Mortal Kombat: Does Its Fighting Mechanics Work Better On A 2D Or 3D Fighting Plane?

Mortal Kombat started off as a 2D fighting game where there wasn't so much difference between the characters except their moves. Mortal Kombat 4/Gold started a semi-3D game where sidestepping was done by the press of a button but it wasn't as fluid until Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance up to Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.

The full 3D fighting plane for Mortal Kombat was first introduced in Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance (one of my lesser favorites, you know why) where sidestepping was easily done with pressing up or down. While I could enjoy sidestepping but the problem is Mortal Kombat is projectile-based gameplay compared to Tekken. Tekken works in a 3D fighting plane but not so much in Mortal Kombat.

While playing Mortal Kombat Deception (one of my favorites for the PS2), I found the easy sidestepping was a flaw compared to Tekken 5's tap up or down twice to sidestep had a better balancing factor. While the game had some well-deserved awards for innovation (like having the four primary buttons used for a strength of a punch or kick, Street Fighter style) but playing Mortal Kombat on a 3D environment wasn't really that appealing as Tekken in a 3D environment. But I thought that it can work if done right. I haven't played Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe so I can't really comment.

Mortal Kombat (2011) and the latest game Mortal Kombat X returned back to the 2D Plane which for me was better. Some fighting game franchises were meant to operate in a 2D plane and after playing MK (2011), I felt Mortal Kombat was clearly one of them because of the projectile-based gameplay of the franchise. If Street Fighter IV still takes place on a 2D plane while using 3D graphics or if BlazBlue is a fighting game that started for the PS3 with cell-shaded graphics and 2D gameplay, I don't see any reason why Mortal Kombat's reincarnation should not happen in a 2D fighting plane.

While I could still enjoy Tekken on a 3D fighting plane because of its non-projectile based gameplay but Mortal Kombat differs greatly from Tekken. I guess while Ed Boon is a Tekken fan as he admitted in a Playstation Magazine years ago, he may have felt that the game's reincarnation should be in a 2D fighting plane instead. While keeping the one button per limb Tekken-style attacks but seeing that Mortal Kombat's main competition is on projectile-based gameplay like Street Fighter or Killer Instinct then going back to the 2D fighting plane was the best thing. I'll admit with new innovations while fighting on a 2D fighting plane worked like a charm.

With the 2D fighting experience, I felt like I was back to old school gaming while enjoying the new game mechanics such as the X-Ray attacks or the carried over one button per limb system. The removal of sidestepping made the game a better experience to make it accessible while going deep at the same time. The return to the 2D fighting plane allows much more more focus on the playing field than its 3D fighting plane predecessors.

My overall vote goes to 2D fighting plane.


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