Game Ranter Banter: Mortal Kombat, Portal 2, PSN, Sonic & Marvel MMO

Apr 23, 2011 by  

Game Ranter Banter

Welcome to another edition of the Game Ranter Banter. Five writers take a few minutes out of their busy schedules to give their opinions on some of the most compelling and controversial recent news stories of the game industry. This week, we discuss the lasting power of Mortal Kombat, Valve’s incredible new game about Portals and potatoes, the crash of the PlayStation Network, a new generation for Sonic the Hedgehog, and another attempt at a Marvel Universe MMO.

Our readers are as knowledgeable and opinionated as our own writers, so here is the place for all of you to discuss these stories as well as any others that may have piqued your interest throughout the week.

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Benjamin Kendrick

Mortal Comeback

Mortal Kombat has exploded back into the pop-culture arena with a brand new nostalgia-fueled Mortal Kombat (read our review) as well as a gritty webseries in Mortal Kombat: Legacy. We ran a number of features on the topic this last week: the 10 Most Awesome Characters, Top Mortal Kombat 2011 Fatalities – and even chronicled the history of the series. However, despite a lot of reminiscing as well as time spent playing the latest game, no one is really talking about where the series will go from here (aside from a few DLC characters).

Much like the recent Star Trek “reboot,” Mortal Kombat has a fresh new canon to explore in future installments but will gamers keep coming back or has the team at NetherRealm put together an the ultimate fan-service MK title – leaving little reason for gamers to return in the near future? We all know Mortal Kombat (2011) is a great game but can the developer capitalize on the new-found momentum?

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Andrew Dyce

Loving With Portals

Even after writing a review, there’s nothing I desire more than to remove my objectivity and construct somewhat of a love letter to the masterpiece that is Portal 2. Not because Valve managed to make the four years of suspense following the release of Portal more than worth the wait, and not because the game is twice as long as most fans will expect. But because of the clear goal that the developers had for the game, and followed through on.

We’re talking an incredibly deep and compelling history of Aperture Science woven into the design of the game, accompanied by mechanics and tools that make Bulletstorm look uninspired. My hat goes off to Valve for showing us why we play games, by delivering a title with a female protagonist, a genuine sense of humor, and what should stand as one of the best video game endings in history. So on behalf of every shooter-fatigued gamer, thank you Valve.

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Riley Little

PS(dow)N

As many PlayStation 3 owners are already well aware of, the PlayStation Network is down and could continue to be down for a few more days. It has since been confirmed by Sony that hackers are the cause of the PSN’s recent closure, but what really gets me is how the PlayStation 3′s online interface can be shutdown so easily. You’d think Sony would have implemented some serious precautions in order to prevent such an inconvenient closure, and while I’m sure they had set up some roadblocks for hackers they just weren’t enough.

The crash couldn’t have come at a worse time either, with Portal 2, Mortal Kombat and their exclusive SOCOM 4 releasing this past Tuesday. Portal 2 owners can’t connect to their Steam accounts with Portal 2, and Mortal Kombat fans can’t take their game online with their exclusive character Kratos.

Hopefully Sony can get their act together and find some better ways of preventing hackers from taking down their systems for day, or this could just be the tip of the iceberg for the PSN’s problems.

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C. J. Smillie

Sonic Homing In On Fans

So the first bit of gameplay for Sonic Generations was released, which means that I was excited for the game and most other gamers were skeptical. I can understand that, because let’s face it, Sonic hasn’t been doing so great these past few years. But despite vast improvements with the recent games, many are still a bit reluctant to give Sonic another chance. Again, I can understand if you’re still a bit unsure, but what really bothers me are the ones who hate the new games because they aren’t exactly like the old ones. And by that I mean down to the graphics.

What’s worse is that these are the ones Sega seems to be listening to. They asked for more old-school gameplay, and they got it, but continued to complain because it wasn’t exactly like they wanted it to be. It never is and it’s these gamers who have pretty much ensured that there won’t be a Sonic 4: Episode 2 because Sonic dared to have the audacity of keeping his homing attack. I will admit, I was a bit concerned that the 3D Sonic level in the gameplay trailer showed Sonic with a “Boost Meter,” but I’m not letting it bother me that much. Bottom line, I’m going to wait for more information to be released before I make any judgments, a choice many others should make.

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Robert Keyes

Maybe Make Mine Marvel

This week there was some little news about upcoming big news coming from the Marvel Twitter account, revealing that there is a brand new Marvel Universe MMO on the way and that we’d get more details next week. We know nothing of gameplay, developers or a release window, so all we have are memories of the previously cancelled Marvel Universe Online game.

