News Archive - February, 2014
Virgin Gaming Adds Mortal Kombat to Cash League
Mortal Kombat Joins Virgin Gaming Cash Play Competition

Virgin Gaming have added Mortal Kombat (2011) to their organized competitive challenge platform. The registration based system boasts a host of features, most prominently the ability to challenge rivals for cash in 'money matches'.

Virgin profiles record player stats, allowing competitors to rate the quality of players as part of a democratic reputation system. Also recorded are win/loss histories, and an automated skill level assigned for matchmaking purposes.

The system currently supports play for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Setup instructions are available on the website [console links provided]. Players must be over 18 to register.

Mortal Kombat Online stresses the importance of gaming responsibly. If you or someone close to you is experiencing difficulty moderating play, seek out more information from outlets like The National Council for Problem Gambling or Gamblers Anonymous.

Kommunity: Mortal Kombat: The One Teaser Trailer
Sub-Zero features in NYU student film trailer - Mortal Kombat: The One!

In 2010, an unlicensed viral video called Mortal Kombat: Rebirth sent a shockwave through the movie-gaming world. New York University film major Anthony Pellino will soon embark on his own unofficial journey to realize a unique live-action adaptation in: Mortal Kombat: The One.

The One exists only as a teaser trailer for now [embedded above], but is expected to unfold into a 12-15 minute short film. For Pellino, the student movie is a passion project. As a self-professed "crazed" fan since age five, he will write and direct a story inspired by the plot of the original trilogy of games.

Set a few years before the 10th tournament in Manhattan, Rayden is desperate. He has very few leads on potential fighters, and he knows this is his last chance. He needs the best. By blackmailing an even more desperate on-the-run Sub-Zero, (running from the Cyber Initiative) Rayden promises Sub-Zero protection from the Lin-Kuei in exchange for services.

Together they devise ways to lure the very small list of fighters they have into joining their cause and training them up until the tournament.

Centred around Raiden and Sub-Zero; the short is also set to feature heroic Shaolin Monks: Liu Kang & Kai. Budgetary constraints will determine whether additional characters can be featured, with a crowd sourced epilogue featuring Shao Kahn, Kitana and a Reptile cameo in planning. Update: You can now support the project by giving to the IndieGoGo Campaign.

Of his goals with the material, he told Mortal Kombat Online: "With an incredibly talented group of people on board, we hope to make something the fans can appreciate, even though it does not exactly follow the timeline of MK."

Pellino shared location photos with Mortal Kombat Online [click thumbnails below]. Manhattan club Slake and Brooklyn concert arena Olivia will provide space for filming.

Could Anthony Pellino be the next Kevin Tancharoen? Check out the trailer for Mortal Kombat: The One and share your impressions with us on the forums.

IGN Report Kiefer Sutherland Mortal Kombat Role
Star Voicing Unknown Role

Better to rule in Hell...?Rumors of an anticipated Mortal Kombat sequel have been circling for quite some time, but IGN may have cracked the first concrete confirmation of the game's current production.

Kiefer Sutherland has reportedly made reference to completing voice work for Mortal Kombat during an interview about his role in the latest Metal Gear Solid [V: The Phantom Pain].

Comparing the parts, the 24 star told IGN, "I did Mortal Kombat, and that's such a huge game, but it’s so not like [MGS5]." Elaborating, Sutherland said he completed his Kombat role "... pretty quickly..." -- a contrast to working on Metal Gear Solid.

With Metal Gear's propensity for ambitious, spiralling character content, the recently reported 2 hour campaign mode may not indicate an accurate scope of contrast between the two roles. Which begs the question -- if Sutherland is speaking of a new game, what role will he take?

2011's franchise reboot took the Mortal Kombat plot back to the original "Trilogy" franchise, leading most speculation to a similar pseudo-remake of 1997's Mortal Kombat 4. The plot of that game revolved around the return of fallen Elder God Shinnok, whose evil had allowed him to rule the Netherrealm. Could the sometimes sinister Sutherland be the voice of MK's devil? Join the speculation on the forums.

Streaming Mortal Kombat via Steam - Is It Worth It?
A closer look at game streaming.

Last year, Valve Software announced that they were introducing their own entries into the world of gaming consoles. Their approach differs from that of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo; they have gone the way of Android, where they have created their own Linux distribution called SteamOS, and are encouraging PC manufacturers to create their own hardware boxes called Steam Machines. While SteamOS can run any Steam game that has been ported over to Linux, its other big selling point is In-Home Streaming, which will allow players to control and play a game from one system while the game itself runs from a second system. Thus, a person with a Steam Machine could play a Windows game from a Windows-based PC on the same network.

Also last year, NetherRealm Studios surprised many fans by releasing a port of Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition to PC, thus ending a fifteen year drought of PC ports of Mortal Kombat games. Later in the year, they also released Injustice: Gods Among Us to PC as well. As a result, it would be fair to say that the next Mortal Kombat will likely eventually find its way to PC.

While both games are available for PC, they are only available for Windows. NetherRealm Studios have been mum as to whether they would support SteamOS. Assuming that they would not, I was curious: would a Mortal Kombat game be playable on a Steam Machine via streaming?

Recently, Valve brought their In-Home Streaming service into beta, and gave access to anyone who joined the group called Steam In-Home Streaming. One does not have to run SteamOS in order to stream; as long as you have Steam (with the appropriate betas enabled) installed on more than one PC on your network, you can stream between the two. I decided to give it a test.

For reference, I used my desktop PC and my personal laptop to conduct this test. My desktop PC is a custom-built machine with an Athlon II X2 245 (2.9 GHz) CPU, 6 GB of RAM, and an nVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti video card. The laptop is a Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420 with an Intel Core i3 2350M (2.3 GHz) CPU, 4 GB of RAM, and integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000. Mortal Kombat runs close to console speeds on my desktop PC at 1080p, with the exception of arenas with a lot of activity in the background.

I ended up testing it three times, with different variations. In the end, the answer I came back with was, "At this stage, it's not ready for prime time."

Given my setup, the game ran extremely slow. The CPU is the biggest bottleneck; not only did it have to run the game, it had to push the game audio over to the client and re-render the video in the laptop's resolution. The network speed matters as well; as slow as my game was, it was almost unbearable when I tested via wifi (802.11N). I ended up plugging my laptop directly into the router in order to get some semblance of a good test. Checking the Steam discussion communities shows that this is hardly an isolated problem.

Other problems can be explained away via glitches in the beta client, that may be fixed upon release. For example, my 360 gamepad was not immediately recognized, and did not work until I actually responded to a couple of prompts using the keyboard. In addition, the game does not cleanly exit; more than once I had to kill the streaming client process on the laptop to get it to exit properly.

To give everyone an idea of what the final results looked like, I used my iPhone to record the game playing a demo match streamed to my laptop.

In the end, I simply cannot recommend playing Mortal Kombat via In-Home Streaming. It runs too slow to be enjoyable; even people with hardware more powerful than what I am using have noticed the severe gameplay lag. Unfortunately, unless NetherRealm decides to port their next game to SteamOS, it looks like it won't be feasible to play it on your Steam Machine.

Have your own experiences or thoughts? Share them with us on the forums!

Injustice: Spawn Creator Says Get Him In!
Todd McFarlane Talks Spawn as Injustice Guest Character

It's a testament to the staying power of the 90s juggernaut that -- despite having very little to do with the DC Comics Universe -- Spawn remains a popular fan choice for Injustice: Gods Among Us.

Never one to shy away from a fight with corporate powerhouses; Spawn creator Todd McFarlane quipped, "Get him in there!", when asked about the game at the recent Toy Fair.

On the hypothetical unlockable appearance, McFarlane joked with GamerFitNation: "And then he takes down everybody! ... Becomes the baddest ass in the whole bunch there."

There's certainly precedent for Spawn taking on the world of fighting games. In 2003, he was the Xbox exclusive character in Namco's Soulcalibur II. The comic book icon has also been the subject of his own exploits, fighting in games like: Spawn: The Eternal and Spawn: In The Demon's Hand.

