Mortal Kombat 4
Mortal Kombat 4 is finally here! Since the first MK hit in 1992. it has been one of the most popular arcade series since, well. Street Fighter. Each incarnation has had just enough new additions to keep fans poppin' in their hard-earned quarters. MK was revolutionary in its gameplay (heck-it added the word "fatality" to every game player's vocabulary!). MK2 was just da bomb with several new characters. new fatalities and the most kick-ass graphics of any fighting game to date. MK3 had the Run button. originally scoffed at by some people as "no big deal" but now used as often as fireballs and uppercuts.
So what does the newest MK deliver? Its graphics are far superior to that of. say. Street Fighter EX. The idea, however, is extremely similar: a 3-D rendering of a 2-D fighting engine. Just as with SFEX. MK4 is lacking in 3-D gameplay. There is no sidestep, for instance. Ed Boon said he chose not to put it in because no one uses it in games like Tekken. But MK4 is also missing reversals and multistep throws that could have added much to its gameplay.
So as it stands, the game plays quite a bit like the series' previous installments-quite an achievement considering its 3-D graphics. It does have absolutely the best collision detection of any 3-D game (for example. you can uppercut or roundhouse someone out of the air just as you did in MK2 and MK3. but really can't do in SFEX. Tekken or the VF games).
Another major change is that now every character has a different weapon The finished version's weapons may be different from those in the test game. Once the game is tested for balance, the weakest character will get the strongest weapon and so on).
The finished version will also have scripted cinema endings, as well as one more selectable character and three secret characters.
On the MK4 test tour, gamers are getting their first taste of the new MK. But still to be added (besides the missing characters, character balance and other gameplay items) are the fatalities and endings. These will be quite different from what you're currently used to. The fatalities will be graphically enhanced. A few of them, such as Scorpion's fire-breathing finisher and Sub-Zero's spine rip. will look familiar, while an arm rip and others will be completely new. Boon has stated the perspective during fatalities will be much more dynamic. The endings will also cease to be two or three pictures with text underneath. The team is currently working on scripted cinema sequences! There is still quite a bit of work to be done to MK4!
Scorpion is the same fun-lovin' ninja he's always been. He still has his teleport, air throw, and of course, his "GET OVER HERE!" spear. The bad part is that his previous "real" combos, such as his teleport punch spear, don't work because of the animation times of his moves. His current weapon is a basic long sword.
Sub-Zero is pretty standard as well. He has his slide, freeze clone, and of course, his freeze fireball. His combos such as jump kick slide and freeze, uppercut then freeze in air for another hit, remain intact in MK4. His current weapon is a hatchet that can take off medium damage.
Sonya has the same old moves with the addition of a really cool weapon. Her (if she keeps it, that is) "spiked pinwheel" is a group of several spinning daggers on the end of a stick and can do the most damage next to Liu Kang's snake sword. Her diagonal kick seems to be more vertically arched as well.
Liu Kang's moves are all the same but he is now a full-on F, F character with no more charge moves. His bicycle kick is now F, F LK making him even more deadly than he was in the previous MKs (and that's a bold statement!). His current weapon is a curved snake-like sword. It is fast and takes off the most damage.
Raiden is a little different. He now has a high and low fireball and his "backward lightning" no longer exists. The animation of his Torpedo is excellent. He doesn't seem to have his teleport anymore either. His current weapon does not do the kind of damage you'd expect from a 3-foot-long mallet.
Fujin has the most amount of moves of any new character. He has a jumping knee attack, a couple of spin moves as well as a fireball. He also has Ermac's levitate move. His weapon is the most interesting: a crossbow that shoots out a green bolt of energy that bounces off walls.
Shinnok only had one move playable in the newest version and unfortunately as of press time we don't even know what that one move is. He is an evil character in Japanese mythology and looks extremely sinister in his red robe and strange hat. His weapon is a long staff with a blade on the end of it.
Quan Chi is the only character in MK4 making appearances in both MK Mythologies and MK: Annihilation (the MK movie sequel). He seems to be a monk of some kind. He has a couple combos as of press time, as well as a move where he automatically steals another opponent's weapon from his or her hands!
Noob will probably have the same moves he did in the previous MK, but right now he doesn't have much of anything new. He has his teleport, but that's as fancy as he gets right now. Once he teleports through the floor, it's up to you to provide the attack. He has no weapon as of yet either.
One of two new characters in the most recent MK4 tour version was a much more reptilian Reptile. He has scales and a strange new mask. His only move right now is a bizarre one where he crawls on the ground after you. It is unknown if he will have his ball, spit or slide attacks.
Kai is the "African-American Liu Kang" character we reported in last month's EGM*. He is extremely fast and has several attacks, such as a fireball that shoots vertically (like the new Sub-Zero's freeze attack) and a move where he stands on his hands and chases after you. He had no weapon as of press time.
Who's still to come? Well you won't see ShangTsung (THE BEST CHARACTER), Kintaro, Shao Kahn or several characters from MK3 (NO JAX!). There is a chance Goro will be in it, as there are three characters still shrouded in mystery. One character will also be added to the selectable roster.
It is still pretty early for information on Mortal 4. As of press time, we are about one week from the expected test release of the game, and Ed Boon is really keeping this one under wraps. Here's what we know so far: Returning from previous MKs are Raiden, Sonya, Liu Kang, Sub-Zero and Scorpion. New to the cast (see side panel of art) is Quan Chi, who also appears in the new Mortal Kombat movie Annihilation. The rest of the characters are still shrouded in mystery. The new ability found in MK4 has to do with weapons. Every character has his or her own weapons, and those weapons can be knocked out of his or her hands, picked up and used against its owner. It is still unclear how Boon (there are many people on the MK4 team, but Boon still does the bulk of the programming) will give us the feel of the previous MKs in a 3-D graphics style, however this game looks a bit darker than the some-i times colorful and "goofy" feel of MK3. This is a good thing for the fans of MK1 and 2, and those of us who thought MK3 was a little bit watered down.
2016-06-28 Mortal Kombat 4 game added.