Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Kung Fu is Stronger

This past Friday evening, I earned the single most insane Achievement that I have ever earned. At 9:11 pm eastern time, I earned "My Kung Fu is Stronger" in Mortal Kombat (2011), which is awarded for mastering all twenty seven kombatants in the core game (DLC kombatants do not count).

In order to master a kombatant, you need to do the following:

- Win 100 matches
- Perform 100 Fatalities
- Successfully land 150 X-Ray moves
- Spill 10,000 pints of blood
- Play with that kombatant for 24 hours, real time

This is a huge time commitment and takes a lot of grinding simply for one kombatant let alone twenty seven, and suffice it to say I've been working on this for about eleven months now and actively pursuing it for a little over a year.

Thankfully, most everything you do counts towards mastery, so playing through Story Mode, the Challenge Tower, online matches, Test Your Luck, and a ridiculous amount of Arcade Ladder was the way to go.

Like most Achievements, there are ways to expedite things, thankfully. You can play a lot of Arcade Ladder on any difficulty to rack up wins, Fatalities, and blood spilt, and you can make things go a bit faster by changing the settings to one round instead of the standard two round matches. Obviously playing on Beginner would have been the fastest, but I wanted a reasonably fun challenge so I always played on Medium or Hard.

When it comes time to milk X-Rays, you can use a second Controller and play a local two round Tag Match with Kombat Kode 466-466, granting infinite Super Metre; simply spam away for a bit and you'll get your 150 X-Rays.

The longest part of the process is the 24 hour time requirement per kombatant, and the best way to milk this is to simply go into Tag Team practice and walk away. The time spent in Practice Mode counts, so provided you're willing to leave your console on for a long time, this'll do it.

So of course, the question is since this took so much time and grinding, why did I do it? Well, there are a few reasons. The first is a lot of people go for one crazy Achievement at least once in their life (the "Seriously" Achievements from the Gears of War franchise is a great example of this), and for a time I was seriously considering going for "Hard to the Core" in Dead Space 2, but the simple truth is I don't have the time for a play session of the length that that Achievement would require. The fact that I could do "My Kung Fu is Stronger" over time and in short bursts made it a natural crazy-Achievement choice.

The second and most important reason is that I truly love the game, my love for the franchise has been rekindled with this title, and I really wanted to try my hand at all the kombatants simply for nostalgia's sake. Though this was some of the most insane grinding I've ever done, I really enjoyed myself, and it's a testament to NetherRealm Studios that I never got overly bored while pursuing this Achievement.

So, now I can give Mortal Kombat (2011) a break for a bit, but I love the game so much that I'm certainly going to come back to it, at least to give the Story Mode one more whirl. I can't see myself going for an Achievement like this with any other game again, but I can proudly say I earned this one and had a blast doing it.

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