Despite being one of comics' most famous independent creations, there have been two meetings between Spawn and the DC Universe. In 1994; Spawn/Batman [pictured top] brought the infernal anti-hero into conflict with The Dark Knight under the all-star creative team of Frank Miller and Todd McFarlane. If nothing else, the infamous crossover provided a knock-down, drag-out example of what might happen in a DLC Injustice meet-up. A second one-shot: Batman/Spawn: War Devil was also published by DC Comics.

Dark justice unites in Batman/Spawn: War Devil.

Batman and Hell figured closely into Injustice's only guest character to date: Mortal Kombat's Scorpion proving a popular addition as the highest selling downloadable content.

Would you like to see Spawn take on the DC Universe? Share your thoughts on the forums!

Blind Kenshi Kompletes Expert Playthrough
The Incredible Listening Technique of Blind Master: Carlos Vasquez!

If you think you have trouble beating Mortal Kombat with Expert difficulty settings -- try doing it without looking at the screen! That's the extra tier of challenge Metalhead666 -- better known as Carlos "OBSKHRattlehead" Vasquez -- plays with every session! If you think that sounds like an impossible task; watch as he breezes through the entire arcade ladder with - you guessed it - the blind sword saint: Kenshi!

Raw gameplay footage runs the risk of downplaying the incredible feat, but anyone still unconvinced can put their faith in the games developers! NetherRealm Studios were so impressed with this rare talent, they turned reporter to interview Carlos after he competed at the 2013 Evo World Championship. [Note: He made the finals of his pool!]

In the interview; Vasquez explained the condition called closed-angle glaucoma: A painful ocular disorder that prevents fluid flowing between the iris and cornea, causing severe pressure in the eye. The condition first struck at age 10, resulting in damage to the optic nerve that has, over time, degraded from short and blurred sight, to completely robbing him of his vision.

As a dedicated fan of fighting games, Carlos Vasquez wasn't about to give up playing. If this conjures visions of the great blind masters who've harnessed their other senses -- you're on the right track! Metalhead666 first introduced himself to Mortal Kombat Online in 2012 [read more]; explaining the specifics of his listening technique to curious users:

Well, the thing about this game is that the sound effects help a lot. I have a set of speakers in each side of my tv, which lets me know when I, or my opponent, is to the left or to the right of the screen. If you listen, you can tell how each fighter's grunts and [battlecries] come from where ever each fighter stands. As for combos, I come here and read the button configurations and then I listen to how they are performed on youtube, and finally, I go and try them out on practice mode.

Metalhead666 demonstrates his listening technique.

Having a technique is one thing, but mastering it is another. Armed with the knowledge and sounds of gameplay, Carlos applied himself like any tournament level player must. Kombat Houston provided a dojo for his training, where he honed precision timing and inputs equal to any player.

With Injustice: Gods Among Us announced for Evo 2014 [full story], "OBSKHRattlehead" will be able to attack the World Championships according to plan. Guided by his example, Mortal Kombat Online will be listening to find out how he does!

Follow and support Carlos @OBSKHRattlehead, or by watching more of his videos on YouTube. Why not try his unique playing method and share your experiences on the forums!

Injustice Mobile App Adds Playable Darkseid & More
New God Darkseid Joins Injustce Mobile App Playable Roster!

The release of Ultimate Edition last November may have signalled an apparent end to new content -- but Injustice: Gods Among Us is still finding fresh life on mobile platforms!

As reported by WasdUK; the Injustice App has added Darkseid to the playable roster in a new update! The villainous New God previously appeared in Injustice arena attacks, and as the boss of the 2008 NetherRealm made crossover: Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe [read more].

Darkseid joins the App [Source: AwkwardSloth]

Gameskinny reports the 1.8 upgrade also includes; Boss Solomon Grundy, Containment Suit Doomsday, #600 Anniversary Wonder Woman and a balancing patch to Scorpion.

