It was a fortnight ago Mortal Kombat Online was among the first sources to reveal Jim Lee's concept art for Scorpion! The Facebook first post proved popular with the extended MKOmmunity, even as controversy over guest characters continued in the build to Evo 2013.
The Mortal Kombat icon made the leap to Injustice: Gods Among Us in a June announcement [see trailer]. It garnered mixed response as the third of four character additions via the DLC Season Pass. The unique design by DC Comics' co-publisher and veteran artist, Lee, proved just as divisive as the inclusion itself. Examine the look further in the images below [click to enlarge].
The value of guest characters in fighting games is a debate that doesn't appear to be going away any time soon. Most major fighters have now incorporated a third-party guest into their playable ensembles. Mortal Kombat controversially indulged an obtuse guest fighter in horror icon Freddy Krueger -- segregated as DLC, but elevated to box art for the 2012 Komplete Edition. Kratos (of God of War) also appeared as a more palatable PlayStation 3 exclusive.
If Krueger -- included a full year after his return to screens in a disappointing 2010 remake -- represents the farthest stretch for relevance; Scorpion sits somewhere down the softer end of the scale.
As the spiritual successor to 2008's Midway swansong: Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe -- Injustice was a natural for a Mortal Kombat guest. It arrived over three years after the Warner Brothers acquisition [full story] and marked NetherRealm Studios' first major departure from the Mortal Kombat series. In truth, in embarking on the journey into Gods Among Us, Mortal Kombat Online was hoping for, and anticipating, just such an inclusion. It was a nice nod to everything leading up to it.
Perhaps our only glaring criticism was that Scorpion's inclusion wasn't a bit more creative. Sure, his iconic move set is all there, and we really like that this opportunity was utilized to give the character a unique look, based on a crossover talent. We just can't shake the thought it might have been better were it included on-disc.
We can completely empathize with consumers who purchased the $14.99 DLC Season Pass expecting a DC fighting game to deliver DC characters. After all, the DC brand brings an expectation of crossover interest from a mainstream audience. With that in mind, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for NetherRealm to dip their toe back into the world of true blue, deep and mysterious video game secrets!
Mortal Kombat characters have crossed over into other games before. In-house Midway productions like NBA Jam and The Grid snuck characters like Sub-Zero and Raiden into secret unlockable appearances. With history of MKvsDC to play with -- and so few substantial surprises in the finished product -- we would've relished teasing glimpses of hellfire and a teleporting golden ninja.
In any event, Scorpion is here to stay. At $4.99 (400 MS Points), the infernal ninja can be purchased as an individual download, or accepted as part of the Season Pass. Injustice welcomes its fifth downloadable character next week, with the long anticipated arrival of Martian Manhunter! NetherRealm Studios will be streaming a live demo July 29 [full story] -- one day before the DLC goes live!
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