Posted on September 12, 2012
My Top 100: #89 – Mortal Kombat (2011)
Isn’t fan service awesome? Mortal Kombat (often called MK9 for short) delivered pretty much everything the typical old school MK fan was looking for.
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon was intended to be the last hurrah for the series when it was released in 2006, incorporating pretty much every character that existed through the years… the only one that didn’t make it was Hornbuckle, but only the hardcore fans knew who he was, anyway. At the end of the game, it appeared that the MK universe was decimated with Shao Kahn claiming victory over every realm. Apparently, that’s a bad deal.
Ed Boon was clearly pulling everyone’s leg. The series’ co-creator managed to twist that ending around, turning it into some crazy alternate universe game that only Mortal Kombat could ever pull off properly. This was, after all, the series that had pretty much every one of its characters die and come back with a vengeance. The stories were over the top and ridiculous since that first game, so OF COURSE the storyline wasn’t over.
The PlayStation 3 version of the game is the one I picked up, mostly due to the inclusion of Kratos (from God of War) as a playable character. Apparently, Netherrealm Studios tried desperately to get an exclusive character for the Xbox 360 edition of the game (Master Chief? Kameo? Erm, Conker???), but things just didn’t work out for that plan.
In any case, MK9 goes back to the basics in terms of gameplay, bringing back the same arcade feeling from the first few games. Gone were the multiple forms of martial arts, and gone was the storyline where everything got convoluted and went to crap; at the end of Armageddon, Raiden somehow managed to turn the clock back to the beginning of the first tournament. Far fetched, sure, but this is MK, after all.
The game has a Story Mode that spans the first three games in the series, a Challenge Tower for those who like to switch it up a little bit, a Krypt with endless goodies to unlock, and finally, four downloadable characters; Skarlet, Kenshi, Rain and Freddie Kreuger. Special “retro” costumes and fatalities were also added as DLC, which made this the first fighting game (that I was interested in, anyway) to still be garnering hype six months after release. The new Street Fighter games did something similar, but they weren’t my cup of tea.
Maybe it was the fact that I love the MK universe, and maybe I just a yearned for new games not to suck. Whatever it was, I wasted plenty of hours on this one. Thanks, Ed Boon!