News Archive - December, 2006
Happy Holidays - Eight Years of Mortal Kombat Online!

As we reach the peak of yet another winter holiday season, we also have reached another milestone for the site. Eight years ago today, MK5.ORG (as Mortal Kombat Online was then known) opened its doors. Starting out as a news site primarily concerned with what would eventually be called Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, the site has evolved into the most trusted name in news and discussion for the entire Mortal Kombat franchise. This year has seen a lot of news, ranging from big stories like the release of the last Mortal Kombat game for the PS2/Xbox/GameCube generation, to personal stories such as the resignation of this site's former webmaster and cofounder. Through it all, we've maintained a core commitment to the fans of Mortal Kombat, and have striven to continue to be your source for all news Mortal Kombat.

So, where do we go from here? The Nintendo Wii version of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon will be coming in the new year, and further down the road we may even see hints and teases towards the next generation of Mortal Kombat games. Who knows? We may even see a surprise or two down the road. For now, though, we will continue to strive to serve you, the Mortal Kombat community, as best we can, and look towards the future of the Mortal Kombat franchise!

So, from all of us at Mortal Kombat Online, to all of you whereever you are, have a safe and joyous holiday season.

MK Armageddon Wins Best Fighting Game For PS2 for 2006 by IGN
The latest award to be given to MK: Armageddon is the Best Fighting Game for PS2 for 2006, by IGN. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to have a category for Best Fighting Game for either the Xbox or Xbox 360 consoles. From the article:
Everything comes to an end at some time, and while some things go out gently, others go out with a fierce bang. Midway decided to literally bring the Mortal Kombat universe to a close with the release of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, a massive compilation of almost fifteen years of storylines, characters and martial arts.

As a result, players have 62 classic characters to choose from, which is perhaps the largest number of fighters ever available in a MK game, or perhaps any brawler. Players that tire of the included characters can use the extremely deep Kreate-A-Fighter mode to make their own warriors, complete with ending bio. Armageddon also features a new diversionary mode with Motor Kombat and a newly redesigned Konquest mode that's inspired by the action based MK: Shaolin Monks. Oh yeah, did we mention newly redesigned finishing moves based on the player's skill instead of pre-canned animations? You'll never look at fatalities the same way again, especially once you figure out the best way to chain together eight or nine hit death combos.
Thanks go to MK Online forum/chat member for the tip on this update!
Cinder and Sub-Zero Post MKA Holiday Wallpaper!

Just in time for the holiday, Cinder from the official Midway Forums, has posted a new winter-themed wallpaper for MK fans!

Over a background of white snow rests a snowman decorated in various gear from Mortal Kombat characters such as Raiden, Kabal and Scorpion. In the top left hand corner a cursive inscription reads "Have a flawless Holiday Season and an exciting New Year!"; underneath is the Midway logo.

This wallpaper comes in two sizes; 1280x1024 and a smaller 1024x768 version. To view the thread in which these images were originally posted, click here.

Thanks to a few unregistered MKO readers for sending in these leads!

EDIT - 23 December 2006 11:56 PM CST - In addition to the wallpaper posted by Cinder in the Midway forums, Sub-Zero has posted another holiday-themed wallpaper on his MySpace site! This wallpaper has the headless body of the snowman from the previous wallpaper in the background, while Sub-Zero forms the head with his ice powers in the foreground.

To visit Sub-Zero's MySpace where the wallpapers were posted, click here and choose the latest blog entry.

Our thanks to forum/chat member for letting us know about the other wallpaper!

UMK3 Wins Best Fighting Game of 2006 at GameSpot!

As 2006 comes to a close, the Mortal Kombat series makes yet another apperance in the form of a nominee for fighting game of the year. However, this time neither of the recently released MK games (Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and Mortal Kombat: Unchained) are up for the award. Instead, the classic fighter from the 1990's, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is, in the form of it's reapperance on the XBox 360 console's XBox Live Arcade. The potential award comes from gaming preview and review site, GameSpot and their Best Games and Worst Games of 2006 awards. UMK3, of course, makes its appearance in the Fighting genre.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (X360)
Publisher: Midway Developer: Digital Eclipse

You can drop a Mortal Kombat machine on some dude's head from the other side of the planet. Does any more really need to be said? This is an excellent rendition of a true fighting classic.

The game will be up against other ports of older games from years gone by, such as Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX and Tekken: Dark Resurrection along with newer games such as Dead Or Alive 4 and King Of Fighters 2006. To vote for your favourite game, click here and click the large vote button.

Thanks to forum member for informing us of this latest MK-related award nomination.

EDIT: It seems the results are now in, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 has won the award for the best fighting game of 2006!

After the subpar release of Street Fighter 2, we were worried about the future of arcade fighters on Xbox Live Arcade. Then Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 came along and did everything right, with essentially perfect emulation, entertaining achievements, and an underlying fighting game that may look a little long in the tooth but has proven its longevity with matches raging endlessly on Xbox Live. In fact, given Street Fighter 2's latency problems online, we were pleased to see just how well UMK3 works over the Internet. The game's AI may quickly wear a little thin, but when you've got an endless supply of willing, skilled challengers to play against, who cares?

Congratulations to the MK team, Midway and Digital Eclipse for this achievement!

Midway Posts Kenshis Bio from Mortal Kombat: Armageddon!

One of the major announcements from Fight Night was the news that Midway would in fact be providing character bios for Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. Today, the fabled question mark page was updated, revealing the contents of the final question mark box: Kenshi's bio! Kenshi's bio details what happened to him after leaving Outworld with Sub-Zero and up to the events of MK: Armageddon. From the bio:

With Shang Tsung rumored dead, I had no further need of the Special Forces. And although I had an ally in Sub-Zero, I had no desire to join the Lin Kuei. I returned to Earthrealm, content to be a lone warrior once again. Guided by my ancestors' sword, I hunted the wicked, slaying those who would threaten the meek. In the dark, my blindness was an advantage. I struck unseen and toppled many criminal organizations from the safety of the night.

As I fought against the underworld, I intercepted encrypted communications to Mavado from a secretive clan known as the Red Dragon. The messages revealed an elaborate plan designed to ensnare one man: an Edenian half-god named Taven. The Red Dragon were in a frenzy, and it seemed as though something very important was underway. Before I could determine the location of the Red Dragon base, however, I was met by a former ally, Johnny Cage. He believed that the fallen Elder God Shinnok had resurfaced and wanted to gather the Forces of Light to discuss a battle plan. I refused the invitation, not wanting to get involved in yet another pointless melee between "good" and "evil". I had my own agenda: bring down the Red Dragon and finish Mavado.

Alone in the Botan Jungle, stalking Red Dragon scouts, I was overwhelmed by an intense psychic scream. I became aware of Taven and Daegon and their quest to slay the fire elemental, Blaze. My sword also heard the scream and pleaded with me to ally with the Forces of Light once more. I had received insight from my blade before, but this time it seemed drawn to kombat. It was as if I could feel the sword pulling me towards some epic clash.

I will not deny its cry for blood. Though Johnny Cage is gather the Forces of Light, I will be the one to take them into battle. The lone warrior will become a leader of many.

To see the question mark page in its entirety, click here. This is the first of hopefully 62 bios; as more are posted online, we'll be sure to report it!

Our thanks to forum member for the heads-up on the first of the bios!

MK: Armageddon Nominated for Best Fighting Game of 2006 by 1UP!

Hot on the heels of the Spike TV Video Game Awards show this past week, another video game awards ceremony has announced its nominees for the best games of 2006. This time, it's 1UP announcing their nominees, and Mortal Kombat: Armageddon has been nominated for Best Fighting/Wrestling Game! Like the Spike TV Video Game Awards, these awards are voted on by the fans; however, the awards voting page does not give a date by which the votes need to be entered in by. So, don't hesitate to head on over to put in your vote!

To vote in the 2006 1UP Awards, click here. Our congratulations to the MK: Armageddon development team for this nomination, and good luck!

MK: Armageddon Now (Really) Playable on Xbox 360!
360 KOMBAT!

After a false alarm two days ago concerning backwards compatibility for Mortal Kombat: Armageddon on the Xbox 360, the day has now actually finally arrived. Major Nelson of Xbox Live announced today that the latest backwards-compatibility update has hit the Xbox 360, and among the games now playable is MK: Armageddon!

While writing this update, I have had MK: Armageddon playing on my own Xbox 360, and while the game so far appears to have no major glitches, the emulation isn't 100% perfect. For example, the title screen flickers badly. However, in what little gameplay I have had to try, I have not noticed any glitches. Keep in mind, though, that the emulation was handled by Microsoft and not Midway themselves.

If you're an Xbox 360 owner and have Xbox Live Silver or Gold, your 360 will download the needed update automatically. Otherwise, click here to download a CD image file with the updates.

To read Major Nelson's blog post about the backwards compatibility update, click here.

Our thanks to forum member for letting us know about this important update, and again, thanks to all of you who signed the petition to help bring MK: Armageddon to the Xbox 360!

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon Soon Playable on Xbox 360!

After the petitions to Microsoft, and two months of waiting, the day Mortal Kombat fans owning Xbox 360 consoles have been waiting for has arrived. Microsoft has added Mortal Kombat: Armageddon to the official backwards compatibility list for Xbox 360! Now Xbox 360 owners without an original Xbox can play the Xbox version of MK: Armageddon, provided they have some form of Xbox Live membership, download the backwards-compatibility update from the Xbox website, or order the update on CD from the site.

To see the full Xbox 360 backwards-compatibility list, click here.

Our thanks to forum member for the heads-up on this important update, and our thanks to everyone who signed the backwards-compatibility petition, for helping show Microsoft that there was a demand for this game and helping make a difference!

