Under the Hood: Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition Fight Stick for PS3

75 10
Under the Hood: Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition Fight Stick for PS3

Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition fight stick for PS3

I’m a simple man. I like my arcade joysticks rigid, my buttons concave, and my fighting games streaked with bodily fluids. So I jumped at the chance to go hands-on with the Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition fight stick at the Game Developers Conference. Designed as a tribute to the gory glory days of 1990s-era arcade fighters, this authentic American-style fight stick will ship with Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition on April 19th for a cool $149.99.

This stick feels like the real deal — no surprise given that developer NetherRealm Studios helped design the cabinets for the classic arcade Mortal Kombat games. Connected via a USB cable, the unit is big and burly with a sturdy, substantial feel and some serious heft. A thick memory foam pad cushions the bottom of the unit, enabling comfortable knee-top play (though it’ll work just fine propped on a coffee table, too). A sliding metal latch enables the top to flip open, revealing a neat internal wiring array as well as a capacious cavity that will accommodate games, accessories, and anything else you manage to cram in there. No severed body parts, please.

Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition fight stick for PS3Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition fight stick for PS3

Mortal Kombat arcade veterans will immediately recognize the baseball-bat-shaped joystick and concave buttons — an iconic American design that Ars Technica gaming editor Ben Kuchera has cleverly dubbed the “superhero” (“because it’s a bat and a cave”). The stick itself has a tighter, springier feel compared to the looser action of ball-topped Japanese-style sticks that are widely available on the PS3. Joystick design preference can be a touchy topic with serious fighting fans: Some players will always prefer the raised buttons and looser feel of the Japanese-inspired fighting sticks, while others will appreciate the distinctive feel of this American-style stick. Like many things in life, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Mortal Kombat for PS3

With the fight stick resting comfortably on my knees, I tried out an updated version of Mortal Kombat that included a plethora of characters you won’t find in the PlayStation Plus demo. I played as Jax, the metal-armed military brawler; Sektor and Cyrax, the twin cyborg ninjas that annihilate foes with plasma nets and guided missiles; Kano, the wily thug who licks his knives clean between fights; and Baraka, the ghoulish mutant with lethal arm blades. I also tried out the newly revealed Challenge Tower, a single-player mode that pits the player against a gauntlet of increasingly bizarre and difficult challenges in order to earn currency to unlock secrets and new content.

I played the game in the PS3-exclusive stereoscopic 3D mode, which plants the characters in the foreground and adds layers of sprawling depth to the colorful backgrounds. Mortal Kombat’s 3D implementation is clever because it the characters are rendered in 2D, which means that the action is playable whether you’re wearing 3D glasses or not. For more details on the 3D mode, catch up on my preview of the PlayStation Plus demo.

Mortal Kombat for PS3

What I didn’t see was the Big Bad himself, final boss and tournament overlord Shao Kahn. “Shao Kahn is ridiculous,” Creative Director Ed Boon told me at GDC. “We knew he had to be hard,” he said, revealing that his difficulty pushed the studio’s battle-hardened game testers to the brink. “Shao Kahn’s gotta be somebody you’re afraid of, he’s gotta have that crazy fear presence from the old games.” Shao Kahn’s famous rumbling taunts have also made the cut, and there are more than ever by Boon’s estimation. “He’s got all the old taunts, and a bunch of news ones too.” Feel the wrath of Shao Kahn!

Also missing in action was Kratos, the PS3-exclusive character who needs no introduction. Next week, we’ll be checking in with the team of Sony Santa Monica Studios, creators of God of War, for their thoughts on working with NetherRealm Studios to bring Kratos to life in the arena and how Mortal Kombat served as a major influence for their game development careers.

Until then, let us know what you think of the demo! Who’s your favorite character so far? What’s your best juggle combo? Let us know in the comments!

Comments are closed.


10 Author Replies

  • On another note, I just ordered this last night from Best Buy lol. If anyone is interested, Best Buy still has these… DO NOT BUY ONE FOR $300 off of those idiots on Amazon who preordered with intentions of making profit.


  • @50 it’s just a week, quit crying. I mean the PS+ members do pay month to month so let them get a little bonus. You’ll have your demo this Tues, you’ll live. Just relax

  • @53 how about you keep your mouth shut. I didn’t ask for your opinion.

    And seeing as how the demo is ready and out, they aren’t paying to get the demo early… they are paying so they don’t get it late.

  • Time delay on MK means i’ll likely not end up getting it anytime soon if at all, honestly i’ll be playing top spin 4 by the time you give me the courtesy of considering giving you my money. then castlevania reverie dlc… and i like fighters, if you let me play it when i had nothing to do maybe i’d get excited.

    delayed demo from Killzone = didn’t buy it, and if i end up getting it it will be at greatest hits price if at all.