Click the thumbnails for screenshots via Test Your Might & GameSkinny. Thanks to Mortal Kombat Online users Zmoke & Phantoms for contributing to the update. Discuss all things Gods Among Us on the DC Universe Injustice forum,

Mileena & Jade Join Pop Culture Shock Klassics Series
Lethal Ladies Mileena & Jade Make Anticipated Arrival in UMK3 Statue Line!

The Mortal Kombat Klassics line of 1:4 scale Pop Culture Shock Collectibles is set to see a much anticipated expansion with launch of two new fighters! Famed femme fatales Mileena & Jade are joining the retro series inspired by Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3!

Pre-order for both statues launches February 17 - with Jade available exclusively through the statue manufacturer! The staff wielding warrior will be in limited supply at 200 pieces against the more widely available Mileena [450] so you will not want to delay!

Both statues loom large at an approximate 19" (48cm), wielding the weapons that have made them famous! Mileena not only possesses her trademark sais, but also an interchangeable unmasked variant head that reveals a wicked grin! As Pop Culture Shock President Jerry Macaluso puts it, "She truly is beauty AND the beast!"

Despite their divergent availability, both limited statues retail for $349.99. Pre-order for Mileena promises a 12% discount, with Jade a 10% reduction. The high-end statues are expected to ship Q4 2014.

Pop Culture Shock Collectibles offer high-end Mortal Kombat collectibles. Other statues in the Klassics line include: Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Reptile and Human Smoke. Other products include: Kitana, Sub-Zero (New 2014) & Prince Goro!

While on Mortal Kombat Online - check out the PCSC factory error that created a sensation: One-Off Khrome! Get more Mileena via our Valentine's Day inspired Art of Kombat feature! Register to submit your best Jade artwork to be featured in March!

Stay tuned to the Media & Merchandise forum for more updates and a chance to win a Pop Culture Shock Klassic statue! Keep up to date on portable devices by following us on Facebook and @MK_Online.

Art of Kombat: Hunka, Hunka Tarkatan Love
Mortal Kombat Online Celebrates Valentines Day with a Lovers Gallery!

The day of romance has come to Earthrealm, and we want to propagate that lovin' throughout Mortal Kombat Online! What better way to celebrate St. Valentine's Day than with artistic tributes to two of Mortal Kombat's most forbidden lovers?

They came from two walks of life -- blade crossed lovers locked in passionate embrace! Impaled by cupid's arrow, theirs is a love that's downright ugly: it's Baraka & Mileena!

MKOmmunity Users and show two sides of the Tarkatan passion in their submissions! The aggression that makes them feared in kombat flows just as fiercely into a deadly embrace in "Mileena Kisses Baraka". A more tender moment -- the calm before the storm, perhaps -- is the subject of a power couple portrait in "Love, Power and Manipulation".

From around the web: Artist DreamingRed sought to capture Mileena's hold over the brutish Baraka in her DeviantART piece: "Those Damn Tarkatans" [above]. Clearly the tables have turned in TheInsaneDarkOne's menacing mural of murder: "Final Moments" [below].

More tributes to the carnivorous couple come courtesy of , HardGirl92 & methcooker! Take a closer look at their art tributes by clicking on the thumbnails above!

Last and absolutely least; the tempestuous relationship unfolds as part of a pixelated narrative by webmaster
. With Mortal Kombat unfolding in Outworld, Mileena looks to inflict a friendship on her ally [below].

We're looking ahead to St. Patrick's Day and want to see a parade of perfect pieces to feature in March! Don't be left green with envy! Register to submit your works to the Mortal Kombat Online Fan Submission system! There you will join an archive of thousands and be automatically featured in the dedicated Fan Submission forum! You can discuss each submitted Art of Kombat work by clicking the piece to enter the forum.

Evo 2014: Injustice Returns, Mortal Kombat Out of Championship
Mortal Kombat Misses Out as Injustice Returns in All 2D Evo Line-up!

The 2014 Evo Championship line-up was officially announced during last week's iPlayWinner The Fray! podcast where fortunes proved mixed for the NetherRealm stable.

