Today marks the release of Mortal Kombat 9 (or Mortal Kombat 2011, depending on your preferred naming conventions). As such, I feel it’s a good time to step into our wayback machine and review the game that made this all possible: The original MORTAL KOMBAT!
“You see Sherman, Raiden has kicked Johnny in his… rib Cage”
This is the game that made mothers foam at the mouth with rage and/or spontaneously combust. Back then, fighting games always ended with a KO. Sure, Ryu just beat the tar out of Chun Li, but she’ll be alright. Not the case with Mortal Kombat… unless you want to tell me that Sonya’s going to recover from having her spine ripped out.
Walk it off, whiner.
The gameplay… well, frankly, the gameplay sucked. All characters had the same basic moves, with only the special moves to differentiate them. And you could win almost every match with just high punches and sweep kicks. But, who the hell cared? This was a game about violence, not “gameplay.” This is why I still remember the blood code for the Sega Genesis version of the game, even though I owned the SNES version.
Of the characters, everyone loved Sub Zero and Scorpion. Because they’re ninjas, goddamnit. And ninjas… are… awesome. (See also: Turtles, Teenage Mutant) My personal favorite character wasn’t even playable: The hidden character Reptile just fascinated me. He had the moves of both Sub Zero and Scorpion and his color was just a combination of Sub Zero’s blue and Scorpion’s yellow. I loved the fact that this character was hidden deep within the game. I loved that he was hard as balls to fight, yet I still beat him. Mostly, I loved that he looked kind of like the Green Power Ranger.
Give me a break, I was 8
Final verdict: The game kind of sucks, but it doesn’t matter. The nostalgia filter makes this game still seem shiny and fun. Plus: violence!