Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Finish Him?

Eurogamer reports that some THQ exec has stated that a new game has been signed to their fighting division (which currently houses only WWE Smackdown and UFC Undisputed, as far as I'm aware), which will be announced at E3 in June. Judging from his words ("it's a major developer" and "when we announce it you'll go, 'oh they're going with THQ, cool") it's clearly an established name, rather than a new startup. As they're currently covering wrestling and MMA, they could be adding a boxing game to compete with EA's Fight Night series, but the wording doesn't suggest that a certain amount of melee combat in it" So what could it be?

There are four major players left in the fighting game genre, being Sega, Namco, Capcom and Tecmo, none of which would need THQ to publish any of their games, as all are either big players in their own right, or have links with other publishers in Western markets. Minor players in the fighting genre like Arc Systems and SNK-Playmore wouldn't be worth announcing, as their appeal is very niche.

So what does that leave? In my mind, there is only one option: Mortal Kombat. With Midway having disintegrated after declaring bankruptcy, the MK team would need a new publisher, and Ed Boon and co had said that they had salvaged their IP from the wreckage of Midway. By my count, a new game would be Mortal Kombat 9 (that's assuming you don't count things like Ultimate MK3, Mortal Kombat Trilogy or Mortal Kombat Gold as titles in their own right), although it is unlikely to be called that, since the games haven't used numbers in their titles since Mortal Kombat 4.

So, does Mortal Kombat still matter? In the larger scheme of things, no: even with the slight resurgence in fighting games brought on by the huge success of Street Fighter IV, another Mortal Kombat game is unlikely to get people too excited. On a personal level, I had played every Mortal Kombat game up to Deception (MK6, technically), but when Armageddon (MK7) came out Mortal Kombat apathy had set in too deep for me to get it, even when it became really cheap. I didn't even consider MK vs DC Universe (MK8) because the idea seemed so awful.

However, critical reception of MK vs DC Universe wasn't too bad, and even though all the footage I saw of the game seemed to suggest it was as stilted and awkward as the Mortal Kombat games had always been since moving to three dimensions, maybe the work they were supposedly doing on the fighting engine did actually pay some dividends. I still do have a slightly irrational fondness for the series from my youth, and an all-new, proper Mortal Kombat game (not another wretched cross-over) does still pique my interest.

I could be way off the mark about the announcement, though. Roll on E3, then.

No comments:

Post a Comment