I've never been a huge fan of fighting games. Sure, pop in Street Fighter, Soul Caliber or any other popular game and I'll play with you. I'll lose badly (or get really lucky with my button mashing) and I won't mind, but I've never been driven to get better, other than learn "the fire ball thingie" and spam down. Yes, spam down; that way the character will rapidly crouch for no reason, which is extremely funny.
Growing up however, one game has always, ALWAYS caught my attention. The gruesome, violent, and wildly uncalled for Mortal Kombat.
I don't know if it's just the ultra-violence that catches my attention... like I said, I've never been a huge fan of fighting games. Maybe it was the crazy Fatalities, the extra bit at the end of the match that somehow feels so powerful and exciting, the last chance in the match to add insult to injury. Even being on the receiving side of bloody finisher is so overwhelming in the best way.
I remember being but a wee lad in Wal-Mart, and seeing the game for the first time. I don't remember much, but I remember it was my first chance playing a fighting game. I honestly can't remember if the bloody violence was still on or turned off or anything, but there was something charming about the characters. Having realistic people, as opposed to cartoon characters, seemed to leave an impression on me. I wanted to play more. Plus, an icy ninja? Super cool.
So throughout the years, whenever I'd get a chance, I'd play Mortal Kombat. Growing up, my main source of playtime were the rare occasions the family went to Cici's Pizza, where they had UMK3. I'd pretty much always pic Sub Zero. Still don't entirely know why he stuck in my mind so much, but I really love the little guy.
More recently my friends have gotten me to try the newer fighers like Street Fighter 4 and BlazBlue (I will always read that title as "blahhzzblue") but I cannot bring myself to be partial to them. One thing I don't like (and this is super minor, but it's something I just don't like) is the "press back to block" thing. I expect pressing backward to move me backward. I enjoy having block as a separate button. I digress... Besides that minor problem, I they just don't have the same kind of charm as Mortal Kombat. Maybe it's because MK doesn't try to take itself as seriously as the other fighters. What I mean is, it's a game based off of the fact you can punch somebody's head off or knock them into a pit of spikes. With SF4 and BB, you have to really be into fighting games and take time to learn everything about the game to enjoy it. With MK, you can learn to be really good if you want, but even completely inexperienced players will have fun mashing the buttons and watching red ooze from their opponents face... or their own.
Anyways, to the point: when I found out a new MK was coming out, one akin to the older titles, I was ecstatic. I mean, I did enjoy Deception and Armageddon (never really played Deadly Alliance) but were truly different games compared to their roots.
Playing the demo for the game was everything I'd hoped for. The fighting is gruesome; bits of flesh are periodically torn from the fighters body as the fight rages on. The fatalities are more violent and bloody as ever; Subby freezes his opponents lower half to walk over and rip off the top half, with bits of intestine hanging while bits of frozen spine protrude up from the motionless lower half. Johnny Cage doesn't just punch peoples heads off; he punches them off, rips the torso off of the legs, slams the torso down so the head pops up, and simply catches the head to hold out in front of him, smiling while dripping in the blood of his opponent.
So yes. I am excited about the new Mortal Kombat. Hell, I might even try to get good at this one.