Mortal Kombat Armageddon

Mortal Kombat: Blood and Money

A look back at Midway's infamous fighter.

We all loved Mortal Kombat. Sorry, let's start that again: we all played Mortal Kombat. Or saw some now-forgotten sports personality play it on GamesMaster while Dominik Diamond quipped away in the background. It was a '90s Mega Drive/Genesis sensation (or pleasant Amiga surprise, or disastrous Master System conversion, amongst others) with sales figures to match the hype. The sequel, Mortal Kombat II, shovelled USD 50 million into Acclaim's expanding pockets in the first week alone, ensuring the series featured on the business pages as well as beneath sensationalist headlines about ripping out spines.

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

Not so special K.

Oh, how times have changed. Violence in media is now far more accepted than it was when Mortal Kombat first hit the arcades, but despite the fact that the world has moved on around it, Midway's once-celebrated fighting series has barely moved an inch in the fourteen years since its introduction. The comedy violence still raises a chuckle now and again, sure, but just as the world's attitude to violence has moved on, so have people's expectations of what a fighting game should deliver.

Armageddon welcomes back every character ever to have graced the series but with a roster sixty characters strong, don't expect any kind of real balancing. While fans of the series may struggle not to drown in their own drool over this massive cast, anyone even marginally less fanatical won't recognise at least half of them. Much of this number is made up by the huge number of clone characters that were nothing more than cheap additions to the digitised versions and while there's obviously been some attempt to differentiate between them, the fact that so many characters look and play alike is still very much in your face. Some of the bigger characters and bosses have been toned down to be made playable too, so where Motaro was once a giant centaur, he's now lost a couple of feet for his bipedal and far less imposing look in Armageddon.

and watch him get sucked into the pipes and spat back out into the

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Thompson attacks Mortal Kombat

But not for the reason you'd think.

Internet comedy hero Jack Thompson - famous for his anti-game lawsuits - has put in another strong performance this week, writing some more of his trademark long-winded, shouty letters about how videogames teach us all how to kill beavers with our teeth or whatever it is he's bothered about, and his latest target turns out to be one surely long overdue: Mortal Kombat.

Mortal Kombat for Wii

Boon for the system.

Super Smash Bros. won't be the only way to stand triumphant over your toppled friends waving the Wii remote control around - Midway's admitted that the next Mortal Kombat will appear on the new Nintendo console too.

MK: Armageddon details

MK: Armageddon details

Features every single fighter.

Midway has confirmed that PS2 and Xbox title Mortal Kombat: Armageddon will be the last instalment in the series to appear on current generation consoles.

The game is said to feature "the most complete Mortal Kombat roster ever, including every character from the Mortal Kombat fighting universe." And if that's not good enough for you, there's even the option to create your very own fighter with the, er, Create-A-Fighter mode.

You can design your own special moves, too, thanks to the Create-A-Fatality option. There's also a brand new Konquest mode - no details as yet, but rumour has it that it's being developed around the Shaolin Monks engine.

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New MK to feature 60 fighters

And overhauled gameplay.

The latest instalment in the Mortal Kombat series will feature at least 60 playable characters plus a host of exciting new features, according to US magazine Game Informer.