My days as an elementary gamer consisted of twice as many SNES games as I could play. My decisions to own games (all funded by my parents’ money, of course) was based off of what seemed cool and hip, even if I barely played more than an hour of the game itself. You know how it is when you’re a kid. You have to get that one toy that looks awesome, especially if you saw it on TV. That is, until the next new toy came out that was even cooler than the last. Well, that’s how I was with games. Own 30, beaten 5.
Anyways, one series of games that I made sure to play to the best of my childhood ability was Mortal Kombat. I owned so many of those titles, and I don’t even remember why I did. Something about the brutal fighting of the characters and the somewhat consistent story kept me going. As I grew older, and my gaming tastes matured, I grew out of love with the combat franchise. However, I was watching the Legacy series on YouTube earlier today, and it got me thinking about my days with Liu Kang and Sub Zero. I wondered to myself, “Is Mortal Kombat on its deathbed?”
For me, it all started with the OG, the first title, created with somewhat live-action characters on a basic background. I recognize that Street Fighter came first in the fighting game genre, but Mortal Kombat was a new breed. Lots of blood, fatalities, and fast combos gave new life to the fighting game, and I loved every second of it. I’m pretty sure I beat the first one, and maybe the second one two. I remember the games becoming increasingly more difficult with each new iteration. MK3 was the title that brought in the insane combos and eclectic finishers. (Babality? And don’t forget animalities.) It was here that I started dialing back a little on my interest into Midway’s golden child.
Then came the movies. Man, I remember being so excited to see the first Mortal Kombat film. I must have seen it about 10 times at least. The sequel kind of kept my interest, though I have this issue with sequels not retaining hardly any of the cast from the previous film. But, I let that slide and watched a live-action attempt at Liu Kang becoming a dragon and Johnny Cage dying in the first 3 minutes. I should mention at this point that I watched the original film a few months ago. Hated it. About as much as I hate the George Clooney Batman film, and that’s saying something. However, I can’t completely knock the films now, seeing as how they were so much fun for me to experience as a child.
Once I got my Playstation, my interest was rejuvenated in one of my first games I ever owned: Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero. If you never heard of this game, it’s not surprising. It wasn’t exactly well-known when I was a kid. But basically, it’s a 2D side scrolling game about Sub Zero’s journey into the original MK tournament. It was pretty cool too. You leveled up, got better special attacks, and the cinemas were acted about by live actors instead of animation. This was around the same time that Mortal Kombat 4 was released, so Mythologies contained some of those characters too. I loved it.
After all that, I feel like the series just fell out of touch with me. I know that there were many other titles made after that, but I just lost interest. There wasn’t enough to keep me interested. Now, this isn’t just reserved for Mortal Kombat. I generally lose interest in all fighting games after a short while, unless they have ways to keep me vested. MK just seemed to kinda fade away in the tide of new and exciting games. I do know that I can definitely find these games on the PSN, but I wonder if they would have the same feeling of brutal combat or if I would just be hit with a brief feeling of nostalgia and nothing more.
This is one reason why I’m excited to play Injustice: Gods Among Us. I’ve done a little of the Vs. mode and seen more gameplay on it, but I haven’t had a chance to do any story mode with it, though I’m definitely doing so next week. Made by the team behind Mortal Kombat, Injustice seems to have that hard-hitting combat and atmosphere that I wanted all along in a bloody fighting game. And who knows, maybe I’ll finally master a finishing move without looking like an idiot jumping all over the place and randomly punching the air as I did so frequently in older MK games.
By the way: make sure you check out the Mortal Kombat: Legacy videos on YouTube if you haven’t already. They are an amazing imagining of how the universe of these games should have been.
Also, if you want an entertaining mod watch of Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat, watch this.