So that Mortal Kombat 11 thing is coming soon, and to kick things off, NRS hosted 2 reveal/pre-pre-release events to get people excited and to show things off. If you missed that giant link on the home page, Charybdis hit up the one going on in London while I went to the one in LA. Going to be dropping some pictures, talking a bit about it, and giving some thoughts on the game. So if that sounds like your kind of thing, read on!
So you might be asking what is up with that sandbag and chainlink fence? Were we taken into a back alley to get in or some weird stuff like that? Actually yeah. The entire venue seemed to be done up as that level you saw that had Kano serving drinks in the background. Was kind of a neat way to get everyone right into the proper mindset. On the inside, they had a few things set up, from some Mortal Kombat art pieces to a guy who had some MK themed Adidas on display:
They also had a few fun distractions set up, like a room where you could just smash stuff up (the Fatality Room) and a thing where you took your picture and put yourself onto a Fatality, which got displayed on a big tower:
That's everything of interest really on the inside. They also had a tattoo guy doing actual tattoos, but I was too much of a wimp to get myself a D'vorrah. Over on the outside, they had some artist doing murals live. One of them was Jesse Hernandez, of The Nutshack fame:
And the last thing to hit on were the cosplayers. A lot of people went all out for the event, and these were just 3 that I could talk to before the event really got started:
So yeah! Everyone seemed like they were having a good time. At this point, I'll jump right into the game-play stuff, because anything else I would talk about would have been discussed already on the live-stream you all saw. Only thing that might not have been streamed was the KOTH they ran with everyone there. A lot of "no-name" players had a chance to show off what they could do, with ForeverKing, Sledgren, DJT, and JonNitti not even making it to the end. The final winner was a guy from New Jersey, not sure what his tag was. But boy, was he good.
General Gameplay Thoughts:
Disclaimer: I am in no way an expert on anything I am saying. Mortal Kombat isn't even my forte, I get on more with anime fighters if the Guilty Gear avatar didn't give it away. Just some thoughts I had in playing it.
So I had about 40 minutes with the game. I ran a short set with a guy I met in the line and I went back later to try it out alone. I'll probably repeat a lot of people (and myself in threads here) in saying this game is not Injustice 3 or Injustice 2.5, or whatever other nonsense people have come up with from watching the stream. At no point did I find myself saying "man, this is like playing Black Canary all over again!". This felt like a logical jump from MKX: I would describe it as "what if MKX removed the run button and they had to implement things to compensate?" but I've been seeing people call it MK9-2 and I would say it fits better. It's back to being slower paced, but everything feels a lot smoother. It's feels like what we would get if MK9 was made today, rather than back in 2011.
So some of these I liked. Separating your meter into an offensive and defensive set of mini-bars I am really into. Me as a NRS player, I know I often forgo using my defensive tools to get out of a bad situation because I don't want to lose my tool for doing damage. So it's nice to have that same utility, without needing to sacrifice something to risk an air escape that will get read and leave you with nothing.
Alongside that, let's talk about regenerating meter. This is interesting, but I think it's a good change. Mainly because every single modern NRS title has had an issue with a zoner just dominating the first 6 months (let's not act like Deadshot was the first time this has come up). Or even a character like Aquaman, who just melts your health and your best option to get out is to actually stop blocking, i.e. doing the right thing, so you can at least get some meter and make something happen. Now you can't just be kept at full-screen while Raiden or Scarlet keep MBing projectiles to keep you out, and I think that is an overall positive change. But I'm not sure this was tried in another game before, so we'll see what happens.
Fatal Blows are fine. I'm not going to get into frame data and concerns about that, because this isn't the final product. But for anyone who thinks this is just going to destroy the meta, I will refer you to Tekken 7, the game many will argue as the single most balanced fighter on the market right now. It's also one of the hypest to watch. As a comeback mechanic, this is nowhere near as rough as X-Factor or Sparking. And actually, I'd argue it's not nearly as powerful as a Tekken Rage Drive/Art, because once it lands, you lose it.
Krushing Blows, also fine. A little weird, but we'll see how they play out. They really do not take that much time like I saw some people worrying about, and they seemed fine when considering you aren't getting hit with 45% 1-bar combos like in I2. The only thing I want to clarify is they aren't random. Technically yes, if you want to say "if the guy I'm fighting mashes D1 on wakeup, I might get a krushing blow and not realize it!". 1. There is no penalty for you, you just did more damage on this guy because he's a jackass. 2. If that's how you are looking at things, everything in fighting game history is random because you can never know what the other guy is doing. I'm sure they'll do some tweaking before release, but this is something that I was personally fine with.
Meter burn changes: probably the only thing that stood out as "I don't like this". It seemed kind of random and arbitrary what you had to do to MB a move, there wasn't any kind of consistency I noticed. If it was like, "I have to double tap square to MB my DB1" I would get it. But going through the move-list, it was like you had to learn twice the amount of specials to do what you really wanted. If there is anything I want them to scrap, it's going to be that.
We couldn't see much here, but I the menu UIs seemed fine. Similar to MKX, you just pick your variation at the start from a menu, if you want to see what moves are there, you hit triangle. We couldn't mess with the variations ourselves, so I couldn't see what was there myself, but the stream went over that pretty well. The only mystery was the single player option had 4 modes, 1 of which was blanked out, so hopefully that will be some cool upgrade of the Krypt.
So I played Skarlet and Sonya mostly, they were the two I picked up the most on. I'm not going to say anything new here, Skarlet has amazing footsies and is a solid zoner on top. Sonya has like, a million strings to mix people up with, think Black Canary meets Michelangelo. I had a station next to Mr. Aquaman and Darth Arma at one point, I heard him shout that Baraka's S1 is a great anti-air, so that's cool. Only takeaway I really had was Skarlet will probably end up being day 1 top 3 looking at the current roster, but we'll see what happens. I briefly messed with everyone, but Skarlet is the only one I really got into any depth with.
I don't think I'm missing anything. Sub-Zero has a D2 brutality, but we couldn't figure out how to replicate it in the short time we had. Skarlet has one too, her's seemed to be just ending the match with it. I did take a bad video of it for anyone interested, but I had to record it one handed while trying to beat the CPU with the other, so it's not great. If anyone has any questions, I'll try my best to answer. Beyond that, just an official thanks again to Netherrealm and TylerLansdown especially for getting us in here. It was cool that we could do this, and hoping we can do more things like this moving forward.
They also gave us these sweet hourglasses, so I can finally ditch my watch.
MK11 LA or Why This Was Better than Charybdis' London Trip