News Archive - November, 2005
MKSM Behind The Scenes Videos on PSM Holiday DVD
Screens from Behind the Scenes!
Just in case you haven't had a chance to see those behind the scenes videos from MK: Shaolin Monks, you still have one more opportunity. The latest issue of PSM (Issue #105, Holiday 2005) has the "Overview" as well as the "Exploring the Worlds" videos, complete with video footage of the game as well as interviews with Ed Boon, Shaun Himmerick, John Vogel, Tony Goskie, and cinematic director Marty Stoltz.
So there's your screenshots from the DVD, including the menu, as well as the cover/disc/etc. so you know what to look for when you head out to the newsstands. Available now!
TRMK Reviews MK: Deception on X-Box 360

Over on fellow Mortal Kombat website TRMK, Patrick McCarron has posted a review of Midway's fighting game Mortal Kombat: Deception on the Microsoft X-Box 360. As reported earlier, X-Box 360 performs its backwards compatibility via software instead of hardware, so each game requires a specific download of compatibility code. Despite Microsoft's assurance of certification, it doesn't appear that MK: Deception fared too well in translation. From the article:

The game starts off with the intro video and main menu, which looks pretty crisp and clear being rendered at my Xbox 360's resolution of 1080i. All the game's Profile functions appear to work just fine, and I can connect fine to Xbox Live and search for games. The Krypt and special Kontent areas all appear to be working as expected. Even the Area 51 demo appears to work perfect. Seems too good to be true, and it is.

I then decide to fire up a game in Arcade mode, and am presented with the character selection screen followed by the tournment ladder. Immediately I can see the increased quality of rendering the game at 1080i in the details of the tournament ladder mountain and the characters. I was really excited until the game actually loaded up a fight scene.

The fight scenes are emulated fairly pretty poor. The game camera keeps getting blocked by polygons that pop over the action constantly. The character I was playing with would get some polygons stretching out past the camera view. It would only get worse the next round, because as I find some stages are worse than others. The game started to slows down and redrawns polygons across the camera surface. Totally making the game unplayable. A positive note is while the screen was clear the details on the characters and surrounding stage really stand out, their rendering quality looks really great in High Definition 1080i. It was a welcome surprise, that should look amazing once the bugs are all fixed.

...

Overall the emulation for the backwards compatibility needs some work. So much so I'm surprised this got past their QC department. But once the issues are resolved by Microsoft, all MK fans should be in business with the 360.

Provided Microsoft patches their backwards-compatibility code releases, as McCarron stated, this shouldn't be a problem. However, in the meantime, it's obvious that MK: Deception should not be considered a perfect translation in the interim.

To read the original article in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum members _JRF_ and Shinnokxz for the heads-up on this news story!

Mortal Kombat: Deception Compatible with X-Box 360

According to IGN, Microsoft has posted the complete list of X-Box games that will run on the X-Box 360 through its backwards compatibility software. While Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, and the Midway Arcade Treasures games are not listed, Mortal Kombat: Deception is on the list.

In addition, the official X-Box site has a Q&A; posted with Todd Holmdahl, in which the particulars of X-Box 360's backwards-compatibility are discussed. From the article:

Xbox.com: How is your backward compatibility solution going to work?

Todd: As you've heard from us before, backward compatibility on Xbox 360 is done through software. Now that we've solved the technical challenge and the emulator is working, we're certifying each original Xbox title by hand to run on Xbox 360.

What I'm really proud to tell you and your readers is that it's easy to get the emulation software, and it's free. We'll give gamers a choice--you can get the latest software updates from Xbox Live, burn a CD from xbox.com or sign up on Xbox.com for a CD that can be delivered to your home at a nominal shipping and handling fee. Once you get the CD, put it in your Xbox 360 and you're ready to go.

...

Xbox.com: What if I put in a game that isn't backward compatible?

Todd: I want to clarify--if a game isn't on the list at Xbox.com/Games, it won't run on your Xbox 360 console. Putting in a game that's not on the list will give you a message saying that the game is not currently supported on Xbox 360 and point you to Xbox.com/Games for more information.

We're working hard to determine the next batch of backward compatible titles, and would love to get feedback directly from gamers as well. We'll have a place on Xbox.com where gamers can tell us their thoughts as we get closer to launch.

...

Xbox.com: How will you deliver the emulators for backward compatibility?

Todd: There are several different ways that you can get them:

For Xbox Live members (either Gold or Silver members), just connect your Xbox 360 console to Xbox Live and insert an original Xbox game. The system will automatically check if you have the latest emulation software, download it to your Xbox 360 console as part of a system update if you don't, reboot, and start loading your original Xbox game.

