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Now, no one's saying Mortal Kombat had to stay confined to one-on-one fisticuffery. But in the case of MKM: Sub-Zero, the fans were willing to move into another genre, yet it was the developers who couldn’t completely cut the ties. Released within days of the simultaneously-developed Mortal Kombat 4, the first and last MK solo title couldn’t help but look antiquated next to the franchise’s arcade reinvention. Subby-Z’s origin outing was billed as 3D action/adventure, however, it was fundamentally the same aging game as the 2D fighters, only now shelled in an awkward sidescoller.
Above: The Ghost of Christmas Future shows Sub-Zero the error of his ways
Instead of following a simple destiny shroud like playing MK 1 through 3, you actually had to walk and punch through it?! Nevermind that they had to add a “turn” button just to address the complication of multiple enemies on the right AND *gasp* left, Mythologies will probably be most remembered for its deliciously horrible live-action cinemas.
Okay, look: We hate to revive a dormant flame wars, but this was all kinds of ridiculous and forgettable. There’s nothing flagrantly wrong with the gameplay itself per se, yet this ten-years-too-late response to Marvel vs Capcom ultimately did a disservice to both properties involved… mostly by bothering to give a ludicrous reason as to why these two disparate universes would collide in the first place. Christ, is this premise easy to make fun of, or what?
Each franchise had to sacrifice something in order to make this game happen, and providing any kind of context could only act as fuel to the fanboy fire. MK had to tone down the violence, inarguably its defining characteristic, just to ensure kids who slept on superhero bed sheets could purchase the game. It was at one time an internal rule at DC that Superman couldn’t bleed in the comics, so it’s pretty strange to begin with that the publisher allowed Kal-El and his Justice League pals to be murdered even in Safe For Work MK style.
Above: Seriously, can you belive this happened?!
While the MK regulars and DC baddies could do Fatalities, DC’s heroes had to make do with “Heroic Brutalities.” Players watched as Batman or Flash would excessively beat down an already defenseless and subdued opponent, which is every bit as unsportsmanlike as it is oxymoronic. What’s worse, comic fans: Superman getting his ass kicked by Sonya Blade, or his inability to fly away and preserve some Kryptonian dignity? Ultimately the game was Midway’s last major title and couldn’t save the ailing giant from economic failure. Interestingly, the Mortal Kombat property was then purchased by Warner Bros, the same company that owns DC.
Above: Let's get this Karty started!
Known around the office as “Mortal Kartbat,” this pile of four-wheeled wackiness was a Mario Kart throwaway included in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. It’s hard to know what to think of this one now… it came in at the tail end of the “Big head, Lil’ Car” craze, and yeah, it sucks to play today. But it should be noted it’s no worse than 90% of all the other Kart clones gamers were forced to endure during that nutty transition from mascot titles to 3D games, and it was tehcnically FREE with the most comprehensive version of MK to date. Mind-bogglingly bizarre or harmlessly cute: You be the judge.
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