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Mortal Kombat Rip-Offs - Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN)

The Nerd: Where were we? Okay, so as I was saying last time, Mortal Kombat went on to inspire a generation of knockoffs and imitators that just couldn't replicate what Midway was doing. But don't think that stopped anyone from trying, though I sure wish it did. Companies, hungry for that sweet, blood-stained Mortal Kombat money, went to cash in on the phenomenon, and the first to take a stab at it was Incredible Technologies with their game, Time Killers.

Time Killers (Arcade)[]

The Nerd: Time Killers came out only a few months after Mortal Kombat did, and was really meant to be more of an answer to Street Fighter. However, the heavy reliance on blood and gore caused it to be thought of as a rip-off of Mortal Kombat. The game is basically the definition of nothing special. The only real defining feature of this game is the ability to dismember, and even decapitate, your opponent during a match, which I'll admit is kind of amusing and... actually satisfying when you can pull it off. Just a flesh wound, right?

There's also a fatality move you can do when the opponent gets dizzy. All you have to do is hit all the buttons at once. It's cool the first time, but it gets old pretty quick, because it's the same for every character. They just slash the arms and head off the opponent, and that's it. Once you've seen a character do it, you've basically seen everyone do it. It's funny seeing the opponent without a head between rounds, though!

I can see this being a fun diversion or a... time killer, if you will, but I couldn't imagine popping quarters into this game. The only reason I ever saw people playing this in the arcades was if Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were taken up. It's funny to say, but Mortal Kombat had class. But, this game feels like a dirty, 50-cent hooker you came across in an alley.

It really goes to show you that Mortal Kombat had so much more than just the violence going for it. The gameplay was fun, and the story was cool. The violence was just the cherry on top. Not to mention, the characters were memorable. You know, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Sonya, Kano, Raiden, we all know them! But who the fuck remembers Wülf, Leif, Thugg, Mantazz? I only know them, because I'm looking at them. The second I turn this off, I'll go back to my blissful existence of not remembering. The entire roster is just unappealing to look at. Their animation sucks, and they're just generic as hell.

The only character I kinda like is Rancid, because he has a chainsaw. But, oh my, is he hideous. He's basically the epitome of what 90's corporate suits thought was edgy. A big-ass hoop earring and a Mohawk the color of mucus. Yep, that's 90's edgy in a nutshell, even though it says he's from the year 2024. Well, if this is what people look like in 4 years, we're doomed as a society. And no, I'm not reviewing this in the year 2024, because I'm doing it right now. So, the whole point of the game is to beat everyone and then fight against Death himself to become immortal, which Death apparently is, because he says it every chance he gets.

Death: I'm the immortal! I'm the immortal! I'm the immortal!

The Nerd: To beat Death, you have to finish him off by decapitating him which, trust me, is way easier said than done. Death puts every Mortal Kombat boss to shame. Goro, Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn, death thinks they're all a bunch of pussies! All of his moves are insanely difficult to block, and he often cancels out your moves. He can even one-shot you, before the round barely begins.

Death is a fuck. I have an unhealthy amount of hate for this game. Seriously, you need to spend a goddamn paycheck to beat this asshole in an actual arcade machine. It took me fourteen tries, but I was able to slice his head off, Highlander style. So, there's seven dollars in fake quarters, and about an hour of my life wasted. Luckily, I'm immortal now.

Time Killers (Sega Genesis)[]

The Nerd: So, this wasn't exactly the Mortal Kombat killer that Incredible Technologies hoped it would be. But Time Killers was apparently popular enough to warrant a console port. So, here's Time Killers on Sega Genesis. Ugh, those graphics. You gotta be kidding me! Okay. So this game came out in '96. I mean, what's the point? There were Genesis games in '89 that looked better than this. This could pass as an NES or a Master System game. Look at this, Matrix doesn't even have a face. She doesn't have a face!

The sound is godawful, too. All the characters sound like they're being strangled, and the music sounds like the London Symphony Orchestra, if they replaced their instruments with diseased roosters. The fact that this got released so late in the Genesis's lifespan-- no, the fact that this got released at all, shows that they just didn't give a fuck.

I played the game long enough to get to Death, which took less than 10 minutes. I beat every other character on my first try, but Death is as cheap as ever! And, unlike the arcade, you only get 4 continues, so... yeah, I didn't beat him, and I don't give a shit. I'd rather play Fred Savage Savage Fury Tournament Fighter. At least that one had better controls.

