ROUND 1… FIGHT!!
I’m a huge fan of Mortal Kombat. I have been for over 2 decades. Sadly, that doesn’t mean I’m particularly good at Mortal Kombat. Sure, sure, I may have rocked the house down in arcades or on SNES back in my youth, but the universe be damned if they’re going to allow that to continue on to today’s gaming climate. Either way, Ed Boon and NetherRealm Studios have me hooked on the great game play, wealth of content, and fantastical, (usually) satisfying story they’ve created during their reign on Earth Realm.
With the most recent release, Mortal Kombat X – pronounced as the letter, but still being the 10th game, I irrationally refuse to say it that way – we once again get downloadable content. This time around, we actually get a lot of content. Content ranging from Kharacters (yes, I’m that guy), skins for existing fighters, and Klassic (there it is again!!) Fatalities for series favorites. Well, I use favorites loosely. Some certainly aren’t high on my list!! Certain skins are free with title updates, while others you can get only by purchasing them separately or in the Kombat Pack for $30. You’ll have to weigh your personal feelings on whether or not some or all are worth your time, and then whether or not it’s worth it to buy piecemeal, or get the Pack to save some koins (seriously, it probably won’t stop). To the fan writing this piece, the $30 bones (get it? Because of the fighting and killing and stuff!!) was worth it. And besides, it came with the ultra expensive Kollector’s Edition that included among other things a Scorpion statue. He looks pretty nifty, but, Ed, buddy, pal, friend… Can we maybe give some love to someone else on the roster? I know Scorp’s your dude, but, it’s been 20+ years. STRYKER NEEDS SOME LOVE, TOO!! Oh, and back on track, don’t expect to get Goro included in your $30. That was a pre-order bonus only, so if you want him, he’s $5. Sometimes, the Elder Gods can be cruel.
On to the task at hand here, though. This is sort of, I don’t know, a mini review of the pack itself. Let’s start off with who you get in it.
As of right now, everyone has been released for KP owners. Typically, they’re fair game after a week for everyone else who wants to spend the $5 on single fighters. Now, that $5 doesn’t come with the 3 skins for other fighters that is included in the KP, those cost $4, so again, you can judge whether or not all that is worth the price of admission on either side. Each has a bundle for $8, so you save something if you decide that you only care for certain things on the list. You’ve got options, you just have to decide which ones or none are for you.
One of my favorite horror villains was first out of the gate, and to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. With that said, I think I got exactly what that entailed. That doesn’t make sense, you say? Well, yeah, that was kind of the point. Jason being in this universe isn’t any more clever or out-of-place as Freddy was. They explain it really the only way they could. I won’t really spoil that, but if you take a few seconds to think about it, you’ll figure it out just fine. That said, I don’t necessarily have a problem with this. It’s Mortal Kombat for Boon’s sake. Anything can and should go with this franchise. Speaking of, can we get Mr. Halloween himself, Michael Myers next time, Sir Ed? He’s a favorite of millions, just like Freddy and Jason. As always, rights issues assuming no hassles, I’d love to see The Shape in action against Liu Kang (since you also can’t seem to let him go, either. Killed him off twice now, right?).
OK, tangent aside, let’s get to how he plays. Kind of weird. At least to me. He’s a lot faster than I expected him to be, although, again, I really don’t know what I expected. His moves are not really out of line for who he is, and his 3 variations are interesting. The looks aren’t too varied, but I don’t want to spoil the looks, because if you’re like me, part of the fun is seeing just how kool (Fun Fact: I used to write it this way as a youngster because of MK. I thought I was King Shit. I probably wasn’t. OK, I won’t bring up the obvious again.) or how bad they represented everyone. When I play as the lovable murderer, I mostly use the default Slasher variation unless I’m looking to do something specific. Typical Jason stuff here: Machete moves and projectiles. That’s just more my style. He does, however have a more powerhouse style called Unstoppable that allows him to be killed twice before the match is over. Kind of neat, but he loses his signature weapon. This is more for power, up close fighting, something I just ain’t good at. Finally, he has the Relentless style and that grants him his teleportation, which is seemingly random for the teens he’s chasing in the movies and again, leaves his weapon at Camp Crystal Lake. The weaponless varieties use more close quarters moves but both rely on various buffs suited to each style. I don’t want to say I wasn’t a fan of them, because that would be wrong. I’m just not that into having to rely so much on buffing and close kombat for most of the match. If you like that type of fighting, you may just find what you’re looking for. As I said, he’s a lot quicker than I was expecting, so factor all that in when you decide to mix it up with the kombatants.
