14 Apr

Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series kicks off with first episode

Posted by Bryan White | Thursday April 14, 2011 | News

Mortal KombatHave I somehow been magically whisked away to 1995 or something because there is no god damn way in hell that Mortal Kombat could ever be relevant in this modern age of smart phones and large hadron colliders. They keep publishing games, pushing the violence envelope and trying to stage some kind of late-era coup to prove to the world that button mashing fighting games and fatalities are still hip. Honestly! Even Street Fighter is niche these days. But I digress.

A while back there was a teaser that came down with 7 of 9 and Black Dynamite in what everyone thought was some kind of pitch reel for a  new Mortal Kombat movie and while I groaned back when I wrote about that video and made the same anachronism comments, I was pretty fucking impressed. Turned out that this was a teaser for an upcoming web series that would pit familiar Mortal Kombat characters in a series of quick web videos showcasing, no doubt, kombat and fatalities. You get this wonky premise about the Black Dragon organization as a criminal syndicate and a bunch of cops trying to shut them down but I’ll tell you what, this 12 minute video is head and shoulders above both of those other MK movies combined. It is, in fact, really fucking good with Michael Jai White showcasing some high-end Muay Thai and Jeet Kune Do maneuvers. I guess they’re going to be releasing this series weekly and while I haven’t been paying close attention because honestly, I couldn’t care less about a new Mortal Kombat video game, much less any other fighting game relic from the 90’s, I think this series will tie in with the inevitable release of a new MK title which is the same old shit but this time with flesh cutaways to show you in slow-mo how your punches, kicks and spine removal is affecting the body’s interior. Seriously.

7 Comments 

  1. April 15, 2011 2:14 am

    MALACHE

    I’m Picking the game up next week if you wanted to come over and check it out…maybe do a review?? LMMFAO!

  2. April 15, 2011 10:30 am

    Rich Brunelle

    You know, this is actually pretty damn cool. The sad thing is, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to pick up that new game too. I watched some clips from it and all of a sudden I was 12 years old again.
    Maybe it’s because they are returning to the side scrolling 2D(kinda) look?
    Anyway, this series looks pretty interesting. I always forget that Jai White can fight. I just remember him as SPAWN.

  3. April 15, 2011 10:32 am

    Bryan White

    It’s funny you mention Spawn, the whole time I was watching this I was thinking of that movie. Maybe it’s just the 90’s connection. He’s totally awesome in Black Dynamite if you haven’t seen it yet.

  4. April 15, 2011 7:32 pm

    Gargus

    Kind of weak plot aside this is atleast entertaining from what I can tell. Entertaining enough I will continue to watch these, but not enough so I wont buy the inevitable dvd release at some point.

    Perhaps it would have been at some other point in time rather than as a vehicle to advertise the new game indirectly. If it had been done without impending release of said game who knows how it might have turned out if it was just its own thing instead of a form of game tie in.

    The new mortal kombat game I couldnt care less about though and have no interest in. The entire series was built purely on violence, violence in a time when it wasnt mainstream in gaming, let alone in arcade games.

    So how does a game stay relevant in a era where a blind grab in a game store gives you a 90% chance of getting something even more over the top with violence? They try to claim they invented a new way to see violence, and in MK its the new xray thing it touts. Ed boon has been seen countless times in interviews trying not to pull a muscle as he jerks off at how awesome it is and pat himself on the back for using it in the game, despite the fact xray damage dates back to the fight club game in the ps2 era. But I guess he figures no one played that game and wont pay attention he is basically just ripping his gimmick off from another games gimmick.

    Im all for violence in movies, games, comics or whatever else as long as it in someway compliments whatever medium its in. Violence just for the sake of violence is boring, immature and a marketing tool. Every time you read a interview or watch a demo video all they can do is talk about and showcase its violence and Im not sorry to say the fact all they do is talk is violence in it makes me less than interested. Whoopie doo, I can see what happens to a guys stomach when I punch him, or I can see blood squirt out of his neckhole when I tear his head off in glorious modern graphics. Thats boring, thats playing to the lowest common denominator. Showcasing the violence in MK is the exact same thing as showcasing digital effects in a michael bay movie, yeah it looks good but it makes me feel dumber for watching it, it makes the final product dumber since thats all you focus on and it makes for a shallow piece of entertainment.

    Now dont let this sound like Im a game snob. I love a good mindless game or movie as much as the next guy. And I like violence as long as its done in interesting ways and is entertaining that actually had some more thought put into it aside from “OK dudes, were gonna have like so much guts flying around in this and the kids are gonna love it! Yeah were so cool for being violent!”. Like take the movie bad taste for instance is full of violence and gross acts, but its done well and trying to do its own thing instead of being just like everyone else, it makes me sick and makes me laugh because its unique and well done. Hell I like the game pac man and you cant much more mindless than that, but its fun because its doing its own thing. MK sadly has just been beating the dead horse of violence and a small core cast of characters for way too long now. Its time to put a bullet in its head and try something new instead of just shitting out the same old franchise for the sake of it selling on its title alone.

    All I have to do is wait 24 hours and youtube will be flooded with HD videos of every single fatality, ending and hidden nugget in the game. Ill watch those, save myself some time and 60 bucks.

    So Ill spend 45 minutes on youtube and get to see all the good stuff and then Ill go to play a real game like Gray Matter, Mass Effect 2, Amnesia, or my recently purchased Alone In The Dark trilogy off gog.com

    Sadly though fighting games are a victim of their own success. They were so popular with a basic forumla and none of them have ever evolved beyond it. Sure lots of fighting games have had gimmicks, or something to make it seem different but they are all still the same basic game when you get past all the glitter. All they do now is try to wow people with a new gimmick, like street fighter 4’s 2 and 1/2 D approach which is still the same street fighter as SF2 was only with a new coat of paint. And now MK is upping its violence and going 2d’ish and people are drooling because it simply looks “old school” and has enough gore to make clive barker blush.

    When MK becomes relevant and can do more than give 12 year old boy boners with its gore then give me a call, until then Ill enjoying other games that have more depth than a teaspoon.

  5. April 17, 2011 10:30 pm

    MALACHE

    Gargus,

    I will say you definitely raise some fair points. But in the listing of the games that you did (alone in the dark etc.) you did not mention one game that was competitive. Which is what the fighting game genre is all about.

    With the releases of Street Fighter IV , Marvel vs, Capcom 3, and now Mortal Kombat and the ability to play them against people from around the globe via XBox live or Playstation Network, Fighting games are being resurrected.
    The online services allow what would be similar to the old arcade experience of putting up your quarter,calling “next”, and schooling some fools that you just met. It was a gladitorial arena of sorts that has long since passed. (I dare you to find an arcade anymore…lol )

    I’d say that with the list you provided of “REAL” games (after saying that you weren’t a game snob …natch) that competitive games really aren’t your thing. Not a single competitive First or Third Person Shooter listed, which can be just as gory in some cases (Gears of War), which is OK. The games you listed are also among some of my favorites as well. Also See : Silent Hill, Angry Birds, Dig Dug, Castlevania, Mario series, God of War Series, Rock Band.

    You also mentioned about not ” shitting out the same old franchise for the sake of it selling on its title alone.” Ummm… hate to break it to you… But the Mortal Kombat series has ALWAYS been based on blood, guts , and violence. I don’t know how old you are, but at the time MK 1 came out I was actually 16, seeing some dude get his head ripped off spine and all was some pretty gruesome shit! No one had seen anything like it in gaming before for the most part, and it made MK the Horror Movie of the Fighting game genre, There will be blood!! And comedic amounts of it… Just like in the Movie Bad Taste!

  6. April 17, 2011 10:55 pm

    MALACHE

    And Bryan… for the record… I don’t think “Niche” is quite the right word for Street Fighter 4:

    1 million sold… ON THE NINTENDO 3DS!
    http://www.tgdaily.com/games-and-entertainment-brief/55323-super-street-fighter-iv-3d-is-3dss-first-million-seller

    3 Million of The console versions!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_Fighter_IV

    and that doesn’t include Super SF IV which I think has sold about the same at this point worldwide.

    And why does a game have to be relevant?? Can you not play a game just because its fun? Does it have to be liked by everyone to be enjoyed by a few?? For fucks sake!! I liked Uve Boll’s (sp?) “Postal”, I had never played the game, and to be honest the movie kinda sucked, but I dig it because of how batshit insane it was, like Starship Troopers or Crank 2.

    To deny yourself something that could be fun based on what other people think, or because maybe it isn’t intelligent “Cine-MA”, or may not have an Oscar caliber story to the game is dumb in my opinion. Sometimes you need some slapstick and gore to go with your Magnolias and Rosebuds.

    Not to mention that kicking some guys ass virtually to de-stress is a lot more safe than doing it in real life, and almost as fun!

  7. April 18, 2011 10:36 am

    Bryan White

    I’ll totally concede that the sales numbers definitely raise Street Fight above niche status but I was really speaking more to an abstraction. Consider the visibility of that coin-op in the 90’s. Consider that it was released in 1991 and ruled until arcades started to decline again toward the end of the decade. That title and other fighting games led a popular uprising and resurgence in arcades throughout the 90’s and the one title that was untouchable was Street Fighter 2. For 6 years they milked every possible revision out of it until they were forced to release Street Fighter 3. In my opinion, Hyper Fighting Edition is still the greatest, most nuanced fighting game of all time.

    These days, there are FAR more consoles in homes than back in the 90’s. The video game console has become an integral piece of any home entertainment set up when back during Street Fighters reign, they were still viewed by the consumer public as very expensive toys but now that we, back then just a bunch of teenagers and twenty-somethings, are now the driving force behind consumer electronics, the gaming console is that much more pervasive. Gaming is a MASSIVE business sector and even with game sales in the millions, Street Fighter and other new generation fighting games don’t touch the sales of big-ticket titles like Modern Warfare whose releases rival box office numbers on shit like Harry Potter or Avatar. There’s a ratio that you have to apply here, I guess.

    Even though Street Fighter continues to sell in the 7 figure range, it’s still a shadow of its former self. You just don’t see people lining up at multiple fighter coin-ops like you used to, stacking their quarters in challenge order anymore. I guess you don’t have to when the coin-ops aren’t really out there anymore and you can have gameplay and presentation that’s better that the ROM PCB’s of today’s modern arcade in the comfort of your own home with an online playground like Live or Home to replace the side by side gaming that we’re used to.


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