The Mortal Kombat Craze

If there was some game I was once narrowed down to was Mortal Kombat. Why? I remembered having rage hormones and the game satisfied me, despite the fact that the game was somewhat out of balance, the basic attacks for every character is the same but the interesting myths surrounding the game was just awesome. However soon enough, all the palette swapping and same default attack was getting boring really.

The earlier games were also notorious for having extra hard bosses to beat, which they were unplayable. Perhaps the most infamous has to be Kintaro because he could jump off and stomp the opponent and he was for many, harder than Shao Kahn was. Shang Tsung was the first boss character to be dropped and became a regular character. Of course, he caused imbalance because of his ability to morph. Bad idea.

My favorite character was the overly noisy Liu Kang. Well I'm such a chatterbox and it's no surprise or how impulsive Liu Kang can get. He was like the "Ryu" of the series and he soon met his "Ken" counterpart in Mortal Kombat 2 in the person of Kung Lao. Other than that, I hardly liked the other characters, maybe except Sub-Zero. Scorpion was one guy I frequently hated because I hated somebody who liked him. I was also one to get excited about the creation of two motion pictures, the first one was good, the second was plain dreadful in quality.

Finishing moves made the franchise unique and that was rivaled with Killer Instinct which has died down lately. The whole idea was that you can choose to let them live or kill them. In MK2 there were Friendships and Babalities. In MK3, animalities were added. There was the later addition of the brutality where one must execute the assigned ten hit combo to blow up the opponent, similar to Killer Instinct's ultra combo.

So I have to admit that when MK Trilogy came, things changed. The PS2 version was more enjoyable than the N64 with better graphics. Load time was awful but still, it was enjoyable. The only thing disadvantageous was because the boss characters were playable so a two-player mode can get frustrating really. For example, a cousin of mine would use Kintaro to beat me up whenever I kept winning with Liu Kang.

Mortal Kombat 4 was in 3D. It had easier controls and well I got my chance to beat up Goro who was now easier than he was, although he still packs a punch. It introduced its fallen angel character in Shinnok who rebelled against the elder gods to the point he was banished and forced to rule Hell instead. There for a millenia or so, he was forced to endure the chaotic realm until he was able to stabilize it with the help of another fallen angel in Quan Chi. Shinnok was someone I felt was based on the Chinese god of Hell known as Yan Wang a former elder god. It had an upgrade called Mortal Kombat Gold where Kung Lao returned but sigh, it never made it to the PS2.

So okay, some were complaining that the game was repetitive. Eventually the famed Deadly Alliance was made, a game I despised because of the fact that they killed Liu Kang in the start. Kung Lao, well he can never replace Liu Kang just as Ken can't replace Ryu as my favorite. The gameplay was kind of unique though with new fighting techniques rather than the old default fighting but without Liu Kang, sigh it was just another game for me. The game was enjoyable but sigh, Kung Lao was just no Liu Kang and vice versa. I was just glad that Shang Tsung lost his cheesy morph, instead he was however made a tough character. I felt like Shang Tsung was like Tekken's Heihachi in terms of physical power (and the actor who played Shang Tsung also plays Heihachi in Tekken).

Well Liu Kang's popularity brought him back in the next game called Deception, my favorite MK game. Although he was a hidden character and the game revolved around a not-so-well-received protagonist in the centuries old Shujinko (I wish they made a character similar to Sun Wuukong as the protagonist instead), I was happy to have him back even if he's revealed his evil side now that his soul has been corrupted, I even found the corpse costume cool now he's an undead like Scorpion. Quite surprisingly as difficult as its final boss Onaga (who is the first emperor of Outworld), he didn't give me as much problems as the pre-Deadly Alliance MK game bosses did. In fact, I'd rather fight him again than Shao Kahn was in MK3. Why? These games were more balanced.

I also enjoyed Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks. I didn't bother to talk about the other adventure games like Mythologies and Special Forces because they were awful IMO. Shaolin Monks featured the adventures of Liu Kang and Kung Lao in Outworld where they would fight against various enemies in the MK Universe relating to the story of Mortal Kombat 2. Like Ryu and Ken, they fought together. I kind of even liked playing the adventure game more than the fighting because there's more action into it. Also bosses were fun to play against especially with how powerful they got or how the final battle was an endurance match with Shang Tsung, Kintaro and Shao Kahn. Although it went against MK2 canon to the point the story was changed (such as Goro returning back to Outworld safe and sound), it was a fun game and I believe it was meant to change the MK2 comic.

The last PS2 game was Armageddon which put every last character in it to the cost that Motaro was turned into a Minotaur to balance the game. It was a fun game and even if somebody used the bosses, it wasn't as outbalanced as MK Trilogy. Only the fatality system which one strung some moves up to 11 hits lacked personality. I prefer the old cinematic, character-based fatalities like Liu Kang's dragon morph, Scorpion's fire fatality but still, I had fun with the Kreate-A-Fatality system if I find myself bored with the my more favored style of fatalities. Kreate-A-Fighter was a feature I found to get boring quickly though. It was also the first game to introduce a final boss that wasn't evil either.

However I soon got bored with MK vs. DC. It was TERRIBLE IMO. How I wish it was MK vs. Marvel Universe. But sigh, Disney bought Marvel and Disney is just NOT GOOD with action really. In fact, Disney's PR for me was terrible as well. Besides, I hope that MK will be in good hands now that Midway has sold their rights to other powerful companies.


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