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Posts Tagged ‘mortal kombat

Podcast: What Did You Expect?

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vgm

This week Fred and Jam are joined by guest Fortengard to talk about the world of video game movies.  Now, if we just sat around and ragged on them all day we would be just like every other gaming podcast.  Instead, we delve into concepts of production, adaptation, and what makes these movies good or what makes them completely worthless.

Note: I promised to post the chat for this show as well, you can find it here (.doc version).


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Retro Game Night: Putty Squad and Gameboy Mortal Kombat

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This week we finally got our hands on Mortal Kombat for the Gameboy to complete the circle and supplement the original Mortal Kombat Versions Video.  Additionally the PS4 title Putty Squad is apparently pretty terrible, however the game was originally released on the SNES and we’ve got a copy to try out. 

Written by Fred Rojas

August 9, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Podcast: Edited For Content

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banned

This week we are joined by Derrick H of All Games Radio to discuss games that have been banned.  As a medium that started marketing to children, governing bodies and the games industry have consistently worked together to avoid the dangerous word of censorship.  Our panel discusses the roots, press, and various actions taken to edit or ban games that are deemed inappropriate for public consumption.


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Written by Fred Rojas

March 26, 2014 at 11:02 am

How Product Design has Transformed the Amusement Industry

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The term “arcade game” these days conjures up images of cutting-edge graphics and sound, combined with innovative and interactive technology that can bring any concept to life.  However, good graphics and interactivity have not always been a necessity for a game that is both enjoyable and addictive. I dread to mention the recent phenomenon of the Flappy Bird app but it is an example of an outrageously faulty and basic game becoming extremely popular. This has been seen in the past with games like Space Invaders, Pac Man, Tetris and Asteroids following very basic concepts and graphics, but still being addictive and rewarding when completed.

The Really Early Days

The first arcade games kicked off at amusement parks and are still present at fairs and theme parks, but there’s nothing particularly sophisticated about them. Ring toss, throwing balls at stacked cans, shooting targets, and other simple challenges have been doing the rounds for hundreds of years and can still draw in the punters to this day. Just don’t go expecting an easy win. Perhaps this is what is indicative of a good game – making it appear simple whilst making it actually fiendishly difficult to win. Make it too hard, however ,and you are left with Zelda II.

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Version: Mortal Kombat

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In this new video series we dissect the home versions of the arcade classic Mortal Kombat.  Check out the roughly 10 minute video for a quick retrospective on the title and the craze that resulted in September 1993 as many kids brought this violent title home.

Written by Fred Rojas

December 1, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Now & Then: Mortal Kombat II (Midway)

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Midway must have known it had a hit on its hands with the original Mortal Kombat because no time was wasted creating the sequel.  While most of us anticipated the home release of the first title, Mortal Kombat II (MKII) snuck into arcades and blew our minds.  This game literally had it all – more characters, more fatalities/finishing moves, and more violence.  For most MK series fans, myself included, this is considered to be the best and it’s one of the highest grossing video games of all time.

MK Meets its Match

The original Mortal Kombat was an impressive fighter, especially for one that was developed with digitized actors in only 10 months, but creator Ed Boon wanted to do more.  “[MKII] had everything we wanted to put in the original MK but didn’t have time for,” he said in an interview with EGM2 (issue 5, Nov. 1994).  It does seem like there’s some truth to his claim, especially with the introduction of more stage fatalities, a second fatality for each character, and even joke finishers “friendships” and “babalities”.  I’m not so sure the roster was an initial idea, nor was the background concepts of Outworld, but I can definitely see the Midway team wanting to break away from the perceived reality of the original.  Not only was MKII the definitive version of the original concept, but it continues to be the template for which all other titles in the series are based on.

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Podcast: The Final Countdown Pt. 1

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Fred Rojas from Gaming History 101 and the B-Team podcast is joined by Josh “Colm” from the T4 show and Rob “Trees” from EZ Mode Unlocked to discuss the games in G4’s recent top 100 games of all times.  We start by discussing some of our issues with the games in the list and then hit the ground running talking about our personal experiences with many of the great games on the countdown.  Due to time constraints this first part covers games 100-60 with more to come in future weeks.  Check it out!


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Now & Then: Mortal Kombat (Midway)

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Last week Mortal Kombat released for the Playstation Vita and while I was playing it for review I couldn’t help but notice that the series has not changed much since it first released.  Normally this is a bad thing, but in the case of this series its strength relies on its simplicity.  Mortal Kombat is a game all about beating the crap out of your opponent and then topping it all off with a finishing move that is extremely violent in nature.

First Impressions

I still remember the day that I saw the first Mortal Kombat arcade out in the wild.  It was 1992, I was 10 and frequented the local roller rink where I could meet up with friends and play arcade games.  Yeah, even in 1992 the roller rink was still alive and well in Chicago’s northern suburbs.  At that time the arcade was dominated by Street Fighter II, a cartoon-like fighter from the geniuses at Capcom, but I wasn’t all that good at it and truthfully had little interest in fighters.  That is, until I walked in and saw a new game that prominantly displayed the title “Mortal Kombat” in bright yellow letters.  My first thought was how stupid it was that the word “combat” was misspelled, but then I noticed that the game used digitized realistic looking actors. Even more impressive was when the first uppercut made contact and a shower of blood erupted from the opponent’s face.  I was intrigued.