UPDATE - 3:14 PM CST - Apparently this update is only for Great Britain and possibly Europe. The US compatibility list is still only listed as recent as August, and US 360 users are commenting that there is no update yet. With Great Britain updated, however, we're certain that the US update can't be far behind; we'll keep an eye on the US list, and when it changes we'll report it here.

UPDATE - 10:39 PM CST - MK Online forum member redsaleen02 makes the valid point that MK: Armageddon was not released for Xbox in PAL territories, including Great Britain and Europe; my apologies for forgetting this crucial detail. However, there might be indications that this is a valid list that was posted early; once we learn that this list is implemented in NTSC territories we'll be sure to report it here.

GameStop Announces Tentative MK: Armageddon Wii Pre-Release Date!

Video game retailer GameStop has released new information and a preorder option for the Nintendo Wii version of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon! The tentative shipping date for this game is March 1st, 2007. There is currently no box art posted or ESRB rating given (though it can be safely assumed it will mirror the PS2 and XBox versions, in regards to both) and any additional Wii features will remain a mystery for now as the game information is identical to its counterparts. Regardless of this factor, the site is now accepting pre-orders for the game at a cost of $49.99 in U.S. dollars. A mirror of this page can be found here, at EB Games' website. We will monitor the shipping date closely, and should it change the updated information will be announced.

To view the Wii version of MK: Armageddon's page at GameStop, click here.

Thanks to forum member for notifying us to this development.

IGN Posts Mortal Kombat: Unchained Review!

Popular gaming site IGN has followed their counterparts and posted up a review of the latest Mortal Kombat title, MK: Unchained! The IGN review of the PSP port/upgrade of MK: Deception is as thorough as the Gamespot counterpart with a similar overall score being given in the end of things. MK: Unchained mustered a 7.0/10 (translates to "Decent" by IGN standards) after the review cites such issues as the extremely long loading times (from 20-30 seconds between even the most common of actions) and the poor camera control in both fighting modes and Konquest mode. Below are some selections from the article:

Sounds like a much more improved version of Deception, right? Well, it would be, if it wasn't for the fact that the translation to the PSP is rife with issues. First of all, the control scheme can leave much to be desired. While the analog nub is okay, it's not as precise as you'd need it to be to accurately pull off some moves. That leaves the directional pad for pulling off sidesteps, inputting special attack commands and other things. Of course, as most PSP owners know, the directional pad can be horrendous without a third party peripheral, especially for fighting games where tight control is a must. If you don't happen to have one, you may be extremely frustrated during gameplay. The same can be said when you're trying to accurately pull off fatalities or hara-kiris, which require accurate key input to trigger the animation.

Another issue comes with the ridiculous load times that are attached to Unchained. You'll commonly suffer your way through twenty to thirty second loads for almost everything, and they happen with just about everything. Whether it's moving from one fight to another, or loading up a new opponent in a mini-game, you're stuck waiting the UMD to load up everything. After a while, this constant grind is extremely frustrating and tedious. What's worse, it makes everything, from the fighting to the mini-games, feel slow and much older than they actually are. Fans of the original title will also be somewhat disappointed to find that the multiplayer options for Unchained have only been relegated to Ad Hoc mode. It would've been much better had it also supported Infrastructure mode, especially considering that was a feature for Deception, but for some reason it's left out entirely.

For the most part, Unchained looks okay, as long as the camera is pulled back to a medium view of a stage. Stages look nice on the PSP, and the various environmental hazards come across particularly well on the system's screen. The same can be said about Fatalities and Hara-kiris, which look particularly harsh. Character models can look relatively good from a distance, although if you watch the camera zoom in tight on a fighter, especially at the end of a match, you'll notice a lot of low resolution textures and a generally bland appearance for many fighters. At least the sound hasn't been impacted with the move from the console to the handheld. Everything from the screams of characters to the environmental sound effects have been recreated without anything being lost, although the poor voiceover work from the Konquest mode is still a bit underwhelming.

To read the entire review, click here.

Thanks to forum member for noticing the posting of this review.

MK: Armageddon Wins Best Fighting Game at Spike TV Video Game Awards!

Spike TV held its annual Video Game Awards show last night, and according to a report filed by GameSpot, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon walked away with the award for Best Fighting Game! The game beat such other fighting games as Tekken: Dark Resurrection and Dead or Alive 4.

The actual awards show will be televised on Wednesday, December 13th at 10 PM EST. Our congratulations to Midway and the MK development team for winning this award!

To read GameSpot's report of the event in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum member for letting us know about the results of this awards show!

Midway Posts Holiday Video With Scorpion And A Turkey!
Happy Holidays
Through several websites (such as GameVideos and YouTube), Midway has released a video of Scorpion doing a Fatality on - get this - a turkey! The turkey was not alive to begin with in the video. Fans of the game will note that some Liu Kang sound effects are used when the turkey gets Fatalitied!
Registered MK Online users may download the video here: You can also download the video at GameVideos or YouTube. Thanks go to dvntspwn for being the first to send in the News Lead on this!