Welcome to 5 Things, a series where we dissect a video game, a movie or a TV show and highlight the 5 things that either made it awesome or caused it to suck.
With Mortal Kombat X quickly approaching, I decided to revisit the (current) best fighting game of the modern era, Mortal Kombat 9, to look at what made the game so damn good.
Now, hate all you want because even if MK9 didn’t have the fancy technique or flashy sequences of a Marvel vs Capcom or the stylish artwork of Street Fighter IV, I would easily argue MK9’s status as the best of the modern era with you all day. For what it may have lacked in style and sizzle, this game made up for it with steak. In spades.
So, without blabbering on too long about how this game generally kicks all other fighting games right in the Shujinko, let’s jump into the 5 things that made MK9 so (so) great.
5. Fatalities that don’t suck
Considering that fatalities have been the defining feature of Mortal Kombat since the game’s inception in 1992, it might seem a bit odd that they would be such a crucial part of MK9’s success 19 years later in 2011.
But even though Sub-Zero’s infamous spine-rip almost single-handedly (single-spinally?) brought about the creation of the ESRB rating system, not all of Mortal Kombat’s gory finishing moves have been so awesome, or gory for that matter.
While there’s some sick satisfaction to be felt watching Cyrax dissect his opponent with his helicopter blades or seeing Liu Kang morph into a dragon and bite a fool in half, there’s something decidedly less cool about seeing Tanya leisurely twist your head three times without a drop of blood to be found.
When NetherRealm Studios got to crafting the awesomeness that was MK9, they knew that fans weren’t going to accept just any run-of-the-mill finishing moves.
MK9 delivered in spades with ravenous amounts of head splitting, gut-shredding, disemboweling, limb-tearing, meat-sack butchering fatalities, all of which have to be seen to be believed.
Somehow, finishing a Mortal Kombat match like this just doesn’t have the same effect: