News Archive - May, 2013
Tournament 2013: Who is the Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion?
Choose Their Destiny!

Smoke d. ScorpionRaiden d. ErmacThis time last year, Mortal Kombat Online put the call out to the entire fanbase. The purpose: to celebrate twenty years of Mortal Kombat by determining once and for all who could be called the true champion of the tournament!

After months of debate and thousands of votes it was Sub-Zero who emerged victorious! The MKII ice warrior was a worthy winner, but as any champion knows, there comes a time when the title must be defended! With 2013 marking the twentieth anniversary of Sub-Zero and the sequel he debuted in, it's almost inevitable that we ask the question anew: Who is the Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion?

From the top of the Pyramid of Argus, back to where it all began at the Palace Gates of Shang Tsung's Island: a lot has changed in twenty years of a tournament called Mortal Kombat! We gather sixty-four kombatants and put the call out to the entire fanbase! It is up to you to help us find the true champion! Read on for more details, including how you can win prizes!

Eliminated by Scorpion (Round 3)! Eliminated by Sub-Zero (Round 1)! Eliminated by Sub-Zero (Round 2)! Eliminated by Sareena (Round 1)! Eliminated by Scorpion (Round 1)! Eliminated by Smoke (Semi Final)! Eliminated by Quan Chi (Round 1)! Eliminated by Scorpion (Round 2)!
Eliminated by Scorpion (Quarter Finals)! Eliminated by Sonya (Round 1)! Eliminated by Sonya (Round 2)! Eliminated by Jax (Round 1)! Eliminated by Sonya (Round 3)! Eliminated by Cyrax (Round 1)! Eliminated by Johnny Cage (Round 1)! Eliminated by Cyrax (Round 2)!
Eliminated by Smoke (Round 1)! Eliminated by Sektor (Round 1)! Eliminated by Smoke (Round 2)! Eliminated by Motaro (Round 1)! Eliminated by Jade (Round 2)! Eliminated by Jade (Round 1)! Eliminated by Smoke (Round 3)!
Eliminated by Noob Saibot (Round 3)! Eliminated by Kabal (Round 1)! Eliminated by Kabal (Round 2)! Eliminated by Kintaro (Round 1)! Eliminated by Noob Saibot (Round 2)! Eliminated by Kano (Round 1)! Eliminated by Noob Saibot (Round 1)! Eliminated by Smoke (Quarter Final)!
Eliminated by Raiden (Round 1)! Eliminated by Raiden (Round 2)! Eliminated by Rain (Round 1)! Eliminated by Shao Kahn (Round 2)! Eliminated by Chameleon (Round 1)! Eliminated by Shao Kahn (Round 1)! Eliminated by Raiden (Round 3)!
Eliminated by Fujin (Round 2)! Eliminated by Liu Kang (Round 1)! Eliminated by Kung Lao (Round 3)! Eliminated by Fujin (Round 1)! Eliminated by Baraka (Round 1)! Eliminated by Kung Lao (Round 2)! Eliminated by Kung Lao (Round 1)! Eliminated by Raiden (Quarter Final)!
Eliminated by Ermac (Quarter Final)! Eliminated by Kitana (Round 1)! Eliminated by Reptile (Round 1)! Eliminated by Kitana (Round 2)! Eliminated by Kitana (Round 3)! Eliminated by Kenshi (Round 1)! Eliminated by Goro (Round 1)! Eliminated by Kenshi (Round 2)!
Eliminated by Ermac (Round 3)! Eliminated by Shang Tsung (Round 1)! Eliminated by Mileena (Round 1)! Eliminated by Shang Tsung (Round 2)! Eliminated by Nightwolf (Round 1)! Eliminated by Ermac (Round 2)! Eliminated by Ermac (Round 1)! Eliminated by Raiden (Semi Final)!

As noted; we've once again brought together sixty-four kombatants in a single elimination tournament bracket. Taking popular suggestion from last year, we're going to make the first round a blind run. Each result will be determined one fight at a time by regularly unlocked updates to the MK Online User Poll [located top left]. This means it's up to you to determine who the Supreme Champion will be!

The top eight quarter finalists from last year's vote have been seeded at opposite ends of their respective brackets, with remaining characters filtered through a semi-randomized draw. Criteria for voting is completely up to you, but we recommend taking into account the iconic powers and present status of each character to determine one true champion. We suggest voting for characters, rather than against.

With other projects taking focus, the past year could be regarded as quiet for the MK franchise core. This may pose a sombre contrast to the festive tone of last year, but we see it as a great time to truly test the state of things post-2011 reboot. That doesn't mean we want the excitement to die down, however, so we'll be giving away random prizes to users who get involved on the forums!

Enter the draw by weighing-in on each match-up as its announced on the forums by staff! We're encouraging everyone to get creative in their support of a favourite character by adopting custom forum signatures! You can edit our example template to include your favourite character [below], or come up with your own tournament-winning slogan to convince fellow users of a character's superiority!

Edit in a character's image & name to show your support on the forums! [FAQ]

To be eligible to vote and win, you must be a registered member of Mortal Kombat Online. Users must adhere to forum and account rules and a basic code of conduct. Users found registering multiple accounts, or attempting to ballot stuff, will be disqualified and banned indefinitely. New accounts may face voting restrictions but should be encouraged to share their thoughts on the forums to unlock voting privileges.

Mortal Kombat has always been and will always be! Throughout the ages there has always been a Mortal Kombat Champion -- a fighting warrior ready to defend their title, or die trying. In 2013 we gather sixty-four characters to once again ask the question: Who is the Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion? Five gruelling rounds have brought us to an answer!

Smoke: An unlikely finalist supported by a highly motivated contingency, the smokey European Enenra emerges from a cloud of voting controversy. The surprise Lin Kuei contender outlasted the #1 seed but now faces the ultimate test in the Grand Final. The path of the tournament saw him eliminate a a mixed field of contenders; Meat (R1), Sektor (R2), Jade (R3), Noob Saibot (QF) and finally Scorpion (SF).

Raiden: Protector of Earthrealm and God of Thunder! Arguably one of the most iconic fighters from inception, the lightning god has shown resiliency as an enduring favourite. A hard earned path saw him eliminate an impressive field of powerful rivals; Blaze (R1), Rain (R2), Shao Kahn (R3), Kung Lao (QF) and finally Ermac (SF).

From the Palace Gates of Shang Tsung's Island, to the very top of the Pyramid of Argus, right back to where it all began. Only one of these kombatants can be proclaimed the Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion! Now is the time to vote for the greatest of two. Look deep within your soul and choose with honor as ask once again. Who will reign supreme?... FIGHT!