This... is not worthy of the Sega Genesis. I mean, I don't understand how an actual person could look at this game, and think it was morally right to charge money for it. They sold this! To people! For money! They should be ashamed.

Street Fighter: The Movie[]

The Nerd: But, believe it or not, Capcom was actually impressed with Time Killers-- the arcade version, that is-- enough so that they gave Incredible Technologies the opportunity to make Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game. So get this, a company that ripped off Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter was paid by Capcom to make a Street Fighter game that rips off Mortal just blows my mind. Back in my Street Fighter 2010 review, I talked about Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game, or so I thought. What I actually talked about was the version that Capcom developed and released on home consoles. However, the arcade version is an entirely different game.

So, why did Capcom say "fuck you" to Incredible Technologies and make their own version? Well, just look at it. Gone are all the things that made Street Fighter a success. The precision is replaced with clunky button-mashing, the iconic music is replaced with generic, droning background noise that barely qualifies as music, and the voice acting?

Ken: (repeatedly uppercuts Akuma) Dragon! Dragon! Dragon! Dragon!

The Nerd: Yeah... Just like Time Killers, the game wants nothing more than all the quarters in your pocket. The game can be downright unfair at times. The difficulty spikes randomly, and some fighters are damn near impossible. The worst fight, by far, is against Sagat. He has this eye laser that freezes you, and he uses it a lot. Boy, I am sick of that eye laser. Also, for some reason, they added Akuma, even though he wasn't in the movie, and he's played by Ernie Reyes, Sr., father of Ernie Reyes, Jr., of course. His teleport looks really stupid, like some kind of clown act or something. I mean, he just runs around like a jackass!

With all that said, the game actually introduced a number of innovative features that would be adopted by later Street Fighter games, but the game itself is about as fun as having anal leakage on a public transit. Yeah, no fun. Because of this mess, Capcom had to redo the game from the ground up. But, Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game: The Arcade will forever be another skid mark on the Street Fighter bath towel. Bath towel that E. Honda took a shit in.

Jackie Chan in Fists of Fire[]

The Nerd: Okay, okay, this next game we have here? Jackie Chan... in Fists of Fire. Now, this, I could actually get into! It's a Mortal Kombat rip-off... with Jackie Chan. Oh, I don't care if the game sucks or not. It's Jackie fucking Chan in a Mortal Kombat style fighting game! Alright!

This is actually an update of a game called Jackie Chan: The Kung-Fu Master. In that version, Jackie Chan's a boss character, and isn't playable, though. But, in Fists of Fire, you get not one, not two, but THREE versions of Jackie Chan to play as! This game is ass... but it's fun ass. It's in no way a perfect game, but if I saw this at an arcade, I'd definitely toss some quarters in.

Other than the three versions of Jackie Chan, there's also six other characters to choose from, each of which was either in a Jackie Chan movie or part of his stunt team. The game is pretty damn difficult, but the novelty alone makes it fun to play. Also, there's fatalities. That is, unless you're fighting as Jackie Chan or against him. He's the only character that can't be finished off, and if he loses, he gets right back up and congratulates the winner. And, that is so Jackie Chan to get right back up after a beatdown and give a thumbs up!

The fatalities are actually pretty gruesome, too. People get cut in half, crushed, and blood sprays from their throat. Other than that, it's pretty lighthearted like most of his films. This would definitely be good for getting some friends around, having a beer, and beating the shit out of each other... in the game, though, not in real life. Overall, a fun diversion. It was good to cleanse the palette from all the diarrhea we've been gargling. But, don't worry, from here on out, you're gonna see some serious shit.

Tattoo Assassins[]

The Nerd: Here it is, Tattoo... Ass-ass-ins. Now, we're really getting into it. This is possibly the most notorious of all the Mortal Kombat rip-offs, and the crazy thing is it was never actually released. The game was developed by Data East Pinball, a company that... well, get this... only made pinball games. Who would've thought? But, what's even crazier, it was created by Bob Gale, the writer of Back to the Future! Yeah, I don't even know what to think of this. A Mortal Kombat rip-off developed by a pinball company created by the writer of Back to the Future? Is this real life?

The story centers around this guy in a diaper, and his magic ink that gives people powers. Only certain people can handle the ink, while others turn into hideous mutants. An evil guy named Koldan steals the ink and decides to make an army of mutants to take over the world, and you have to stop him. There's nine extremely generic characters for you to choose from, all with their own unique marketing logo and backstory. Honestly though, I haven't read any of them 'cause I can't stop staring at their faces. The eyes are drawn on most of them. Some look okay, I guess, but others have these weird googly eyes that are staring off to the side. The best is A.C. Current with the goofiest smile I've ever seen.

