Mortal Kombat (PG-13)

Mortal Kombat dodged the Super Mario Bros. bullet by staying relatively faithful to the source material (far as I can tell, I have to admit I'm not super versed on Mortal Kombat lore), and while it wanted to focus on the over-the-top martial arts battles there's just enough of a story to give it context and, you know, something resembling a point. "You've enslaved thousands of souls yet don't have one of your own" was more profound than any line from a movie based on Mortal Kombat has any right to be. Although the dated CGI walks a line between adding to the corniness and being distracting.

Shame it leaves a bad final impression. I'll be vague to make this relevant to general storytelling moreso than to avoid spoiling an almost 30 year old movie, but have a silly joke ending if you want, do not have your silly joke ending completely undermine the entire rest of the movie.


Ben There, Dan That (PC)

I'm not sure if this was made by LucasArts alumni or just huge fans of LucasArts point and click games, as this is plastered with posters and references to Sam and Max and Full Throttle and you can even see an X-Wing and a Death Star in the screenshot I took. Kinda makes you wonder how this game never got hit with a C&D from LucasFilm or the Mouse.

Ben There, Dan That is about two idiots lost in a trans-dimensional nexus, trying to get home by working through alternate timelines. Something I've realized about myself and point-and-clickers is I can usually hold my own at the start (unless the game is moon logic from the getgo, looking at you King's Quest), but as more and more crap is heaped on I get lost and by the end of the game I'm trying to figure out how to use the mountain of garbage I've collected to get LeChuck's underwear. Here, the items remained manageable, it was the locations that eventually became a mess. At the start you're going into one world, solving the puzzles there, then moving onto the next, but as you open more areas that you have to backtrack to, it gets more and more convoluted and frustrating. It also uses that awful interface I hate so much where you have to right click to cycle between commands, and sometimes you can WALK through a door, and other times you have to USE the door. And the humor relies too much on pop culture references and lampshading point-and-clicker tropes instead of actual wit.