You win, Internet. I like Mortal Kombat.

Like most (sane) gamers, I don’t really have fond memories of Mortal Kombat. It was a stiff, janky fighting game that made its bones on one particular gimmick — the blood. In hindsight, it wasn’t as fun as we remember. Mortal Kombat is to Street Fighter as Sonic is to Mario. (Though I would say Sonic is more fun than Mortal Kombat).

So when this new installment was coming out, I yawned my way through covering it for the various outlets I write for. I heard the Giant Bomb guys rave about it, but my opinions differ from theirs pretty sharply, because they sometimes like weird stuff.

But then the collective drumbeat started, with praise coming from all corners of the internet, including Bryan Carr. Now Bryan’s tastes don’t totally mesh with mine, but he was even more skeptical about Mortal Kombat than I was, and it won him over. So I bit and ordered it when I saw a good price on Amazon, and it arrived astoundingly fast. And…

It’s good.

Like, really good.

It’s not quite as fluid as Street Fighter, but for the first time in the series’ history it seems like that’s a conscious choice instead of a shortcoming. It has its own rhythm. It also has a ton of game mode variety (even with PSN down), and enough hidden stuff to bring back nostalgia from the days when a game’s secrets weren’t plumbed by the internet within hours of release.

Sure, the character designs are kind of dumb. Yes, the dialogue is terrible and the story is idiotic. And okay, the whole thing sounds like the design doc was drafted in the notebook of a 15-year-old whose mom just doesn’t understand his emotions. But it’s also charming, and it knows it’s stupid, and that’s a first for this series. For me, at least.

  • Most weeks of Nintendo downloads are cavalcades of crap, but this week actually seems decent. I’m not familiar with MDK2, but it sounds intriguing, and WayForward made a new DSiWare game? Hot diggity damn.
  • I enjoyed writing this piece on the NEA recognition of games as an art form. Partly because of my observations tying into the Supreme Court case, but mostly because I got to call Ebert out for trolling.
  • This is alarming. If Capcom is being this frank with money lost, imagine that multiplied by the number of publishers with content on PSN. Worse yet, I’m fairly certain Capcom didn’t even have any games scheduled to release during the period, so he’s just referring to revenue lost from steady sales. A company like Ubisoft, which is missing out on half of its revenues from Outland (which is fantastic), must be suffering even more.
  • On the other hand, at least Sony has their security up-to-date. Probably. The tech-heads were disagreeing with each other, but I’m glad we didn’t report on this security expert’s comments initially. We followed up today because we had mentioned it on Weekend Confirmed, but as far as our news section goes, we made the decision to skip it. Nice to be vindicated on things like that.
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