Mortal Kombat (1992 - Present)

This game is so awesome, they had to spell combat with a 'K'. Being one of the longest withstanding franchises of the fighting game genre, Mortal Kombat has maintained a presence and legacy continuing through to this day. The year 1992 brought upon the arcade release of MK, which eventually made its way to gaming consoles. MK is widely acclaimed for its gore content and the trademark Fatality finishes. The series went on to spawn sequels of the game, spin-off adventure games, an animated series, live-action television series and a live-action movie.


What really made this game stand from all the other fighting games were the characters. With each new game release were a selection of new characters with old favourites making a repeat appearance. Classics include ninja assassin Scorpion, Shaolin monk Liu Kang, thunder god Raiden and Lin Kuei warrior Sub-Zero (fun fact: Sub-Zero is the only character to have appeared in every MK game). Without derailing the post too much, Sub-Zero had always been my favourite character to use. His ability to control ice allowed him to unleash maneuvers such as Ice Blast, rendering the opponent temporarily frozen and sliding kick, a cool move where Sub-Zero would slide across the screen and trip the opponent.

Ice Blast > Heat Seeking Missile

Easily the most recognisable aspect of the game that made MK a cultural phenomenon was the ability to perform a Fatality, a finishing move where a player executes the opponent in brutal fashion. This created quite a stir among the parentals back in the day when video game violence was never before seen. To perform a Fatality, the opponent had to have their enemy's health diminished to the final hit bar. Having succeeded in that, a 'Finish Him/Her' text appeared on screen in which the finisher then had to press a series of buttons to perform a Fatality. Various finishing moves introduced into different sequels included Babality, Animality, and the awe inspiring combo finishing Brutality.

Sub-Zero performs his trademark Fatality, the Spine Rip.

Staying true to the nineties, Mortal Kombat Trilogy has to be the greatest and most complete sequel released. Included in the game were every character that have made an appearance in MK up to its release, various finishers players were able to perform and the fast and seamless game play that stylised MK.

If you find yourself playing an older version of Mortal Kombat, without a doubt will you be playing with a grin on your face as you reminisce the goodness of old school violent video games. I now leave you with the techno remix of the Mortal Kombat theme song including lyrics! Enjoy.

Primitave Radio Gods - Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand (1996)

Released by alternative rock band Primitive Radio Gods, the band attained international recognition after this single caught attention of the media. Its use on Jim Carrey's The Cable Guy also helped them gain further mainstream success.

If you've heard and remember this song from the nineties, you'll know what a very good and easy flowing tune it is. It's beautiful and soothing but at the same time evokes a sense of darkness and haunting. I've always loved this song but the older I get, the more it depresses me every time I hear it. There's just something about the melancholy that really brings me back to when I was a child like no other song does.

Treat yourself to an excellent piece of artistry from the nineties.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Fast forward eleven years after the events of the first film, a young juvenile John Connor is out to hit the arcades when he discovers that a cop is looking for him. What he also finds out is that the copper after his tail isn't any ordinary authority figure, but a cyborg, better known as T-1000, sent from the future to terminate John to prevent him from forming and leading a resistance army against the machines.

T-1000, the last person you'd want to meet in a dark alley.

So how does a ten year old defend himself from a machine that's able to manifest its arms into knives and heal itself from any assaults taken upon itself? Enter Arnold Schwarzenegger, the T-800, a less advanced cyborg of the T-1000, initially sent out in the first film to destroy his mother, Sarah Connor. It has been reprogrammed this time around to protect the life of John. Together with his mother and Arnie, they set out on a mission to prevent the occurrence of 'Judgment Day', a future event in which humans are exterminated by the onslaught of the machines.

John Connor mirin' his aesthetics.

No other action movie comes close to hitting the nail on the head than this sci-fi classic. It's an action movie with a storyline and excellent concept. The special effects aren't grossly outdated and the performances are top notch. It's a bit of a shame that the third installment of the film did not meet expectations, however we can only hope that James Cameron one day returns to reboot the franchise that we all grew up to love and watch.

Super Mario Kart (1992)

Forget Forza or Gran Turismo, racing games where you can use projectiles to one up your opponents is where it's at. Racing genres that plays well in 2D is hard to come by, but Super Mario delivers with finesse and precision.

You choose from eight racers, all whom are taken from the Mario series. They include Mario himself, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Koopa and Toad, each of them with different stats. I always went with Koopa. Although weak and very liable to being bumped off track when colliding with other racers, he had the speed. That turtle can race! Expanding from the Mario series concept, various question mark boxes are scattered throughout the courses. Running over one of these allows you to gain an offensive or defensive object which you can utilise to help you win the race. Weapons include bananas, tortoise shells, invincible stars and probably the most annoying of them all, thunderbolts. Using this ability rendered all racers except the caster to become tiny, slowing down their speed and running the risk of being flattened by the non affected racer.

