The roster of Mortal Kombat X is the most varied yet, taking characters from all over the series lore and even making nearly a third of the roster brand new. While not all of my dream characters made it into the game, I accept the kombatants who made it on-disk.
One aspect of the roster that could have been thought out better is the guest characters this go around. While Jason and Predator do lend themselves well to the bloody action the series is known for, they don’t bring much in the way of personality. Here are a few different options I would like to see get some consideration, either as additions to this title or in future releases.
1. A Ninja from Japanese Media
Mortal Kombat is a series well known for its ninjas, both male and female. There are so many ninjas in the roster that it’s almost an archetype in the series the way that Shoto is an archetype in the Fighting Game genre, with nothing much more than a color to differentiate them visually. These characters are also a pretty liberal take on Japanese lore, hardly being stealthy at all and even screaming “GET OVER HERE!”
It’s here that Netherrealm could have created some excitement by adding a ninja character from Japanese media. The top franchise on my list to pull guests from would be Dead or Alive, another fighting game with plenty of ninjas to choose from (at least 6), and whose ninja costume DLC resembled Mortal Kombat cosplay anyway. While Dead or Alive is M-Rated because of the skimpy clothing of its female characters; the Dead or Alive ninjas aren’t new to violence, as they also star in the Ninja Gaiden games which have plenty of violence of their own.
Another reason a ninja from Japanese media would be a great fit would be to finally have a character that uses the Izuna Drop, a form of Pile Driver used by ninjas mostly in anime and video games. While it appeared in Mortal Kombat 9 as one of Noob Saibot’s moves, it could use the flair that Ryu Hayabusa gives it in DOA, with plenty of camera angles and other effects to show just how far the ninja Pile Drives the opponent to the ground.
While I feel Ryu Hayabusa and Kasumi from Dead or Alive would be the best fit, there are a few others that would fit well with Mortal Kombat X‘s roster too. Yoshimitsu from Tekken would be my first runner up, simply because a few of his attacks involve him stabbing himself through his body to damage the enemy. Taki’s movelist from Soul Calibur would fit almost perfectly with MKX‘s variation system with all of the different stances that characters in that series usually have. Finally, Raiden from Metal Gear Solid would be a different take on the Cyborg Ninja characters in Mortal Kombat which mostly absent from MKX.
2. Our Guest Character’s Rivals
This could possibly be DLC down the road, but it’s disappointing that we can’t finally pit the guest characters in the game against their rivals in the context fighting game when they have long running crossover franchises. The denial of an actual Jason vs Freddy is the biggest omission here, with the previous game already having Freddy Krueger as its guest character. And Alien vs Predator is a long-running multimedia franchise itself, with plenty of comics, movies, and games.
As soon as I saw the characters confirmed and the expected rivals WEREN’T available my excitement instantly dropped. It’s really odd that only one half of these rivalries appear, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it were to be remedied with DLC — but I also wouldn’t hold my breath.
3. Street Fighters who aren’t Ryu
As a gamer who grew up in the 90s, Street Fighter vs Mortal Kombat was always something I dreamed of no matter how absurd the concept may be. Two of fighting game’s biggest franchises going all out in one game is something a lot of people hope to see eventually, no matter which company has to swallow their pride about the presence of fatalities…
Or… Capcom and Netherrealm could come to a compromise and use Street Fighter characters that are a bit darker than Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, and Guile. While at first glance much of the Street Fighter cast wouldn’t fit in with Mortal Kombat, there are a few characters that are truly sadistic — such as the matador ninja, Vega/Balrog.
The Spanish bullfighter would be the perfect addition to the Mortal Kombat roster, blending in with its dark tone while keeping the traits that make him a Street Fighter character. His background is pretty dark, having turned from an underground ninjutsu bullfighter to a murderer overnight after seeing his stepfather murder his mother. This turns him into a masked murderer who mutilates others with his claw for pleasure, and the mask is worn to protect his face from being scared during battle. Vega being narcissistic and protecting his beauty in a world where he is easily able to satisfy his tendency to mutilate others would present an interesting dynamic. There’s also the fact he would be the first character in Mortal Kombat to throw a rose before a match.
If you don’t want to add Vega, you can always add Akuma, the most sadistic of the Shotos. Aside from simply putting a Shoto in Mortal Kombat, Akuma’s Raging Demon super-move is perfect for an earth that comingles with the other realms that would become the hell Akuma takes his opponent to during the move. There’s also the fact that Akuma is the original Street Fighter character to cross over to other franchises, having first crossed over to fight against Marvel’s heroes and villains in X-Men Children of the Atom.
4. System exclusive guests
This has already been done with Mortal Kombat 9 and even Street Fighter x Tekken on PlayStation last generation, and I think each first party has characters that should be squaring off against the Mortal Kombat characters. While these characters wouldn’t be tournament-viable because of exclusivity, the appearance of them would satisfy the fanboy-ish nature of guest characters.
PlayStation should definitely get the character that was rumored the most pre-launch: Sweet Tooth. While he mostly sits in a vehicle in his games, he is given more than enough backstory to prove he is sadistic enough for Mortal Kombat. Other characters that would fit would be action game veterans Cole from Infamous and Kratos from God of War (though if Kratos were to be brought back to Mortal Kombat, I would get rid of the God of War-style button prompts during battle — or simply make that a variant fighting style). For Cole, the morality system from the Infamous series virtually gives you three variations without much thought. I would hope that Netherrealm wouldn’t go the lazy route of PlayStation All-stars Battle Royale and attempt to get two characters out of Cole by adding an Evil Cole.
While PlayStation has some characters that would mesh well with Mortal Kombat, the Xbox is home to a franchise that has been its rival for nearly 20 years: Killer Instinct. Arguably the only other western fighting game series to keep the public’s attention for as long (in addition to having a similar level of violence), an appearance from its roster in a Mortal Kombat title would arguably be as monumental as a Street Fighter cameo.
The main character Jago is a good fit seeing as how he’s a ninja too, but I could see Orchid, Riptor, and Saberwulf crossing over almost as easily. And while Netherrealm can go crazy with the variations, the Ultra finisher moves would have to translate to one of their finishing moves.
Who do you want to see added to Mortal Kombat X? Let us know in the comments!