By Jared Newman | Monday, December 13, 2010 at 4:54 pm
Video game retailers are raising the stakes of their pre-order bonuses for next year’s reboot of Mortal Kombat.
Pre-order through Gamestop, and you’ll get Scorpion’s costume and Fatality from the original (1992) Mortal Kombat. Best Buy offers the same bonus for Sub-Zero, and Target has Reptile’s original Fatality and costume from Mortal Kombat 2.
Mortal Kombat won’t be the first game to tie different pre-order bonuses to different stores. Fallout: New Vegas spread four bonus packages among five retailers, Mass Effect 2 gave a special weapon and armor to Gamestop while giving other retailers a different kind of armor. Batman: Arkham Asylum’s pre-order bonus was either a discount, a gift card, a free map, a T-shirt or in-game armor, depending on where you bought it.
But in this case — and maybe this is just my inner old-school gamer talking — the perks really matter. A Mortal Kombat Fatality isn’t just some stat-boosting piece of virtual gear. It’s an integral part of the game. Without those graphically violent finishing moves, Mortal Kombat is just another fighting game. Asking the series’ biggest fans to bestow special treatment on one character by granting it an extra Fatality seems like a high form of cruelty.
I don’t even see the point, unless each retailer thinks their exclusive Fatality is the best, and can be used to their advantage in marketing. Being quite familiar with the gruesomeness of each finishing move, I doubt it.