Mortal Kombat Returns for Xbox 360 and PS3

Mortal Kombat Raiden

I'm watching the new Mortal Kombat E3 2010 teaser trailer and chuckling like I do every time I watch Eli Roth's Thanksgiving. Whoever put that together--in particular those last buzz-blade-whirring seconds--knew all the right buttons to press.

There's Shao Kahn looking ridiculous (and vaguely like the Sycorax in David Tennant's Doctor Who). There's Raiden discharging ribbon-like plasma filaments like someone cracking their knuckles before a fight. Johnny Cage unloads uppercuts, shadow kicks, and oozing balls of ectoplasmic something-or-other. Reptile crouches, pummels, then disappears. Kitana twirls, pirouettes, and sends an opponent aerial before battering him senseless. The hits, whacks, and thumps--fairly tame for a Mortal Kombat--keep coming for another half a minute before the trailer dishes up the bloody good fun as Johnny Cage dissolves latex, flesh, and muscle in something like Kill Bill's five-point palm exploding heart technique. The trailer ends with Kung Lao, a razor-rimmed hat, and...well...see for yourself.

Note the hybrid perspective, a mix of 2D and 3D, sort of like Capcom's Street Fighter IV. Midway seems to agree with recent fighter fans that there's already plenty to juggle in the way of throws, blocks, and special moves without having to further guesstimate spatial possibilities in three fully realized dimensions. I tend to agree.

So thank Warner Bros. Interactive for the trailer, the game itself (due in 2011 for both PlayStation and Xbox 360), and its new co-op two-on-two arcade mode.

Then thank goodness Joe Lieberman and The National Coalition on Television Violence didn't succeed when it tried to frighten the public into thinking violent games like Mortal Kombat were "training early killers," all those years ago.

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