Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct & Street Fighter II Turbo
The Classic Review
I decided to dust off my Super Nintendo and re-live my youth with an array of black and grey cartridge based fun. Deciding on which games to go back and look at in closer detail was a little difficult. Over the years my collection of games has somewhat grown, so I thought I would kill three birds with one stone and go for the tri-fector. Plus it gave me an excuse to play all three games back to back!
A game that many of you have no doubt touched in one form or another throughout your gaming life. I have a feeling that there will be a new found love for the game in the next few years if the new film gets released. Director……………has made a ten minute trailer/mini film for the next Mortal Kombat film and believe me, it looks absolutely stunning. With amazing visuals, what looks to be an amazing story line, and some of the better stunts seen in a film this century, it looks set to be an absolutely mind-blowing film.
But the game that got the ball rolling? Still a classic. With it realistic looking characters and detailed backgrounds, Acclaim’s Mortal Kombat hit the shelves for home computing in 1993, just after Midway had them in arcades, and took the beat ‘em up somewhere else.
I hadn’t played Kombat in a few years and was a little rusty to say the least. I couldn’t remember any special moves, or any finishing moves for that matter. With seven characters to choose from, this didn’t prove to be as difficult as remembering a simple button combination. For me, it was Rayden. As it always will be. The more I played, the more I started to remember teleporting and flying moves. (Down/UP and Back/Back/Forward for those with memories like mine.) Though we may laugh now, it’s digitized graphics caused uproar at the time because of its over the top violence and gore.
Multi-player fighting games are always great when you have friends round and when you break out a game like this, it brings back great memories and tales of yesteryear. Still a gem, this game will never be far from the front of my collection.
People I know tell me they only bought the console for this game. But I have no idea why. I wouldn’t buy a console on the back of this game. As good as it is, it must just be me being bias. I fell in love with the Kombat and Fighter games long before I had a chance to play on Instinct. What I also realised is that it steals a lot from both of them. Its hard to replicate the Fighters and Kombats of the world unless it’s a sequel, but even then it’s not always great.
Developed by Rare and published by Midway in 1994, it was released maybe a couple of years too late for it to be an original bonafide classic. But who knows, if Fighter and Kombat hadn’t have been made, then maybe this game wouldn’t have been either.
The characters are darker, bigger and appear stronger. One of them (Glacier) looks like a carbon copy of T1000 from Terminator 2. The way he transports himself by melting, moving across the floor then re-appearing elsewhere suggests that it was completely ripped from said film. Also the character ‘Combo’ looks like a rehash of the boxer ‘Balrog’ from Street Fighter. Just another thing we have seen somewhere before.
The one good thing about the game is that each fight doesn’t contain two rounds, it contains two life bars. When one player runs out of a life bar, you don’t have to wait for the points to be tallied up to fight again, the player just re-spawns with a new life bar, no waiting necessary. I guess it helps the game flow more. Oh, and the cartridge is black. Don’t know why that’s better as this doesn’t help the game at all, but it looks cool. Hard to lose in a sea of grey.
Again, not a game I would buy a console for, but still a game I am proud to have in my collection.
STREET FIGHTER II TURBO
What is there to say about Street Fighter that hasn’t been said already? In 2008 it was officially Capcoms best selling game of all time. It has spawned many games after the original and even had one of the cheesiest and most awesome films I have ever seen, made in its honour.
Just like Mortal Kombat, everyone has their favourite character that they are loyal too. With twelve to choose from, it’s hard not to have a favourite.
The version for the Super Nintendo was released in 1993 just after the explosion of fighting games in the 1980’s. This game proved that the genre was still alive and well.
Comic like graphics, cheesy quotes, insane special moves and an option to turn the turbo off just in case it gets too much, Street Fighter II Turbo is bar none, the best fighting game on the Super Nintendo and definitely in my top five of all time.
When I turned the game on, a ray of light came down from heaven…it didn’t actually, I’m just trying to set a mood here. No, but seriously, when I turned the game on with the intention of writing about it and not just playing it, I noticed something. The backgrounds are extremely stereotypical of the countries they are suppose to represent. Japan has a man killing a chicken on a market and a picture of Mount Fuji, India has pictures of Hindus and elephants and Russia has a large emblem of Soviet USSR. It’s almost like they were designing the game around the players perception of the world and concentrating it into one picture.
That aside, the fighting is great, apart from the jittery-ness of the characters when they get knocked down. This can be forgiven because it looks like they made an effort to make a 2-D platform beat ‘em up, and make it look broader. When you knock a player down on certain levels, boxes and barrels in the background break up when you crash into them. It gives the game more depth even though in reality, it doesn’t actually have any.
Another little egg that keeps the game interesting, is that when your making your way around the world, every 3 levels there is a side challenge where you have to beat the daylights out of a car, wall and some boxes for extra points.
*TIP* E.Honda is better for these than any other character!*
I think most people would agree, that in certain situations, using Blanka and maybe Dhalsim is bordering on cheating. When you have arms that go half way across the screen and you can constantly stay electric, I would consider that an advantage. Though these moves can be counteracted, it stops players from getting to grips with other characters and learning their actual moves. It’s a lazy way to win, but I guess it’s still a win.
All in all, this game cannot be given enough credit and it cannot be played enough. This game must be handed down to the next generation and used as some sort of, dare I say it, Bible for modern day fighting games.
*On a personal note, me and Vega share the same birthday. Maybe I should play as him more?
These legends of the gaming realm paved the way for soon to be classics like Tekken and Soul Blade. I don’t need to say that the graphics today are vastly superior to what we knew as kids, but graphics aren’t everything. It’s the memories that we have of shoving that cartridge into that console and beating the living daylights out of your friends, but without actually hurting them. The people out there who had the joy of playing these games as kids were born in the right generation and I am proud that these are part of my childhood.