In NetherRealm’s regular livestream, the Kombat Kast, Mileena, Takeda and Kung Jin were shown off in a series of battles, detailing their Variations and moves in motion. As well as this, Kustom Kombat and Test Your Luck were seen in action, displaying the crazy number of modifiers that you can mess around with when playing with your friends.
So, let’s run down the characters and their Variations first. Mileena gets Ravenous, Ethereal and Piercing as her three sets, which revolve mainly around using her sais as either a zoning tool or as something to extend her command grabs. With Ravenous, Mileena can use a special bite command grab which can be extended for extra damage. She gets a high grab where she leaps onto the enemy’s face and proceeds to have a snack on their jaw, while the low grab knocks the enemy to the ground and has Mileena stabbing the enemy repeatedly with her sai. For Ethereal, Mileena can throw her sai either in front or behind her, which can then be teleported to for a mixup or to extend combos. Alternatively, you can throw the sai, hold the button so you turn invisible and seem like you are going to teleport, before decloaking and beating the hell out of your enemy. Finally, Piercing gives Mileena more zoning options, giving her a low sai throw as well as her trademark air sais, allowing her to keep her enemies away in any state. She also gets specific sai combos which lead into massive damage.
Takeda’s fighting style is to do with the bladed whips he has hidden in his gauntlets. He seems more suited to mid screen, using his whips to keep enemies at a safe enough distance to do damage, whilst also stopping any attacks coming in. His first Variation is Shirai Ryu, which draws on his training with Scorpion and his ninja skills. As such, Takeda gets some whip moves which have a lot of similarities with Scorpion’s kunai attacks, allowing him to bring enemies into him for more damage as well as extending combos with whip grabs. Like Scorpion, he receives a teleport which can be charged to do additional damage, or to be used as a fake out to make an opponent jump or use an unsafe move. Lasher is his space control Variation, with Takeda electrifying his whips and gaining a long range sweep as well as an anti air whip move which covers a lot of distance. This is the Variation to play against grapplers, in order to keep them out of range and to stop you getting your face smashed into the dirt. His third Variation is Ronin, which has Takeda utilising dual plasma blades along with his bladed whips. This Variation is for doing all sorts of flashy combos, with Takeda being able to drop one of his blades and then reactivate it, sending it flying into the air and knocking anyone up into a juggle state. This Variation also seems the best for dealing with projectile users, with Takeda gaining a reflect along with a beam projectile, which is very rare in the Mortal Kombat games.
The final fighter shown off in this Kombat Kast was the Shaolin Monk Kung Jin, who uses a literal Bow Staff to both riddle enemies with arrows and crack heads open. His Ancestral Variation is a hell of a lot like Green Arrow from Injustice, with Kung Jin being able to toggle between damaging Fire Arrows, Drain Arrows which sap the enemy’s super meter as well as Stun Arrows which stun, as the name suggest. Kung Jin can also fire his arrows in a variety of different directions both in the air and on the ground, making this one the optimal Variation for zoning. As for melee, Bojustu is all about using the staff part of his bow to deal major damage. This Variation gives Kung Jin massive range, comparable to Takeda’s whips and gives him plenty of mixup options with his staff. He also gets an aerial fireball with this Variation, to not leave him completely lacking in projectiles. The last Variation is Shoalin, which makes the archer very similar to his fellow monk, Kung Lao. In this mode, Kung Jin gains a chakram which acts a lot like Kung Lao’s hat, with it hitting high and low based on the normal you use, as well as hitting like a boomerang if you use the EX version of the chakram toss. Kung Jin also gets an improved Shaolin Kick, very similar to Kung Lao’s.
In terms of other information revealed during the Kombat Kast, Test your Luck functions very similar to its MK9 counterpart, with players picking the number of random modifiers which occur during battle and fighting it out while a bunch of crazy effects impact the battle. Ones shown in the stream had players being able to collect a token to do an instant kill, or charging their attacks with ice which would eventually freeze the enemy after a certain number of hits. In Kustom Kombat, you can now pick the modifiers, giving the players the opportunity to create ridiculous game types to play with their friends. According to the devs, you unlock modifiers by completing the Daily Towers which appear in the Challenge Tower mode and you can only play this mode offline. What was also interesting to note was that certain modifiers involved certain characters’ moves coming in as assists, with Kabal’s spinning blade and Cyrax’s bombs being selectable on the modifier screen. This could point to their inclusion in the main game, or it could signal that they have been downgraded to being just assists. Hopefully, we will find out more in less than a month’s time.
As for the final bits of news from the livestream, old PS3 fightsticks will work with the PS4 version of Mortal Kombat X, which is good news for all you diehard fighting game fans from last gen. Players are not restricted to picking characters who are canonically associated with a certain Faction in Faction Wars, so you can have Scorpion working with Special Forces or Cassie Cage with the Lin Kuei. Moreover, NetherRealm have detailed how ragequitters will be dealt with online, with quitters’ heads exploding on the other player’s screen and rewarding them with a Flawless Victory. These are known as ‘Quitalities’ and NetherRealm chose these as they preferred rewarding the player who continued to play with something funny, rather than penalising the quitter by blocking them from playing for a set time or something like that.
No news on when the next Kombat Kast is but with the game being 25 days away from launch, expect at least one or two more before we finally get Mortal Kombat X in our hands.