Level Select Thursdays: Shao Kahn’s Arena
Mortal Kombat is one of the most celebrated fighting game franchises since the early 90’s. It’s ticket to fame of course being the realistic looking graphics, and of course the gore. I’m gonna get shit when I say this, but the only reason Mortal Kombat even stuck with anybody was because of the gore. The game play in the first one was as basic as a fighting game could be and was inferior to what Street Fighter and other fighters were doing at the time. So after a few down turns, Mortal Kombat joined the club and pressed the reboot button with MK 9 and gamers we treated to updates for classic MK stages. One of them being Shao Kahn’s arena from Mortal Kombat II.
Here is what I like to call the George Lucas effect. If you’ve ever played the original Mortal Kombat II at home or on a arcade cabinet, then you are very familiar with Shao Kahn’s arena. It did the job well for it’s time and cool for the mid 90’s but if pop culture has shown us anything over the past several years anything can be updated.
With PS3/X-Box graphic Ed Boon and company can finally have more detail in every aspect of the stage. The shape of the area is no longer a slave to a two dimensional plane for the backround now we are treated to a classic gladiator arena feeling that rivals that makes Ryse Son of Rome feel quaint. Even the added back round characters dealing with a wild Outworld monster is a nice visual in an odd disgusting way.
However, just like the original arcade cabinet Shao Kahn is just as cheap as he ever he. His horrible cheap ass hammer attack will cause you to rage to the heavens. Also his shoulder thrust comes at the worst time, but what makes Shao Kahan such a cheap boss is his X-Ray move where he can remove 90% of your health meter! Lucky he doesn’t use it that much but when he does, it’s just feels like a virtual kick in the balls.
Mortal Kombat 9 is the reason I bought a PS3 and it was nice to relive some of the classic stages updated with modern graphics. If you haven’t already experienced the wonderful action that is Mortal Kombat 9 then what are you doing, go out and buy the game now!