Monday, September 19, 2011

Torentsu lately

Hey gang I bet you thought this blog was dead didn't you? Well not unfortunately its not and I've returned once more to take my revenge on the gaming  community.  Lately the only things I've been playing are the new Mortal Kombat and Dungeon Fighter Online. Let me tell you why I think the new Mortal Kombat gets it right.

Its not that the whole slew of 3D MK games released post MK4 were bad( ok so maybe they kinda were), but they just lacked the MK spirit.  Several fans felt that MK4 was as sort of downhill turn, and honestly I can see why. MK4 is what introduced weapons as a serious factor in matches, and when they made the transition to a full 3D fighter MK4's weak weapon system became a large part of the game for 3 iterations. I could forgive Deadly Alliance because it was the first of the new fresh hip hop mad crazy straight up yo dog 3D MK's that were to follow. It did a few things right , but it failed to capture that MK feel, at least to me anyway.  Later on, they take the better part of  DA and churn out MK Deception, and of all the 3D MKs I'd have to say that Deception is my favorite. Its conquest mode was a great deal of  fun (albeit a bit barebones in its execution as a free roam game), and they brought back the characters that MK fans wanted to see, including Liu Kang whom they had just previously oh-by-the-way killed in the opening cut-scene of the previous game (spoilers lol). I really enjoyed Deception despite its flaws (one of which being how the characters looked like they were looking at a forty five degree angle rather than at their opponent).  Armageddon is honestly the MK I can't forgive. Despite having every character, a konquest mode, a kart mode, and create a fighter. All of the features are nice, but it feels like they didn't spend much time on any of them. Also to accommodate the large variety of fighters they have to cut fighting styles down to 2 per character . This would be acceptable except that for the most part they just shuffled the fighting styles of previous 3D MK Kharacters into all the other characters, with some characters being left with a random style that really doesn't flow well by itself.  Also don't get me started on character endings which are just text with a character doing a kata. These look extremely stupid when you have a giant character like Onaga dancing around like Daniel from the Karate Kid.  They also decided to make Blaze(a bonus half done character from DA) the penultimate boss of the current MK Story arc, and as a final blow from the laziness side of the ring they made Blaze nothing more than a reskin of Onaga with a few new moves (including such new and exciting moves as the roll!). He even has the same death animation.

Well forget all that garbage because the new MK tosses all that out and goes back to 2D in what feels like the true successor to MK3.  MK9 is a retelling of the first 3 MK games with the added twist of being in an alternate reality to the first games .  3D MK's rather quickly done Konquest Mode is replaced with a story mode that lets you see exactly how the new 3 tournaments play out. As if that wasn't enough they've even given us classic ladder mode with endings for every character (DLC crew included) . Even with all the features of a next gen MK Game (and more) game play is really what it comes down to, and this MK does not disappoint.  The 3D graphics actually translate very well into the old style type of MK game play. Keep in mind when I say old style I'm referring to the 2D nature of the earlier MK games.  MK9's gameplay is in 2D but it actually takes what was left of the 3D MK games and puts it to good use. The most basic combo commands work like they did in the newer 3D bunch, but the more advanced combos will force you to think in MK3/MK2 mode. Throws are still streamlined to one button like in the 3D games but it works pretty well actually. The team even took a page from Tekken (a series that Ed Boon is known to be fond of ) and made it so that you can escape throws with a certain combination depending on whether they are a forward throw or a backward throw.

With mechanics down-pat the team no doubt sought to capture that violent feel of the old series that at the same time didn't take itself too seriously. There's decapitations, blood sprays and survivable blows that should be  fatal yes, but babalities and other quirks that gave early MK a sense of humor have also returned. Its always been amazing to me how MK maintained its level of violence and the seriousness of Earth-realm's situation without being losing a certain of humor . Who couldn't love MK favorites like Toasty! , Aww Man (from the dead pool), and "Its official, you suck?"

I'm purposefully leaving out several features that you'll find in the new MK because you really need to play it to get a feel for it.  If you want to play me online and embarrass me add me on XBL as Torentsu2. Torentsu is also me but I don't play on that account anymore. Long story.

I wrote this with Sheena Easton's 9-5 stuck in my head, and also no I didn't proofread it out of respect for descriptivism.

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