So, what really makes Tattoo Assassins stand out from all other fighting games is the amount of fatalities. Yeah, they really cut no corners with this one. I mean, this has more fatalities than any other game. You know how many? 2,196! Wow, I- I don't know, guys, you think- do you think, maybe, do you think that's enough fatalities? I mean, if there's 2,196 fatalities and 9 characters, that means each character has 244 fatalities! Mortal Kombat only has 1 or 2 per character, but that's pussy shit compared to Tattoo Assassins!

Yeah, no joke! There are so many fatalities that all you have to do is mash random buttons at the end of a fight, and odds are you'll do one! I swear, I'm just hitting whatever, and I do a fatality every time! Well, the game's great for people who can't pull off fatalities. All you have to do is mash buttons, and there you go. Well, thank God for Bob Gale and... Data East Pinball.

The fatalities can get pretty weird, too. I mean, they really took the idea to the most absurd levels. People turn into Mona Lisa, have a fly swatter smash them, get crushed by a JPEG of the Titanic, and my favorite, get burned to death by flaming farts. Okay, I'll give them that! Mortal Kombat didn't have flaming fart fatalities... not until the PlayStation 2 era.

(A clip of Bo Rai Cho's fart fatality from Mortal Kombat: Deception is shown.)

The Nerd: They even throw in some amusing nods to Data East and Back to the Future. You can have a DeLorean run your opponent over, or crush them with this Burger Time thing. The weirdest one I've seen, you fart out a turkey, and it splits into more turkeys that bounce you and the opponent all over the place. I don't know what they were on! I mean, possibly, maybe, drugs? There's even a "nudality", no joke! This was always a rumor about the original Mortal Kombat, but Tattoo Assassins actually went and did it.

While Tattoo Assassins goes above and beyond in the fatality department, it completely took it up the ass on gameplay. I feel like no matter who I play as, my hits barely connect. That is, unless I play as Karla. She's basically a mixture of Sub-Zero and figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. With her, I can pretty much fuck up everyone in the game.

Even the boss characters are pretty easy, and let me tell you about the bosses. Before you fight the main guy, Koldan, you have to fight his three mutant warriors. First is Rhina, a rhino woman who moves super fast. She's pretty easy. In fact, sometimes, she won't do shit and just stands there. Second, you fight Deke Cay. Get it, like "decay", 'cause he's a zombie? I'm pretty sure he's just one of the guys at the Data East Pinball office in a Party City zombie costume. And last, there's Prizm, a crystal skeleton guy who dies in four hits. Seriously, you just jump kick him four times, and he explodes. I don't know if that was on purpose, but... it is what it is.

Koldan is just a cheap final boss. If he wins, he stabs you with his Freddy Krueger glove. But, if Karla wins, he explodes spectacularly, and she goes to Disneyland! I like how they just photoshopped some Mickey Mouse ears on the only picture they had of her. So, there's Tattoo Ass-ass-ins. Sadly, Data East Pinball's no more, but I think they'd be proud to know their game that never got to see a wide release ended up gaining a bit of a cult following years later.

Shadow: War of Succession[]

The Nerd: So this brings me to our last game, and for this one, we're taking a detour away from the arcades and digging out the old 3DO, and this one also happens to be... one of the worst fighting games I've ever played, Shadow: War of Succession. Now, before I show you this, I need you to keep in mind, this is a real game, this was released on home consoles.

The first thing you get is this cutscene of a helicopter flying past the Statue of Liberty, which is piss-yellow for some reason. How'd they screw that up? Because the helicopter is green. So it's not like they couldn't make it the right color. Also, listen to that music. This was on the 3DO, a CD-based console, and the music sounds like it was made by someone fucking a Casio.

So then the helicopter flies up to a building, where a terrible 3D model is standing, and begins to shoot into it at one frame per second. Turns out this was a hit on Kincaid Storm, a billionaire and leader of the evil organization S.H.A.D.O.W., SHADOW, which stands for Syndicate of Hate, Anarchy, Destruction, and Organized Warfare, but it should stand for a Shitty Heap of Ass Doused in Orangutan Whiz.