The game play made it easy for players to get into and the multiplayer mode made it a great party game. Super Mario Kart went on to become the best selling game on Super Nintendo and appears in many lists as the best ranking game of all time.

The franchise went on to create a series of successful sequels, improving game play, introducing new characters, maps and weapons and allowing for more players to join in on the fun. I still have my Super Nintendo and Mario Kart cartridge and I must say, there is no greater way to unwind then to sit down and spend a few solid hours overlapping computers on this oh so awesome game.

2 fast 2 furious for y'all man.

Pokémon (1997 - Present)

Yea boi.

If you were a kid during the nineties, you'd no doubt have had a crazy for the Pokémons. That or you were dead inside, all numb, no desire, no expression.



The nineties were all about the golden era for Pokémon, the OG, back in the day when there were only 151 known species. The series follow the story of Ash Ketchum, a young Pokémon trainer aspiring to become the Pokémon master. Along with Pikachu, his very first Pokémon, Ash sets out on a journey around the world to collect Pokémon and defeat gym trainers to earn badges. He's hot on the heels of rival Gary Oak, a rival of his since childhood. Then there's Team Rocket, a band of vigilantes on a mission to steal Pikachu. Sounds like a tough racket for the Pokémon master wannabe, however he is in good company to keep him afloat. Brock, a ladiesman, and Misty, a tomboy with a termpermantal attitude, help him throughout Ash's adventures and along the way he learns the value of true friendship and loyalty.

They released a kick-ass soundtrack titled 2BA Master. It came with a string of catchy tunes from the series and included such hits as Viridian City, the Pokérap (I was awesome enough to be able to learn the entire song off by heart) and of course the Pokémon theme song.

The franchise also spawned a very successful card game as well as video game, both of which are still being played and collected to this day.

If you're a fan, there's probably nothing new here you haven't heard of or read. Let us all rejoice for the goodness that is Pokémon. RED AND BLUE VERSION FOREVER.

Me after watching the first episode of Pokémon.

The Notorious B.I.G. (1992 - 1997)

It's about time this blog showed some appreciation for the the pioneer of east coast hip-hop. Introducing the arguably world's greatest rapper Christopher George Latore Wallace, also known as Biggie Smalls, also known as Big Poppa, notoriously known as The Notorious B.I.G.. Biggie became a major player in the hip-hop scene delivering some serious flow on his record. His best hits include Hypnotize, Juicy and Big Poppa.

Biggie died 24 years young after being assassinated upon leaving an album promotion. During his short yet very successful career, he released two studio albums, both a major success, with his second album reaching diamond status in sales. His lyrical theme centered around his past with drug dealing, crime and robbery, the struggle with growing up in the ghetto and materialism (as you do). Biggie's flow has been described as something profound as he has a skill of storytelling through rap. His easy flow makes it- well, easy, to follow and you'll be left hanging on to every word he outputs onto the mic. If you don't know the story of his rise out of the struggle, Notorious, the biographical film based on his career will give you a summation of the happenings.

If you want to listen to hip-hop music that actually meant something, listen to The Notorious B.I.G. 17 million people can't be wrong.

Your favourite rapper's favourite rapper.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

This film is the epitome of bad-ass. Pulp Fiction, presented in a nonlinear storyline, is the success that brought characters Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) to the forefront of movie characters of the nineties. Almost every line spoken in the movie is a dialogue to remember, from Jule's recital of a chapter from the bible, to Jule's and Vincent's idle chatter about Europeans and the metric system and their arguments for and against foot massages.

Pulp Fiction follows three plots that intersect each other in different ways. The film opens with a scene of two diners at a restaurant planning a stick up, introducing the prelude of Jules Winnfields enlightenment story. It then leads onto the dilemma with Vincent Vega his boss' wife, followed by the story of Butch (Bruce Willis), a prizefighter who cheats Marsellus Wallace, who happens to be Vincent and Jule's boss, to win a larger sum of money for himself. The film is largely presented with a dark sense of humour with intricate style that invokes a very melancholy feel.

Stars that make an appearance in the film include Uma Thurman. Christopher Walken, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth and director of the movie Quentin Tarantino. Pulp Fiction remains to be one of my all time favourite films to this day, so much so that I've decided to change the background of this blog to a very cool gun-toting Vincent and Jules to represent the nineties.

A very smoking hot Uma Thurman smoking.

Nintendo Entertainment System (1983 - 1995)

The console that introduced me to the gaming world. My dad got me one of these 8-bit beasts back when I was just starting school and rented out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles along with it. Many happy hours were to be had, with double the fun after having bought a second controller. It still saddens me to this day that my mother gave my NES away.

The Nintendo Entertainment System. It destroys stealth bombers.
Released in the early eighties, the NES had a very successful lifespan well into the nineties, playing a big role in the games console market. Here's a few credentials the NES has on its itself:
- renowned for ending the video game crash of 1983 and helped to revitalise the gaming industry
- best-selling console of its time
- voted the number one gaming console of all time by IGN
- Duck Hunt

You will never be as cool as Duck Hunt.

