June 1st, 2006
10:19 AM CST -
When Microsoft was gearing up to release the Xbox 360, one of the biggest questions was whether or not the console will feature backwards compatibility of Xbox games. While it took Microsoft quite some time to make the announcement, Mortal Kombat: Deception was on the initial list of games to be backwards compatible and playable on the Xbox 360.

Unfortunately, the emulation was extremely buggy as mentioned in our Mortal Kombat: Deception on Xbox 360 feature, which subsequently caused the game to be pulled from the list the month following the Xbox 360 release.

However, no news has been released on when Deception is going to return to the compatibility list and it may look like it may never make its return. Peter Moore, Corporate VP of Microsoft's gaming interests, mentioned that "nobody is concerned anymore about backwards compatibility" in an interview with Kikizo Games. Moore also mentioned that Microsoft has actually "under promised and over delivered" on the backwards compatibility front for the Xbox 360.

It appears that Microsoft is no longer focusing on backward compatibility with the Xbox 360 and it might well mean that Mortal Kombat: Armageddon has practically no shot at being playable on the Xbox 360.
June 6th, 2006
1:55 PM CST -
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is the last Mortal Kombat game to appear on current generation consoles. In our hands-on preview, we take a hands on look at the E3 2006 build and determine whether this series send-off will live up to expectations.

Two major changes to the traditional Mortal Kombat game play elements have occurred in Armageddon. The first is the Air Combat system. Since the Mortal Kombat series moved to a 3D game engine, there has always been some difficulty with jumping and air juggling. With Mortal Kombat: Deception, the MK team finally got these issues down a little bit more to a manageable level. In Armageddon, it was amazing to feel the difference with jumping in this game. Not to mention the ability to follow your opponent into the air after an air juggle move. Now you can continue combos and attacks in the air, when before you were limited to a single punch/kick/throw.

Read the rest of our hands-on preview and check out all of the information, videos, and screenshots at our Mortal Kombat: Armageddon GameRealm.
June 13th, 2006
12:04 PM CST -
Microsoft has released the latest Xbox 360 Backwards Compatability update with support for another 21 original Xbox games. Unfortunately, this update once again does not mark the return of Mortal Kombat: Deception to the list. Neither does this update bring support for Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. The following list is the list of newly added games in this update: 4x4 EVO 2, Amped 2, Bad Boys 2, Big Mutha Truckers, DOOM 3, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, Fatal Frame, FlatOut, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Intellivision Lives, LEGO Star Wars, Minority Report, MLB SlugFest 20-04, The Punisher, RalliSport Challenge, Silent Hill 4: The Room, Spawn Armageddon, Spider-Man, Star Wars Battlefront, State of Emergency, Zapper.
June 20th, 2006
11:54 AM CST -
The latest incarnation of the Mortal Kombat franchise to be released in October takes it's trademark "Fatality" system to a whole new level. This time around the finishing moves have become more integrated with the overall gameplay instead of being somewhat of a separate entity. Now not only can you perform brutal life ending moves on your opponent at the end of a match, but players also have to watch their step during each round (depending on what stage you fight on).

The stage fatalities add an interesting dynamic to the fight. It's no longer a matter of playing the offense and trying to find the best way to pulverize your opponent. Instead, players also have to be defensive by making sure they are not lined up with various death traps. The stage fatalities are a throwback to MK games of earlier days and definitely cater to fans of the old finishing system with their cut-scene style.

The match ending finishers are presented in an entirely new way and has been dubbed the "Create A Fatality" system. At the end of the round when you score that final winning blow you have a veritable cornucopia of ways to dispose of your opponent. This new system, somewhat reminiscent of Killer Instinct's combo finishers, allows you to chain finishing moves together allowing you to come up with your own way of destroying your opponent. Once the familiar voice tells you to "Finish Him/Her" a timer and fatality counter are displayed. Each time you successfully execute one of the predefined pad/button combinations your fatality counter increments by one and the timer resets, but the timer counts down faster as your fatality counter increases. This makes performing longer fatalities a lot more challenging.

The fatality is broken down into several components: fillers, transitions, and enders. Fillers are moves that pad your fatality count and consist of things like punches, kicks, and other non-lethal blows. Transitions allow you draw a weapon or move your opponent to another position. This gives the player the ability to execute additional moves not available until after the transition move is performed. For example, to slice off an opponents left arm, you first have to perform the move to draw the sword. Or to break your opponents neck from behind you first have to turn them around. Enders are pretty self-explanatory: they end the fatality and consist of lethal blows like head rips, spine pulls, or neck snaps.