  • Round 1: Sub-Zero (84.3%) d. Hotaru (15.6%)
  • Round 1: Sareena (64.3%) d. Ashrah (35.6%)
  • Round 1: Scorpion (74.5%) d. Shujinko (25.4%)
  • Round 1: Quan Chi (51.2%) d. Shinnok (48.7%)
  • Round 1: Sonya Blade (80.9%) d. Kira (19.0%)
  • Round 1: Jax (84.2%) d. Hsu Hao (15.7%)
  • Round 1: Cyrax (68.7%) d. Nitara (31.2%)
  • Round 1: Johnny Cage (80%) d. Mokap (20%)
  • Round 1: Smoke (87.2%) d, Meat (12.7%)
  • Round 1: Sektor (66.9%) d. Frost (33.0%)
  • Round 1: Motaro (56.3%) d. Sheeva (43.6%)
  • Round 1: Jade (75.4%) d. Tanya (24.5%)
  • Round 1: Kabal (59.6%) d. Havik (40.3%)
  • Round 1: Kintaro (51.9%) d. Stryker (48.0%)
  • Round 1: Kano (73.3%) d. Mavado (26.6%)
  • Round 1: Noob Saibot (90.6%) d. Daegon (9.3%)
  • Round 1: Raiden (87.5%) d. Blaze (12.5%)
  • Round 1: Rain (85%) d. Taven (15%)
  • Round 1: Chameleon (51.3%) d. Dragon King (48.6%)
  • Round 1: Shao Kahn (76.8%) d. Drahmin (23.1%)
  • Round 1: Liu Kang (88.0%) d. Kobra (11.9%)
  • Round 1: Fujin (85.3%) d. Jarek (14.6%)
  • Round 1: Baraka (84.3%) d. Darrius (15.6%)
  • Round 1: Kung Lao (73.1%) d. Li Mei (26.8%)
  • Round 1: Princess Kitana (75.2%) d. Khameleon (24.7%)
  • Round 1: Reptile (75..6%) d. Bo' Rai Cho (24.3%)
  • Round 1: Kenshi (85.2%) d. Dairou (14.7%)
  • Round 1: Prince Goro (82.6%) d. Moloch (17.3%)
  • Round 1: Shang Tsung (75.2%) d. Kai (24.7%)
  • Round 1: MIleena (58.9%) d. Reiko (41.0%)
  • Round 1: Nightwolf (50.4%) d. Queen Sindel (49.5%)
  • Round 1: Ermac (68.7%) d. Skarlet (31.2%)

  • Round 2: Sub-Zero (74.1%) d. Sareena (25.8%)
  • Round 2: Scorpion (67.7%) d. Quan Chi (32.2%)
  • Round 2: Sonya Blade (62.5%) d. Jax (37.5%)
  • Round 2: Cyrax (50.4%) d. Johnny Cage (49.5%)
  • Round 2: Smoke (66.9%) d. Sektor (33.0%)
  • Round 2: Jade (62.5%) d. Motaro (37.5%)
  • Round 2: Kabal (61.1%) d. Kintaro (38.8%)
  • Round 2: Noob Saibot (76.5%) d. Kano (23.4%)
  • Round 2: Raiden (59.0%) d. Rain (40.9%)
  • Round 2: Shao Kahn (76.7%) d. Chameleon (23.2%)
  • Round 2: Fujin (50.8%) d. Liu Kang (49.1%)
  • Round 2: Kung Lao (59.4%) d. Baraka (40.5%)
  • Round 2: Princess Kitana (55.8%) d. Reptile (44.1%)
  • Round 2: Kenshi (60%) d. Prince Goro (40%)
  • Round 2: Shang Tsung (52.5%) d. Mileena (47.4%)
  • Round 2: Ermac (59.2%) d. Nightwolf (40.7%)

  • Round 3: Scorpion (50.8%) d. Sub-Zero (49.1%)
  • Round 3: Sonya Blade (51.5%) d. Cyrax (48.4%)
  • Round 3: Smoke (54.7%) d. Jade (45.2%)
  • Round 3: Noob Saibot (66.6%) d. Kabal (33.3%)
  • Round 3: Raiden (58.2%) d. Shao Kahn (41.7%)
  • Round 3: Kung Lao (60%) d. Fujin (40%)
  • Round 3: Princess Kitana (50.3%) d. Kenshi (49.6%)
  • Round 3: Ermac (60.3%) d. Shang Tsung (39.6%)

  • Quarter Final: Scorpion (64.2%) d. Sonya Blade (35.7%)
  • Quarter Final: Smoke (50.8%) d. Noob Saibot (49.1%)
  • Quarter Final: Raiden (56.5%) d. Kung Lao (43.4%)
  • Quarter Final: Ermac (50.6%) d. Princess Kitana (49.3%)

  • Semi Final: Smoke (53.2%) d. Scorpion (46.7%)
  • Semi Final: Raiden (56.5%) d. Ermac (43.4%)

  • Championship: Smoke (52.8%) d. Raiden (47.1%)

To be eligible to vote, make sure you've registered to Mortal Kombat Online and visit regularly to stay up-to-date with the latest poll. You can discuss all the tournament match-ups and voting on the forums. We want this to be a massive event, with every MK fan having their say in the overall tally! Follow us @MK_Online and like us on Facebook and help spread the word to the entire fanbase! There can only be one Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion - lets find out who it is!

Mod Koms: NPCs Become Playable in Injustice Fan Mod
Kommunity Mod Creates Playable Analogues from Injustice NPC Assets!

With the impending release of Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition for PC [full story]; Mortal Kombat Online has been anticipating the weird and wonderful future of MK mods! To inspire the next wave of PC creations, we're spotlighting some of the interesting oddities already out in the wild!

This time we're veering our gaze back to Injustice: Gods Among Us, with a simple modification recommended by EventHubs!

The mod in question is the work of Tetz Rep: a simple tweak that pulls existing assets to create playable versions of various fghters seen in non-playable cameos!

Atom, Giganta, Two-Face, Penguin, Scarecrow, Kilowog, Killer Croc, Atrocitus, Trigon -- the list of popular names is enough to send a DC fanboy into fits! Many more feature in the fifteen minute showcase, including a cast of incidental characters.

Not to be outdone; NetherRealm Studios are in the process of offering their own additional, official playable characters. Lobo and Batgirl are the first two fighters featured in the four-character DLC Season Pass! It remains to be seen if background characters will find their way into the playable roster through the download system.

Find more kreations from the MKOmmunity (and beyond) in the Fan Submission forum! Artists can submit their own works and be encouraged to start new topics for a variety of mediums! Check out the last Mod Kom: Mortal Kombat Intro, Fatality & Scene Swaps.

VG247 Feature First Mortal Kombat PC Screenshots
WB release first Mortal Kombat PC screenshots in VG24/7 exclusive!

Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition is finally coming to PC! The long awaited PC alternative arrives via digital-first download in July, to be followed with retail copies in August [full story]!

Warner Brothers have released the first screenshots from the PC version in an exclusive VG24/7 preview.

It should be noted the original files were labelled debug, but show potential for high quality visuals from the third-party port when viewed in full. Developed by High Voltage Software, the Komplete Edition features all the content associated with the original console release.

