Published on June 4th, 2013 | by Greenie860
Retrospective: Mortal Kombat
Fighting games have recently been getting more attention due to some stand out releases such as Street Fighter 4 and Injustice: Gods Amongst Us and the recent re incarnation of Mortal Kombat. We need to however remember how these great fighting games started out.
In the early 1990′s it was pretty much Mortal Kombat vs Street Fighter in both the arcades and the consoles and each had their own twist on the fighting genre. Street Fighter had colorful fighters, flashy special moves and deep gameplay which gave arcades a much-needed shot in the arm, whereas Mortal Kombat had a new technology that used digital images for its fighters, blood and finishing moves that were well and truly shocking.
Mortal Kombat used a 4 button system which alternated between light and heavy kicks which was much easier to use and combine this with hitting while in the air gave more combination options compared to other fighters. Not only did bring innovation but gave a new dimension to the fighting genre. This was a game that was clearly focused on the Mature audience with the addition of blood while attacking and using special moves that combined with the image technology made Mortal Kombat look gritty and realistic.
Finishing moves called Fatalities were a welcome addition should you learn the secret combination which features fighters like Sub Zero to rip a head off with the spine still attached and Kano who pulls out the heart and proudly show it off in front of you. A fantastic addition I’m sure you would agree but the blood and the fatalities had some backlash from parents and protesters and in turn had helped to set up the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) which gave age restrictions to games.
In porting Mortal Kombat to consoles Nintendo did not want the blood featured in their version and for Fatalities to be toned down, this made sense seeing as Nintendo were more focused on the young gamer. With the console war between Nintendo and Sega reaching fever pitch at the time Sega however decided to leave the game as it should be and included all the gore and proper Fatalities and in fact was proclaimed as the “True” version and helped sell more copies on the Mega Drive than the SNES.
Nintendo however had changed their minds about the gore when it came to Mortal Kombat 2 of which featured 5 more fighters bringing the overall total to 11 and included some funnier finishers. They are called Babalities and Friendships where you will either be turned into a baby or perform a move that will just perform a dance or another funny action.
And then onto Mortal Kombat 3 which was one of the launch titles for the hotly awaited Sony Playstation which had some more fighters but was losing traction compared to Street Fighter as the new version of that game “Street Fighter Alpha” which had better graphics and a better story it was back to the drawing board for Midway.
Nintendo did not want the blood featured in their version and for Fatalities to be toned down
Releasing Sub Zero Mythologies which was a complete mess of a game had tarnished the series focusing on more of an adventure game than of a pure fighting game and got some pretty shocking scores of which IGN gave a 3.5/10.
Mortal Kombat 4 focused on a more three dimensional game with arenas that had interactive and destructive elements and adding weapons for extra damage. However this was a hard job to pull off as it would take forever to pull the weapon and can easily get stopped and be hit. Mortal Kombat 4 was Ed Boons first effort at a three dimensional game and was a great effort even with adding game codes in battle to add changes like big head mode and playing as Noob Saibot.
After 5 years to give the game series a lot of thought Ed Boon and his team released Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance which did a lot to improve on the mistakes with its predecessors. Fighters now have three fighting styles two martial art and one weapon, character models have been improved with damage visible and flesh bouncing around all over the place. This was also the first game in the series to include a Konquest mode and is centered around getting tutorials completed and completing story aspects with a character before moving onto the next one and was more enjoyable than the standard arcade ladder mode. A Krypt function was also introduced and served as a unlockables area where Koins earned in Konquest mode could be then spent to buy extra content such as costumes and sketches and parody videos such as “Cooking with Scorpion”
Continuing in the franchise story modes were improved in the next games which were called Deception and Armageddon and even a little spin-off called Shaolin Monks had some merit but it was when Mortal Kombat: Armageddon released which was seen as the biggest effort yet.
Released on the new Nintendo’s Wii, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon was the biggest Mortal Kombat yet. While the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions featured an whopping 62 characters that were playable from the get go, the Wii version goes one better and adds in Khameleon, which was an extra character in Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
What sets the Wii version apart from its older console counterparts is the fact that the game has been built around the unique control system using the motion sensor for unique hits. It has to be said though that you can still use either a GameCube controller or a Classic Controller for the old school feel to the game.
Taking a break from the series saw the chance for the Mortal Kombat series to be returned to its roots by re releasing the originals on the Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network as a Trilogy earning some Achievements and some Trophies to brag to friends alike.