Considering terrorizing innocent bystanders with stolen vehicles and submachine guns has become somewhat of a norm in today's videogames, it's hard to believe anyone ever had a problem with the content of the legendary fighting game, Mortal Kombat. But if it wasn't for MK, we wouldn't have games like Grand Theft Auto to live out our criminal aspirations. When the game came out in 1992, parents everywhere were outraged with the game's gratuitous violence. Apparently they didn't want their children ripping the skeletons out of their opponents before they were ready. The digitized blood and gore had people so up in arms that it led to the creation of the ESRB rating system. Luckily for the people at Midway and gamers everywhere, neither the negative publicity nor the rating system resulted in a fatality of the Mortal Kombat series.
Without blood, gore, or even a traditional life meter, Super Smash Bros. is a far cry from traditional fighting games. While a game without those fighter staples seems destined to fail, Nintendo's 1999 in-house fight club for the N64 was an astounding success. What the game lacked in blood and gore it made up for in familiar characters paired with fun and innovative game play. Percentage-based health and ring-out-only knockouts were something totally new to the fighting game genre.
In real life, your fights won't unfold in front of you on a horizontal plane that allows you to see both yourself and your opponent. While a minuscule boxer going up against fighters twice his size isn't that believable either, games like Punch-Out!! can be thanked for providing us with over-the-shoulder gameplay. The more realistic view not only gave a better look at the beat down you're putting on Glass Joe, it paved the way for the motion capture games on the Wii. So remember, Little Mac, when you were laying there on the mat after Soda Popinski dealt you a mean left jab to the head, you got back up so future generations could enjoy the Wii Sports package. And for that, we thank you.