Speculating the Future: Mechanics and utilities that could benefit the new Mortal Kombat engine in subsequent games.
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Speculating the Future: Mechanics and utilities that could benefit the new Mortal Kombat engine in subsequent games.
03/13/2011 09:50 PM EDT
MK9 is around the corner, with most feedback being positive in that the game is actually good this time and will provide a proper competitive experience.

That being said, what I want to do is discuss the future of the series with a gameplay slant. Instead of focusing on the possible characters and story for the next game, I want to discuss the possible gameplay features that may be in the next game. Granted, it's very early on. Hell, the game is not even out yet and there could be lots of neat little secrets hidden within the final build and future patches, but this forum needs some oil to loosen its gears and that's what this thread is for.

Below is a list of a few mechanics from other fighting games that may (or may not) have a place in a Mortal Kombat game one day. Some seem like obvious implements while others may be controversial, but nevertheless I hope it spurs some discussion about what people are expecting out of the franchise in its coming years.




.: Dizzy & Guard Break/Crash/Crush/etc.
ex: Melty Blood: Actress Again (guard break)
ex: Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike (dizzy)

Some games have a meter that, if depleted (or filled in some games), will force the opponent into a wide open state of animation or dizzy animation. This proves advantageous in a game of pressure, as a high volley of attacks can quickly subdue an opponent into a vulnerable state. The closest Mortal Kombat has ever had to this are stun moves.

Depending on how you look at this mechanic as it's usually applied, it can either be seen as rewarding a player for being on the offensive or punishing a player for turtling.




.: Handcuffs/Button Locking
ex: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (permanent lock)
ex: Naruto: Narutimate Hero 3 (temporary lock)

Button Locking is generally considered an unwelcome glitch in the games it appears in. It refers to a mechanic exploit by a player that will cause their opponent to be unable to use buttons, where pressing a button will do absolutely nothing if the opponent tries. Sometimes the freeze is temporary, whereas in other games it can be permanent. Guile's permanent handcuffing glitch in World Warrior is of particular note because it forces the opponent to follow Guile as he moves. During the heyday of Narutimate Hero 2's comp scene, button locking was a viable if often frowned upon high level exploit.




.: Kara Jabbing & Run Jabbing
ex: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

Kara jabbing and run jabbing are not the same thing, but their mechanics are similar enough that it's appropriate to put them together. They're especially relevant because they're featured in a previous Mortal Kombat title. In UMK3, you can cancel the duration of a punch animation by about one-third if you press any other button.

Kara jabbing refers to canceling the animation of LP or HP with the Block button. Canceling with block allows you to more quickly put up a guard in the heat of battle as you apply pressure.

Run jabbing refers to canceling the animation of LP or HP with the Run button. Because a neutral push of the Run button does absolutely nothing, it lets you keep up a steady game of pressure as you close in on your opponent with fast jabs.

Both of these are a mainstay in UMK3's very aggressive metagame, and while run jabbing is probably not coming back as long as a Run button is missing in MK9 and beyond, kara jabbing may return one day or even have a spiritual successor in MK9's engine with the inclusion of dash canceling.




.: Parry
ex: Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
ex: Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion

Depending on the game and its developer a parry has different properties. Generally speaking, a parry is a technique that either guards or counters an attack, sometimes allowing you an advantage to combo off of it. They are often exceptionally difficult to pull off in the heat of the moment because of the precise timing it requires with the small window allowed. In games that accumulate chip damage, using a parry over blocking allows you to guard without taking damage.

Parrying is a vital mechanic of every game it is featured in, and can often turn a match completely around if executed successfully.




.: Roll Canceling
ex: Capcom vs. SNK 2

Roll canceling is an exploit in Capcom vs. SNK 2 that allows a player to cancel a roll at three frames into a special move, subsequently giving the special move the invincibility frames of the roll as it connects. The timing window to accomplish a roll cancel is very small, making them exceptionally difficult to pull off. In practice it allows you to break through attacks with the element of surprise.

This was fixed in Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO as Capcom clearly did not intend for this mechanic to be in the game, but nevertheless it exists and has its uses.




.: Transformations
ex: Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit
ex: Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Transformations are more relegated to anime fighters than anywhere else. Generally, the idea behind them is to give you a boost in offensive power at the cost of something else, usually a continuous meter depletion or a defense handicap. Other games take a different approach, where transformations serve as a revenge mechanic to give you a chance at a comeback. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe utilized the concept in the form of RAGE.

In quite a few fighters (such as Burst Limit shown above), activating a transformation when the opponent is right next to you will cause a guard break or launch them into the air, setting them up for an attack or combo. There are others that launch an opponent across the screen.

While I don't think giving MK's combatants the ability to go Super Saiyan is a logical or even good idea, I do think that some fighters such as Reptile could utilize a form of transformation that benefits the character with positive results.




.: Wall Diving
ex: Super Street Fighter 4

While Vega isn't the only character in the history of fighting games to be able to wall dive, he's definitely the poster boy of the technique. Wall diving refers to the ability to launch attacks off the stage walls, which generally serve no physical purpose besides boundary limits. Vega in particular can make use of his wall diving arsenal to do a myriad of tasks, from corner escapes to anti-air attacks. Other 2D fighters, such as Hokuto no Ken/Fist of the North Star, make active use of the stage walls for a bounceback effect.




.: Wavedashing
ex: Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion
ex: Super Smash Bros. Melee

Wavedashing is an exploit of the game engine to cover large ground in a short amount of time. While its most notable game application is in Melee, where a wavedash can cover extremely large areas of space very quickly, Tekken and Super Smash Bros. Brawl also feature a variant of wavedashing that is less extravagant. Wavedashing is useful in closing the gap between players, especially in Smash Bros. where it's not uncommon for opponents to be launched across the screen, giving themselves considerable distance for a recovery opportunity.



P.S. I hate MUGEN and its plethora of crappy vids on YouTube.
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RE: Speculating the Future: Mechanics and utilities that could benefit the new Mortal Kombat engine in subsequent games.
03/13/2011 11:45 PM EDT


Parry's are present in MK2011, they're just not universal. I like the way MKDC handled them with making them character centric like Subby's Ice parry and Joker's joy buzzer, I would prefer this return as opposed to the way Armageddon handled them.

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RE: Speculating the Future: Mechanics and utilities that could benefit the new Mortal Kombat engine in subsequent games.
03/13/2011 11:51 PM EDT
Joe-Von-Zombie Wrote:
Parry's are present in MK2011, they're just not universal.


If you've got some videos I'd love to see them since I haven't got a glimpse of them yet (clearly, since I assumed they weren't in).
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RE: Speculating the Future: Mechanics and utilities that could benefit the new Mortal Kombat engine in subsequent games.
03/14/2011 12:09 AM EDT
Wanderer Wrote:
Joe-Von-Zombie Wrote:
Parry's are present in MK2011, they're just not universal.


If you've got some videos I'd love to see them since I haven't got a glimpse of them yet (clearly, since I assumed they weren't in).



Johnny Cage's X Ray is a parry.
Spoilers: (Highlight to reveal)
Cyber Sub-Zero will have the Sub-Zero's Ice Parry (if the data leak is to be belived
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RE: Speculating the Future: Mechanics and utilities that could benefit the new Mortal Kombat engine in subsequent games.
03/14/2011 12:24 AM EDT
Johnny Cage's x-ray is a counter, not a parry. I guess if you want to be literal it is a parry, but that's not what I was talking about at all.
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RE: Speculating the Future: Mechanics and utilities that could benefit the new Mortal Kombat engine in subsequent games.
03/15/2011 11:31 PM EDT
All I'll say is that parries in TS were somewhat poorly designed and that it would've been a better game without them.
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RE: Speculating the Future: Mechanics and utilities that could benefit the new Mortal Kombat engine in subsequent games.
03/18/2011 07:42 AM EDT
StatueofLiberty Wrote:
All I'll say is that parries in TS were somewhat poorly designed and that it would've been a better game without them.


TS would have been a better game with a more balanced roster, The parries are fine.
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RE: Speculating the Future: Mechanics and utilities that could benefit the new Mortal Kombat engine in subsequent games.
03/18/2011 02:20 PM EDT
Joe-Von-Zombie Wrote:
StatueofLiberty Wrote:
All I'll say is that parries in TS were somewhat poorly designed and that it would've been a better game without them.


TS would have been a better game with a more balanced roster, The parries are fine.


This is a bit of a catch 22. The parrying mech is a big part of TS's unbalance(though, I'd hardly call TS that unbalanced in the first place). Characters like say Remy and Ryu are fine on paper, but parrying really gimps the use of projectiles so there's no point in falling back and trying trap or position yourself into a advantageous spot. The whole game has to be played at mid range because there's no draw back to jumping or moving in when you can simply parry your way out of trouble. The problem is that character's potential set ups, mind games, strategies--their entire designs sometimes, are either severely crippled or totally nullified by the mechanic so everything has to be played at a relatively homogenized mid range, where of course, some characters truly excel more than others.

I love TS, don't get me wrong, but parrying's implementation was one of the things that I personally thought hurt the game. If MK is really trying to jump on the SF bandwagon (I dislike this btw) with EXs and what not, and they are going to try to move away from the rushdown centric gameplay of UMK3/4 to a more varied SFish design (grappler, zoning, etc.), then cost free parries like the ones in TS aren't the way to go in the future.
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