Mortal Kombat 9 – the reboot – a look back

Last weekend, when I thought I would be catching up on my Halo Lore and playing Halo 3, I ended up playing the reboot of Mortal Kombat. Known also as “MK9” – this Mortal Kombat game retold the story of the tournament I loved to sneak off to play as a kid. Those quarters that went in to the arcade cabinet, trying to get as far as I could before my mom finished her trip around the mall. I was always more of a Street Fighter II buff, but Mortal Kombat had a draw to it that few other games did. Even the young geek in me loved the digitized actor sprites that made the characters so realistic for the time. Mortal Kombat had it all.

Over the years the series got more and more strange, and introduced and endless stream of characters. This game brings it back to the core – but still has a few surprises. What I wasn’t expecting was the story mode, which I enjoyed without shame. It tells the a story of Raiden coaching the Earth Realm Kombatants through the tournament. Liu Kang wins the tournament, but the story is only about a third of the way finished there. Little did I realize that the story was going to be several hours worth of fights – lucky for me it was a weekend and I played it through in one sitting!

As usual, I’m several months late to the party, but I wanted to share what was a fun experience. If you skipped all of the Mortal Kombat games since maybe Mortal Kombat 4, well, then you probably didn’t miss much – I don’t feel like I did. A few references are made to other games and even the movies here and there, a nice nod to the people that have been with the series through thick and thin. Overall I’m glad I found this recently and picked it up – I found it enjoyable. If you’re an adult gamer with a tinge of nostalgia for the series you won’t be let down.

Halo: the universe, the fiction, the movie, and the 4th installment

I recently revisted and finished the first Halo game, via the Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition. What a treat. That moment where you find the recording in Jenkin’s helmet camera and discover the flood? The moment where a game that was just beginning to get painfully repetitive in its level design, suddenly becomes frantic as you try to escape the flood that are chasing you; the moment you first step out of the pelican to gaze upward at this ring-world you’re on; the moment when Cortana picks a fight with 343 Guilty Spark – each a classic moment in Halo history.

As excited as I am for next week’s release of Halo 4, I can’t even begin to express how much I really care for this saga. Continue reading “Halo: the universe, the fiction, the movie, and the 4th installment”

Is Microsoft already experiencing too much Platform Fragmentation?

There it is. Hydro Thunder Hurricane. In the Windows 8 app-store. For $9.99. When I first mentioned that Hydro Thunder would be coming to Windows 8, I thought it would possibly be free, for me, because I had already purchased both the Xbox 360 version of Hydro Thunder Hurricane, and the Windows Phone 7 version of Hydro Thunder Go. But, alas: it’s not free to me.

I am logged in with my same, unified LiveID, but if I want to play Hydro Thunder Hurricane on my Windows 8 PC – I’m stuck shelling out yet another ten dollars. I’m disappointed. But what is going to hurt worse? I have this sneaking suspicion that any apps I buy in the Windows RT store will not translate to buying the same Windows 8 “x86” app. We’ll find out this weekend, my Microsoft Surface RT tablet should arrive in the next few hours. It will be a tell-all moment for just how much app-purchasing I’m going to be doing in the new Microsoft ecosystem.

If I buy a Windows Phone 8 and none of the apps are compatible with my RT Tablet, and none of those apps are compatible with my Windows 8 app-store purchases… just what was the point of the app-store? Locking users in to only making purchases from one place? Then requiring them to pay for the same thing three times? I understand that there is bound to be some fragmentation – not all of the platforms can do the exact same things – there need to be certain limitations. But to offer the same application on multiple platforms but to charge for each one? That will infuriate many, many people. There will be a backlash if that is actually the case. But today is just Windows 8 Launch Day, October 26th, 2012. Maybe I’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. Time will tell, and I’ll be sure to write about it when I find out more. Just look for all of my Windows 8 related articles in the Windows 8 Archive.

On Deck: Metroid

My first experience with Metroid, like many, came with Super Metroid. But it hooked me. I worked my way backwards and played Metroid II, then the original on the NES. Admittedly, I got out of console gaming for a while, and I haven’t touched the Prime or Fusion sagas, but I think it’s time.

That’s not entirely true. I had a Gamecube for a short while in college. I began Metroid Prime, but I actually got stuck very early on, and never finished it. And I, more recently, played some of Metroid: Other M on the Nintendo Wii, but got sidetracked by an avalanche of Xbox 360 games I had been wanting to play. It’s time to get back to some great games. I think on deck for this weekend will be finishing Other M. Then, perhaps I can focus my time on the Metroid Prime trilogy. I have to do something while I pass the time waiting until Halo 4 is released, and the Star Citizen Kickstarter campaign ends!