Is it a coincidence that the world’s most successful gamer, Johnathan Wendel, known more popularly as Fatal1ty, shares his nickname with a finishing move from fighting game Mortal Kombat? Although the popular 2D fighting game Street Fighter, which launched on gaming consoles in 1987, was the first of its kind, Mortal Kombat is notorious for always being the gorier and more gruesome of the two.
A cross-platform series of games that started with the first Mortal Kombat (MK) in 1992, MK is about one-on-one fighting. The ninth iteration of Mortal Kombat that launched worldwide a couple of weeks ago is one of the most anticipated games this year. “What makes this game compelling is that it goes back to its roots. After MK3 (1995), the series started moving towards kids. The following Mortal Kombat games took the 3D route and were less gory. Now, the latest game is 2D again, with all the gore you can imagine,” says ardent gamer and professional car-racing trainer Viral Oza.
Hitul Gandhi who runs a gaming parlour in Powai mentions, “I think Mortal Kombat is the most realistic one-on-one combat game ever. Street Fighter is much more cartoonish compared to MK. I also like the special finishing moves (Fatalities) at the end of the game. It’s the ultimate way to humiliate your opponent.”
What’s new in the latest game, simply called Mortal Kombat, is a series of X-ray moves. Performed via using a combination of buttons, these moves depict what happens to internal organs and bones in the human body after an assault. “The X-ray move is very cool,” mentions writer Vishal Patel. “Clearly, the game makers have tried to make it as shocking as the original MK. They’re going back to the basics,” he says.
Freelance writer and gaming buff Nikhil Rastogi mentions, “I haven’t played the game yet but I’ve seen the videos. Discovery channel has this programme on Extreme Martial Arts (XMA), where a fighter performs a kick and the show depicts how it affects the body, and so it looks as cool. The X-ray moves are somewhat like that.”
Finally, businessman and hardcore MK enthusiast since the first game in 1992, Samir Chheda has only good things to say. “I’ve played it on the Xbox 360 and it’s obsessively fun. The storyline is a reboot as it takes you back to the beginning, but with a few twists thrown in. The new MK lives up to all the hype. I can’t wait to play it with my brother, who’s another hardcore MK fan,” he says.