The Mortal Kombat 2 Arcade Soundtrack CD

Mortal Kombat 2’s release in arcades was a pretty big deal for me back in 1993. I had just gotten a Sega Genesis for the superior-to-Super-Nintendo port of the original Mortal Kombat, so the thought of the sequel being out in arcades already blew my mind. One day at the local Drug Fair (think Duane Reade / Walgreens of central New Jersey) I walked in to their small 4 game arcade find a brand new Mortal Kombat 2 machine standing there in full attract mode. Within moments I had my dollar in the change machine and putting the first of what is now a lifetime of quarters into the machine.. It’s crazy to think now that the whole game was developed and released without any knowledge beforehand since there was no instant delivery platform of information available mainstream yet.

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Mortal Kombat 2 was amazing in every aspect. The graphics seemed light years beyond what the first game was putting out a year earlier. The fatalities were even more intense and there were multiple types on top of it all. The soundtrack and sound effects in the game really stood out. It went way beyond just the Asian themed twangs and high pitched yelps of the first game. One of the other memories I had of the arcade machine outside of the game itself was from the one of screens in the attract mode. It was advertising a Mortal Kombat themed comic book and, more importantly, a CD soundtrack to the game. This was a big huge because at the time, the Mortal Kombat 2 music and effects were some of the best I have heard from an arcade game to that point. I don’t know what motivated me to make it a mission to order that CD, but I did and it took a lot of waiting through idle screens to get the full address.

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The soundtrack and effects for Mortal Kombat 2 were a showcase to the game’s DCS sound system. This Williams developed 4 channel playback system first made it’s debut on some pinball machines earlier in the year before appearing in standup arcade machines with Mortal Kombat 2. All of the music and effects were all created by legendary arcade sound designer, Dan Forden (aka the Toasty! guy).

It seemed to take longer than 6 to 8 weeks for delivery, but the CD finally arrived. I am not sure why I didn’t spring for the comic book as well, but I am guessing it was due to lack of funds. The CD delivered in full though with the complete original soundtracks for the first two Mortal Kombat’s along with some various bonus effects and sound tours. It became a regular in my CD wallet along with all of the other sounds of 1993 and 1994. I had a boom box next to my Sega Genesis setup and I remember setting the CD to play the music of the levels when the Genesis version of MK 2 was released. This would be the closest I would get to CD quality audio of the soundtrack until I got the game playable in MAME years and years later (and Mortal Kombat 1 for the Sega CD). As time went on, the CD fell off my main CD rack and went into a random ammo case along with other older CD’s that I didn’t plan on listening to for a long time.

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Flash forward about 10 years and I was going through some of the old CD’s in my room at my parent’s house. Low and behold I come across the Mortal Kombat 2 Soundtrack CD. I wasn’t able to find any really solid information on the CD besides the information on the inner jacket. I have always been curious as to how many of the CD’s were ever actually sold and shipped. It isn’t something I would ever sell though. It is a good memory to one of the best eras for gaming.

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Beaten Games 2014

I decided this year to more actively complete the games I buy rather than just play them until something new comes out and leave them half finished. To motivate myself more I kept a log of the games by month. Without further ado, here is the list of games by month with platform listed as well.

January
Mark of the Ninja (PC)
New Super Mario Brothers U (Wii U)

February
Tearaway (Vita)
Retro City Rampage (Vita / PS3)
Nidhogg (play-through of single player campaign) (PC)

March
Rayman Origins (Vita)
Uncharted 3 (PS3)
Escape Plan (Vita)
Last of Us: Left Behind (PS3)
Puppeteer (PS3)
Hose of the Dead: Overkill (PS3)

April
Thomas Was Alone (Vita)

May
South Park: The Stick of Truth (PS3)
Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 2 (PS3)
Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 3 (PS3)

June
Infamous 2 (Good Ending) (PS3)

July
No Games Beaten

August
Injustice: Gods Among Us (PS4)
DMC (Devil May Cry) (PS3)
Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 4 (PS3)

September
Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 5 (PS3)
Killzone Shadow Fall (PS4)
Space Quest 1 VGA Remake (PC)
Rogue Legacy (Vita / PS3)

October
Super Mario 3d World (Wii U)
Destiny (Main Storyline) (PS4)
Shank (PC)
Shank 2 (PS3)

November
Infamous Second Son (Good Ending) (PS4)
Steamworld Dig (Vita)
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS4)

December
Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS4)

The list for 2015 is in progress, Hoping to be able to beat 31 set in 2014. Maybe I can make it 35 this year?

