Why Boon didn’t advertise this feature before the game’s launch is beyond me, but apparently it features a very cool system for balancing broken characters and infinites. Unlike MVC3 and SF4, or most Japanese fighters for that matter, Mortal Kombat can be balanced without players needing to patch their game.
Using some hocus pocus trickery, they can update the game in the background to fix problems that might be skewing the balance. “It’s something that’s built into our system,” says Boon. “We can do it without having players have to download a patch. That’s something we’re very excited about. We can monitor what things players may have an issue with and then correct them as needed.” That’s right, no patch. Wow.
What a breath of fresh air after years of Japanese fighters dominating the industry. This feature alone makes me seriously consider any qualms I had with the fighter and proves that this installment is something that is meant to be taken seriously. If Mortal Kombat proves that it can be balanced and bettered over time, it very well may have the legs to overcome the Japanese heavyweights and, perhaps, may change their attitude towards balance.
See, Japanese developers often source the arcades as the reason for denying practical updates and balance changes, as many arcade machines do not have the ability to be updated. Since they take their competitive games seriously, they don’t want some arcades to be running alternate versions of fighters or for home users’ versions to differ from arcade users’. But now we have arcades with global stat tracking and replay sharing, so why the hell can’t they support their games post release with regular balance changes?
I hope that whatever system Boon has put in place for MK catches on and we see a dramatic shift in how these games are made. I never thought I’d be saying this, but, Mortal Kombat has my support if it can pull this off. My hat is off to you, NetherRealm Studios.