The Challenge Of Bringing Mortal Kombat Home During The 90s


Mortal Kombat itself became a hit game and it was an ambitious project. It used digitized graphics (something that quickly became obsolete). It was simply an ambitious project and bringing it home wasn't an easy task. The home consoles back then were usually 16-bit or 32-bit which made it a challenge.

One good example would be how Mortal Kombat from the arcade couldn't get the graphics ported as it is to the 16-bit systems. The Sega Genesis and the Super NES ports would have aged terribly by now. As much as I like to do retrogaming but we can see the differences. The 16-bit systems couldn't capture the glory of the arcade. Who can remember playing Killer Instinct on the Super NES and the graphics were a huge downgrade from the arcade version? If I ever got into Killer Instinct I'll really get myself an X-Box One and the opportunity to truly bring the arcade game home with the bonus that the reboot version has to offer.

The dawn of the 32-bit gaming came and one big arena stepper was the Sony Playstation. Perhaps what gave the first Playstation its edge was that it brought Tekken home and added animated endings which were not in the arcade. The other competitors were the Nintendo 64 and Sega Saturn. But the Playstation became the dominant force in spite of slow loading times. The first Playstation may have had slow loading times but the ports were somewhat impressive. It also brought Mortal Kombat Trilogy which was a huge upgrade of Mortal Kombat Trilogy. I felt the Nintendo 64 version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy wasn't even all that good.

Mortal Kombat 4 hit the arcades and it was the last arcade game for Mortal Kombat. The home versions came but it was again the Playstation that reigned supreme over the Nintendo 64. The endings of the Playstation resembled that of Tekken's animated endings (a shame that Mortal Kombat hasn't been doing that anymore in favor of upgrading Killer Instinct's semi-animated endings). The Playstation proved itself powerful in spite of slower loading times.

After that, we never saw Mortal Kombat in the arcades again. Instead, starting from Deadly Alliance we started seeing Mortal Kombat directly ported to consoles when the Playstation 2 and XBox first arrived. The Mortal Kombat reboot game never made it to the arcades either before the console release in 2011. I thought it could have been cool if they had it in arcade mode. Then again, I haven't played arcade games for a long time and I don't intend to. Instead, when I play Tekken 7 I'd want to get a PS4 and play it at home.

In short, Mortal Kombat is now more of a console hit than an arcade hit. So what really happened?

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