With 3D being a new technology in the world of gaming I do believe that this Mortal Kombat 9 demo is the first fighting game to support 3D on the PS3. Since the games release on PSN+ I’ve been playing it in 2D, however the last few days I’ve got to spend some time with it in 3D. Going in to this I was a little hesitant and a little skeptical about having 3D effects in a fighting game. I figure since most people don’t have a 3Dtv though I’d give my impressions on the things I do like about it in 3D along with some suggestions for the developers as well.
Firstly – sorry that there are no pictures here. I couldn’t figure out a way to properly represent the 3D in 2D images, so you’ll have to use your imagination while reading through this for now!
To enable 3D, you have to go through the options and enable it. You’ll notice immediately that the menu turns 3D with whatever option you’re currently on popping out of the screen (in general I dislike the pop-out 3D effects but am in favor of 3D effects that gives depth perception). Also you’ll notice the subzero-scorpion uppercut scene in the background looks much better in 3D. Netherrealm didn’t overdo it here so the 3D effect in the menu looks very good overall.
Character select screen, not much 3D going on here. Basically the names a little bit. I think I prefer it this way – minimal 3D effect for menus and other stuff outside of the main game.
In the game itself is where the 3D effect really shines through. First and foremost, the thing that stands out by FAR in 3D, is the stages. The stages alone make me want to play the game in 3D instead of 2D. Living Forest stage seems to have about 4-6 levels of depth of trees. In the Pit stage, the second platform in the back seems reallly far back, giving the illusion of a lot of depth in the overall stage design. Going back to 2D after seeing these stages makes the game feel very flat.
As for the characters themselves, you get the same general minor depth perception as expected from 3D content. If you’ve seen a basketball game in 3D it is a similar effect where the near shoulder looks just that tad closer than the head or the far shoulder. Overall it appears as expected. One of the neat little effects they put in is on Sub Zero’s Ice Blast. As the ice blast moves across the screen, little ice particles fly into the background and some into the foreground. Its a minor detail, but its a very nice touch. To be honest, the other projectiles didn’t seem to have that much extra going on in their 3D versions.
Without a doubt, the stages steal the show by far in the transition to 3D. Everything else is pretty minor after that, however there are a couple of HUGE things that were neglected (possibly incomplete for the demo?). For one, there is no 3D effect on the X-ray moves. This was actually one of the places I REALLY expected there to be 3D, but there was nothing to be found. The other is that there is no 3D effect in the fatalities! Now, I cannot believe they would go forward with a 3D version of the game and leave these two huge features without 3D, so for now I’m going to hope that its just the demo (which is an old build) and that the final version of the game will include some 3D for these features. As is though, its pretty disappointing to me that X-ray moves and Fatalities do not have any 3D attached to it. The pit stage fatality has a little 3D, but in general the other fatalities did not.
Conclusion: 3D > 2D?
Overall, 3D isn’t going to add anything game changing over 2D. You won’t have any competitive advantage in 3D mode, in fact, if youre a tournament level player, then you’re going to be looking for the least input lag and 3D is not going to have it (not yet anyway). I think there were many good design decisions in balancing where the 3D effects go – minimal 3D in the menu’s and more of an effect during actual gameplay. Although fatalities and x-ray moves do not get the 3D treatment, I feel that just the depth in the stages makes the game more enjoyable in 3D. So for the average gamer who has a 3dtv and is just looking to play Mortal Kombat 9 for fun, I think they are really going to enjoy the game in 3D.