People need to shut up about MK9's animation

This is really getting on my nerves. Not because they are complaining that the animation is bad, but because they don’t even know what the hell they are talking about. As someone who’s worked with 3D animation before, I feel the need to educate some of these whiners.

People are complaining that the animation is clunky and stiff, how Netherrealm studiots needs to hire better animators and bunch of other crap. That’s false. The animation is perfectly fine in this game. Animation is just the motion of a 3D model, AKA a punch, kick, steps, walk e.t.c.

The things that people are actually complaining about, the STIFFNESS, Clunkiness e.t.c are all part of the PROGRAMMING. For example, most animation are done stand-still on the spot, such as a hit stun animation, falling, jumping e.t.c. The distance, trajectory, angle, speed e.t.c are all done from the PROGRAMMING side.

When you do a jump in kick, and whether it hits or gets blocked, and the character pretty much freezes mid-air during the impact, this is a DESIGN CHOICE in the programming side, not an animation flaw or because Netherrealm’s animation team are inadequate. Please realize this and get it through your heads before you complain at the wrong things. It makes you seem really stupid from the perspective of actual game designers or animators.

Point is, all the “stiffness” or what not are all done deliberately. I’m sure the team could’ve easily let the motion continue after jump-in kicks just like any other fighting games, its not hard, they just CHOSE not to because I’m assuming jump kicks usually cause a knockdown and they dont want to give you windows of combo follow-ups after it, or maybe because its how MK’s system was always like. Whatever the case may be, the fact is, its a design CHOICE, not a design FLAW, especially not an ANIMATION FLAW.

I dont care if you’re a MK9 hater, troll, biased or whatever. Please do some research before spewing nonsense. That is all. I’m also not here to debate MK9’s animation or game quality. I posted this just to inform all the annoying haters and ignorant masses of their flawed complains. So take it for what you will, learn from it, and if you’re gona continue complaining, at least complain at the right things, peace.

regardless of who’s fault it is it still looks bad sorry


I think you need to take things a little less personally buddy. People shouldn’t have to know how a game works under the hood to voice their criticisms.

its just younger capcom fanboys that are more concern about graphics than game play! just don’t pay them any mind because their opinion just doesn’t matter!

Some people also need to stay off front page articles. That isn’t going to happen though.

So the attacking character freezes mid-air during blockstun? Depending on how many frames this is, doesn’t that negate even doing close range attacks, seeing as how you will still have recover, giving the blocker free reign to punish?

I hope I’m misunderstanding, but if I’m not, I’ve been convinced even further that Neverrealm cannot make a competitive game intentionally even when they claim that’s what they’re going for.

And if that’s the case, the OP is right: This isn’t an animation team problem, this is a game mechanic problem.


This should, at the very least, be moved to the MK forums.

This is beyond my jurisdiction so let me just alert your local mods.

@OP: Should probably go here: Mortal Kombat

It does look much better in person though, keep in mind youtube runs at less than half the frames of the actual game.

I dunno. I’m a massive fan of this game (and series), but I accepted like 5 years ago that Midway’s animation departments just all around sucked in general (not just MK team; all of Midway). This game has animations that are much improved, but there’s still a lot of wonky looking stuff. And I’m talking about the actual animation (punches/kicks/movement animations) not the programming stuff OP is talking about like hit collision, though some of that is wack too. That said, OP, if you still want to defend the animators then we can agree maybe it’s the mocap actors/team that suck.

All this being said, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I think this is the first or second time I’ve even mentioned it on any of the forums I post on. I’m not one of the whiners blowing things way out of proportion. For the most part, the game looks great, and there’s no arguing that the animations look 60+fps silky smooth.

What you’re talking about there is called hitstop (aka impact freeze), and it’s not something to be concerned about. It’s a very common mechanic that appears in the vast majority of 2d fighters where when characters make contact they both freeze in place for a specific number of frames. Its purpose is to normalize timing on cancels and other buffered inputs. It’s in SF, Marvel, Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, KoF, Melty Blood, Arcana Heart, etc, etc. Conversely, a series that typically does not use it (or uses it in a much more limited sense), is MK (2D). It’s not a game mechanic problem and it has no impact on how competative a game can be.

This is what a game looks like with little-to-no hitstop: [media=youtube]oW7BwrtjGdg[/media]
This is what a game looks like with a fuckton of hitstop: [media=youtube]yGS5b6SK4FM[/media]

SF (et all) does just fine with hitstop and MK has done just fine without it. So who cares if the crew at NRS does or does not use it in MK9? Both ways work. Both ways look just fine. Both ways are in games that have spawned competitive communities.

The real joke with this game is that people should be able to plainly see how good the animators are during the real time cut scenes and pre-fight character interaction and intros - it’s some of the best real time key-frame, hand created animation out there.

However, what a lot of folks just do not seem to catch on to, is that the “stiff, unrealistic animation” during gameplay is for better or worse supposed to be precisely like it is. It doesn’t matter who made the game; the animation would look the same. Because it’s supposed to replicate the digitized actor animation of the original 3 MK games, and for two purposes: one is play mechanics, so that the game speed, timing, and juggle combo system mimics the original trilogy; the other reason is aesthetics, to be retro on purpose.

That’s it. That’s the only reason the in-fight animation and character inertia and physics function the way they do. It’s not about anyone’s ‘fault’. If you don’t like how classic MK plays and animates, then you don’t like MK. That’s fine; move along, nothing to see here.

And FYI, where possible the animators incorporate more naturalistic animation during fights - such as the spinning reel state that characters whip around in when slammed with a move that knocks them back/around. Generally, the aesthetic stylization of the game attempts to create a bit of a surreal sensation of seeing “real” actors playing out Mortal Kombat with animation quality both superior to the limited frame count of the old digitized games, yet still bizarrely unrealistic with the jump kicks and such. Remember, in the original MK games many of the “flying” or suspended moves, such as jump kicks, punches, air dashes, and flying special attacks, involved the actor standing on a green screen ladder and being completely motionless as pictures are snapped of him/her.

It’s a weird, goofy style of production and animation that is a trademark of Mortal Kombat. Since MK9 is supposed to be a total return to form, that is the route they quite intentionally chose.

“If you don’t like how classic MK plays and animates, then you don’t like MK. That’s fine; move along, nothing to see here.”

Wow could not have said it better myself… Please listen to him/her please… People think that warner bros would spend millions of dollars on half ass animators and programmers? Lets get real here… Its how the game is suppose to be played, just like the difference between MvC and SF

Yeah, that’s exactly the vibe I got. The animation looks stiff and off… if it were street fighter, but it looks very, very MKish.

One of the first things I noticed about MK9 while playing it was how fluid the animation was. It does not look like a cartoon the way SF4 and MVC3 do, but it’s not supposed to. They wanted a more realistic but still somewhat stylized look, so mission accomplished. The animation is very good quality and I honestly don’t understand why someone would whine about it other than that it doesn’t look like a Capcom game.

Actual game does look way better when you play it due to it actually being in 60fps when the video’s are all 30 fps due to utube limitations.

That said I think it’s the motion capture guys fault some of the moves just look really awkward.

The animation looks great. Nice and fluid 60fps. I don’t get the complaints. Even watching sub 30fps youtube videos it didn’t look that bad! People just looking for something to complain about.

This. I absolutely -love- this game’s animation, and anybody who thinks it looks bad is crazy.

Photo-realism and accurate physics are for chumps.

I’m playing it right now and I think the animations are great. Don’t judge them until you play it. :smiley: