GameTech: Mortal Kombat 11 is as relevant as the original

The latest ‘Avengers’ film is packed to the brim with characters from the Marvel universe, showcasing the incredible depth of material that stems from both the comics and the cinematic releases. In fact, so complicated is the story in ‘Endgame’ that they need time travel to sort through it all.

While Mortal Kombat isn’t exactly Marvel territory, it does have one of gaming’s truly unique character rosters — and a long history of increasingly complicated storylines.

In Mortal Kombat 11, the developer caved under the weight of story and, much like Disney after 11 years of Marvel films, turned to alternative timelines for a solution.

So in Mortal Kombat 11, the defeat of the elder god Shinnok leads the heroic Raiden to become corrupted and, essentially, become an evil version of himself. In turn, Shinnok’s mother Kronika pulls various timelines together to try and bring an end to the evil Raiden, which leads to all kinds of fun encounters between past, present and future versions of characters we have grown to love over the years, along with some great new additions too.

The character roster is by far the best part of Mortal Kombat, with some of the best design in gaming. Classics like Raiden, Scorpion, Baraka and Johnny Cage are joined by less famous but equally fun names like Erron Black and The Collector. That’s not to mention the iconic design of original boss Goro, who even made his way into the Ready Player One film last year.

Mortal Kombat is essentially a comic book universe, created for gaming, so much of the fun comes from the interconnected stories and rivalries between the characters, along with the game’s sense of ‘good’ versus ‘evil’. Of course, when we talk about ‘rivalries’ here, we mean two people who want to slice each other in half, before stomping on what is left and setting that on fire.

Yes, the violence in Mortal Kombat is more excessive than ever — and we love it. This is a cartoon world of exploding guts and severed heads, no different to the many schlock horror movies released over the years. Except in this case, there is a fantastic roster of characters, each with their own signature methods and flourishes.

Mortal Kombat 11 is as relevant now as the original was 20 years ago. Somehow, the series has travelled through time (in the normal fashion) without losing its tight gameplay or sense of fun. End game? No thanks — we’ll keep on playing.

SONIC REDESIGN

Sadly, Mortal Kombat is one of many gaming properties to have terrible cinematic representations and the latest on that list is Sonic the Hedgehog. The first official trailer, which released last week, contained version of Sonic that completely deviated from the original, iconic design, with many fans calling the film version of Sonic ‘hideous’, ‘disturbing’ and ‘unsettling’.

The trailer, which also included our first glimpse of Jim Carrey as Dr Robotnik (also called Eggman), was fairly standard fare otherwise, implying Sonic travels to our world from another dimension before being hunted by the military with the help of Robotnik.

Well, it seems like the online outcry was heard. The film’s director Jeff Fowler took to Twitter to address the issue. “Thank you for the support. And the criticism,” he wrote.

The message is loud and clear… you aren’t happy with the design and you want changes. It’s going to happen. Everyone at Paramount and Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be…

While Paramount did an awful job of the initial design, it’s admirable that they are redesigning the character with just six months left until release. Like Sonic, they better work fast.

GAME FAME

Finally, if time travel was part of our story, we would travel back in time to play the original Mortal Kombat, along with many other classics, at the time of release, to relive the impact they had. The Video Game Hall of Fame has chosen its four entries for 2019 and Mortal Kombat is among them.

The other three were Super Mario Kart, Colossal Cave Adventure and, surprisingly, Solitaire. While those specific games will never reach the same heights again, they will be preserved in time forever at the Museum of Play website.

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