Mortal Kombat: Much More Than Violence And Gore

The infamous Mortal Kombat franchise. From humble arcade beginnings to making debuts at Evo, Mortal Kombat has stood the test of time with a loyal fanbase. That second horrible movie made didn’t destroy it like it should’ve. It persevered.  I mean really, that movie was bad. I love “bad” movies, but even I had to reflect on who I was as a person after watching it.

Everyone's guilty pleasure.

MK is where I started when it comes to fighting games. Street Fighter will always be my favorite fighting game franchise. But there’s something to MK that we can’t deny. Maybe it’s the controversy that arose when it first hit arcades. I don’t doubt the first movie helped with it’s popularity either.

Gameplay from the first few titles may have been broken, but they were fun. There’s no denying that anyone could pick them up and enjoy them, especially the home ports. Auto combos were easy to pull off. The one thing about the controls I never liked was the dedicated block button. That always throws me off when I’m coming from other fighting games that have you pressing in the opposite direction of the opponent.

Ultimate Mk 3

Sub-Zero was my go to.
The first Mortal Kombat I played was on the Sega Genesis, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. At the sweet tender age of six I was subjected to violence, gore, and monsters. The people on the screen were murdering each other, not including fatalities, and I couldn’t get enough of it.

A child probably shouldn’t have been witnessing that mayhem so young, but it was the 90’s, who cared? Videogames don’t make murderers. I played that game two decades ago and I’m fine.

I say played, but really, I just mashed buttons and hoped for the best. Going back to the simple controls, this was to my benefit.  Even a six-year-old could feel accomplished.  My uncles on the other hand were at the perfect age when it came out. I was in awe as they performed combos and all the hidden moves like fatalities.  I’m sure the strategy guide helped them out. Pre-internet, so how else was anyone to know how to perform anything. Electronic Gaming Monthly? I’ll have to come back to the topic of gaming magazines. I miss those days.

Years after the genesis, I owned UMK3 on the 360. After a hundred attempts I broke down and looked up how to beat Shao Kahn. I felt disgusted on how easy it was made by the developers. It was just like them to design his weakness to be the signature MK uppercut. Still felt like I accomplished something even after looking it up. Screw Shao Kahn.

Mk Deadly Alliance

My next experience with the franchise was when they went to the next generation consoles after the PS1 and N64 wars. Deadly Alliance on PS2 changed everything for MK. I don’t consider MK 4 as a 3D fighter because the graphics weren’t good. This is my opinion and blog so take that for what it’s worth. Deadly Alliance was a step forward in the right direction for the franchise. New characters, new story I don’t know nor care for, and more unlockables.

I watched the Adema music video a million times.
Currency was earned in game and used in The Krypt for unlockables. That part was always interesting because you didn’t know what you would get. You just had to go through all the rows of coffins and hope for the best. Sometimes you got artwork that honestly meant nothing to me. Someday all that would be available on the internet, so I had no use for it. I appreciate it, but I felt a little cheated every time I unlocked some.

Gameplay changed drastically now that you had three fighting styles for each character. What was impressive was starting a combo and going through all three fighting styles to link the combo together. Kenshi was the only character I could do that with. I had plenty of time to practice when it came out since I was still in school. Nirvana’s greatest hits and Deadly Alliance were my weekends.


My experience and knowledge are limited when it comes to this game. I do not own it personally, but rather my sister does. My dad bought a PS4 for their house and when I’m here I play with my family. When I was little I played with my parents on the Genesis. Twenty years later we are playing MK again but with my younger brother and sister.

The XL edition has the characters unlocked already. Which is great to be able to start with one of my favorite horror icons, Jason Voorhees. Besides Jax, I pick Jason. Normally I gravitate to the larger characters.

As with Deadly Alliance, XL has the three distinct fighting styles, except now you only pick one. Each one has its own playstyle. All comes down to how you want to play your character. With XL at Evo, players might choose what the pros are doing. I never agreed with that. Play the characters you like and how you want. Staple characters like Scorpion and Sub-Zero are not going anywhere so use them whether the pros do or do not.

The staple characters of the franchise.

Mortal Kombat may not be my first choice when it comes to what to play. But, with my family it’s a go to classic. Whether it’s the older titles or the most recent, we can pick it up and enjoy it. Character’s are remembered, music has always been good, controls are simple, and you will have a good time.

As a kid and teen, I couldn’t drink like I can as an adult. Now that I’m older and can enjoy alcohol, I recommend beer for any MK title. For my family and I, MK is a party game. We have fun beating the hell out of each other. For more than twenty years we been doing it. A light beer like Keystone fits well.

MK X is not something I take as serious as Street Fighter V. That’s ok. I play only with my family to have fun. As should everyone else. There is a competitive scene that I do not want to be a part of. I just want to enjoy my beer and do some fatalities.

Enjoy your drinks and game on.


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