitely see a return to my teenage years where the debates were either Genesis vs. SNES vs. TurboGrafx 16 and Street Fighter II Vs. Mortal Kombat. Let’s just hope there isn’t a return of Pit Fighter or Battle Monsters as well. I WOULD like a new Eternal Champions or Darkstalkers though…
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an urge to go listen to Techno Syndrome 7″…