Oh, how long we have waited. It’s been 16 years since the last truly great Mortal Kombat game. Forget the series’ hopeless foray into 3D fighting and its ill-fated crossover with Batman & Co. We know and love MK as the two-dimensional, visceral beat ‘em up that first threw a jagged spear into our hearts in 1992, and tomorrow (April 19th) we’ll witness the rebirth of the old-school fighter.
Sure, it may look different with its fancy graphical enhancement and abundance of combo’s, but don’t let that deceive you; this is the closest thing we have seen in years to a return to the 2D fighting sensibilities of the original trilogy.
However, this gaming year is going to be a busy one – if your pockets haven’t already been emptied by Crysis 2 and Homefront, then they’ll almost definitely be run dry by the time you’ve picked up Portal 2 and Socom 4. Why should you add Mortal Kombat to that list of penny-pinchers? Well, we can think of a few good reasons…
You Get To Throw Rotten Fruit at Stryker
The recently unveiled King of the Hill mode will play out in a similar way to competing fighters’ tournament modes, but with quite a substantial twist. Along with including a ‘winner stays on’ format that will ensure n00bs will spend more time on the bench than in the arena, developers NetherRealm Studios have also included a way for these less-skilled players to entertain themselves whilst watching the more veteran MK players duke it out; when you come up short in combat and are forced to spectate, you can watch the next fight on a faux-cinema screen, with the added option of being able to cheer, jeer and even throw rotten fruit to show your disgust. Xbox 360 players will be able to use their Live avatars, while PS3 users will have control over miniature versions of MK fighters. Just save all those tomatoes for when Stryker appears on screen. A**hole.
Drink Beer. Eat Chocolate Eggs. Decapitate Your Friends.
It’s nearly Easter, the second laziest time of year, just behind that week between Boxing Day and New Years Eve where all there is to do is start drinking at 11am and spend all day sitting in your pajamas and scratching your ass. What better way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, then, than grabbing two 12-packs of Bud and sitting on the couch with your buddies for a night of bloodcurdling spinal cord removal and yummy warm pizza.
There are very few games that were more fun to play with friends than the original Mortal Kombat games. The only possible exceptions we can think of are Mario Kart and Goldeneye. And Raving Rabbids TV Party. That game was awesome.
The upcoming MK should be no exception and, if nothing else, should at least give you a welcome break from working on that chocolate egg-induced heart attack.
Kratos Is In It
Sorry Xbox fans, but considering the amount of exclusive content that you have been granted over the past few years, it only seems fair that PS3 owners should eventually get something awesome thrown their way. And oh, how awesome this is. The God of War anti-hero shall be making an appearance in the reboot, weapons in tow, and we couldn’t think of a third-party character more perfectly suited for a cameo in MK.
From the trailers we have seen, his move-set appears to not only acknowledge his GOW heritage, but actively adapts the MK fighting style around it. This will be the one and only occasion where quick-time events are acceptable in a beat-‘em-up, and that’s got to count for something.
Mortal Kombat and The King Are the Only Ones Doing It Right.
The same gamers who warmly embraced Mortal Kombat like a new, sadistic, blood-soaked friend back in 1992 gave Duke the exact seem treatment in 1996. The MK of the FPS world, Duke Nukem took unabashed joy in maiming foes and shared the same brand of PC-police baiting black humor that first led parents worldwide to urge the ban of Midway’s magnum opus.
A world where your run-of-the-mill Call of Duty game can earn an M Rating despite featuring no punches to the gonads/comically dis-proportioned women is an not one that we want to be a part of. For what is a video game if not a celebration of toilet humor, gratuitous violence and unattainable females? Why, it’s simply a movie, and a boring one at that. Leave it up to '90s veterans MK and Nukem, then, to bring back true meaning to the age rating.