7 Things We Can Take Away From The Mortal Kombat X Announcement Trailer


Next Gen consoles are next!

After a string of rumours and teasers many from Ed Boon himself, Mortal Kombat X has finally been revealed amidst Forza Horizon 2 and Homefront: The Revolution. With nothing to go by apart from tentative 2015 release date and what looks to be a pre-rendered Kombat trailer pitting iconic characters Sub-Zero and Scorpion against one another, we’ll wait until E3 next week for more information and footage of the game.

For now, let’s see what we can get from this announcement trailer.

1: X-Ray moves are back

Introduced in Mortal Kombat 9 back in 2011 which acted as a reboot of the franchise, X-Ray moves seem to be back in action and fully powered by next-gen consoles, let’s hope they’re as brutal as the image below. X-Ray moves added a whole new layer or brutality to the Mortal Kombat series.

Getting close to an opponent and seeing the expression on their face when you’d crush their bones with kicks or weapons and seeing the point of impact was a thing of beauty. Let’s hope other features make a comeback such as breakers, which was first introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deception.

Oh, that's GOTTA hurt!
Oh, that’s GOTTA hurt!

2: Interactive environments

Injustice: Gods Among Us featured interactive environments where players could change the location of the fight by triggering a certain attack at various point of the level or using various items within the level to their advantage. It seems this is carrying over to Mortal Kombat X where we see Sub-Zero snap off a branch from a nearby tree and turn it into ice, proceeding to attack Scorpion with it.  Whilst it’s not as new to the series as X-Ray attacks as this functionality has been featured to a similar effect in earlier entries with picking up an opponents weapon, it’s nice to see NetherRealm catching up with the times.

It is not confirmed however if the environmental changes seen in Injustice will be in Mortal Kombat X, but we’ll wait and see.

Quick thinking
Quick thinking

3: Old characters or new roster? 

In Mortal Kombat 9, the Younger Sub-Zero is captured by the Lin Kuei in the altered timeline created by Raiden and turned into a cyborg as per the Grandmasters cyborg initiative. In the trailer, it seems that Sub-Zero is human again.

Could this be hinting that this is another new Sub-Zero or part of a different timeline, we have no idea. But if we’re looking at another new person being Sub-Zero, I’m all for either a new set of characters with some old in Mortal Kombat X OR let’s go back through the roster and bring back some characters from past games that have taken a back seat over the years.

I’m looking at you, Shinnok.

4: Real time damage

Real time damage is back and powered by the PS4 and Xbox One, I cannot wait to see how far NetherRealm take it. In Mortal Kombat 9, players could see torn flesh and characters eye swaying during matches. Near the end of the trailer, we can see Sub-Zero’s face has been slashed open on the left cheek bone and prior to that both Scorpion and Sub-Zero are sporting some mean cuts.

With ripped clothes and both bleeding from different limbs, there’s no doubt MK X will be the goriest Mortal Kombat ever.

Sub Zero sporting some nasty abrasions
Sub Zero sporting some nasty abrasions

5: Scorpion is of course, a bad-ass

It looks like NetherRealm are looking to cement the fact that Scorpion is the better fighter in this duel between two of the most iconic characters in Mortal Kombat with MKX. During the fight when it seems that Sub-Zero has the upper hand, Scorpion out-fights him and gains momentum. Sub-Zero just can’t seem to catch a break.

Poor guy. Considering Scorpion killing Sub-Zero is canon, it’d still be nice to see Subbie Wubbie come out on top.

When will he catch a break?
When will he catch a break?

6: Mortal Kombat has a strong relationship with various music genres

Reptiles industrial techno/trance theme which featured in the Mortal Kombat movie is possibly the most iconic music from the franchise apart from its theme song or the courtyard theme which was re-mastered in MK9. In Mortal Kombat 9, Reptile’s theme was produced by Skrillex, and thus MK9 ushered in dubstep along with drum and bass tracks which represented each character.

The announcement trailer features an original track by Wiz Khalifa titled “Can’t Be Stopped”, but I hope that’s as far as it goes. I know when it comes to actual Kombat, the last thing you want to be distracted by is a full length 3 minute song. Let’s hope that NetherRealm go back to the old industrial techno sounds and heavy guitar riffs of old whilst finding new and creative ways to introduce new music to the franchise.