If the the new Marvel MMO doesn’t offer something completely new and different than Champions Online, City of Heroes/Villains or DC Universe Online, then stop. Stop right now, and re-cancel this project. There are too many MMOs, most of them aren’t that good, people don’t like subscriptions, and we want more than a nice GUI attached to a spreadsheet. And most of all, we do not want repetitive gameplay aka the “grind.”

I’m not interested in running/flying/teleporting through vast open, empty spaces with a character I create myself using only limited/restricted options (a la DC Universe Online) just to meet famous Marvel characters here and there and then get bored of it in a few hours. The timing is perfect on Marvel’s part with their upcoming film and merchandising slate, but what is this game going to offer gamers who have other MMOs to play or are more interested in the seemingly weekly release of triple-A titles? I’m excited to find out soon.

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What are your thoughts on the news this week? Share with us in the comments, on Twitter @GameRant and Facebook.com/GameRant.

11 Comments

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  1. Ditto for everything you said about portal 2.

    My hOpes are high for Marvel MMO, I’ve wanted to get into a MMO game for awhile now. I really thought about DCU online but cosidering I’d have to but either a new computer or PS3 on top of the monthly charge I decided to pass

    • Mortal Kombat is awesome so far! I just found a blog that’s giving out the preorder DLC for all the costumes, and the new Kenshi character DLC!

      I just got my Reptile Klassic Kostume but I don’t know if there’s anymore keys left. If you want to check it out, here’s the site:

      http://freemortalkombatdlc.blogspot.com/

  2. Could not agree with you more Rob about the Marvel MMO. Even though I am a die-hard DC fanboy through and through, I couldn’t help but acknowledge that – blech- Marvel would make a great environment for a truly expansive MMO:

    http://gamerant.com/marvel-mmo-video-game-7-comic-book-characters-dyce-42828/

    But if the plan is to just copy the MMO that DCUO proved could work on a console, then I’d rather see it not happen at all. Give those guys some dignity, even if the Justice League would totally destroy them.

  3. And I weep for Sonic. So crazy to think that the little hedgehog was once just as recognizable as Mario or Donkey Kong and is now seen as more of a joke than a legitimate franchise.

    Even crazier: Crash Bandicoot was once the mascot for PlayStation.

    • Oh dear, Crash Bandicoot. Just thinking about his decline reminds me of how the other Playstation mascot, Spyro, has changed so much as well.

      • Let’s not forget Ratchet and Jak. Those 2 never really fell out of style, they just disappeared. I don’t know why the focus remains on old hats like Spyro, Crash, and Sonic when we’ve got the Jak and Daxter as well as Ratchet and Clank series to continue off of.

  4. Sony need to tell people how long it’s going to take some sort of time would be nice some people play only online this is bs xbox is looking pretty tempting now

  5. Riley Little, you must not know “Anonymous” very well.. Precautions aren’t even thought about. i would advise you to look up HBGary’s fall.. when “Anonymous” caught on to his scheme, within 30 minutes, his iPad was remotely returned back to factory settings, his twitter was hacked and filled with “Anonymous” messages, his email was hacked and received 72,000 “Anonymous” messages every 2 hours, all personal and business emails were deleted, his website was hacked and seized all text boxes were replaced with “Anonymous” messages, the report he wrote containing names, addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses, emails, etc.. the report he was planning on selling to the FBI’s cyber-crimes division was sent to them for free.. half of his employes were falsely fired.. his work from the past year and 2 months was beyond destroyed.. on top of that his company was a cyber-security firm.. he had the top of the line cyber-defence systems.. Sony doesn’t even have the beginning stages of what he had..

    • Anonymous recently posted a YouTube message saying they weren’t involved with the PSN crash. There is certainly ill will between Sony and the group, but they’ve denied involvement :S
      Even then, a multi-billion dollar company such as Sony should have their own group working to prevent cyber terrorism. It’s not the first time their online networks have crashed either, hence why Sony needs to get their stuff together.
      Microsoft’s Xbox Live is running nicely, and continues to do so way more often than the PSN.

  6. i am going crazy without my call of duty!!!!! i would never switch to xbox though!!! no way!!!

  7. Are you serious dude? My 6 year old niece could figure out the difference between a FPS and an RPG. Maybe you should stick to Nintendogs. Unless you can’t figure out how to pet a dog or a cat.

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