    Topspin 4 demo available, played, preordered and will purchase irrespective to potential reviews.

    exclusive higher discount on ps+ games = fair enough, no sale from me, lost revenue and i’m not alone. i would have picked up castle crashers despite voting for pacman.

    cloud save only being compelling for copy protected saves to play on secondary consoles not compelling value for 50 a year. and a poor solution to the average sony customer from a loyalty standpoint. offer me a 10 or 15 dollar annual service in an alternative to PLUS

    time lapse available second tier games and avatars / themes is not very compelling

    put good content at 30 to 50 markdown on regular basis and people buy in droves put shovel wear at 50 – 80 mark down and steady sales

  • heres the thing sony wants more money from it’s users, instead of making newly promoted Kaz Hirai into a lyar after his status quo of features will continue “GRATIS” which clearly is not the case now that they are following GOLD level demo’s alla Microshaft. I appreciate all the PLUS users feeling like they need to defend their purchase decisions and that’s cool. the value does appear to be improving since launch. I’d get there if the content improved and stuck around longer, and or they gave me the ability to get discounts on new content that I WANT on release, and higher discounts on older content based on what I Want, like coupons each month or a proper good rewards system. Maybe sliding scale based on more i buy the more on demand discounts i get. You would all instantly see all your friends lists fill up with plus subscribers. Maybe this is there plan but until those things happen i’ll just boycott these timed demo purchases on principal unless it’s something i was going to be without consideration of a demo. like uncharted 3 etc.

  • They seem to be all about catering to the fans, unlike Capcom is for MvC3

  • It would be amazing if KRatos used his weapons from God of War 3 (Blades of Exile, Cestus, The Electric Whip, and The Bow of Appolo. Sorry. forgot the name if the whips.)

  • The demo was exaktly what I needed. I kan play this over and over again for a month until I get my hands on the real deal! Scorpion shall reign supreme once again!

  • The stick looks amazing! And I’m so happy I’ve got two on pre-order!

  • Kombos:
    Scorpion- 8-hit
    Johnny Cage- 6-hit
    Mileena- 7-hit
    Sub-Zero- 9-hit *fav

    I vow to be the BEST!

  • BTW $150 preordered!

  • If there was only a complaint it be the fact the Tournament Edition didn’t come with the bookend statues. I’m still confused as to what to store inside the thing. Problem with this day and age is that we have the “fighter fanboys” who will disregard this American HAPP-style stick as inferior and bawl high praise over the “superior” Sanwa Japanese style.

    It’s preference and nostalgia that makes this edition the best. The only negative of the stick is that it doesn’t work with Street Fighter. We still have: Virtua Fighter 5, Tekken 5-6, Blazblue, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and definitely MvC3.

  • Wow that button layout scares me. But from what I’ve played, the new Mortal Kombat game control wise, plays similiar to the 3D Mortal Kombat games and not the old school 2D Mortal Kombat games. So I’m sure that layout makes sense. Since the whole low, mid, high button situation doesn’t exist with the new game anyway. Cause my only issue with a dualshock and fighting games is when they take the old games, most of which used six buttons and put the high punch and high kick to the top bumper. I grew up with the 6 button Sega Genesis and Sega Saturn controllers. If you had to play a fighting game with a controller, those were the controllers you wanted. Looks really cool…to expensive for me but if I had the cash, I’d buy it.

  • I couldn’t help but read some of the PS+ timed demo comments. People with and without PS+ can agree on one thing. They aren’t happy. PS+ users want more, more betas, more early demos, more discounts, more free games etc etc. Non PS+ users want demos at the same time, betas at the same time, they’d probably like the discounts and the free games too. So Sony is damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

  • I took a + subscription only for the demo, and its really good.
    Also have the kollectors edition preordered, only thing is my ps3 yust broke down and i have send it in yesterday for repair. Im really hoping i have it back before the game comes out.

  • Do special moves like back, back, square or forward, forward, x work with the fight stick? Special moves like back, back or forward, forward don’t while using the analog stick on the ps3 controller. The analog stick works great for stuff like down, back or back, forward, but not forward, forward or back, back. It’s really annoying having to switch back and forth between d-pad and analog stick cause one works for some special attacks and the other doesn’t. Will the developers fix this before the game is released, so the analog works for all special attacks?

  • Preordered the TE can’t wait!

  • Amazon should be given more of these so I can pre-order it off of them. =P

  • Meh. Looks pretty cool and all but the button layout makes it pretty useless to anything besides MK.

    I’ll stick with my 2 Street Fighter TE sticks.

  • How many Edition would there be for Mortal Kombat…love this game

  • How do I download the free demo for mortal kombat for ps 3 today?

  • This looks SICK!!

    The demo is absolutely amazing btw.

  • Does anyone know if the original “choose your destiny” ladders will return with the diff sizes?!

Please enter your date of birth.