News Archive - July, 2007
Mortal Kombat II For PS3 Listed Among Suggested Online Games From Yahoo!

The perennial favorite among many fans, Mortal Kombat II, has been listed among the preferred online purchasable games to beat the heat of visiting your local gaming store. The list was composed by Yahoo! Games and titled "Game Shopping from your Sofa". It features all three current generation systems, PS3, XBox 360 and Wii. The Playstation 3 games are located on the second page, and Mortal Kombat II appears at the bottom.

One of the original "video game nasties," it's a little amusing to think of Mortal Kombat II, somewhat tame by Grand Theft Auto standards, causing a nation of parents to fear for the integrity of their offspring. The culprit, of course, was the game's infamous "Fatality" moves, which saw, among other things, contestants being decapitated, frozen alive, or sliced in half. Nice. While Mortal Kombat II's shock value is largely gone, the solid beat-em-up gameplay retains its competitive edge.

Yahoo! Games scores MKII 3.5/5 and of course lists the game's price as $4.99. To view the entire list of games on all systems, click here.

Thanks to forum member for sending this news lead.

Jazwares Goro Figure To Be Available This Weekend!

Our friends from Jazwares have provided us with a few exclusive pictures of the Goro figure that will be available this weekend for purchase at Comic Con! The figure will be sold at the Toy Rocket booth of the convention. There will also be a painted sculpture of Kintaro at the booth for display as well, so if you're in San Diego or attending the convention, be sure to pay a visit to this booth.

A few details regarding the figure:

He is a little taller than 7" tall

He has over 25 points of articulation

You can now buy the figure in advance at Toy Rocket as well. Click here to do so.

We would like to thank our friends from Jazwares for sending us these images!

MK Online Interviews Ultimate Mortal Kombat Producer Hans Lo!

During Midway Gamers' Day back in January, Shaun Himmerick and Ed Boon announced the existence of an upcoming version of Mortal Kombat for the Nintendo DS that Shaun was producing. That game has since been revealed as Ultimate Mortal Kombat, which contains both Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Puzzle Kombat. Shaun Himmerick is no longer overseeing Ultimate Mortal Kombat; the producer of Ultimate MK is a gentleman by the name of Hans Lo. Mortal Kombat Online recently took some time to interview Hans concerning Ultimate Mortal Kombat and his own Mortal Kombat background.


MK Online: Of course, Mortal Kombat has a wide variety of material to choose from, from several tournament fighters, action/adventure games, and fun side games. So, the big question... why Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, and why Puzzle Kombat?

Hans Lo: As I’m sure you’re all well aware, we’ve never had any of the Mortal Kombat products available on the DS. At the same time Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 has come out for other home systems and was received very well by the public. Taking these two points into account, we wanted to give the DS consumer the opportunity to play and discover Mortal Kombat on this new and exciting platform. As for Puzzle Kombat, this time we wanted to offer something extra. Something we’ve haven’t included with outside of Mortal Kombat: Deception. Throw in online game play and it just seemed like the perfect fit.

MKO: In an interview with IGN, Ed Boon stated that the same team that developed the highly successful port of UMK3 to Xbox Live Arcade are handling the development of UMK. How much different is it for them to develop the game for the DS platform, and what were the biggest challenges they faced?

HL: As with any type of development, there are always challenges. No two game systems are exactly alike, and each has it own advantages and challenges. For the DS, one of the things people notice right off is the screen size. A major concern for us is to make sure everything is displayed correctly. By moving the fighters and traps on Puzzle Kombat to the upper screen, we were able to have more real estate on the lower screen to display the playing field. If we left it the way it was in Deception, the characters would have been tiny. In fact the screen as a whole would be very crowded.

From a technical standpoint the Xbox 360 and the arcade unit are vastly different platform from the DS. I could go into details about VRAM, graphic systems, handling of sprites and such. In short, the team needed to go in and add and/or rewrite code in order for the games to be optimized on the DS. Also, there’s the wireless aspect, keeping everything in sync. But the biggest challenge is keeping Ed and the rest of the MK team happy with the game. Ed and the MK team set a very high bar for quality and they are constantly reviewing the game and providing feedback. In the end, I think everyone will be pretty happy with what we come out with, and if not, I’ll be definitely be hearing it from Ed.

MKO: ) Some ports of UMK3 contained Sheeva, while others contained Noob and Rain. Will this be the "Ultimate" Ultimate MK3 and contain all of them? Or will this be more or less a direct port of the arcade game? The same question can be asked of Puzzle Kombat; will we see new characters and/or super moves?

HL: This version of the game will be based off the arcade version. So with that being said, we want this to be as close as possible to the original.

MKO: In UMK3 for XBLA, the Other Ocean team included a new round-robin tournament mode. Can we expect to see any new multiplayer modes for UMK? Can we expect to see new features and gameplay modes in Puzzle Kombat?

HL: One of the more exciting aspects for these games is the online feature. The ability to play against another person whether they’re sitting next to you, or half a world away is pretty awesome. Another cool thing we’re looking at is allowing two people to play off of one cartridge. This is a great way to share the experience with those who have never really played or been exposed to a Mortal Kombat title before. We are also adding a record keeping system that will allow players to compare their single and multiplayer fight records with friends and competitors.

MKO: We know from the screenshots that the dual screens are used in both Puzzle Kombat and the character select. What other modes will make use of it? Do you have any specific plans for the stylus as well?

HL: For Puzzle Kombat we’ve used the upper screen to better show off the puzzle fighters as well as the Death Traps. By doing this, the lower screen is focused on the action of the puzzle play. In Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 we’re still working on a few ideas, so stay tuned. However, in the end the most important thing for us is to preserve the essence of the game play experience. This doesn’t mean we’re not experimenting with new ideas. We are playing around with a few ideas for the touch screen, but we want to make sure that what we do is the best fit for the games. We’ll definitely keep you guys up to date as we move forward.

MKO: Finally... you're a new face to the MK community. Would you mind telling us a bit about yourself, and what experience you've had with Mortal Kombat prior to UMK?

HL: You really want to know about me? Pretty boring stuff. I’ve been in the industry since 1988, back in the NES days. Started out at Nintendo as a “Game Play Counselor”, the guys you would call if you got stuck on the games. In fact if you look around in an old issue of Nintendo Power, you might find my “Profile”. Now in regards to Mortal Kombat, this is my third project that I’ve had direct development involvement since I’ve been at Midway. My first project working with Ed and the guys was for Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks as an Associate Producer. For the next MK project I was the Producer on UMK3 for Xbox Live Arcade. In both cases they were great experiences. I got to work closely with Ed and the team. I definitely learned a lot on those games. However, if you want to get really technical about my involvement, then I would say it would have to go all the way back to my days at Nintendo in the 90’s. I was a Tester at Nintendo, and one of the games that came through for approval for the Super NES was Mortal Kombat. Some may remember the whole hub bub back then about having all that blood on screen, and in the end we, Nintendo, requested that it be removed from the game. Personally, I wanted to see it stay in the game, but management at the time was more concerned about the company’s family friendly image. This was all pre-ESRB. One of the cool things was we were sent an actual arcade unit for us to “review” the game for content. I just remember my boss coming by my desk 2 to 3 times a day saying “Hans, I need you to help me ‘review’ this game.” What was I going to say, “no”? C’mon, get paid to play Mortal Kombat, who would say no to that?


Keep it tuned here; as we learn more about UMK, we'll be sure to report it. Our thanks to Hans Lo for taking the time to sit down and talk to us about the game!

Midway Announces E3 2007 Lineup!

We're just hours away from the start of the E3 2007 trade show, and the folks over at Midway have sent out a press release announcing their lineup for the show! As might be expected, Ultimate Mortal Kombat for the Nintendo DS is listed as being part of the lineup. From the press release:

CHICAGO, IL -- July 9, 2007 -- Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY), a leading interactive entertainment publisher and developer, today announced its product portfolio to be shown at the E3 Business & Media Summit, July 11-13 in Los Angeles. This year's lineup showcases exciting new properties such as Stranglehold™, highly anticipated next generation games such as BlackSite: Area 51™, developed by Midway Studios -- Austin, proven brands such as Unreal Tournament® 3 from world renowned developer Epic Games and Ultimate Mortal Kombat , Midway's top-selling fighting franchise´s debut on Nintendo DS™; and kid´s games like Foster´s Home for Imaginary Friends, based on the top-rated Cartoon Network series.

"Our 2007 E3 lineup truly reflects our product strategy to develop top quality titles in a wide range of genres across all major platforms ," said David F. Zucker, president and CEO, Midway. "With exciting next generation games such as Stranglehold and proven brands like Mortal Kombat, along with games for the younger market and handhelds, this is Midway's most diverse and strongest line up yet."

...

Ultimate Mortal Kombat (Nintendo DS, November) -- Ultimate Mortal Kombat combines the visceral thrills of the classic Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and the addictive puzzle action of the Puzzle Kombat component of Midway's best-selling Mortal Kombat: Deception® in a single DS-friendly package. With unlockable content, new record-keeping capability, and Wi-Fi-connected multiplayer, players will be able take UMK anywhere for fighting action on the go.

It should be noted that not all of the games listed will be playable; the list is merely of those Midway will be advertising and presenting at the show in one form or another. In a recent interview with GameSpot, Midway CEO David Zucker confirmed that not only would Ultimate Mortal Kombat not be playable at the show, he confirmed that Mortal Kombat 8 would be a complete no-show as well. From the interview:

GS: So what are you going be showing at the hangar itself?

DZ: We'll be having Stranglehold and BlackSite: Area 51 at the hangar.

...

GS: Outstanding. Now one thing I know people are wondering about is what you are doing with your signature franchises, such as Mortal Kombat. Now that it's out on the Wii, everybody is wondering what's next with that franchise? Are you going to reveal that at your press conference?

DZ: We won't be talking about it. It's not the end of Mortal Kombat, but we won't be talking about the next iteration at this conference. But we are working on some pretty exciting stuff.

We'll be keeping an uncharacteristic distant eye on the show; if any MK-related news breaks from the show, we'll be sure to report it here!

To read the Midway press release, click here. To read the GameSpot interview in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member for letting us know about the GameSpot interview!

Ultimate Mortal Kombat for DS Logos And Box Art
We've gone ahead and acquired the box art from Midway's upcoming Ultimate Mortal Kombat, the UMK3 port for the Nintendo DS which will also include bonuses such as wireless online play and Puzzle Kombat. Longtime fans will notice that even though the colors somewhat resemble MKDA, the skull pattern in the background is a nod to the original UMK3 artwork. Check it out:
Our thanks to Gambid from MK Secrets for the tip on this update!