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Mortal Kombat X is aiming to tone down the zoning game - Destructoid




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Mortal Kombat X  




Mortal Kombat X is aiming to tone down the zoning game photo
Mortal Kombat X is aiming to tone down the zoning game

1:30 PM on 08.30.2014

New gen nut punches


I got to play Mortal Kombat X for a half hour during PAX Prime, and that made me happier than a pig in whatever pigs love to be in. After 5,000 matches played online between Mortal Kombat and Injustice: Gods Among Us, my anticipation was palpable.

Yes, this is an article about my time with the game, but first, it needs to be stated that if you use Cassie Cage's X-Ray on a male character, you get to watch in X-ray vision as a nut punch explodes a man's testicles. Mortal Kombat, welcome back.

Mortal Kombat X (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 [previewed])
Developer: Netherrealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Games
Release Date: TBA 2015

The biggest additions to the combat system are the character variations. Each fighter has three versions, each adding a layer of extra moves and combo possibilities. We've known about these for a while, but I never understood why each character wasn't allowed their full move set. More than adding a few extra moves, the character variants aim to change each fighters archetype. For example, anyone who has played Mortal Kombat 9 knows that Kung Lao was a rush down character. Anyone who has played Injustice knows that Deathstroke is a hardcore zoning character. With MKX, variations can make a character more zoning friendly in one fight, rush down in the next, or maybe a grappler in another. The character variant you choose even goes far enough, on some characters, to alter frame data on their universally available moves, in order to support the variation you're playing with.

Less talked about is the pace of Mortal Kombat X, which seems much less zoning friendly by design. For those unfamiliar, zoning is when characters fight from distance with projectile attacks. This play style is generally looked down upon as matches can easily devolve into long bouts of spamming projectiles from afar. Previous Netherrealm offenders include Deathstroke in Injustice, and Kitana in Mortal Kombat 9. For Mortal Kombat X, D'Vorah, for example, whose play style seems more zoning based, has a great deal of telegraphing on her projectile specials. She makes up for this with an array of quick stinger strikes that can hit from quite a distance, but these moves don't reach more than a fast dash away. Adding to this is a new dash meter that restricts players to only dashing twice in or out. The meter is on a relatively short cool down, but in a genre where success is measured in individual frames, the implications could be huge.

The dash meter alone does much to make hard zoning a much less viable option, as you can't get the necessary distance as fast. On the one hand, the meter could be a good thing as -- lets be honest -- nobody likes dealing with zoning and spammers. On the other hand, I can imagine a scenario where restricting standard movement like this places a greater emphasis on mastering characters who teleport, if only just to have more movement options. Additionally, the amount of screen space fighters can stretch out between each other is noticeably smaller than Injustice, further emphasizing closer engagements -- the full length of the stage is larger however, even if it doesn't feel that way. Ultimately, the changes are made with the purpose of keeping characters close, and the action more constant. Over the course of my matches, it did seem to be doing just that.

All told, my first taste has been a good one. Between the insanely detailed X-rays and fatalities we've seen previously, the frame data again being fully available in the options menu, and the conscious effort of addressing spamming, I'm excited to get my hands back on Mortal Kombat X as soon as possible. Also, exploding testicles. Don't forget that bit.





Ermac joins Mortal Kombat X roster photo


Reptile confirmed to return in Mortal Kombat X photo


Mortal Kombat X trailer reveals the return of a couple of fan favorites photo


Kung Lao shows no mercy in his first Mortal Kombat X screenshot photo


PDP's Mortal Kombat X pad looks like a SEGA Genesis controller photo


Old Man Kung Lao shuffles his weary bones to the next Mortal Kombat tournament photo


I can't stop watching this sizzle reel of Mortal Kombat X Fatalities photo


Quan Chi can summon a demon bat in Mortal Kombat X photo


Mortal Kombat X will arrive in April with a Goro pre-order bonus photo


Mortal Kombat X gameplay with classic Sub-Zero vs. Scorpion photo


Mortal Kombat X Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







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Mortal Kombat X



3:21 PM on 01.29.2015
Ermac joins Mortal Kombat X roster

Ermac is the latest Mortal Kombat X roster addition. You can see him in action right now on the NetherRealm Twitch stream below. You can also spot Kitana and Reptile on the character select screen. Those two will be play...more



12:15 PM on 01.27.2015
Reptile confirmed to return in Mortal Kombat X

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1:45 PM on 01.14.2015
Mortal Kombat X trailer reveals the return of a couple of fan favorites

Drip feeding out character reveals is a fine fighting game tradition. But this morning, NetherRealm cranked up the dial and mainlined a medically unsafe dose straight to the heart of Mortal Kombat X junkies. A trailer t...more



6:00 PM on 01.12.2015
Kung Lao shows no mercy in his first Mortal Kombat X screenshot

I'm not sure what Scorpion plans on doing here. He's in what we'd call a "no win situation." Kung Lao's fist is poised to usher Scorpion into a world of pain, and he's opted to imaginary limbo instead of fighting back. Maybe ...more



10:00 AM on 01.09.2015
PDP's Mortal Kombat X pad looks like a SEGA Genesis controller

I've always wanted a fight stick more for arcade nostalgia than any legitimate fighting game purposes. This gamepad from PDP, specifically designed for Mortal Kombat X, elicits some nostalgia as well, as it's basically an as...more



9:30 AM on 01.06.2015
Old Man Kung Lao shuffles his weary bones to the next Mortal Kombat tournament

Everyone's favorite Odd Job-inspired warrior will be returning to the bloody fray in Mortal Kombat X. Kung Lao's return was confirmed in the most recent issue of GamesMaster Magazine. And, as always, cutting-edge fashion will be very important to him. (I'll show myself out.)more



2:30 PM on 11.06.2014
I can't stop watching this sizzle reel of Mortal Kombat X Fatalities

Sometimes words do a disservice to a post. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to just let a video speak for itself. Nothing I could write would do justice to these overtly gory Mortal Kombat X Fatalities, anyway -- especially Scorpion's. This Is Just the First Part of Scorpion's Mortal Kombat X Fatality [Kotaku]more



12:45 PM on 10.02.2014
Quan Chi can summon a demon bat in Mortal Kombat X

The fiendish sorcerer Quan Chi returns in Mortal Kombat X. While he's said to play a major part in the story -- something I'm eager to hear more about, coming off of the last game -- today we're just shown a standard fight. ...more



10:00 AM on 09.05.2014
Mortal Kombat X will arrive in April with a Goro pre-order bonus

If you're excited for Mortal Kombat X, rest easy that we now have a release date -- April 14, 2015. That's still a ways off, but if there aren't any real delays it isn't too bad of a wait from the announcement until release. ...more



10:00 AM on 09.02.2014
Mortal Kombat X gameplay with classic Sub-Zero vs. Scorpion

Here's some footage from the build of Mortal Kombat X that we previewed at PAX. Not so curated and fatality heavy, hopefully it offers a look at how it is differentiating itself from Mortal Kombat 9 and NetherRealm's more recent Injustice: Gods Among Us.more




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