Fighting games are tricky, and not just because they are highly technical systems with highly skilled opponents. They are tricky because fans get attached to characters and that means, as sequels come out, some fans feel a sense of lost when one of their favorites goes missing. Not every game is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate after all, and developers don’t have the time or resources to include absolutely everyone. It also seems like a tricky balancing act.
This is the case with the recently released game, Mortal Kombat 11. (Which we loved.) This game is, as the number 11 would suggest, part of a series, and its history goes back quite a way. That means that it is jampacked with characters that people are attached to. We want to see our favorites. We want to play our favorites. Here are some examples of roster additions we particularly crave.
Let’s start with the obvious addition most people would love – Mileena. Mileena is a clone of another character, Kitana, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t great. People fall in love with clones all the time, and Mortal Kombat is a series absolutely full of them. Mileena is originally from Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and was then omitted in Mortal Kombat 4 so we’ve felt this pain before.
Narratively, Mileena stands out. She wants to take her throne, she wants to be a Princess, she’s grim, she’s violent, and she’s a blast to play. She wields sais, which she can throw to help control space, and can teleport above opponents to surprise them with a mighty kick. Fun!
Rain is also missing, and that’s a shame because he’s probably one of the cooler ninja characters. These ninjas, originally, all seemed to be pallet swaps with slightly different move sets. They’ve evolved a bit since then. He’s a Prince, he wears purple, and his name is Rain; that’s a pretty obvious pun, but Rain is no joke. He used to have a move called Mind Control Orb, but it has since been reworked into a move called Water Bubble, which I suppose fits his elemental aesthetic. The move launches a projectile. If it hits, the opponent is encased within it. It’s not all water with Rain, though. He can also steal a little bit of Raiden’s thunder and summon lightning with a move called Shocking Bolt.
And then there’s Reptile, who has been with the series since the original arcade game. He’s also a literal beast as he, as the name might suggest, is reptilian. He spits acid, dissolving faces, and can also turn invisible. What is also cool is that he has looked different in each game he has appeared in. Seeing Reptile in a new game was part of the excitement since it was a bit of a surprise.
Now, I’m not expecting Mortal Kombat 11 to add all of the fantastic characters from the franchise’s decades of history; that’s a pipe dream since there are a few dozen characters. But it is fun to get riled up over who is missing and hold out hope that we might see some of these characters in the near future. But, for now, we’ll have to deal with the current roster of characters and, honestly, it’s not like it’s a horrible selection. So, for now, let’s sit back and enjoy the game’s incredible story and explore the metagame. Or we can just have fun brutalizing our friends.