7: No Bill Goldberg

I must say, I’m extremely disappointed that with the ‘Who’s Next’ tagline, there’s no mention of Bill Goldberg at all with the Mortal Kombat X announcement. With 173 straight wins under his belt during his time at WCW and coining the ‘Who’s Next” tagline after his 75th/76th straight win, it’s a no brainer that Bill Goldberg would easily be able to wipe the floor with Scorpion and Sub-Zero. One spear from Goldberg would render them both useless, not to mention it would make for one mean fatality. There’s still time to announce Goldberg as a character for the game, heck even as DLC, I’d buy him.

Goldberg! Goldberg! Goldberg!
Goldberg! Goldberg! Goldberg!

Check out the key art and box art that were released shortly after the games trailer.

BAM6: Enter As Foes, Leave As Friends


Healthy Competition

I’ve been to my fair share of gaming-related events. Midnight launches, LAN parties at University, PAX, and the EB Games Expo. I’ve even been lucky enough to go to E3. Earlier this month however, marks the first time I’ve ever been to a gaming tournament. Sure, I’ve seen a few mini tournaments held at expos and the like, but I’ve never experienced an event solely dedicated to them.

The event in question was Battle Arena Melbourne, running in its sixth year (BAM6). It’s an event which holds tournaments using various fighting titles, from the likes of Street Fighter 4 AE, Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2, to games such as Blazblue, King of Fighters 13 and the ever popular Super Smash Brothers offerings.

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I had a few expectations before heading to the event. I thought since there were some great prizes on offer for the winners, I imagined there would be some fierce competition, with participants pretty much out for themselves. Fighting games are typically lone affairs, you against the world, so I thought people would more than likely keep to themselves.

What I found when I experienced BAM6 however, was so much more.

Round One

Sure, Battle Arena Melbourne was primarily focussed on holding a fighting tournament, but there was other things on offer for gaming fans. Any true gamer loves their swag, and BAM6 obliged by giving out free Street Fighter posters. There also were a range of gear to purchase, from commemorative shirts, to blinged-out snapbacks.

Jeffrey “Chamba” Cruz, an artist who works on the Street Fighter comic, and Mick Gordon, the composer on Killer Instinct, were also present at the event. While attendees could commission Chamba for a specified sketch, he was more than happy to take time out and chat to fans. The same could be said for Mick Gordon. While both guys are affiliated with hugely popular IPs, they are still down to earth guys who enjoyed having a chat, both gaming and non-gaming related.

Round Two

Battle Arena Melbourne had things on offer for both the highly-skilled, and those new to the tournament scene. While skilled players signed up to various tournaments to test their prowess against both familiar and unknown rivals, there was ample opportunities for the casual fighting fan like myself to step into the ring.

Now, while I’ve played my fair share of fighting games, I’ve never been quite skilled at them. I can hold my own more often than not, and even get lucky and eke out a win. However, if I’m playing against someone with a bit of skill and a hell of a lot more patience than myself, I will come out on the losing end more often than not. Mashing buttons is the beat I dance to, and it always leads to my downfall.

Therefore, when I was offered to have a go at Def Jam: Fight For NY by one of the other media guys in attendance, I was really hesitant. Not only had I never played the game before, I didn’t want to be embarrassed in front of a room full of fighting fanatics.

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After a little reassurance that these guys weren’t pros either, I decided to step foot in the ring. And wouldn’t you know, the fighting gods looked favourably on me that day. I don’t know how, but I somehow won four games in a row before being toppled. Highlights including kicking Flavor Flav’s and Snoop Dogg’s collective asses with the one and only Danny Trejo.

Not only was I congratulated on my performance, all the spectators (and even us competitors), were having a great time. People were laughing at the on-screen shenanigans, all the while supporting each other when a well-timed attack was executed, or a move well defended. It was all a light-hearted affair, with people going so far as to jokingly poke fun at each other along the way.

It was at that point it made me realise…

Round Three

While it was predominantly a tournament, and people were competing against each other, it didn’t feel that was the be-all and end-all of BAM6.

At it’s heart, Battle Arena Melbourne felt like a bunch of friends getting together to enjoy what we all enjoy: games.

Even though a lot of people didn’t know each other, they were supporting and encouraging one another, to go along with the friendly banter. It wasn’t all about how much better some people were compared top others, it was more about celebrating the joys of the fighting game genre.

All around the room, you could hear the big cheers of groups  huddled around a TV. That, coupled with the reaction a player’s face immediately let you know something great was happening; and that it was shared with people who share the same passion as them. That’s the great thing about events such as BAM, more often than not our great gaming-related achievements are accomplished in our gaming rooms alone. At an event however, people can simultaneously witness and enjoy great gaming feats.

While there was a healthy focus on competition, to determine to see who was the best, people were more than happy to help each other out with tips on how to improve.

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To paraphrase what Couchwarriors president Daniel Chlebowczyk told me in a conversation we had, two competitors battle, then they go off. However, eventually they come back and meet up, and discuss their match. The winner doesn’t gloat, instead encourages the loser, and lets them know a specific move or technique they can use to counter an attack just used against him. Not only are they giving them tips on how to get better, there are actually identifying their own weaknesses for others to potentially exploit.

Therefore, it felt like winning wasn’t the sole objective. Sure, there was a chance to win a trip overseas to Singapore in order to compete in Street Fighter 4 as part of the Capcom Pro Tour, but there was more to BAM. It felt like a tight-knit community growing that much stronger, and the bonds formed are sure to make future BAM events that much more successful in the future.

Victory!

Overall, for my first appearance at a fighting game tournament, I thought BAM6 was a very successful event. Not only did I get to witness some kickass action, I got to take part myself, and made a few new friends along the way.

It opened my eyes to see just how deep the fighting game community runs in Melbourne, and how much passion attendees have for the genre. Organisers Couchwarriors and New Game Plus did a fantastic job of bringing the event together, and with live Twitch streaming and video broadcasts, BAM will continue to grow in the coming years. If you’re a fighting fanatic, or just a keen gamer, I wholeheartedly recommend going along to BAM next year.

Sure, you might get your ass handed to you, but you’ll make some friends doing so.

© Daniel Geikowski 2014

OXCGN’s Injustice: Gods Among Us Review


REVIEW_injustice

OXCGN’s Injustice: Gods Among Us Review

It has begun!

by Arthur Kotsopoulos

©2013 Arthur Kotsopoulos

injustice box art oxcgnLet’s wind the clock back to 2007 when Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe was released.

While it was an awesome cross-over, it wasn’t exactly met with the best reception. It was not a bad game by any means, and it did have some nifty gameplay features like Falling Kombat and Klose Kombat (which were interestingly enjoyable).

The problem with it was, due to how violent and graphic Mortal Kombat is, the game was heavily tamed because of license restrictions with DC characters. This kept it from its true potential.

Everything about Injustice: Gods Among Us, however, does justice to the DC Universe and its characters. Whilst it may not be as violent as Mortal Kombat, it is crafted to suit the DC Universe more than what MK v DC was.

The DC characters were basically tacked onto a Mortal Kombat game whereas Injustice is a stand-alone game where Netherrealm had more freedom to work with. Continue reading OXCGN’s Injustice: Gods Among Us Review

OXCGN’s EB Expo 2012 Snapshot: Upcoming Games Previewed – Day One


OXCGN’s EB Expo 2012 Snapshot: Upcoming Games Previewed – Day One

Quick thoughts on the latest up-and-coming games.

by Daniel Geikowski

©2012 Daniel Geikowski

Every gamer (and budding gaming journalist) dreams of going to E3 in Los Angeles. Getting their hands on and playing the most anticipated games.

However, like most people, I’ll take what I can get.

Here in Australia we currently have the EB Games Expo. While it’s not as big as E3, Australians like myself get a chance to check out the latest on games we’re all looking forward to, often with later builds of games shown earlier in L.A.

Over the next three days, we’ll be providing feedback on the latest, greatest and everything in between that we manage to get our hands on.

The following are our impressions from the limited time we had with each game, and are subject to change over the course of each game’s development cycle.

Impressions are judged with the following rating:

Green: game looks fantastic, polished and basically a guaranteed winner

Yellow: game looks great, but there’s a bit of uncertainty or something that didn’t quite work right

Orange: game is shaping up, but needs some work.

EB Expo game impressions

Injustice: It’s not another MK v DC Universe


Injustice: It’s not another MK v DC Universe 

For one thing, it has Batman!

by Arthur Kotsopoulos

©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos

Upon arriving at Warner Bros booth to check out Injustice: Gods Among Us which is being developed by Netherrealm Studios, my expectations had not been set.

I had a completely open mind, ready for whatever they had to throw at me.

I spent the next 20-30 minute sitting with no prior knowledge about this game apart from the fact that it’s set in the DC Universe and it’s the second DC fighting game developed by Netherrealm Studios.

Injustice: Ready…fight! This way