As a life-long Street Fighter man, I'm fiendishly conflicted by this story. Next year's sequel/reboot to Mortal Kombat, a fighting franchise I've long looked-upon as a shallow glitchy gimmick-fest, is apparently going to be deep and nuanced enough for serious tournament level play. That's according to MK boss Ed Boon, from a recent Q&A.
Dubious. Hopeful. Cynical. Excited. Shamelessly elitist. I am all of these things. Read these details, and then tell me what you're thinking.
Above: Brand new potential, yay or nay?
Says Sub-Zero's dad:
"This is the first Mortal Kombat game where we are consciously putting in features for the hardcore/tournament fighters and we have some amazing fighting game "experts" playing our game and giving us constant feedback. At the same time we want the game to be accessible for all Mortal Kombat players, so there is something for all types of fans. It's important for us that anyone can pick up the controller and have fun right away."
And on the specifics, he spaketh thusly:
"This version of Mortal Kombat has more depth in terms of gameplay than the previous games. We've put in a lot of thought on how to make this game accessible to the casual gamer and at the same time add enough depth that it keeps the more advanced players challenged. One way we've done that is to create more distinctive characters with more unique move sets and fighting styles.
"For example, some characters are more skilled at fighting close to their opponent while others are better at distance. Another way we've added depth is by introducing short windows of opportunity where the advanced players can enhance, modify, or interrupt their moves, something the more hardcore gamers will definitely be interested in. The casual gamers can still enjoy the game without having to dive that deep into the gameplay but if they do want to explore those more complex moves they may be inspired to spend a little more time playing."
Putting a gag on my raging inner Capcom fanboy for a moment, I can only say that this is seriously heartening news to hear. While I still find it crazy that MK has taken 18 years to start playing around with things like serious character balance and advanced combo technique, Boon is making all the right noises. After years of ignoring its dial-a-combos in favour of my prefered cross-up dragon punch chains, I have a cautious optimism that Mortal Kombat might be about to deliver a proper, bona fide fighting game this time.
Of course, my personal biases continue to quietly wonder how much of a turnaround MK can really make in a single game, but so far I've seen and heard nothing that isn't promising.
But what do you think? Which side of the Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat rivalry do you traditionally come down on? And is this new MK doing anything to shift your opinion either way?