When it comes to his finishers, I was left feeling semi-disappointed. His Brutalities are nice, but his Fatalities are pretty weak. They just felt too, I don’t know the word or phrase. Maybe too safe? Too easy? Simple? Expected? I just didn’t like what I saw with them. That doesn’t sour me too much on him, however. I still think he’s pretty neat overall. I just wish they came with bigger and badder for the finale.
Where do I start with Tanya? Well, I guess first off, I should note that there hasn’t been a single kharacter in MK’s illustrious history I didn’t like. Yeah, I’m that guy. I can’t help it, I guess I was just born this way. That said, if I had to pick least favorite, well, that’d go to Tanya. I can’t really place why, she just was the least interesting of the new kast in MK4, and yes, I’m aware of the roster in MK4. They aren’t winning any awards for something good. And her looks between each variation are nothing to write home about, either. They work, but mostly because they have to. She’s got a Pyromancer style with, you guessed it, fire projectiles. Again, this is my preferred style. I need to be able to jump in, do damage, and jump out and shoot off some damage with my kombatants. Blame Street Fighter 2 and Ken I guess. Her 2nd variation is Kobu Jutsu and that focuses on her short weapons. Interesting style and it doesn’t take too long to get used to, at least it didn’t for me. Her final variation is the Dragon Naginata. This is focused mostly on kicks, with and without the staff weapon. I wasn’t a big fan of this style, mostly because there wasn’t enough weapon usage. She also kind of feels like Jade a little bit, and with Kitana having a style that’s basically Jade anyway, it felt a little misguided, though for story reasons, I can see why it would almost make sense.
Her finishers don’t really leave me dissatisfied. Her Brutalities are nice, and I really like one of her 2 Fatalities. The other one is not that impressive to me, but in no way is it bad. I don’t foresee me ever using her again unless to specifically see something for her, so with that said, she’s the odd man out of this quartet. Just not for me, but for the dozens of Tanya fans out there, she exists again!!
As a fan of the character in other media, it’s hard not to like what you see here. The sounds he makes, the look, it all comes off really well. And he’s a big guy, so his size something that can work for or against him, depending on how you use him. My preferred style is once again the one that give me access to his blaster. Along with that, the Hish-Qu-Ten style gets his Smart-Disc. His Warrior style is more close quarters fighting, no blaster here. Add to that, you get a move to where he can detonate himself. User satisfaction may vary. His final variation is the Hunter style and once again, no blaster, but he does have the Disc, gains the ability to heal himself and also has a move kind of reminiscent of Cyrax in that he has a projectile grab move. It’s not used the same way as Cyrax and his net, but, they both have dreadlocks, so, deal with the analogy, because you know someone at NR made the connection in a meeting. Oh, and you’ll be pleased with the style of blood and skeletal structure they afforded him. Good job, NR.
When it comes to his end game, I like it all. His Brutalities are nice, and so are his Fatalities. Interestingly, if you don’t use either, his generic end animation is arguably better than actually taking the time to input a finisher. Again, I won’t spoil it, but clever thinkers and fans of his can figure out what he goes with. Again, nice job, NR on the little touches with him. I think the community as a whole were a little nervous with the care you could have given him. I’m here to say, in my opinion, he’s taken care of nicely. Especially with the themed skins that come with him. Infrared Scorpion, Commando Johnny, and Carl Weathers as Jax? NetherRealm, you son of a bitch….!!
Here we go, arguably my most anticipated kharacter released. I love Tremor. I’ve loved Tremor since the laughably bad Special Forces game on PlayStation. A brown ninja? With Earth powers? SIGN ME UP!! Technically, that’s really the only place someone could have loved him from (I’m not counting MK on Vita – and neither should you). Either way, the mystique and fan outpouring of support since his lowly appearance on the PS1 has made him more legend than anything. We’ve been asking Mr. Scorpion for years to include him,and every time he’s been a no-show, sometimes even being teased only to have nothing come about. Boon’s a sly devil like that. Even this time, correct me if I’m wrong, but Ed basically came out and said he wasn’t being put into the game, and then BOOM. KP trailer hits and there his is, in all his brown and rocky glory. He’s also a big guy, so his size is something that may or may not work against you, depending on how you play. He’s pretty fast, as are most kombatants, so size isn’t too much of an issue other than hit box location. He looks pretty damn bad ass, and even though I clearly have a bias, I think any sane person would likely agree. The dude looks like he’s half made up of rocks. How could you not think he looks cool? Oh, you like oceans and oceanic things? Psshhh… Get out of here with that nonsense.
Anyway, fan boy-ing aside, he’s actually a really kool and balanced fighter. His Crystalline variation (OK, hi, me again, clearly lying about not bringing up words being misspelled with a “k” here. NR obviously missed a trick with this one, and you’ll see why in a second.) allows him to summon a krystal ( <~~ SEE?? That’s THEIR spelling!! Where were the reverse grammar Nazis with the style name?!) to sit on the ground for a few seconds to throw like an environmental trap only for him. It also allows him to alter his skin to use Krystallization (…) as a buff. His 2nd form is Aftershock, and is exactly as it sounds – uses earth-shaking moves and rock projectiles. His final form is Metallic, and that gives him 2 distinct kinds of skins – Lava and Gold. This is currently my favorite, with a close second to Aftershock, but that loses out mostly because I don’t like the way he looks as much in it. It’s not bad, I just don’t like a certain aspect of his costume. You’ll know why when you (don’t) see it. Depending on what skin you’re using while in Metallic form, it’ll change-up his key special moves. A move that once was a projectile may suddenly turn into a close range attack. Moves may hit harder depending on which skin you currently have on. Now, to be fair, all 3 of his variation are very similar to one another with a lot of moves, which, for dude like me, is a good thing. I can switch it up and not feel nervous about it because I can go back to most of the special moves I know and love, only to have them a different color or animation and still kick some ass.
To round him off, his finishers are all pretty awesome. I like them all. Brutalities were brutal with how you wanted them to be, and his Fatalities were the right kind of fatal. His whole persona just worked out so well with my wishes. Tremor truly is one of, if not my definite favorite kharacter in this game, across the board. His voice is sweet, his look is bad ass, and his move sets are killer. I couldn’t be happier with how he turned out. Now I just have to get really good with him. For me, that just means not allowing someone a Double Flawless online. REACH FOR YOUR GOALS AND WORK TO ACHIEVE THEM, KIDS!!
I’ll list here a couple of things that I left out that speaks to the pack as a whole and not just to specific pieces. Out of all the times I’ve used these fighters, every single opponent has acknowledged the one I was playing against in a “relevant to them” way. Well, except for Jason. With Jason, no one I’ve seen really says anything worth listening to. Partly because it’s a one-sided conversation, since Jason doesn’t talk, but also partly because he’s just randomly there, so they have zero history with him, something this game is literally based around, everyone’s history with one another. I can tell you being that Jason was the first to drop, I wasn’t the only one nervous that these nice little pre-fight speeches might fall flat for the remainder of the KP. Reviewers big and small all lamented that possibility. Luckily, we worried for no reason. Now, I know what you’re thinking. The Predator is in the same Camp (rimshot) as Jason. This is true, but the lines, while being just as vague and generic as the ones used on Jason, at least get retorted with Predator sounds and acknowledgement. Jason is a mute who just stands there. Staring. Not his fault, it’s just who he is. Another pretty neat thing is that, just like the core fighters, these DLC brawlers also have hidden Brutalities not listed on the move list in the pause menu. Experiment to find some new ones or be a bum like I probably would and use your favorite search engine (BING!!) or gaming site to find the rest. No doubt they’ll look pretty sweet.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the amount and quality of the content that has been given to us over the course of the 4 months this game has been available. When I look back at it all, I can’t pick something that I didn’t think was worth the effort or my money. Full disclosure – this game was a birthday gift from my girlfriend and mother, so, technically, I feel it’s worth THEIR money in this situation (there’s an unboxing video I put up on my YouTube page where I probably thank them. Maybe.), something even more worth noting. I waste my money like it’s going out of style. I’d have felt horrible if they wasted theirs. We got costumes/skins, Fatalities, and kool kharacters, with some of it being free. Hard to be too upset with that.
If you’re a fan of Mortal Kombat, new or old, this is absolutely worth your time. It’ll extend the list of playables and who hates that in a fighting game? Psychos, that’s who. Money aside, and your feelings on DLC, if you’re for looking more, plenty of games do you way worse than this. With this being the end of the Kombat Pack, fans and critics alike all wondered, some even expected, that we’d get more in the future. Well, as of a recent live stream, they’ve dubbed this “Pack 1” and that is all the confirmation many of us needed to amp up the speculation. Here’s to hoping it’s just as nice as this one.
If you’ve made it this far, and fancy yourself intrigued, there is a link listed below the picture to a YouTube playlist of some of Tremor’s finishing moves as performed somewhat adequately by me. Against the AI. On Medium. I told you, I’m not that good to where I can just beat up random dudes online!! Provided of course you don’t mind being spoiled on them. Leave a comment below or on the videos if you enjoyed. Share this or the videos with friends. Like it all, you know the drill. Enjoy the rest of your day and remember…
IT HAS BEGUN!!!
Click for: Tremor Finishing Moves