Flawless Victory

For 18 years Mortal Kombat has been delighting twisted youth everywhere.  Even though most of that youth has now reached a twisted adulthood, most of those adults still love and enjoy a good fatality.  Originally an arcade game created by Ed Boon and John Tobias (TOASTY!), the franchise was eventually picked up by Acclaim Entertainment, and Midway began releasing MK for the home console all the way up until the recent Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe.  In 2009, however, the franchise was sold to Warner Bros. who will be releasing the latest game in the series in early 2011.

While MK has been around since 1992, it has certainly had its ups and downs, for example the shit-storm formally known as Mortal Kombat: Annihilation which released in 1997:

“The Earth was created in six days; so too shall it be destroyed; and on the seventh day, mankind will rest… in peace!”

“The Earth was created in six days; so too shall it be destroyed; and on the seventh day, mankind will rest… in peace!”-Shao Khan

Or how about that lovely little gem known as Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe?  That released just last year in a completely epic failure.  Guess that’s what happens when you tear apart MK to make it kid friendly by adding super heroes and taking out something completely unimportant… like fun.

"Who the hell are you? Where's Lois?"

BO-ring!  I love Batman and Superman, I also love Noob Saibot and Smoke…. but when you put them together, all you get is a big mess.   It hasn’t all been bad, though.  The MK series is well-known for quirky and campy things such as “puzzle kombat” and “motor kombat” and especially for their huge list of unlockables and weird cheats.

Motor Kombat from Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

Nothing compares to the awesomeness of a Mortal Kombat finishing move, like the ever-popular fatality, which eventually developed other finishing moves like babality, animality, friendship, mercy, brutality and even finishing moves for the failed opponent like deception, which allowed the losing player to enter a combination of buttons to make themselves explode making any of the aforementioned finishing moves impossible to complete.

For me, as a humble 8-year-old, the fatality was truly a thing of beauty.  Having grown up with older brothers who were obviously much bigger and stronger than me made it difficult for me to find any victory in the inevitable slapping fights and tickle-matches, but place a controller in my hands and my anger was released on-screen with my opponents spinal column being removed through their throat.  Thank you Midway.

I spent many hours sitting in the floor in front of one of those huge console televisions perfecting Syndel’s hair flip.  I especially enjoyed choosing Sheeva so that I could perform an easy move (up, up, down, down) jumping on my brother’s virtual corpse like a trampoline (he usually played as Sub-Zero).  Nothing was as good as when my mom stepped in to settle the score and almost always ended up whipping both our butts with Raiden.  I’m not kidding, my mom also kicked butt at Killer Instinct, Street Fighter and she made a great second player in Double Dragon.

The newest Mortal Kombat (due to release in March 2011) is sure to be a success based on what I had the privilege of seeing at the recent Gamestop 2010 Conference.  Warner Bros. has done an amazing job of recapturing all of the things that made this series truly wonderful in the beginning and still managed to keep it current with beautiful graphics and game-play.  The controls are smooth and it’s no secret that MK is known for making it easy to bust out with a special move, and this release will be no exception.

All of your favorite characters are back and looking updated but without taking away from their original style.  They’ve also added some interesting things to the game such as the new “X-ray Moves”, which allow the players to see the internal damage done when they get a critical hit.  Everyone loves a little extra blood, guts and gore with their gaming!  The easiest way to describe this game is to imagine taking MK from the N64 (in its glory days) and turning that same game into a PS3 or 360 game.  It will be wonderful in the same way that Street Fighter 4 was when it was re-released for the next gen systems.  The game will even include a lot of the old levels you enjoyed as a kid, which will add some excitement for those who loved using specific game stages for certain moves.  If you are like me, then you will certainly consider MK9 a “Flawless Victory” for long-standing Kombat fans everywhere.

It has been a long time since I have been impressed with a Mortal Kombat game.  I will give an honorable mention to MK: Armageddon which had a nice create-a-character mode, and I was delighted when MK released for the Nintendo DS, but the series just hasn’t been the same since before the Nintendo Gamecube.  It will be nice to see a throwback to the things that made this franchise great and I’m looking forward to performing some of the best fatalities ever.  In conclusion, I’d like to leave you with this:


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