Good lord, look at that select screen. Look at those characters. Anvil, Carlos, or is it Carlo3? I mean, holy shit, I know I called the characters in Time Killers and Tattoo Assassins generic, but for fuck's sake, this game changes the meaning. I don't even think "generic" covers it. Alright, let's see, this game is a bitch to play, and it- it sucks. There should be a new, stronger word for shitty games like these, like- like a bitch-sucky or suckbitch. Yeah, this game's a suckbitch.

So, surprise, Shadow: War of Succession has absolutely no redeeming factors. The control is basically non-existent, you could throw the controller across the room and piss on it and get the same result as actually trying to play it normally. The sound is an auditory anus fisting. Also, the voice acting is hilarious.

Sasha: I will be the next S.H.A.D.O.W. king!

Carlos: Prepare to eat lead, baby!

Riggs: Go to hell!

Carlos: Underneath all that garbage, you're just like all the street punks I've wasted before!

Viper: (screams)

The Nerd: I think the best part, though, is the fact they forgot the fatalities. (laughs) They forgot the fatalities. The game prompts you to finish your opponent, but they never actually programmed the fatalities! I-I'd rather play Mortal Kombat on the Super Nintendo than this, uh, any day. I'd rather play the Genesis version, with the three-button controller. I-I-I'd rather play the Game Boy version or even the Tiger games instead of this! How do you rip off Mortal Kombat but fail so hard you forget to program fatalities in the game? Not like it would help, the game itself is such a mess that nothing could possibly save it.

The first time I played this game, I used 7 continues on the first character, Gabriella, and mind you, I was on the easiest difficulty. No matter what I did, I couldn't hit her. Then, when I tried everyone else, I finally chose Gabriella and realized that she seemed to be the only character that was actually programmed somewhat right. She's the only person I can actually win as. With everyone else, I get my ass stomped! Especially Carlos, and he's holding a goddamn shotgun.

So I struggled my way through the game, only to get to the end and find out you can't fight the boss on easy mode, so I went through again. I was able to get to the end with all my continues intact, but then I got to the final boss. Apparently, he's the guy from the beginning who got shot by the helicopter, but now he's a cyborg or whatever. It doesn't matter. All you need to know is he puts every video game final boss to shame, even Death from Time Killers.

On top of the controls not working most the time, he's cheap as fuck. He constantly spams projectiles, takes less damage than normal characters, and has a spin move that's the thing nightmares come from. Once he uses it, you're pretty much fucked, because then, he just beats the ever-loving shit out of you in the corner. So here we go. I blew 8 continues, and this is my last one. It's do or die. I've come this far and I can't bear the idea of playing this one more minute. And he destroys me. Game Over.

(Shadow Final Boss digitized laughing.)


The Nerd: That's it. I lose. I get nothing! Good day, sir! But fuck that. I can't just go about my day and forget the horrors I witnessed on the 3DO, I just can't shake my need for satisfaction, I have to play through it to get closure. But this time I know what to do, I almost had him the last time, this time it'll be different. (sighs) And after an hour of jumpin' around like a fuckin' idiot and listening to the same phrase over and over, I finally get back to that son of a bitch, and this time, I fucked his shit up on my first try! Hell yeah.

Well, that's the ending. Can't say I expected much. You know, I had to beat it for my own peace of mind, but was it worth it? No. Truthfully, I'd rather lick a cat's asshole. A "catshole". Yeah, you know, if you have a black cat like mine, the brightest part on the cat is the asshole. It almost glows in the dark. When he runs down the basement, it looks like a white dot bouncing down the steps. Catshole. Looks like a broken off banana. But before I start elaborating further on catsholes, I'd better come up with an ending. Unfortunately, I got nothing. So, I'll just have to rip off some previous AVGN episodes.

(Cut to the Nerd putting Street Fighter: The Movie into a toaster, and fire leaps up from the slot.)

The Nerd (from stock clips): So after you beat the boss, you get to see the best ending in video game history. What a piece of shit!

Shit Pickle: Pickle.

The Nerd (from stock clips): You're easier to beat in real life than you are in that FUCKIN' GAME, YOU NO-GOOD, PIECE OF-!

(He shoots Death in the head with the NES Zapper, blowing his head off and leaving a puddle of blood.)

(The "Level 1" music from Super C plays while the Shadow: War of Succession box is on a container with a flaming cord in it, sitting on a milk crate. The Nerd from stock clips shoots an arrow at the game, which triggers the fluid in container to catch fire and inundate the game with fire, melting it and the milk crate.)