Mortal Kombat missed out on a fourth consecutive year at the tournament major: ousted in a reduced schedule of six games, down from last years preliminary seven. Revived Xbox One rival Killer Instinct joined the list. Receiving the biggest snub of all was Namco's Tekken -- completely absent after double-representation [Tekken Tag Tournament 2 & Street Fighter x Tekken] in last year's tournament!

Injustice: Gods Among Us will return as a first choice title this year, having been a belated inclusion into the 2013 line-up [full story]. KDZ was the first Injustice World Champion. Evo founder Joey "Mr. Wizard" Cuellar told SRK, "... if the latest balance patch [read more] didn’t come out and even things out, it would have been tough to have the game at Evo this year. The NRS team did an excellent job at balancing, and a lot of top 8s in tournaments since the patch have had lots of new characters."

Similar late inclusions have not been ruled out for 2014, which will also see a radically revised Road to Evo Series. Sourced statistics are said to replace Evo designated events, opening Evo seeding data to a wider range of competitors. The struggle to eliminate attendance advantages has been a prominent concern, despite the success of the 2012 feed series.

    Full 2014 Evo Championship List:
  • Ultra Street Fighter IV
  • Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
  • Killer Instinct
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • King of Fighters XIII
  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma

Mortal Kombat Online talked to 2011/2012 Mortal Kombat Evo World Champion "" Carl White about the line-up announcement:

I am happy with the EVO 2014 line-up. It's unfortunate to see Mortal Kombat go, but everyone decided to drop the game and move on to others like Injustice [and] Killer Instinct. I feel like if Mortal Kombat had one last balance patch, it would've kept the game alive longer. I do think it was a great time and can't wait for Mortal Kombat 10! Injustice is definitely filling that void until we get to engage in Mortal Kombat once again.

[We have had] a lot of great times in the scene and we have a great history we can look back to for that era. I know there are still very hardcore fans that will still play the game for fun, but that competitive drive to win isn't there anymore. There is absolutely nothing wrong with playing a game because you enjoy playing it.

I have no ill will towards EVO for dropping Mortal Kombat. I am grateful that Injustice and Killer Instinct were picked up! I wish Dead or Alive would have gotten some love this year but unfortunately it is on the sidelines again.

I want to wish everyone good luck at EVO in their respective games. I will be there for Injustice, Street Fighter and Killer Instinct!

Evo 2014 takes place July 11-13 at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and Casino. Relive the 2013 Mortal Kombat Evo World Championship through Mortal Kombat Online's extensive feature article. Share your thoughts about the upcoming line-up on the Gameplay & Matchmaking forum.

Mortal Kurio: Raiden Battles Thor in Comic Book Art Jam
Gods of Thunder Collide in Comic Book-Gaming Art Mash-Up!

In 2008, gamers got a front row ticket to a clash between Mortal Kombat and their superhero equivalents in the DC Universe. Earthrealm's best went toe-to-toe with the likes of Superman, Captain Marvel & Darkseid -- but what if Raiden had found himself in the world of Marvel Comics?

The latest instalment of Comic Book Resource's weekly art jam - The Line it is Drawn - pitted comics against video games, and Raiden against Thor!

Artist Mike Rooth called upon a classic Mortal Kombat II design to meet the suggestion of a battle between Thunder Gods! The lightning charged clash reveals no superior in this mock cover to the monthly Thor series -- presenting Raiden in the fashion of any guest starring villain or rival!

For combative conclusions you'll have to flash back to 2012, when we featured Screw Attack Death Battle's fantasy fight of the same match-up [full story]. You can join that heated debate on the forums! Otherwise, just take in the visual splendour that is this fine piece of crossover fan-art -- a battle we're unlikely to see any time soon!

Also featured in the game/comics mash-ups: Robin in Fruit Ninja; Flash & Gorilla Grodd in Donkey Kong; Jimmy Olsen plays Superman 64; Rocket Raccoon in Space Invaders; Machine Man versus Mega Man and more!

Get in touch with kombat pop culture on the Mortal Kombat Online forums! Learn more about the importance of comics to MK; find & share more fan-art in the Fan Submission forum; and discuss all things DC in the DC Universe Injustice forum!

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