Once you finish finishing your opponent, you are scored on the number of moves performed. The following list shows the fatality count followed by the classification you are given:

1 - Fatality
2 - Deadly Fatality
3 - Killer Fatality
4 - Bloody Fatality
5 - Mortal Fatality
6 - Brutal Fatality
7 - Evil Fatality
8 - Vicious Fatality
9 - Savage Fatality
10 - Extreme Fatality

The new "Create A Fatality" system has a very small learning curve -- I was able to understand and perform complex fatalities in a very short amount of time. One of my favorites finishers that I concocted was groin kick, heart rip, brain rip, draw sword, slice off right arm, arm rip, smack with arm, smack with arm, smack with arm, smack with arm, head rip or decapitate w/ arm. Overall, I feel that it is a fantastic addition to the game and I hope to see it expanded upon in the final release of the title.
June 26th, 2006
5:07 PM CST -
Getting started in any industry is definitely an uphill battle. How much education plays a factor, what companies you should apply to, what job you should expect to land, etc. With many people actively seeking a new career in the gaming industry, many people wonder what it takes to break through. Dave Perry, game developer extrordinaire, posted an interview with none other than Ed Boon, co-creator of the Mortal Kombat series, in order to get his impressions and recommendations to those wanting to break into the industry.

Without using terms like "indentured servant" or "voluntary servitude", please describe your ideal protege.

That is the first time anyone asked be that question as I never really saw myself as someone who would have a protege. I suppose it would be someone who has a programming background. Even though I do very little programming now, I've always felt that my background has helped me communicate my ideas to the technical people on our team. So, I'd say, someone with a programming background, a knowledge and understanding of the big selling games and the ability to communicate their ideas clearly. This is especially true today with team of 40-50 people.

Overall, this is a very unique interview that goes into the thoughts and ideas of the man behind the series, instead of the normal Mortal Kombat oriented interview.
June 27th, 2006
9:39 AM CST -
On the heels of a masterful and unique interview with Mortal Kombat co-creator, Ed Boon, comes another generic "gee I've heard that before" interview over at GameDaily. The feature mildly touches on the new gameplay additions and reveals that the next generation Mortal Kombat game is on track to be out sometime in 2008.

As I started chatting with the co-creator of Mortal Kombat about the changes being made to Armageddon, I soon began to understand why the MK series has less depth and caters a lot more to the casual gamers than hardcore gamers. Ed Boon is a Tekken fan. He told me that when he's home playing for fun he plays Tekken, it's his favorite fighting game. In fact, when I asked Boon if he had seen the full length Tekken 6 trailer, he hadn't and was overjoyed when I showed it to him on my camcorder. He loves the depth in Tekken, but he also understands that it can be hard for a casual gamer to get into a deep fighter like that. Mortal Kombat is his work and he decided to make the MK titles more accessible to the casual gamers.

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is scheduled to be released in October 2006 and is the final Mortal Kombat fighting game on Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation 2 consoles.
June 30th, 2006
3:18 PM CST -
Our disdain for Microsoft's backwards compatibility procedures has been expressed very publicly on our site. With the initial release of the Xbox 360 backwards compatibility profile supporting Mortal Kombat: Deception and then having it be abruptly removed due to major rendering errors, Mortal Kombat fans are left without any games working on the Xbox 360.

This drought continues through on to the most recent Mortal Kombat game Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks and the upcoming Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. While Midway is well aware that a good majority of Mortal Kombat fans are extremely frustrated with the lack of backwards compatibility support on the Xbox 360 for Mortal Kombat games, the game publisher claims to have no say in whether their games make the compatibility list or not. The work is being done by Microsoft and is it up to their team to decide where to spend their efforts in adding more games to the lineup.

With many popular games not on the list, the most recent success anyone has had in recommending an addition to the list is Psychonauts. After the game's fabled creator, Tim Schaffer, put out a plea to the gaming community to e-mail Microsoft in order to help his game get on the Xbox 360 backwards compatibility list, Microsoft responded with their BC team confirming that they will start working on the title.

If similar actions were taken, perhaps the Mortal Kombat community can band together and put some pressure on Microsoft in order to get the BC team to pay more attention to Mortal Kombat games, namely Armageddon. Therefore, some of the top Mortal Kombat sites have banded together and have created a joint petition to include past and future Xbox Mortal Kombat games on Xbox 360 and have the names sent to Microsoft. The petition has been orgainzed by Mortal Kombat Online and is joined by Dave's Mortal Kombat, Total Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat Outworld, and Kamidogu.

Click here to petition Microsoft to add backwards compatibility support for Mortal Kombat games on Xbox 360.

Hopefully, these efforts will catch the attention of Microsoft and Xbox 360 owners will be able to play their Xbox Mortal Kombat games on their new console. Let's show that the TRMK community is behind this effort in full support.

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