Fair effort Nintendo. Here's some specs for you techies.
CPU - 8-bit MOS Technology 6502 core
RAM - 2 KB
Video - NTSC - RP2C02 at 5.37 MHz, PAL - RP2C07 at 5.32 MHz
Audio - Five sound channels

So, they don't make these gems anymore but you've decided that you want to relive the golden days of gaming? No problemo. There's a number of consoles auctioning on eBay. Don't be surprised to see them going for more than you'd expect to pay, there's many out there wanting to get their hands on a piece of gaming history. If you don't have the cash moneys, you can always find a ROM on the Internet. If all else fails, there's always XBOX 360 and PS3, although they've got nothing on NES.

Hey Arnold! (1996 - 2004)

Hey Arnold! follows the adventures of Arnold and his friends, most of them taking place in their neighbourhood. What made the cartoon series a success were the range of stereotypical characters that appear in the show.

Arnold with the happy-go-lucky personality would encounter problems and scenarios that he needed to overcome. He is usually accompanied by his best friend Gerald, an African American with a funky afro and classmate Helga, who is seen constantly bullying Arnold to hide her secrecy of having a crush on him.

Arnold, dubbed football-head by Helga
There are many other classmates that appear throughout the series. The more memorable ones include Binky, the bully of the show of Jewish descent who also has a soft spot behind his mean demeanor, Phobe who is of Japanese origin and the smartest in the class, Eugene, known for his nerdiness and Lila, a farm girl whom Arnold has a crush on, just to name a few.

I was not aware that they had made episodes for the series up to 2004 and since having enjoyed watching the show so much, I'm going to be getting myself a copy of the series to wax nostalgic.

Nirvana (1987 - 1994)

If you haven't heard of these folks, much shame to you. There's nothing good I can add or comment on about Nirvana that hasn't already been mentioned. They are THE rock band, the ones who put the grunge in grunge, the defining band of their generation and the reason why your best friend's parent chose their child's name to be Kurt. Personally, I have never met a person named Kurt but I'm sure somewhere in this world, somebody has named their little one after the great Cobain.

If you haven't heard about the goodness of Nirvana, here's a few things you need should know about them.

The band consists of Krist Novoselic on bass and Dave Grohl and drums. They are fronted by Kurt Cobain. Nirvana were at the forefront of grunge music. Their career spanned from the late eighties to the early nineties, but their music turned into something that would have a lasting influence in the music world. They released a total of three albums, all of them showcasing achievements in sound and innovation. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead. Official reports state that he died from a fatal shotgun wound along with having copious amounts of heroin in his system. There are conspiracies that his death may have been set up. And that's about all you missed, no biggie or anything they're just some band that created a movement in music and stuff.

Now do your ears a favour and go and listen to Nirvana.

L - R: Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic

Romeo + Juliet (1996)

You remember this film for 4 things. Those cool guns with religious illustrated plates on them, Claire Danes, DiCaprio's funky Hawaiian shirt and the accompanying song for the film, Young Hearts Run Free by Kym Mazelle.

Based on Shakespeare's work under the same title, the film depicts a modern romantic tragedy about the story of Romeo and Juliet. In semi-true Shakespearean style, all characters in the film speak in original dialogue. While it isn't the greatest film ever made, it's certainly isn't the worst and you may find that you may still be able to enjoy this movie. Lots of gun fights, rivalry, churches and cheesy love scenes to be seen. Make this the next flick you watch with your girlfriend on DVD night.

Push Pop (Unknown)

'Don't push me, push a push pop!'

Personally, I was never really into these because the poor design of these lollipops always got my fingers sticky (no innuendos there), but they were pretty big back in the day. They came in a variety of fruity flavours. You'd buy one of these and you then had to unwrap the plastic of the candy, where you then shove your finger up the tube so you were then able to suck on the candy stick.

Fun facts: David Hasslehoff is the face of Push Pops in the South Eastern continent.

Magic sticks, 50 cent approves

Samurai Pizza Cats (1990)

This cartoon was probably one of your first shows that exposed you to the goodness of anime, although you may have not been aware at the time.

Better than Cats, the musical

As the title suggests, Samurai Pizza Cats follows the crime fighting adventures of three cats that use their skills in samurai to do justice while running a pizzeria. Speedy Cerviche is the leader of the pack and sided along with comrades Polly Esther, the only girl on the team with a short temper, and Guido Anchovy, a smooth talker who always tried to pick up the females. These cool cats had the whole bipedal robot look happening for them, similar to Gundam. I can't imagine how hard it'd be for them to make pizza in those outfits but then again, there's nothing that cats can't do.

Check out the clip and sigh as you notice how bad the dubs are while you think back to the childhood days where you sat in front of the television watching these glorious cartoons.