Previously downloadable characters: Kenshi, Skarlet, Rain & Freddty Krueger are all included. Additional extras include bonus costumes and fatalities. The PC port will included full support for PDP Tournament Sticks.

Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition was originally released in February, 2012, but made another overdue debut in Australia, at the beginning of the month. Aussie reviewers Good Game gave fresh impressions of the fighter in a recent review. Discuss the coming release in the Mortal Kombat Kontemporary forum.

Pop Culture Shock MK Klassics Sub-Zero Statue
Sub-Zero Features in the Pop Culture Shock Collectibles MK Klassic Line!

Inspired by the iconic pallette swap designs of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3; high-end collectible makers Pop Culture Shock present their 1:4 scale Mortal Kombat Klassic statue line - featuring Sub-Zero!

Threatening to raise all the questions of the Classic Sub-Zero of the games -- this character has no specific identifying markers. Alternate iced arms take inspiration from Mortal Kombat 4 and later instalments, but the lack of eye scar may cause convulsions in some hardcore fans. Our advice: enjoy it for what it is - a classic take on the Sub-Zero design.

Interchangeable ice arms are an exclusive extra feature available only by ordering direct from Pop Culture Shock Collectibles. Standard versions of the statue (with regular arms only) will also be available through select retailers per popular demand.

Standard versions of the Klassic Sub-Zero retail for $325 and are limited to 300 pieces. The icey armed exclusive will set you back $335, limited to just 200 statues! Both versions stand 19" (48.25cm) and are available to order as of May 20.

The Mortal Kombat Klassic series also includes; Scorpion, Reptile, and the highly limited character recently revealed exclusively by Mortal Kombat Online: Human Smoke! Each character features unique alternate details and nuanced stances that offer differentiation between the four colour swaps.

For more information and ordering details visit and like PCSC on Facebook! Discuss these items and more in the Media & Merchandise forum!

Kommunity: Fan Mod Creates Mortal Kombat Identity Krisis
Mortal Kombat Mod Switches Character Skins in Weird & Wonderful Ways!

As previously reported; Mortal Kombat (2011) will make a long awaited arrival on PC when the Komplete Edition launches digitally [with retail copies to follow], this summer!

PC Kombat means good things for dedicated fans crying out for an alternative to consoles, but there'll be much more going on than what the developers intended! The modding community inevitably finds means to twist and tweak the inner workings of PC games in weird and wonderful ways. Take redield21 -- a modder who inserted Mortal Kombat II into Doom.

Ours is not to reason why, but to anticipate what krazy kreations await. Take this offering from TimeRevolver0314, who indulged in the time tested favourite of swapping character models and animations!

The fifteen minute video features a parade of wacky character swaps that switch animations to varying effects. There's the obvious comedy of a seductive and sensual Kintaro, or a pole dancing Cyrax. Then there's conceptually intriguing mash-ups, like various combinations that give Mileena the moves and/or appearance of Kitana!

TimeRevolver0314 credits Tetzrep, Futuretime23 & LilGrimDoe for their roles in creating the video. We have to thank NetherRealm's own John Vogel for bringing it to our attention!

Submit artworks and add to the sprawling gallery of fan creations in the Fan Submission forum!

Injustice DLC: Lobo and Batgirl Renders & Concept Art
Official DLC Concept Art & Renders for Lobo & Batgirl

Lobo & Batgirl are the first two characters to grace the Injustice: Gods Among Us DLC Season Pass!

Representing brute force and graceful acrobatics -- the beauty and beast combination add new experiences to the superhero fighting game on opposite ends of the spectrum! So opposed are the two characters, their very appearances reveal stark contrast between the Czarnian biker dude mercenary, and the crime fighting caped crusader! Get a closer look via new official concept art and high quality renders [below].

Like any good dude with 'tude, Lobo sticks close to the heavy metal fashions that made him an unironic icon from the eighties into the early nineties. Batgirl rocks an all new design by NetherRealm Studios, offering utilitarian fusion no doubt inspired by the revamped yellows and purple of the New 52 comics, and the armored penchant of the gamer developer!

Both characters are available individually for download for 400 MS Points on Xbox LIVE, or $4.99 on PlayStation Network. Holders of the DLC Season Pass are entitled to four finished characters upon release, as well as a free costume pack based on the Flashpoint comic event.

Injustice: Gods Among Us is out now for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & Nintendo Wii U. Read the Mortal Kombat Online review of the PlayStation 3 version [full story]. Share your impressions and discuss DLC & more on the DC Universe Injustice forum.

Injustice DLC: Compatibility Pack Patch v1.03 Notes
Injustice Compatability Patch v1.03 Notes via

This week in Injustice there's been a whole lot of action, starting Monday with a new Compatability Pack Patch that adds a slew of tweaks and fixes to the hit game! The official website offers an extensive list of what's in store:

    General Fixes
  • A player no longer receives a loss when an opponent quits an online match.
  • Fixed an issue where online Hero Cards were not visible if a user had > 30 friends.
  • Various Online fixes to enhance stability.
  • A player can now perform a 2in1 combo into background bounces and interactables using Light+Medium buttons on arcade sticks.
  • This makes the game fully playable on 5 button arcade sticks.
  • A player can no longer block or escape a throw in the middle of performing a stance switch.
  • The Fortress of Solitude (Upper Level-Left) Space Ship damage was normalized for all characters.
  • Fixed an issue that affected some characters when performing a combo on weapon-wielding defenders that were holding grenades in the Batcave.
  • Fixed various issues where Interactive Objects could obscure the players’ view after being used.
  • Fixed a rare issue where players could sometimes interact with invisible Interactive Objects.

  • Character Balance Improvements
  • Water of Life Character Power now lasts 2 seconds (down from 2.5) and has an 8 second cool down (increased from 7 seconds)
  • Increased the ability to punish a Trident Scoop (Down, Back, 1) from Aquaman when the defender blocks.
  • Normalized the amount of damage Aquaman inflicts on an opponent while they are blocking his Trident Rush (Down, Forward + 1)

  • Ares
  • Increased viability of Ares’ Teleport when used as a wake up attack.
  • Opponent’s can now perform a tech roll after being knocked down by Ares’ Invading Force (Back+2, 3) combo.

  • Bane
  • Normalized Bane’s backwards throw damage.
  • Slightly increased speed of Bane’s forward dash.
  • Reduced the cooldown on Level 2 Venom Boost to 4.5 seconds (down from 6)
  • Reduced the cooldown on Level 3 Venom Boost to 6 seconds (down from 9)

  • Catwoman
  • Catwoman’s Calico Cut (Forward + 1) attack now hits the opponent Overhead and will hit all opponent hitboxes while they are crouching.

  • Cyborg
  • Cyborg’s In-Air Projectiles are now a HIGH block instead of a MID.

  • Deathstroke
  • Deathstroke now stuns the defender for less time when the defender blocks his gunshots.
  • Deathstroke now deals slightly less damage when the defender blocks his gunshots.
  • Deathstroke now lands slightly slower after performing in-air gunshots.

  • Doomsday
  • Doomsday’s Hunter (1,1,2) combo no longer inflicts full damage while the opponent is blocking.

  • Green Arrow
  • Reduced the amount of block advantage on Green Arrow’s Light It Up (Back+2, 3) combo

  • [Solomon Grundy]
  • A player can now activate a Clash (as a defender) during the 2nd and 3rd hit of Solomon Grundy’s Chain Grabs.

  • Harley Quinn
  • Harley’s Irresistible combo (1 + Away, 2) no longer inflicts full damage while the opponent is blocking.
  • Harley’s Hi Puddin combo(2, Down+3) now has less advantage while the opponent is blocking.

  • Joker
  • Increased Joker’s Wild Character Power HA! duration to 9 seconds (from 6 seconds).
  • Increased Joker’s Wild Character Power Parry Damage to 11%
  • Slightly reduced the start-up frames for Laughing Gas (Down, Forward + 1) and Rolling Laughing Gas (Down, Forward + 2) to allow it to combo consistently on all opponents.

  • Lobo
  • Reduced Lobo’s recovery time while loading his Nuclear Shells Character Power to 49 frames (down from 57).
  • Removed the ability for an opponent to initiate a Clash while being hit by Lobo’s Meter Burn Pump Shots (Down, Forward + 1).
  • Removed the ability for an opponent to initiate a Clash while being hit by Lobo’s Pump Shots (Down, Forward + 1) while his shotgun is loaded with Nuclear Shells.
  • Increased the amount of damage an opponent will receive when blocking Lobo’s Pump Shots (Down, Forward + 1) while his shotgun is loaded with Nuclear Shells.

  • Raven
  • Raven’s Raven Slash (Down+3) attack now has normalized damage.
  • Increased viability of Raven’s Teleport when used as a wake up attack.

  • [Captain Marvel]
  • Increased viability of Shazam’s Teleport when used as a wake up attack.
  • Shazam’s Herculean Might (Down, Back, Forward + 1) on miss is now -17 (down from -27)
  • Shazam’s Achilles’ Clutch (Down, Back + 1) on miss is now -21 (down from -35)
  • Shazam’s Solomon’s Judgment Character Power now activates faster
  • Normalized reaction time for Shazam after escaping an opponent’s throw attempt.

  • Sinestro
  • Normalized Sinestro’s Backwards Throw Damage
  • Arachnid Sting (Down, Forward 2) is now has a block advantage of -12 (down from -36) and is a Mid attack (changed from High).
  • Beware Your Fears Character Power activation time decreased to 1.66 seconds (down from 2 seconds).

  • Superman
  • Normalized the amount of damage scaling on Superman’s combos.
  • Normalized Superman’s damage scaling while using his Steel Rush (Forward+2, Down+1) combo.

  • Wonder Woman
  • Wonder Woman’s Knee Chop (Down+1) attack now inflicts normalized damage during hit and while an opponent is blocking.

Compatability Pack patching follows previous v1.02 tweaks downloaded with Lobo DLC.

    v1.02 Patch Notes
    As part of the May 7th Compatibility Pack update, NetherRealm has released v1.02 patch for the Injustice: Gods Among Us video game. The v1.02 patch addresses several performance tweaks and enhancements to the game. The list of changes for patch v1.02 are provided below:

    Code fixes
  • Added Lobo Gameplay Functionality.
  • Strengthened the stability of online connections between different connections, resulting in less de-synchronizations.
  • Added the ability to initiate a transition attack when the defender is at an elevated position.
  • Removed the ability for two gadget characters to both place bombs at the same time on some Interactive Objects.

  • Balance tweaks
  • Increased overall combo damage scaling after a knockdown from Interactive Objects.
  • Increased overall combo damage scaling on planted sticky bombs (Down + Interact button) pop-up combos.
  • You can no longer initiate a clash on Killer Frost’s Ice Spike outside of a combo.
  • The hitsphere on Doomsday’s jumping splash was adjusted to be slightly smaller and more in line with the original intention.
  • Players land slightly further apart after Arkham/Joker Asylum and Insurgency transitions to make it easier to avoid the ability to use an Interactive Object immediately after landing.

Injustice: Gods Among Us downloadable content is available via online stores for the PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360. Batgirl is out now - the second character in the DLC Season Pass! Discuss DLC and more on the DC Universe Injustice forum!

Good Game: Australian TV Reviews Mortal Kombat
Just Like the Old Days, but Shinier - Aussie Good Game Reviews MK Release!

Banned in 2011 for its depiction of realistic violence [full story]; Mortal Kombat was a controversial victim of Australian federal classification standards that -- until the beginning of 2013 -- lacked admissable ratings for Adult Content.

The high profile case proved to be a valuable motivator in drawn out negotiations for a revised classification peak. The long awaited induction of an Adult R18+ rating allowed for the reclassification of Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition; finally released across Australia [minus Queensland] at the beginning of May!

The game may be almost two years old, but that didn't stop Aussies embracing the belated release like it was brand new! Nationally broadcast on ABC2 (May 7, 2013); Good Game was among the high profile outlets to give a full review of the Komplete Edition [originally released internationally; February 2012].

Despite universal domestic criticism for Mortal Kombat's initial banning down under; Good Game ultimately proved understanding of the refused classification, supporting its R rated release.

Addressing the unique situation; GG reviewers make note of the intense violence found in series' trademark fatality sequences -- at their most anatomically graphic in the 2011 reboot. The question of good taste is raised, but the reviewers remain sympathetic toward the intention and genre designs of more inventive finisher sequences.

Less forgiven is the award nominated story mode, which develops sequential context to MK's always well realized characters, in not always well realized ways. Dubious tropes of the series (tournament rules, arbitrary conflict, etc...) are as ripe for mockery as some of the lesser moments in voice acting and scripting.

Goodwill for the long popular series -- never banned in Australia before the latest installment -- is clearly a major part of the experience. The reprisal of classic characters and movesets proves a winner with the Aussie TV hosts, much as it did for lapsed and returning fans throughout the world.

Characters like Goro and Sub-Zero strike a chord in their reinvented form; whilst Shao Kahn draws the short straw for being a cheap boss. Detailed arena backgrounds don't suffer from the two-dimensional plane of play, a noteworthy highlight we would have to agree with. Reviewing the PlayStation 3 version, neither host is particularly impressed by the guest inclusion of Kratos (of God of War fame).

Possibly benefitting from being removed from the promotional cycle, the Good Game review proves honest and astute. The hugely successful fighter is clearly still ready to thrill with its refined fighting mechanics and Komplete Edition content options, but it isn't a game without flaws. Online connection issues still dog the game two years after the original, and creative choices and execution are ripe for criticism throughout.