Those who are not part of our Xbox Live network will be able to download the emulators from Xbox.com, and burn them onto a CD to insert into your Xbox 360 where it will auto-install the emulator. Or you can go to Xbox.com and simply sign up for a CD to be sent to your home for a nominal shipping and handling fee.

Thus, it seems apparent that while MK: Deception is the only Mortal Kombat game that will be immediately available on the X-Box 360, there's always the possibility that others will become playable over time, especially if fan demand warrants it. We'll be keeping an eye on this list; as we learn more, we'll be sure to pass the news on to you!

To read the IGN article that led to this story, click here. To see the full list of X-Box 360 compatible games, click here. To read the interview with Todd Holmdahl in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum member ShaolinChuan for the heads-up on this important news story!

TRMK Interviews Eclipse, MAT: Extended Play Developers
Handheld retro-classics - MK 1-3 Included
Our friends over at TRMK sent word over to us of a recent interview that they conducted with Eclipse, the development team responsible for the upcoming December 12th, 2005 release of Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play for the Sony Playstation Portable System. The interview is now published over on their site and provides an in-depth look on Eclipse's opinions of the returning popularity of retro-arcade classics, the strengths of the Sony PSP system itself, and a nice look on how the first three Mortal Kombat titles receive special attention in this handheld port due out in time for the holidays. From their interview:
TRMK: Arguably, there is no franchise that is more important to Midway than the Mortal Kombat franchise. Have you been able to focus some extra time with the initial trilogy of Mortal Kombat games?

Joe Bonar: Oh yes, these games were certainly the most challenging ones to get working properly on the PSP. That happens when the arcade machine is in some ways more powerful than the hardware we're working on.

Kelly Tainton: While the entire team that worked on this title took a lot of time and care to have the games come out correctly, we had one guy in particular that really grabbed the three MKs by the horn and got them nice and polished. Everything from getting the shadows to display properly, to having the ground scroll at the same speed was done by one guy on the team (with a little help of course). Those three games wouldn't look like they do on the psp without his care and attention.

To read the interview over at TRMK in full, click here.
Midway Releases 12 New MAT: Deluxe Edition Screenshots!

Midway has released twelve new screenshots from their upcoming collection of arcade classics for the PC: Midway Arcade Treasures: Deluxe Edition. These shots, as before, simply illustrate the range of games that will be available in this collection; Midway Arcade Treasures: Deluxe Edition, as reported earlier, will contain all of the games previously seen in Midway Arcade Treasures 2 and 3 for consoles.

The game is currently scheduled to be released this Tuesday, November 14th.

Midway Games Reports Third Quarter 2005 Results
New MK Details
Midway Games today released its results for their third quarter of the three months ending period that ended on September 30th, 2005. Of special interest to Mortal Kombat fans, the following points are mentioned:
  • Midway launched Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks for PlayStation 2 and Xbox in North America and Europe to critical acclaim, with review scores averaging above 80% for the title on Gamerankings.com. Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks was a top-10 selling title in the US on both PlayStation 2 and Xbox for the month of September according to NPD Funworld, and spent three weeks as a top-10 selling title in the United Kingdom, according to Chart Track.
  • Mortal Kombat: Deception, released in October 2004, recently attained Greatest Hits status on the PlayStation 2 and Platinum Hits status on the Xbox

  • Midway Arcade Treasures: Deluxe Edition for PC, and its first PlayStation Portable (PSP) title MidwayArcade Treasures: Extended Play. Midway now expects to release Mortal Kombat: Deception Unchained for the PSP during the first quarter of 2006

Net revenues for this period were up 74% from last year in the same quarter, totaling $17 million in this third quarter. Looks like Midway Games is having a good run. To check out the press release in its entirety, cuments/MWY%20Q3%2005.pdf"> click here.

Thanks goes out to our own MKO chat/forum user DECEPTION for the heads up on yet another positive note for Midway.

Pics of Wave 3 of the Jazwares Mortal Kombat Figures
Over at Action-Figure.com, they released some Wave 3 preview pictures of the Jazwares action figures for MK: Shaolin Monks and MK: Deception.

Check out Kano and Johnny Cage, who are in the early stages and haven't been painted yet, as well as Reptile and Noob Saibot, who have obviously come further along.



To see ALL of the pictures, visit the original site here. A huge thanks to MK Online forum user MKPSP for the heads up on this!
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