There’s a very good interview with ed boon that was published recently where he talks about the fundamental differences between SF and MK. He’s very honest-
basically itcomes down to design goals. The MK team saw SF as being very Japanese in it’s demands on the player to hone technique, and being very punishing in terms of technical requirement, muscle memory, spacing etc. Their goal with MK was to make a game with more instant impact, a quicker-rewarding, more American experience. The comparison Ed Boon uses is that in SF, to woah the spectators at the arcade you’d have to be very well practised, with excellent execution and in depth knowledge. In MK you could walk in, execute a fatality and the crowd would go nuts.
That’s their example not mine, but he makes a sound point about the design goals. Whether successful or not, the designers of SF have always tried to make a competitive game that rewards the most knowledgable and skillful player, as a design goal priority.
With MK, this wasn’t the priority, it was accessibility and instant gratuity, with realistic graphics and gore. Competitive balance was sought, but not the priority.
MK is not necessarily a bad series, and umk3 in particular is a decent competitive game.
But the fundamental design goals are a very good indicator as to why MK is seen as very much the poor relation in a competitive community like SRK- some of MKs best points, it’s rich mythology and distinctive visuals and extras are basically stuff people here don’t give a fuck about, by and large.
Sorry I can’t link you to the interview, have a google though.