The Kolumn: Issue #09

Posted by WaR on January 2nd, 2005

Here we go again

Are you ready for a new year of Kombat? I am. And I’m sure many of us, loyal fans, are eagerly waiting what this New Year will bring. In fact, many are certain the franchise will continue strong as it is today. How can we be so sure? Let’s just recap a few moments of Mortal Kombat that assure us things will turn out just as impressive as usual.

On October 10, 2004 one of the biggest franchises in the world of video games was released, this was Mortal Kombat: Deception. As expected the game sold well beyond any expectations, regardless some skepticism that surrounded the previous release, in 2002 of the equally groundbreaking, but somehow rushed game Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. And now a new year begins, and fans of the MK wave hold their breaths for what looks to be another promising year for the industry’s fighting classic.

For many fans, Mortal Kombat is not only a fighting game; it means much more than that. Mortal Kombat is the fighting game revolutionary. From the very beginning it always stepped on new grounds and defied censorship with every release. And for some of us, Mortal Kombat made the biggest impact in our own gaming worlds.

Who can forget 1992 and the first time you stood around a MK arcade machine along with a significant number of people observing, in amazement, two players duke it out in a good old fight to the death? Did the graphics impress you? How about the unreal amount of blood? What about the mysterious stories surrounding the characters? Mortal Kombat for these reasons alone is the unique predecessor and grandfather of not only the fighting gender, but innovation and technology among others.

Expectations were high for the next installation, and as you can imagine, and many even remember, Mortal Kombat II did not let anyone down. The game was simply brutal. Better graphics, better game play, more fatalities, more characters, more stages, and of course, an even deeper and more mesmerizing story line. The memories are there, where the World Wide Web was not as common as it is today, it was hard (and even fun) to search for someone at your local arcades with the secrets very few knew, and even fewer shared; how to perform this or that fatality. Those were the times and memories that live in every hardcore fan, and consequently keep Mortal Kombat alive.

As we all know, Mortal Kombat II is considered by many to be the crown jewel in the series, since Mortal Kombat 3 was not an overwhelming project. With other releases that followed, as the infamous Special Forces, and the OK game; Mythologies, the franchise lost some of its fans, and the slow down of the MK legacy seemed inevitable. Then, Mortal Kombat 4 came along, and it tried to build momentum once again. The Midway team even considered MK4 to be the “mother of all fighting games.” Hope appeared faint on the horizon.

And then it happened. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance was unleashed, and with its amazing graphics, intricate combo system, and various fighting styles for every character brought the Mortal Kombat name back to the top. Personally, I was deeply impressed. The final blow to the competition came 2 years later when MK: Deception locked on the first place in the video game world and swallowed the key. There was no turning back. Spike TV’s Video Game Awards recognized this masterpiece and the Best Fighting Game award was handed to the all time granddaddy of all fighters. There is no denial, Mortal Kombat was back, stronger then ever, to rule with an Iron Fist just like in the 90’s, with the support of all the loyal fans, all over the world.

Now, scheduled for a fourth quarter release in 2005; Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks will hit consoles hard. And after all we’ve seen, we can be confident that this time the Midway team’s new prey; the action-adventure gender, will also feel the wrath of Mortal Kombat, and we will certainly be there to support it, encourage it, and later claim victory over the competition.

With this said, let’s ask again, are you ready for another year of Kombat? If you didn’t answer “Hell Yeah” then you can just go back to Street Fighter and patiently wait for Mortal Kombat to blow you out of the water, again. It’s survival of the fittest, or so I’ve heard. I’m just glad I’m on the right side. Happy New Year everyone and strap on to your seat belts, the ride through the realms is about to begin one more time.