Tag Archives: violence

Mortal Kombat Demo Impressions

29 Mar

Mortal Kombat has an interesting legacy to live up to. The original wasn’t exactly the greatest fighting game, even at the time of its release, but it holds a certain nostalgic appeal to a lot of gamers. It’s sequel was a superior title, but it’s gameplay was massively overshadowed by Street Fighter II. As years passed, Mortal Kombat tried 3d, attempted a scrolling brawler, shoehorned in a cart racer and never relinquished its gore. Sadly, none of the games ever lived up to MK2, and many were less than stellar.

The ninth iteration of the series is on the horizon and I must admit to mixed feelings. I was a Mortal Kombat fan in the early nineties, not because of the gore and controversy, but because it was fun. Any offense caused by the game was absurd to me, even then, because it was cartoon violence. Itchy and Scratchy on The Simpsons showed more gore than Mortal Kombat’s pixellated people did and the furore it caused was ridiculous. Graphics have come a long way though, so I approached the new game with some trepidation, assuming it would be extremely graphic.

This... is supposed to offend me?

Well, it is and it isn’t. The game is brutal in some ways, heads are chopped off, limbs are severed, the usual, but it’s still cartoon violence. It’s not just too over the top to be taken seriously, it’s nicely judged in terms of how graphic the violence actually is. Scorpion’s fatality is basically him chopping an opponent in half at the waist, then lopping off his head at the neck. He then boots the torso, causing the head to fly skywards, which he then cuts down the middle. The blood is minimal throughout, there’s no sound of slicing through bone or any real hideousness and it just doesn’t seem all that violent. It’s still a cartoon really, and layers of graphical polish haven’t changed that.

The only genuinely graphic element is the X-Ray move. These moves show the screen in black and white, except for the part of the victims skeleton which is affected by the move. Again though, there’s something altogether silly about the whole thing, as jaws shatter unrealistically into pieces and limbs snap, only for the victim to return to the fight with a slight graze. I’m sure some will say that it’s a bad message, but the game is 18 rated, and any child whose parents are irresponsible/permissive enough to let them play it will just scoff at any parental disgust, as we did in the 90’s.

Will reptile still be a nightmare to unlock?

The game itself is a fun fighter. It’s not Street Fighter IV, but it’s a great return for the series. Fights have their own style, reminiscent of Tekken on a 2D plane. It’s full of nostalgic appeal, classic characters like Sub-Zero and Johnny Cage, and trees with evil faces. Fans of the originals should enjoy it a lot. It does start to feel a little lacking in depth, but I don’t claim to be an expert on fighters, so I could be wrong on that. 2-Player is the best part really, it’s a battle to see who can perform the most ridiculous moves and get to do their fatality. The fatality commands have mercifully been simplified, so even novices can pull them off.

It’s not genre defining, but a solid effort nonetheless. It’s an improvement over Armageddon certainly. The problem is, the reboot concept, and the marketing to go along with it are overselling the game to a huge degree. It’s probably best left to gamers who remember MK in its heyday, who’ll revel in shoving their opponent into a nearby tree’s gaping maw. Gamers who never enjoyed it won’t, on the demo at least, be won over, and younger players would be better off with Soul Calibur or Street Fighter. If they really want graphic violence, I’d even suggest that this probably isn’t enough. It really is just as silly, over the top and unrealistic as the originals, nowhere near as violent as the press, the Australian censor and the publishers would have you believe.

If you liked MK and have some friends and a few beers/energy drinks/methamphetamines, then I’d say this will be worth buying. If not, unless you really love the demo, or the full release is a massively improved game, it’s probably not really worth paying full price for. Could be a real bargain bin classic though.


Daily Mail Uncovers Microsoft ‘Extortion’ Scam

9 Feb

The Daily Mail, that bastion of hope in the bleak reality of modern tolerance, multiculturalism, sexual openness and liberalism, has shed new light on the scourge of video games. It’s not just the violence of games, with all that jumping on heads and crotch-shooting, or the rampant sexuality featured in games like Mass Effect, which are little more than homosexual propaganda. There’s something much more insidious afoot.

The Mail has discovered, thanks to some incredible investigative reporting and their usual high editorial standards, that video games are the single greatest threat to recession-hit single mothers since Polish Gypsies dressed up as Russell Brand. As we’ve been expecting for years, video games are leaving parents out of pocket, while multi-national corporations and their evil executives use their ill-gotten gains to push the drug of violent and sexualised entertainment on children, innocent sweet children. Soon these beautiful young things will be acne-ridden teenagers, afraid to leave the house for any other reason than acting out violent sexual fantasies.

Too Sexy?

Microsoft has stolen over £1,000 from a single mother. Dawn (37, because her age is somehow relevant) from Kent (again, relevant I promise) signed up for Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, to allow her 11 year old son play games online. Disgracefully, no one informed Dawn upon her purchase that games played online are uncensored and unregulated, and that while the homophobic and racist abuse has some merit, it is delivered with swear words. Top psychologists say that “Dirty words go in through the ears of a child at twice the rate of a normal adult, thus affecting the cerebellum before the words can be processed. This creates a subconscious relation to the enjoyment of games with sexually explicit language.”

That, however, is far from the worst of this situation. As we find ourselves in desperate economic times (keep buying the Mail though, so you know who’s stealing your money) it is a struggle for single mothers like Dawn (37 from Kent, in case you’d forgotten) to make ends meet. She is now forced to work two jobs just to afford the £1,000 Microsoft stole from her credit card. After signing her son up for Xbox Live, he proceeded to purchase £1,000 worth of downloadable games from the internet, where pornography can also be found on unrelated websites. Her son, Brendan (11 from Kent) was unaware that the games he purchased were being charged to his mother’s card. ‘Brendan is 11 and knows his times tables’ she said. Unfortunately by 11 most children have advanced beyond times tables, and it must be video games which have hampered Brendan’s mental development.

Young Brendan (11) had no idea what he was doing

Dawn blames Microsoft for ‘making it too easy for Brendan to spend money’ thanks to them allowing members of the 18+ only service to register card details for future transactions. ‘I work two jobs just to look after my family and pay the bills so I cannot afford all these extortionate charges.’ Extortion is certainly the case here, as Microsoft are now refusing to deal with Dawn, after stating that parental controls are available to ensure this would not happen. Dawn is busy working two jobs however, and can hardly be expected to understand that or be aware of the technology her son is using and the content he has access to. She couldn’t find the time in the six months to check her credit card statement, or even keep up with what her son is learning in school, such is the awfulness of the economic recession.

Parents are given no indication as to a game's content

Poor Brendan broke down when he heard what Microsoft had done. ‘I haven’t punished him because he feels bad enough’ Dawn said. Her caring attitude toward her son is commendable, but Bill Gates doesn’t care. ‘A thousand pounds isn’t that much to people like Bill Gates, but for a single mum it is a lot of money that I don’t have’. Our hearts go out to Dawn, and we appreciate the difficulty of her predicament. If only Microsoft, purveyors of filth and depravity, could stop having bondage sessions in their Seattle dungeon long enough to realise that allowing children to use online services which brainwash them into spending money and becoming criminals, sexual deviants or gypsies is what’s destroying our society. Ban this filth!

You can help Dawn by donating to the ‘Pay Dawn’s Bills so Microsoft can’t extort money from her and turn her child into a deviant fund’