Australian fans can find Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition for the PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 at all good stores. A PC version is coming to multiple global platforms beginning July [full story]. Discuss current releases in the Mortal Kombat Kontemporary forum.

Exclusive: First Look Pop Culture Shock Smoke
MKO Exclusive: First-Look Klassic Human Smoke from Pop Culture Shock Collectibles!

Pop Culture Shock Collectibles continue to set the standard in high-end merchandise based on some of the worlds most popular fighting video game series. The statue makers have a new addition to their Mortal Kombat Klassic 1:4 scale line-up and Mortal Kombat Online has the exclusive first look!

Human Smoke continues the retro series inspired by Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3! The line offers fans of the 1995 arcade classic a rare opportunity to own high-end, 1:4 scale statues based on the iconic palette swap fighters.

Going that extra mile, Pop Culture Shock ensure each kombatant has his own nuanced point of difference! Taking inspiration from the games; Smoke features a classic fighting stance and interchangeable smokey arms [enlarge thumbnails below].

Limited to just 175 pieces; the 19" statue will be available exclusively for direct online order beginning June 10! At a highly limited number, fans of the Lin Kuei assassin will be looking at a price of $335.00 to secure the collectible.

The Mortal Kombat Klassic series also features statues based on Scorpion, Sub-Zero & Reptile. A limited edition "skull face" Scorpion proved popular, selling out pre-order quantities in mere days [full story].

Other products in the Pop Culture Shock catalogue include life-size busts of contemporary versions of Sub-Zero and Scorpion. Other 1:4 scale statues include current incarnations of Shao Kahn, Kitana & Scorpion!

For complete product and order details, visit Pop Culture Shock Toys on the web, and follow on Facebook! Mortal Kombat Online will have more from PCS soon! Discuss the entire line in the Media & Merchandise forum!

Injustice DLC: Batgirl Gameplay Trailer
Batgirl Leaps into Action! DLC Character Gameplay Trailer!

Released Wednesday; Batgirl is the second character to arrive via downloadable content for Injustice: Gods Among Us! DLC Season Pass holders will have already added Batgirl to their superhero menagerie, following first draft anti-hero: Lobo!

The once wheelchair bound heroine leaps back into action, healed from crippling wounds inflicted by Joker in the classic Alan Moore one-shot, Batman: The Killing Joke. Taking inspiration from the revamped character of DC Comics' New 52, the colourful caped crusader deals fast paced acrobatic action to anyone getting in her way!

With multiple Bat-characters already addressing most of Batgirls conceptual and visual niches, it's the task of the gameplay to do some serious selling for this surprise inclusion. As the trailer shows, Batgirl kicks things up a notch with a frenetic fighting style and acrobatic attacks that make use of guile and gadgetry.

Batgirl can be purchased on XBL for 400 MS Points, or PSN for $4.99. Season Pass holders will save, reserving all four characters for the price of three. Discuss Batgirl and more on the DC Universe Injustice forum.

Photo: Kung Lao Does His Thing in Mortal Kombat Legacy
Kung Lao (Mark Dacascos) Doing His Thing in MK Legacy Teaser

When Mortal Kombat: Legacy returns for a second series sometime in the near future; Mark Dacascos will be front and centre, "doing his thing" as the fan-favourite Shaolin hero: Kung Lao!

Legacy II will be the first time the modern Kung Lao has been realized in live-action film. His ancestor -- known in MK mythology as the "Great" Kung Lao: Earthrealm's last Mortal Kombat champion -- was the lead protagonist of Threshold Entertainment's short-lived television series, Mortal Kombat: Conquest.

In keeping with Kevin Tancharoen's deviating version of the Mortal Kombat saga; Legacy will feature a reimagined version of the Kung Lao of the games. With Liu Kang set to walk a very different, conflicted path in Legacy [read more] -- Kung Lao will carry the burden of the martial arts hero, fighting for the world and Liu Kang's soul, in the battle against Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa).

[Director] Tancharoen released the above image last week, showing off Dacascos in what appears to be authentic Shaolin orange. Legacy shrugs off the iconic black & blue designs of the games, opting for a more rustic impression of the Shaolin Monk. The revamp comes complete with a wicker version of the iconic razor-tipped hat.

Kung Lao appears in the Mortal Kombat: Legacy II trailer, released February. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa stars in the role of Shang Tsung - Outworld sorcerer and master of the Mortal Kombat tournament. Get all the available webseries info in our Legacy II Kombat Kompendium. Discuss Kung Lao and more on the Media & Merchandise forum.

Elseworlds: MKvsDC Box Art Shows Darker Look
Ed Boon Reveals Discarded Darker Look MKvsDC Cover Art

Long before there was Injustice: Gods Among Us there was the Midway produced, 2008 superhero crossover: Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe!

The cross-brand slugfest was the first encounter for the iconic heroes & villains of DC Comics, and what would later become Injustice developer NetherRealm Studios. While the moderately successful fighter set the stage for all that would follow, not quite everything went according to plan, as Creative Director Ed Boon revealed [via twitter]!

Maligned by many fans for its departure from the trademark violence of the core Mortal Kombat series; Vs DC Universe was not only a T rated game, but an all around watering down for both franchises.

Rejected box art [pictured above] offers a glimpse into the "darker look" the makers of Mortal Kombat were originally hoping to instill into the crossover. The sinister tone was vitoed by an unknown source, putting the kibosh on an abbreviated title, as well. A vaguely similar image found its way into Injustice [full story].

"MKvsDC" ultimately became the longform we know, and the rest is history. Midway would file for bankruptcy in 2009 [full story], leading to the purchase of all things Mortal Kombat by Warner Brothers. A "dark" reboot of the MK franchise was first order, before the harder edged Injustice launched the DC superheroes into fighting games in a more positive light.

Though almost certainly subject to a different process, Mortal Kombat had its own brush with "darker" cover art. Boon shared the discarded cover image last year, for the anniversary of the 2011 reboot [full story].

Would this darker tone have helped make MKvsDC a more compelling experience? Share your thoughts about what might have been in the DC Universe Injustice forum!

Mortal Kurio: Mortal Kombat 3 Event Napkins
Ed Boon Shares Rare Napkins!!! PIC SO IT HAPPENED!!!

Namco has the Tekken Museum; Mortal Kombat has Ed Boon's flooded basement! It might not be as glamorous a tourist trap, but hey, we appreciate the MK co-creators willingness to turn natural disaster into a trip down memory lane!

Followers on twitter (@noobde) have been treated to a gallery of rediscovered promotional swag, offered to the MK pubah from a wide variety of developers throughout the nineties and early 2000s. For us, it's obviously the classic Mortal Kombat curio that really catches the eye - like these... napkins?

The NetherRealm Studios Director made a significant archaeological discovery when he uncovered the original models used to animate Shokan characters in Mortal Kombat and its two digitized sequels [full story]. Goro, Kintaro & Sheeva were all realized through an animation process partly inspired by the works of the late Ray Harryhausen [John Tobias discusses...].

Napkins might not rank quite as high in terms of significance to the history of the series, but are an interesting look back at the excesses of the mid-nineties.

1995 saw the release of Mortal Kombat 3 to mass mainstream success and a few mixed reviews. While Boon himself can't quite remember what event these napkins were made for, it was probably happening right around this time.

'95 was a big year for MK! The first feature film was released in cinemas -- still regarded as a benchmark for Hollywood video game adaptations almost twenty years later! With a mid-nineties movie comes inevitable merchandise, and it was right around this time that MK was hitting its stride in the mass market of cultural awareness. Malibu were pumping out comics, toy makers were doing something or other, and the dragon logo could be found on just about anything.

Where in this orgy of exposure the red embossed MK3 logo on black napkin would've landed is, for now, anybody's guess. If you know, why not tell us on the forums? If you don't, just imagine what it would've been like to mop ice cream cake from your face, before pounding away the hours at a lock-in birthday party. Mmm, toasty!

Pop Culture Shock Collectibles Life-Size Scorpion Bust
Scorpion Gets the Life-Size Bust Treatment Thanks to Pop Culture Shock!

Last July; Pop Culture Shock Collectibles announced the launch of a series of life-size busts based on characters from the hit 2011 fighting game: Mortal Kombat. Sub-Zero kicked things off [read more], becoming Mortal Kombat Online's most must-have item for Christmas 2012 [full story]. Now bare witness to the long awaited arrival of the next premium 1:1 scale statue - Scorpion!

Rising from the flaming pits of the Netherrealm, the life-size Scorpion collectible comes in two versions: the standard bust (sans shoulder pads) & the armored PCS direct order exclusive [pictured above]!

As with Sub-Zero; the exclusive alternate version not only features Scorpion with removeable shoulder armor, but also LED light-up eyes for that extra added touch of awesome! This feature was a favourite for the Sub-Zero bust, but plays extra appropriate for Scorpion - undead ninja with a penchant for a pupiless gaze.

Limited to just 100 units, the PCS exclusive retails at $600, but if you're lucky, you'll still be able to nab one at an online pre-order discounted price. Standard editions are limited to 200 pieces, a fraction cheapter at $580.

Sculpted by Jerry Macaluso, the 1:1 scale bust weighs in at an estimated 19lbs - standing 24" tall, 16" wide. Find full product details and ordering information via the Pop Culture Shock website. Discuss all the PCS products and more on the Media & Merchandise forum!

Kommunity: Mortal Kombat II Invades Doom - Sort Of
Modders Insert Classic Fighter into Classic FPS!

With Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition officially making the leap to PC [full story], we've got a few things to look forward to. Online competitive play for the PC platform is obviously one of them, but then there's the inevitable meddling of the mod community, which is sure to throw up some interesting fan-made inspirations.

Last week, Kotaku brought our attentions to the work of one such modder: redield21. His achievement? Inserting a playable SNES version of Mortal Kombat II into Doom!

2013 is, of course, the twentieth anniversary of the legendary Mortal Kombat sequel. Fondly remembered for upping the ante of the first game, it formally introduced characters like Shao Kahn, Kitana & Baraka, whilst expanding the scope and style of the first digitized martial arts fighter. For many, MKII remains one of the high points in the twenty-plus year expanse of the franchise.

Why put MKII in Doom? Why the hell not?! Released shortly after the MK sequel; Doom tapped into a similar early nineties sensibility, pitting gun-wielding man against merciless menace from Hell. Okay, there were far fewer colour-coded ninjas pursuing supernatural vendettas, but it's all part of the same glorious retro melting pot.

In fact, this vague video game association of popular genres resulted in an official mash-up when Raiden was made a playable character in 2005's Unreal Championship 2 [read more]!

Mortal Kombat: Komple Edition arrives via digital-first release in July, before going retail in August [full story]. Mortal Kombat II is already there, released as part of the Mortal Kombat: Arcade Kollection in 2012.

Brian Tee Discusses Liu Kang in Legacy
Liu Kang Star Discusses Heros Journey in Legacy II.

If you thought the arrival of Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat: Legacy 2 was going to be another examination of the classic martial arts hero - you'd be dead wrong.

Director Kevin Tancharoen has made a steady habit of veering wildly from the source material, but according to star and MK familiar, Brian Tee, that's ultimately exactly what attracted him to the role.

In a recent interview with Nerd Reactor, the Liu Kang actor discussed his journey into the all new, all different world of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. A journey that - much like Liu Kang's - started with a certain amount trepidation.

When the offer came in, I was like, “No,” but they were like, “No, read it. Read it!” I got a great buddy of mine who’s playing Scorpion in the first series and in the second series. [Ian Anthony Dale] gave me a call and he goes, “No, dude. Read it.” So I read it, and it blew my mind. It’s pretty much the Liu Kang saga where he’s the anti-hero of the series. And you see why he’s so angry and frustrated with Kung Lao and why he’s riding the lines between different worlds and realms, whether it’s Outworld or Earthrealm, no one really knows for sure where he wants to go.

As already seen in the first trailer; Liu Kang will shed his Bruce Lee-inspired trappings as a dedicated Shaolin hero - reinvented as a hoody wearing wildcard with a deeply conflicted edge.

Tee -- who cites his favourite character from the games as Sub-Zero -- quotes this significant change in the Liu Kang character as a major motivation for taking on the role. "Flipped upside down," he describes this new incarnation of Kang as "a much more rounded, better, surreal, and visceral take on it."

Liu Kang in the video game, to me, when I was a kid coming up, I thought, “That’s like a wannabe Bruce Lee.” He was this one note caricature of a martial artist/kung fu guy. I wanted someone with a lot more depth and a lot more feeling and character struggle.

The second series of the web serial is set to tell the story of the classic Mortal Kombat tournament, but will once again use episodic structure to examine specific characters and settings within the bigger picture. According to Tee, it will essentially be a continuation of the first series, with even greater focus on characters and an expanded cast.

The star speculates he'll appear in just over half of the series; featured heavily as the traditional figurehead of the tournament, even if this isn't a traditional take on the savior of Earthrealm.

[Tee] will appear opposite a range of new characters and actors, including Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who returns to the role he made famous in the 1995 feature film as Shang Tsung. The Outworld sorceror has traditionally played the yang to Liu Kang's heroic yin, evil counterpart to the martial arts hero. Legacy will present a blurred relationship as Tsung tempts the embittered Kang.

The first official trailer debuted in February during the Streamy Awards [full story]. The trailer offers a lengthy glimpse of whats to come from the soon to be released series. Legacy 2 will once again feature online via Machinima. The show is expected to build its launch around San Diego Comic-Con in July.

Read the full Brian Tee interview at Nerd Readctor. Discuss all things Legacy on the Media & Merchandise forum. Get the komplete lowdown on casting and previews via our Legacy II Kompendium.

Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition Coming to PC
PC Gamers Welcome Mortal Kombat - Koming Summer 2013!

Keep your eyes on the Injustice Pig - it might be ready to take flight! Following rumors in March [full story]; Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition is officially coming to PC in the summer!

2012 Komplete Edition console trailer.

The game will receive a digital-first release, coming to Games for Windows platforms with a global launch: July 3rd. Retail copies will soon follow, starting with a European release August 2nd, before the United States gets its store release, August 6.

The third-party port is developed by High Voltage Software and is expected to contain all the features of the console Komplete Edition. An array of bonus costume options and four previously released DLC characters (Kenshi, Skarlet, Rain & Freddy Krueger) are among the extras. Polygon report the PC version will include support for the PDP Tournament Edition stick [released 2011].

The PC release answers the cry of a fiercely dedicated fanbase, who have remained staunch in their demand for the once unlikely niche product. It follows a moderately successful run for the Street Fighter franchise and cult demand for Skullgirls.

Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition was first released for consoles in February, 2012. Another belated 2013 release saw the Komplete Edition make its long awaited arrival in Australia, where the R rated fighter debuted May 1st.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Joins Evo Championships
Injustice Makes a Late Entry into the 2013 Evo Championships!

It was overlooked in favour of the better established Mortal Kombat scene, but with a big month of competition clocked by the April release, Injustice: Gods Among Us has officially been upgraded to ninth contest at the 2013 Evo Championship!

Announcement of the late inclusion came during the week, via Joey "Mr. Wizard" Cuellar on the latest episode of WakeUpSRK. It reverses previous decisions to overlook the superhero fighter, still months away from release at the time of initial tournament selection [full story]. Injustice also missed out during a fan charity drive to nominate an additional title.

The incorporation of a second title further establishes the presence of NetherRealm Studios as a hardcore player. The developer has made a point of [re]connecting with the tournament scene since the 2011 release of Mortal Kombat, which resulted in the first of three years of selection. The reinvention was vital to changing perceptions that have dogged the American fighter throughout its existence, cracking the dominant hold of Japanese fighters over the Evo event.

Despite offering a safe inlet to casual players, Injustice has fulfilled the promise of a greater depth of gaming beneath the flash (and Flash). Top ranking Mortal Kombat players have already rallied behind the DC Comics fighter, playing an indisposable role in its development and instant establishment.

In spite of being initially overlooked by Evo selectors; Injustice: Gods Among Us has been a constant fixture of 2013 events, including Road to Evo tournaments. Top placing competitors at remaining events will subsequently be offered seeding points per the existing system [full story].

Evo players will experience the full force of the over-the-top superhero action when they converge on Las Vegas, July 12-14. report the Injustice tournament will feature all interactive stage elements, including arena transitions! Even more surprising: players employed as NetherRealm Studios game testers will be allowed entry into the tournament.

Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament 9 is the next stop on the Road to Evo. Injustice & Mortal Kombat will be on home turf when UFGT9 kicks off in Chicago, May 24-26.

Injustice DLC: The History of Lobo
The biker bounty hunter gets a special spotlight as Lobo goes on sale!

May 7 kicked off the downloadable release cycle for Injustice: Gods Among Us additional characters. The four character Season Pass begins with the baddest bastich in all of Czarnia: Lobo! To give you more reasons to buy, Warner Brothers have released a brief history of the character [below].

The cursory look at the character isn't dissimilar from our own Lobo spotlight, albeit with 100% more descriptions of his choice in attire. Lobo comes with all the early nineties trimmings you'd expect, as showcased in the recent gameplay trailer.

The "Main Man" will set you back 400 Microsoft Points (or $5 for normal people). If you've already paid for the DLC season pass, you can mozy on over to the PlayStation Network or Xbox LIVE and download your character with no additional transaction! There are also new costumes to download, but note: these are not included in the Season Pass.

Batgirl will be the next cab off the rank -- a surprise second inclusion in the four character stack [full story]. Discuss Lobo, Batgirl and all things Injustice: Gods Among Us on the DC Universe Injustice forum! The game is out now for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & Nintendo Wii U. Mortal Kombat Online reviewed the PS3 version [read more].

Injustice DLC: Batgirl Confirmed Season Pass Second
Because nobody demanded it - Batgirl!

If the omission of staple characters like Martian Manhunter in favour of the likes of Killer Frost didn't leave you a little perplexed, the coming Injustice Season Pass DLC looks set to challenge your expectations! Hot on the heels of Lobo [read more], we have confirmation that Batgirl is next up in the roster extension!

The somewhat surprising selection of Batgirl seems to open the doors to other rumored downloadable characters. General Zod and Mortal Kombat's Scorpion are speculated to be the remaining two characters featured in the four-character season pass.

Given the relative similarity to Batman and modern obscurity of the character, it's understandable that not everyone will be thrilled by the announcement. Representation of a diverse range of DC heroes was a bold promise early in promotion for the game, but it seems many favourites are fresh out of luck. Batgirl -- popularly voiced by Injustice actor Tara Strong in various cartoons -- joins an already Bat-heavy roster that includes fellow Strong Gotham girl, Harley Quinn, as well as Catwoman, Nightwing, Joker and Bane.

The concept of a female Bat-counterpart was first introduced to comics in 1956, beginning a long line of Batwoman and Batgirl incarnations. All indications suggest Injustice will feature Barbara Gordon -- the neice of Gotham's famous police commissioner, and recently restored Batgirl in DC's New 52 reboot.

Prior to the line-wide relaunch of the DC Comics roster, Barbara Gordon had gained greater popularity as the character Oracle. Inspired by the 1988 Alan Moore opus, Batman: The Killing Joke; Batgirl was paralyzed by a gunshot wound administered by The Joker. Wheelchair bound, she became the central operator for an intelligence network that was vital to Batman's operations throughout the 2000s, and included services to the Justice League and Birds of Prey.

Despite criticism for the callous, incidental plot that spawned the development, the Oracle years have become a definitive chapter in the characters history. As Oracle, the character was better differentiated from her origins as a female version of Batman -- a challenge NetherRealm Studios will no doubt take on as they attempt to sell the choice to fans hoping for more distinct playable characters.

Injustice: Gods Among Us DLC characters start rolling out May 7. Get a taste of things to come by checking out the Lobo gameplay trailer! Injustice is now available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & Nintendo Wii U. Mortal Kombat Online recently reviewed the PS3 version [full story]. Discuss these stories and more on the DC Universe Injustice forum.

Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us
Mortal Kombat Online Review Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us is the DC Entertainment superhero fighter released April 16. Mortal Kombat Online is reviewing the PlayStation 3 version of the game.

Anyone familiar with NetherRealm Studios' previous fighting game - Mortal Kombat - is going to have an immediate sense of familiarity coming into Injustice: Gods Among Us.

Built upon the same framework as the 2011 release, there are unavoidable similarities. Gameplay is restricted to the classic 2D plane, with a standard emphasis on short combo strings and juggling. It would have been easy for the developer to surrender completely to the status quo, slapping a four-colour coat of superhero paint over the engine that brought them so much success. That isn't the case, however, and the superhero experience is thankfully better for it.

Underlying mechanics make the experience quite unlike anything MK has had before, bringing Injustice much closer to the tropes of other popular series in the genre. There are three primary attack buttons - light, medium and heavy - as well as a fourth dedicated to a unique character power. This button serves a different purpose for each hero or villain. Characters like Superman and Green Lantern gain a simple damage boost for their attacks, while others adapt their playing technique into a new mode or stance. The power button sees Nightwing whip out his full length staff; Hawkgirl takes flight for an aerial based assault. Each power plays to the unique strategies of the character and helps further differentiate a diverse cast. Green Arrow's elemental arrows and Solomon Grundy's pain chain throws deserve special mention.

A prominent gameplay feature of Injustice is the interactive environment system. Each stage is filled with assorted hazards, weapons and breakable junk. When a character is within range, you need only hit the right button to interact with the object. Interaction types are divided based on the innate abilities of the character. In Bruce Wayne's mansion, a chandelier might be the trapeze for launching a lithe hero into a high flying attack -- or it might be ripped from the ceiling and hurled across the arena as a weapon itself. The ease with which these hotspots are activated adds a real sense of urgency that wouldn't otherwise be in the fight. Players will want to take advantage of the environment before their opponent, particularly where strategy will allow some players to destroy the object, rendering it useless to repeat attempts.

Interaction takes on another dimension when the arena itself is the object in play! Get too close to the edge of the stage and a power attack will send you flying through the walls into another area. This isn't a new concept. Stage hazards were common throughout the previous generation of 3D Mortal Kombat games, 2008's Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe laying the groundwork for the dramatic style used in Injustice. It's a surprisingly welcome addition that adds excitement and strategy to the battles.

As with Mortal Kombat, Injustice makes use of a super meter. You feed the meter by dealing and taking damage - using it to enhance special attacks, perform bounce cancels to extend combos, or by gambling the full charge on a super move! In the second half of the fight, the meter can also be used to break out of a combo by entering the clash system. Players can wager a chunk of their meter to either regain health or deal damage, dependent upon who initiated the clash. Between the risk/reward strategy and the numbers involved, it's a system that won't be easily abused, but ensures the fight to the finish always has the potential for the unexpected.

The super moves in Injustice are completely over the top -- exactly what you would hope for in a comic-inspired fighting game! Supers are perhaps the single greatest investment into the hyper-real absurdity of the superhero canon. They're essentially cinematic sequences, demonstrating super-powers in ways that couldn't otherwise sit comfortably within the constraints of a balanced fighting mechanic. They're a treat to watch the first few times, but the novelty does wear off through repetition. They aren't too long, so there's that working in their favour. Aquaman's impossible access to tidal floods filled with sharks is destined to be a favourite.

The introduction of back to block to the NetherRealm vernacular is by no means indication of a preference for one type of player over another. One of Injustice's biggest triumphs is undoubtedly the way it bridges the gap between the hardcore and casual fighting game audiences. The systems are very deep, yet extremely accessible - something NetherRealm has been striving for since the beginning. The moves list is full of detailed information, including move data and frame data. It might be a bit baffling to casuals, but the hardcore audience will surely be very thankful.

Player customization offers a backdoor to players grappling with the defaults. Controls can be remapped to the whim of the user, even allowing players to switch to a Street Fighter style for special moves. You can also tag up to six moves (or combos) for quick reference, adding them to a cheat list beneath your health bar - very useful for mere mortals who might forget these important inputs!

When it comes to modes, the makers of Mortal Kombat have stayed much closer to home. The traditional arcade ladder is found in the "Battles" menu, where you will also find a number of unlockable options not unlike what was found in MK's Test Your Luck mode. They offer a range of selectable challenges that pit you against clocks and modifiers. It's pretty standard fare, but a nice change of pace when you tire of garden variety fights.

S.T.A.R. Labs is the equivalent of Mortal Kombat's Challenge Tower - offering over 200 missions, with a wide variety of objectives. You'll get a grade out of 3 stars for every mission you complete, which determines how quickly you'll unlock additional challenges. Some of these can be frustrating, particularly at the 3 star level. Like the MK Challenge Tower, there's promise of a special unlockable reward at the conclusion of a perfect 3 star run. If you're expecting the reward to match the effort involved, you'll be sorely disappointed by the lone Flash costume that awaits [spoiled by the Facebook account before game release, no less].

Also returning is the much talked about story mode, which plays out in a manner much the same as the last two Mortal Kombat games [including the pioneering Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe].

You'll play as half the Injustice cast, following them through cinematics that carry the narrative from playable fight to fight. Thrown into the mix are a series of mini-games, as well, which occur before appropriate fights. Most are quick time events, requiring a basic input chain to determine a handicap in the following battle. They are few and far between, so it's never as tedious as it could be, but it's a shame they all play the same.

The cut scenes are well presented and a more elaborate evolution from what was achieved in Mortal Kombat. Situations unfold beyond the shortlist of playable stage environments, veering into backdrops and set pieces tailored to the plot. It compliments the interactive movie that the mode is designed to be, but praise for the much hyped story ends there. The premise is a noteable step up from Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe's Rage macguffin, but it all seems like a convoluted justification for the entire concept of the game - superheroes fighting. The introduction of a parallel universe feels needlessly repetitive and amounts to almost nothing interesting. It's by no means terrible, but it's also completely forgettable. It's disappointing the production value is wasted, far outclassing the bland and uninteresting story that was a much-hyped centerpiece for promotion of the game.

When adapting material from the DC library, games like this are standing on the shoulders of giants. The sheer volume of incredible content on offer makes the flat-footed approach of Injustice all the more bitter. Fundamental missteps undermine their own work -- like the preoccupation of the game concept through concepts like 'power pills.' The canon available to Injustice supplies far superior explanations than this meagre, unnecessary distraction. The concept further harms itself with the availability of an utterly irrelevant cast of villains. This game could have very easily made use of its cast and mode to tell a more compelling story, with a more naturally self-sustained logic. Instead, it is much ado about nothing.

Visually, Injustice has a lot to offer. The spectacular super moves are an obvious highlight and sure to get a reaction from people. Many of them are grand in scope, sending the fighters into space or through the core of the earth, with plenty of tasty particle effects to enjoy. The stages are highly detailed and vibrant with lots of depth and attention to detail. In all respects, this is superhero spectacle.

Performance wise, gameplay runs at a solid 60 frames per second. Unfortunately that does drop down to rather choppy framerates during the elaborate super moves, as well as during the story mode cutscenes, which showed some considerable slowing down in places. It won't be a major issue to most players, considering that the frame rate only drops when you aren't in direct control of the action, but it's a notable issue nonetheless.

Injustice: Gods Among Us is now available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii U. Post your thoughts by joining the conversation in the DC Universe Injustice forum.

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