What bugs me, though, are comments such as 'NRS are lazy' or 'they're shortcutting the game'. Don't be so naive, they've invested serious effort into this game, but they must conform to a deadline. Realistically, some aspects will not receive as much attention as others.
Laziness comes in the form of recycling animations. All of the fatalities shown so far have consisted of dismembering the opponent. Here is a diagram showing the slice points on the characters...
Back in the day the MK team recycled animations and used palette swaps to conserve memory space since they only had very little space to work with on the arcade machines. But now with the PS3 having the enormous bluray format and x-box using DL DVDs this should not be the go-to method of creation with MK9. Each and every Fatality COULD look distinct, individual, and wholly unique. Given that this is not the case, I deem them somewhat lazy when creating them. Prime examples of this so far are....
- Cyrax's Net Fatality - The character is hit by a net that consists of approx. 264 squares and yet falls into the predetermined number of pieces as shown in the diagram above.
- All other fatalities - Each character just displays an animation that results in the opponent being dissected in one of the ways shown in the above diagram.
- Reptile's Fatality - This is actually something that REALLY pisses me off in modern day gaming. Clipping is when polygons cross into each other when they shouldn't. Example would be a cape on a character's back that occasionally shows his elbow popping through or his legs popping through when running. The MK team has actually used this taboo mistake in game development to "Shortcut" animating and texturing fatalities in ALL of the 3D MKs. This is shown in Reptile's Fatality in MK9. He reaches into the opponent's abdomen and pulls out his stomach. NOW, using the clipping to show the hand reaching into the opponent is not the bad part. The cheesy part is that the opponent shows NO texture effect on his abdomen showing the damage from thrusting an arm into an opponent's body. Another example of this is the liver crush with Sub-Zero. I can dig reaching into the opponent and then freezing and crushing their liver, they could (in the MK world) live to fight out the rest of the match. HOWEVER, being "Lazy" and not programming a texture effect to show the gaping and bleeding hole that should be left after this is... well... lazy.
Mileena's Face Eat Fatality - She chews the opponents face off yet the face she just ate is not 'eaten'. Another fine example of shortcutting using clipping.
BUT, NRS has plenty of time to tie up these little details and my hopes lie with them that they will not overlook these simple and subtle details. Each new build I see on YouTube shows new animations, moves, combos, and the like. So I have no doubt it is possible they just haven't gotten to this yet.
Deadlines are NEVER a valid excuse to not produce the very best a talented programming team can accomplish!