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Koming to a Konklusion on Mortal Kombat Legacy: Part Four

May 5, 2011

NUMBER OF READERS: Sub-Zero. A ha.

I’ve spent most of today doing two things: listening to Want You Gone from Portal 2’s credits sequence (favourite line: “She was a lot like you – maybe not quite as heavy”. My sense of humour is nothing if not exquisitely refined) and reading The Last Wish, by Andrzej Sapkowski. It’s what I think is the first in the series of novels about Geralt, the grim-future-of-all-Scandinavian-rockstars-faced protagonist of incredi-game, The Witcher. Nothing hilarious to say about either thing (YET, etc) but it did put me in a fairly good mood. I even smiled briefly. Hurrah.

Then I remembered that the new episode of Mortal Kombat Legacy was probably online by now or something. Hnnnnggh.

And if Hollywood made it into a movie, it would be 400 times worse than this nonsense.Episode 4

I should mention that it seems I’ve been approaching these webisodes* all wrong. Apparently, they’re meant as introductions to the characters in the rebooted game. Which makes me slightly nostalgic for the days when a bio in a paper manual that came in the big cardboard box the game came in was all the badly-written introduction you got to a character. Here is the full biography that accompanied Kitana in the manual for Mortal Kombat II: “Her beauty hides her true role as personal assassin for Shao Kahn. Seen talking to an Earth Realm warrior, her motives have come under suspicion by her twin sister Mileena. But only Kitana knows her true intentions.” And that was ENOUGH FOR US.

Now you kids with your iThings and your health get moronically expensive web series detailing every last minute of Kitana’s life story in vivid 1080p video, spoonfeeding you the gist of the character like you’re some sort of illiterate imbecile. Is that what you are? (Although, since I haven’t bought the new MK game, I have no idea if they still have the little bios in the manual. Or even a manual. Deception did, but that was rubbish, so.) (Oh, I’ve just looked it up, and it seems it does. Still, my point stands, probably.)

Anyway. Even as introductions to characters, these things have been fairly rubbish thus far. And this episode (another Part One of Two, because there’s just SO MUCH CONTENT IN THESE BACKSTORIES (it says here)) is no different.

Well, it’s different in one way. It tells half its story in strange, choppily – ho! Baraka joke – animated cartoon, which is certainly a change from the hyper-grit-o-realism approach they took with the Jax/Sonya/Kano episodes. Kinder onlookers might say its more befitting the more mystical origin stories behind Kitana, Mileena, Sindel, Baraka, et al. Grumbly cynical misanthropists in bad need of a haircut and some paid writing work would probably insinuate that they couldn’t afford to do the CGI work required to make a lot of this episode look half-decent, but would of course have no way of proving this was the case, and would disappear cacklingly into the night, leaving you to ponder.

Whatever. Since it’s only the first part, I can’t exactly write it off for not telling much of a story, but what it does tell, it tells badly. The narrator’s pronunciation of “Sindel” varies from scene to scene. The king/impostor bit was strangely underexplained: did Sindel believe it was Jerrod or did she know? How did Shao Kahn immediately know if she didn’t?  Baraka looks ridiculous, which I’ll admit isn’t story-related, but still. Try looking at him without laughing. It’s as bad as his Annihilation get-up.

Also, I’m not sure if this counts, but the rebooted MK game’s Kitana bio says Sindel died in Earth Realm. Which is clearly not the case here. SIGH. I mean. Come on.

*I’ve come to really despise the term “webisode”, but I can’t think of a superior replacement. The closest I’ve come is “Cybershorts”, but that just sounds like a bad movie from the late 90s about near-future technology merging with textile design in an uproarious comedy starring Kenan Thompson as the nerdy fat kid whose life is transformed by his new wacky school shorts. “Digital series” has the right amount of dignity to it for a grown man to use it in conversation, I guess, but what would you call a single episode? Digital episode is unwieldy and ugly to the tongue. (Although it does neatly describe the plotline of 2001: A Space Odyssey. “HAL has a… digital episode.”) Webshow is less grating than webisode, but still not ideal, because it sounds like a G4 video column rather than a thing with some kind of plot. So – ho! 2 – I guess it’s perfect to describe Mortal Kombat.

I’ll come quietly, officer.

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