Freddy Kruger was the first guest character I’d ever been excited about in a Mortal Kombat game, appearing in the 2011 version of the game. He was one of the great horror icons, so he fit right in with the dark setting of Mortal Kombat. While Freddy was fun to fight with, I soon realized that he didn’t add anything more to the experience. He wasn’t featured in story mode, nor did he have a connection to any of the characters. This was fine because he only claimed one spot on the roster.
Unfortunately, the number of guest characters only grew within the next two games, making up half of the DLC roster. Horror icons like Jason Voorhees and Leatherface were introduced in Mortal Kombat X, giving the game a horror feel. While the number of guest characters felt excessive, I enjoyed the game.
Mortal Kombat 11 took an action-packed turn with guest characters like Rambo, Robocop, and The Terminator, while also throwing in some DC comics favorites. While I’d heard of most of these characters, there were some I wasn’t tempted to use. I’d never seen any of the Rambo movies and I wasn’t a fan of Spawn, but I was fine with their inclusion.
Mortal Kombat 1 was announced as the re-imaging of the original timeline, so I expected the roster to be made up of fighters from that period. I’ve been eagerly awaiting news about the game, and I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen. But the Amazon leak of the Kombat Pack inclusions revealed that the guest fighters didn't interest me in the least, nor did I have any interest in paying for them.
A simple solution would be to only purchase the base game, but I would miss out on returning Mortal Kombat characters. Another solution would be to buy only the characters I plan on using. Unfortunately, that would stick me with an incomplete game, and I wouldn’t get the goodies the Kombat pack offers. A better solution would be if the guest characters were all included within the same Kombat pack and had no impact on the trophies earned in-game.
It may be a bias, but I am just one of many fans who would have preferred to see existing Mortal Kombat characters return. Many of the 3D-era characters weren’t fully utilized and would feel like new characters if they returned. Characters such as Taven and Shujunko were introduced under the guise of becoming Mortal Kombat’s new protagonist, only to be discarded. In Taven’s case, he never returns and is barely mentioned again.
There’s little to no development for characters like Nitara. This is odd because Nitara makes a recent appearance in both the newest live-action and animated film universes. What’s worse is that many of those characters, like Ashrah and Havik, are fan favorites, and have yet to be seen in the newer games.
Understandably, characters like Hsu Hao, Kobra, and Meat won’t return. However, the new timeline is ripe with possibilities to fix these flawed characters. It could have been interesting to see these characters reimagined.
Several of the guest characters have been plucked from tv shows and movies, so they offer no room for growth and likely won’t leave a lasting impression on the series. The inclusion of so many guest characters feels like a waste considering that there are enough neglected characters from MK games past to fill the entire roster.
While Mortal Kombat wasn’t the first game to use guest characters, it seems to have taken the concept and run with it. Guest characters are fine, but it seems odd that so much effort went into guest characters when Mortal Kombat has a large roster of forgotten fighters.
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