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Still Alive

Ok so maybe I haven’t updated in over a year (a year and a couple months). That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to update. I just didn’t have enough time to formulate words into complete sentences. I still don’t but I did move hosts in anticipation of being able to do more internet related stuff. Still debating to keep this site at frank.utterer.org or move it back to main utterer.org. Especially since I have another domain to play with now…

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Taking Up Smoking

I don’t remember the first time I actually had authentic smoked barbecue (henceforth referred to as bbq). It was probably at Hill Country in New York some time around 2006 or 2007. I probably had it before at some other point but just didn’t realize what I was eating or was just given a plate of food at an event and didn’t ask where it came from. But since that first time I had smoked brisket in the city, I made it a point to become more interested in the “smoked arts.” I am never going to call myself a connoisseur of anything because I hate that stupid word. I like eating bbq plain and simple. I’ve tried a good majority of the restaurants in the NYC area, when I travel I look for a local bbq joint to try out, when people I know smoke I am always in line to get a plate, etc, etc. I have never tried making my own though

That changed recently when I took some time off from work for vacation. I have been looking for some new hobbies to get into that weren’t related to technology. One day while doing my normal idle web browsing I decided to see what my options where. For a hobby, it is a pricey endeavor to get your feet wet with. The defacto Weber smokers are 300$ just to get your foot in the door. While I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase one down the road if it turned out this was something I was interested in, it was too early to make that call.

The finished smoker on cooking day.

The finished smoker on cooking day.

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Preliminary Opinions: Nexus 7 [2013]

Despite my preference of Mac OS X over any other operating system on my computers, I am not really tied down to one operating system or platform. I use them out of habit and comfort. I have been on Mac based platforms since my first computer in 1992. I am able to recognize that there are other platforms out there and the pendulum of technology can switch to another direction on a whim. Next to my Mac Pro is a PC running Windows 7 that I use regularly as my gaming PC. I interact with Mac, Windows and Linux systems at work and on a regular basis I have to make them play nice with each other.

On the mobile front, I have been mostly iOS based. It’s not that I had no interest in using Android, it’s just that… Ok I really had no interest in using Android at all. My first dabbling with Android was when I purchased a Viewsonic GTab on special at Woot a few years ago. It was cheap enough and almost impossible to brick while having a fairly beefy (at the time) Tegra 2 in it. I figured I am going to have to use it to learn Android because who knows what the future holds in the realm of mobile devices. Thanks to an active community, there are still unofficial OS releases to this day supporting the tablet. I lost interest in it awhile ago. The speed and workarounds to get an unofficial OS working on an unsupported device became to frustrating. I had also gotten an iPad through work which I was using for the time.

After reading up on the 2013 Nexus 7 shortly after Google’s announcement, I decided I was going to pick one up. The iPad, while nice and in my comfort zone, was only an iPad 2 and starting to show its age speed and screen wise. I also find myself with less and less of a need for a 9 inch tablet. I was pretty much using it to read books for book club or technical manuals for work, watch Netflix and play an occasional game. The screen of the Nexus 7 from the descriptions and reviews sounded phenomenal and the form factor of the unit would be a nice fit for my needs of book reading, media consumption and occasional game playing.

Long story short, I got one and here are my less than a week opinions on the device.

What's in the box for the 2013 Nexus 7.

What’s in the box for the 2013 Nexus 7.

Within these first few days of use, I am impressed by the hardware package itself. The screen is stunning at 1920×1200 resolution on a 7 inch screen is a size that is perfect for me to use. I do enjoy the larger screen real estate that an iPad provides, I just don’t use one for enough real world applications to justify carrying it around. Everything is lighting responsive at this point in time with Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) on current hardware. If there is one thing I am familiar with on Android devices though is that once the new model is out the others fall by the wayside fast. I will have to see if it is just as kicking a year from now.

Android 4.3 on a device designed to run it is really responsive. This whole time that I have been using Android on my old Viewsonic GTab, it was slow and clunky and ended with frustration. I knew that it was because it was being shoehorned onto a device not designed to run it, but I didn’t realize it was THAT bad. After using the Nexus 7 for a day I see how much faster it is on a unit designed for it. There are a lot of user interface decisions that I am not a fan of (especially in the realm of the back button that is part of the always on screen touch controls) there are some others that I am a fan of like the different on screen displays depending on how you are holding the device and the level of customization you get with the home screen(s).

A side by side of my new Nexus 7 next to my old ass Viewsonic GTab.

A side by side of my new Nexus 7 next to my old ass Viewsonic GTab.

With my enjoyment of the hardware and underlying OS, my complaints start to form. The biggest one is my issues with the Google Play Store. I just don’t trust a majority of the applications that are on there for sale or for free where I would want to put them on a device I own. I have read too many horror stories about malware and applications with “unwanted” features popping up on the store to want to install anything other than applications I know exist on Apple’s AppStore or have been thoroughly vetted by other publications. Because of this, the amount of applications I plan on installing on this device are severely limited. Most of the big name applications on the Play Store also have iOS equivalents which I already own. I am dissuaded from purchasing the Android counterpart by this. I am excited by the emulation options that may be possible with this device after syncing up with a Playstation 3 controller.

I am going to explorer the Google Play Store a bit more in the near future and configure my homescreen a bit more to my liking. At this point in time, I am satisfied with my purchase as a general use tablet with a primary focus as a reading and web surfing device. It hasn’t become a portable gaming device for me yet (that is still reserved for my Vita), but it has replaced my work iPad for just about every other function. I will have to post a followup to this review. But at the rate that I update here, who knows when that will happen?

How big the thing is when holding it.

How big the thing is when holding it.

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