Yesterday, the highly-anticipated reboot of the Mortal Kombat franchise hit stores. From what I’ve been seeing on Metacritic, it’s being received really well from the gaming press. Up until I played the demo a while back, I had plans to buy this on day one. However, here I am blogging from the outside, looking in. I didn’t buy it on day one, nor do I feel the urge to have this in my collection immediately. What happened?
Once upon a time in the early 90s, I used to think I was pretty good at fighting games. I played a ton of Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat II, which were my favourite fighting games at the time. In my mind, the fact that I memorized all of the special moves and a handful of short combos was enough to define myself as good.
It wasn’t until I started following tournament-level Street Fighter IV play when I realized that I was in fact, pretty terrible. There’s a lot more to being a good fighting game player than just memorizing special moves. Over the past two years, I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing Street Fighter IV with the mindset that I would want to play this at a competitive level. I’m still no Daigo, but if Capcom is going to define an elite player as someone with 3000PP in Super Street Fighter IV, then I’m technically a sneeze away from being defined as such.
Due to my experience of leveling up at Street Fighter IV, I knew what I needed to do to get better Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which I did successfully. I wouldn’t call myself an elite MvC3 player, but I know I can play this game at a competitive level and do fine. The million dollar question is: am I willing to go through that process again with Mortal Kombat?
Having played the PSN demo of the game a few times now, I know I have a long way to go before I can play this game at a skill level I’m happy with. When I play the new Mortal Kombat game, I’m about as good as I was when I played Mortal Kombat II on the Super Nintendo. At this point, outside of memorizing a few special moves, I don’t really have anything going for me. It’s fun to simply do special moves and fatalities, but it feels shallow to me when I don’t understand the deeper mechanics or strategy.
I could overcome that simply by dedicating the time to learn it. But do I want to put that time into it to level up? I don’t know. The Mortal Kombat engine is such a departure from Capcom fighting games that it’s going to take longer to level up. Also, with my time going heavily into Marvel nowadays with Street Fighter as my palette-cleansing game, I’m not sure I have room in my fighting game schedule for it. I just don’t want this to be like my forays into BlazBlue, which were awesome games that I didn’t invest much time into because I couldn’t get my skill level to a place where I was happy with it.
From what I’ve played, this seems like it’s going to be an awesome Mortal Kombat game. I’ve had fun with the demo and I’d love to play more of it. I’m just not sure I can justify paying full price at this point in time for it. If you’ve played the game, what do you think of it so far?