Techno-Logic: Finding New Ways to Play


Special to the Parade

Earlier this week, I got together with some friends: Mike, editor of the South Padre Parade, his lovely wife Leah, and my friend Allie and her adorable daughter Phay (hey, kiddo!). We spent the evening playing Mortal Kombat 9 on the PlayStation 3. After a while, Mike, who is the only one of the group who actually plays the game regularly, had beat us all repeatedly. Sure, I put up a good fight, but I was no match for Mike. The one or two times I did beat him felt like an accomplishment.

Anyway, we figured it would be fun to try some new things with the game. We were getting a bit tired of passing the controller around, and I’m sure Mike was getting tired of beating everyone. I don’t remember who it was, but someone brought up the idea of playing blindfolded. This was something we had talked a little bit about after I had remembered watching a special on G4TV about a visually impaired man who was a Mortal Kombat expert. He figured that not being able to see couldn’t stop him from enjoying Mortal Kombat.

He decided to learn the game. His cues were the game’s sounds. He had learned to approximate the onscreen action by hearing the game’s audio and responding. For instance, if he heard a character grunt a certain way, he knew what he had to do to counter. Chances are he also listened for the clicks of the other player’s controller buttons. Anyway, the concept was very cool. Suddenly, someone came up with the idea of playing, but with our eyes closed. We did just that. We each had someone on us making sure we weren’t peeking. We had to simply try to tap buttons and perform maneuvers in hopes of attacking the other character.

This led to some interesting matches. Sadly, I couldn’t see what was going on, but I did score a ‘Flawless Victory’ against Mike, and Leah was victorious over him as well. Even Phay, who just turned seven that day, got her licks in! Yep, Mike was humbled, and that’s no easy task. Sure it was luck, but the onlookers were entertained. We also had to pay more attention to the game’s sounds. The sound of a fireball being thrown cued us to hit the block button. The sound of a character jumping told us that they may be jumping in within attack range, and so on.

It made for an interesting experience, and it’s worth trying out while playing with friends. You might find that you have some interesting matches. Just make sure no one is peeking.

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