The plug-and-play TV Games from Jakks Pacific Inc. are getting more sophisticated. The latest release from the company is a self-contained version of the classic fighting game “Mortal Kombat.”

Plug and play: Installation is as easy as it sounds.

The game is contained inside the controller, which plugs into the composite audio and video outlets on a TV. All you need to supply are four AA batteries.

The graphics aren’t quite as sharp as those in the original arcade version, but they’re pretty sweet and much better than any of the other TV Games systems Jakks has released. And the digital voices are intact as well, telling players to “Fight!” or praising a “flawless victory!”

All seven characters from the original game are present, and the manual has a handy list of the special moves and fatality moves each character can perform.

Finish him: A second “Mortal Kombat” controller can be hooked to the first one for head-to-head play. The cool thing about this game is that, unlike previous systems from Jakks that featured mostly old Atari games, “Mortal Kombat” holds up pretty well compared to modern games.

Youngsters who’ve grown up on PlayStation 2 won’t be bored after playing it for 10 minutes, especially if the two-player mode is as nifty as it sounds. On the other hand, this game is rated for players 17 and up, so youngsters technically aren’t supposed to play it.

But the original “Mortal Kombat” seems so tame compared to current M-rated games, including the “Mortal Kombat” sequels, that it’s hard to get worked up about this title.

Online registration has begun for the QuakeCon computer game tournament and expo, scheduled for Aug. 11-14 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas.

There’s an official tournament, a bring-your-own-computer forum where gamers can compete against each other just for fun, and displays of upcoming games.

The highlight is expected to be a demo of id Software’s upcoming shooting game, Quake IV. Id is the main sponsor of QuakeCon.

Go to to register or for more info.

Is Sony deliberately preventing game developers from using the full potential of the PSP?

That’s what one blogger contends:

The PSP’s main CPU is clocked at 333 megahertz, according to Sony’s official specifications. But apparently a Sony official said at the recent Game Developers Conference that developers are required to include code in their games that slows the CPU down to 222 megahertz.

This allows the battery to run longer but obviously means that only two thirds of the PSP’s capabilities are available for games.

A Sony representative could not confirm the report as of press time.

Robin, the blogger who posted this, speculated that Sony is working on a longer-lasting PSP battery that will let developers have access to the system’s full power. Which would mean better, or at least more graphically sophisticated, games.


Grade: A-minus

$24, rated for ages 17 and up

Victor Godinez:

(c) 2005, The Dallas Morning News.

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Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

AP-NY-04-26-05 1041EDT

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