The concept of fighting game guest characters has been popular ever since The Legend of Zelda’s Link (and to a lesser extent, Spawn) were shoehorned into the home versions of Namco’s SoulCalibur II in 2002. Since then there have been sensible (God of War’s Kratos in Mortal Kombat 9) and not so sensible (Star Wars characters in SoulCalibur IV) examples of the phenomenon, but Mortal Kombat X seems to have gotten it exactly right.
Slasher icon Jason Voorhees became available to use on May 5th for purchasers of WB’s ridiculously overpriced “Kombat Pack” DLC Season Pass (but that’s another rant altogether), the rest of us cheap bastards were able to buy him on May 12th for the not entirely ridiculous price of $5.00. The last time the MK team at Netherrealm tried something like this it was with Freddy Krueger in MK9. Unfortunately, for one reason or another they went with the Freddy from the somewhat reviled 2010 Nightmare on Elm Street remake, not employing the iconic likeness or voice of Horror legend Robert Englund. What good is Freddy if he’s not cracking goofy one liners the entire time he’s slicing up his victims? No good, that’s what it was. NRS’ decision to have their current crop of filmic guest stars (Jason here, and the upcoming Predator) be known for masked iconography as well as their relative silence (aside from Predator’s weird mocking voice that thing he does) is a great one indeed.
As you can expect, Jason fits right in with MK’s crop of largely masked dismemberment enthusiasts. Sporting a bald head and army jacket, almost perfectly emulating his Freddy Vs. Jason incarnation, he’s a hulking behemoth of a character who towers over most of his opponents, but Jason can still get around pretty well. I assumed initially because of his size that he’d be more of a grappler but that isn’t the case, even though he does have a grab or two. As you probably know, all the characters in MKX have 3 variations that alter their move sets slightly. Jason’s are Relentless, where he gains a “lake mist” teleportation and can make the screen go red, scrambling his opponent’s controls and Unstoppable, which offers various status changing moves that buff his strength, and a Resurrection similar to Gill from Street Fighter 3. Our favorite, and the most appropriate was Slasher, where Jason constantly wields his signature machete, giving further reach and extra damage to all his punch based attacks. He also gains a Kano-esque Knife Throw that causes the machete to be temporarily stuck in his opponent’s head. Good stuff.
For his fatalities NRS came up a little short, I think. His first simply sees him dig his machete into his victim’s shoulder over and over until their torso is completely severed diagonally. The opponent doesn’t even scream until it’s over, which seems odd, but he music is spot on. The second fatality is the real winner though, an homage to the fan favorite sleeping bag kill from Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood.
If you’re currently enjoying MKX then the Jason DLC is well worth your five bucks. Netherrealm really hit the nail on the head this time, fully making up for the last game’s Freddy debacle. We’ll be looking forward to the upcoming Predator DLC even more than we already were.