Beat your friends to the punch in the ferocious Mortal Kombat demo on PlayStation 3, available to download for free from PlayStation Store.
Brutal brawling at its best, Mortal Kombat has returned to pick a fight with players around the world once more. PlayStation Plus subscribers had their chance to play a free demo of the PS3 beat 'em up from 9 March 2011, before a general release a week later. With eye-popping stereoscopic 3D visuals, Mortal Kombat is sure to make an impact, so sharpen up your skills before the game's launch on 21 April 2011. Ready? Round one... fight!
Take on all comers
The teleporting, spear throwing, hellfire breathing Scorpion is easily one of the most popular beat 'em up characters ever created - although it pays to have more than one fighter up your sleeve to be a Mortal Kombat master. Joining Scorpion in the demo are Johnny Cage, Mileena and Sub-Zero.
Explore each character's strengths and weaknesses before settling on at least two which you can use effectively. If you're going to take advantage of the tag battle mode when the game is released you'll need to know how to fight as more than one character so that you can switch your tactics at will, especially against tricky foes.
Mix up your martial arts
Even with four characters to choose from, there's always the temptation to repeatedly dish out every special move you can learn. It's easy to overuse the likes of Mileena's Sai Blast or Sub-Zero's Iceball attack. This will only make you a very predictable fighter.
Instead, think of these moves as a way of extending basic attacks and creating deadly combinations that will drain your opponent's health much more efficiently. For example, Mortal Kombat's creative director Ed Boon has a signature combo for Scorpion consisting of a turn-around jump kick, Teleport and Spear followed by an uppercut for a whopping 25 per cent to 30 per cent damage score. There are some combos listed in the pause menu, so don't be shy about checking them out.
Experimenting with the placement of your special moves is the key to putting your foes to the sword, inevitably ending with the gratifying words: "Finish him!"
One step backward, two steps forward
Getting pounded? Then don't try to button-mash your way out - just back off. Gaining distance and using space effectively is one of the most important things you'll learn in any beat 'em up. By moving or teleporting away from a foe, they lose the momentum of their attack and it gives you breathing space to retaliate. Also be aware of your environment's size. The demo shows off two stages: The Living Forest and The Pit, both of which have a unique Fatality you can perform on the losing fighter. Give them a try for a spicy finish to your fight.
The show-stopping X-ray attacks and Fatalities are the special moves everyone has been looking forward to in Mortal Kombat, and they don't disappoint. While the X-ray attacks are easy to perform, it's worth learning when it's best to use them. Some, like Johnny Cage's devastating Ball Buster move, only work as counter-attacks, requiring an enemy to hit you first before they activate. Others require a certain distance for them to work, like some Fatalities.
Remember, all X-ray moves can be avoided or blocked, so while they may look good and inflict amazing damage, it's best to be cautious and use less risky Super Moves if you're low on health.
Download the Mortal Kombat demo for free from PlayStation Store and earn a flawless victory with these tips. And make sure you get all the best demos first by signing up to PlayStation Plus. Find out how to subscribe at eu.playstation.com/playstationplus.