Hello gamers! Hope you enjoyed your weekend! Welcome back to The Ultimate Gamer and Pwnrank.com’s 100 reviews in 100 days. Last week was fantastic with only one game falling below the 4 out of 5 mark and this week looks to be lined up just about the same. We hope you enjoy!
Bicycle Kicking straight into the 75 spot…
I don’t know what it says about me that the first thing I think of when someone mentions Mortal Kombat is the horrible techno song from the atrocity of a live-action film that this game spawned in the mid-90s (yes, I saw this in a theatre with a bunch of my friends, and no, I still haven’t forgiven myself), but I’m sure it doesn’t say anything positive. All I can hear in my head is that guy screaming “MOOORTAL KOOOMBAAAT!!!!” and then the “Ya’ll Ready For This”-style drum machine kicks in and you know you’re in for some world-class banality. It also makes me seethe a little because COMBAT ISN’T SPELLED WITH A “K”, DAMMIT!!! Whew. Sorry. That’s a pretty lousy introduction to one of the best fighting games ever made, so yeah. Aren’t you glad you swung by today?
KICKING ASS AND TAKING NAMES.
Nothing shifted the cultural landscape of video games during my childhood more visibly than Mortal Kombat. There were two small arcades in my town that had it, and for some reason it was right next to Street Fighter II at both of them. Mortal Kombat always had a line. Street Fighter? You only played that if the Mortal Kombat line was so long you knew you’d miss dinner if you waited for your turn. And why was this? Because Mortal Kombat’s mechanics were better? Maybe. Because the graphics were more realistic? Sure, ok. Because you could rip out a dude’s spinal column in Mortal Kombat, while over in Street Fighter you couldn’t? Yeah, let’s go with that. Mortal Kombat was the first hyper-violent video game that made an impact on my generation. It was sure as hell the first video game where I can remember parents being aggressively concerned about it. There isn’t time or space to do justice to all of this here, which is too bad, because it is absolutely something worth discussing (What’s that? Do I smell an article on the rise?). Suffice to say, while it actually looks pretty tame by today’s standards, for it’s time Mortal Kombat was seen by some as the end of the known universe, and by others as the dawn of a new era. When a game draws a line in the sand the way Mortal Kombat did and says “Things change here,” that’s a sign of greatness. Things were never the same in the gaming world after Mortal Kombat, for better or for worse, and that’s not up for debate. That’s a fact.
“IF YOU PLAY RAIDEN AGAIN, I’LL PUNCH YOU”
People who play Raiden suck. Play Liu Kang or Sub Zero, you cheap bastards. Viewed solely as a game, Mortal Kombat is good, not great. The special moves are too easy to pull off and too easy to exploit. ::cough:: RAIDEN’S SCREAMY-FLYING THING ::cough:: The regular attacks are repetitive and generally lame except for your uppercut, and like many fighting games of it’s time, it rewarded button mashing too much. But the fatality mechanics more than made up for this. That was a real innovation, and what caused so much of the stir around this game were these hyper-violent finishing moves. But damn, were they awesome.
SO SHOULD I PLAY IT?
No. Contemporary fighting games left Mortal Kombat in the dust years ago. What you should do is go read about it. Mortal Kombat marked the dawn of the popular, adult-themed video game, and the drama surrounding it is absolutely fascinating. It wasn’t the first mature game made, but it was the first one that made the entire country collectively wet itself. If you’re a gamer at heart, or even someone who wants to understand gamers and gaming culture, it’s a moment you should learn about. 4 out of 5.