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Written by Fred Rojas

May 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Day 10

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On the tenth day of Christmas my memories gave to me…

10 Turbografx-16 Cards!

I know the picture has more than 10 games, but I just recently found a bunch of old Turbografx-16 games from my youth and I don’t have all of the original “big 10”, sue me.  Back in 1992 Toys R Us decided it was high time to get rid of the Turbografx-16 and clearance priced both the console and the games.  I’m fairly certain the console dropped down to $49.99 and I know the games were all $9.99.  I had no idea what the heck a Turbografx-16 was but the graphics definitely looked like Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo so I grabbed it and five games for Christmas.  This was an even bigger deal when you consider that my Toys R Us only had 10 games for the console.  I was hoping that I could find other stores or places downtown (I lived in a suburb of Chicago) but to no avail.  After two weeks of searching I finally gave up and decided to ask for the other five games for my birthday to at least have my strong 10 game collection.

That ended up being one of the most worthwhile Christmas gifts I could have possibly asked for.  The back of the box was adorned with games I had never heard of, like Bloody Wolf, that looked absolutely amazing.  Unfortunately, I was limited to just the 10 games I could find but many of those were gems of the console: Keith Courage in Alpha Zones (pack-in), Legendary Axe, Splatterhouse, Devil’s Crush, Pac-Land, Vigilante, Aeroblasters, Bonk’s Adventure, Victory Run, and of course J.J. & Jeff made up my collection.  Being only ten years old and getting my hands on a game like Splatterhouse, an action title where your character looks like Jason from the Friday the 13th series and explores a haunted house, I was blown away.  Additionally the Turbografx-16 had a strong Japanese influence, so all games looked very cartoony and covered topics like graphic violence and adult situations.

I spent most of 1993 playing Turbografx-16 at home, but with my obsession with Mortal Kombat for Christmas the next year, my Genesis became the main console of my life after that.  For the longest time the Turbografx-16 remained a vague memory gathering dust in my closet (much like my Wii was a year ago).  I ended up selling off the console in college but the box containing my games remained untouched in my parent’s basement, which had more than tripled by the time I was 20.  I recently found the games and picked up a used Turbografx-16 and upon that first boot-up of Keith Courage in Alpha Zones it was like being a kid again.  I had no idea what a great part of gaming history I had stumbled upon for Christmas ’92.

<- Go back to the ninth day                                      Go on to the eleventh day ->

Video Game Violence Heats Up

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I remember going to the roller skating rink on Thursday nights and even though I was an avid gamer, puberty had started to kick in and girls were much more interesting to me.  That is, until Mortal Kombat.  I had already seen and gotten my butt kicked by most of the Street Fighter II players, but that game was too cartoon-like and I didn’t much care for it.  Mortal Kombat was different.  It had digitized actors playing as each of the fighters, heavy blows to the face would result in large globs of blood spraying across the floor, and I’ll never forget the first time someone won a round with Johnny Cage and the words “Finish Him!” flashed on-screen.  The player walked up to his opponent and did what looked like a complex combination of buttons, the screen darkened, and Johnny Cage straight up punched the guys head off.  Blood erupted from the severed stump while the head bounced on the floor while Johnny Cage put his sunglasses on and struck a pose.  That was my first experience with a “fatality,” which would go on to be one of the most controversial subjects in gaming history.

Senator Joseph Lieberman

In the arcades it was all good and well but once this content hit home consoles in 1992 suddenly governmental groups took notice, namely senators Joe Lieberman (Connecticut) and Herb Kohl (Wisconsin).  They decided that video game companies were pandering violence to children, using these “toys” (game consoles) as the vehicle, and in December 1993 decided to take it to congress.  At that time both Nintendo and Sega had versions of Mortal Kombat on the market, but each had its own way of handling the questionable content.  Nintendo thought it was taking the moral high ground by converting the blood to gray sweat – hardcore SNES players of the time used Game Genie to turn it back to red – and changed the fatalities to bloodless “finishing moves.”  Sega, being the more salacious of the bunch, kept all the violence and fatalities intact on its consoles and instead opted for a code to unlock it – every Sega player remembers “ABACABB” and “DULLARD” for the Genesis as well as “212DU” for Game Gear.  Sega had decided to self-police its titles and implemented a rating system on its games, mostly taking queues from the motion picture industry.  There were 3 ratings: GA (general audiences), MA-13 (parental advisory under 13), and MA-17 (parental advisory under 17).  For one reason or another Mortal Kombat received an MA-13 from Sega.  Not that any of this mattered.

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Senator Kohl

To the senators, changing fatalities were finishing moves didn’t change the fact that Scorpion would still char the opponent to bones.  As for the rating system, especially one that was self-established, it may as well have been a promotional logo.  To further explain their opinions, the senators screened what they claimed was the Sega Genesis version of Mortal Kombat.  Since anyone who played that version knows how rough and fake it looks, they opted to show off the much more crisp and clear arcade version.  Semantics, sure, but still valid.  It’s important to note that Mortal Kombat was not alone in these hearings.  Night Trap, Lethal Enforcers, and Doom shared the spotlight.

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Written by Fred Rojas

November 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm