Review by leeko_link
"A Decent Portable Kombat"
It was truly a shame that the first Mortal Kombat didn't get a spectacular home version treatment like its sequel but on portable that is a different story. When Mortal Kombat was ported to both the Game Boy and Game Gear, both versions were waterdown to bite size edition, many of the arcade and console features were sacrifice due to limitation and the Game Boy port suffer from laggy gameplay due to the game's compression of graphics. So how does the Game Gear version compare to its competing counterpart.
Impressive. The game is now in color and there is a code to turn the blood and violence on just like its Sega Genesis big brother though the sprites are larger and the environment looks a bit zoom-in. Like the Game Boy port, due to limitation many animations and character specific pose were taken out. Though blood were in the game, fatality finishers were less gorey and there were sign of glitchy effects and flickery when initiating throws or doing special moves, nothing major but also a bit annoying at times. The character sprites and battle arenas were a bit colorful and detail than that of the Game Boy port but there were not much to be awe at since there's really only two stages in the whole game.
Not bad but not good either. It's okay for a portable but the game is missing the memorable opening intro music to which the Game Boy port had. Not really a big deal though as pretty much all you hear here are the same grunt and jab of the Game Boy port.
This is where the Game Gear port differentiate from its Game Boy counterpart. The control is much more responsive, both of the two action buttons are use for punch and kick but the Game Gear did a good job of making them more reliable it doesn't feel like a pain to use them. Also unlike the Game Boy port, the speed of the game is average at best so special moves like Scorpion's spear and Sub-Zero's ice freeze could be perform with no problem though there are some slight delay in the input in order to perform them and since all the button inputs for the moves were unchanged from the arcade, special moves and fatalities are done the same way as they did other versions so players don't have to worry about looking around the net for a movelist. The computer A.I. were also more forgivable and could be challenging at times too. I had to say compare this to the slow-mo Game Boy port, this Game Gear version deserve some love.
There are nothing to unlock in this game, you only had six characters (one of them being Johnny Cage who replace Kano from the Game Boy port) to choose from and once you beat the game with all of them, well that's it. You could use the code to turn the blood on to see the more violence arcade finishers but other than that this portable version doesn't had much to offer other than an improved control and gameplay mechanics. Like the Game Boy port though, you could always link play against another player (if they had the same game and system) for some competition on the go but it won't offer the same satisfaction like that of the console versions.
Is it Worth Buying?
Maybe that is if you own a Game Gear, I say if you only want a portable and a much more improved version of the first Mortal Kombat then this port is no exception. With an arcade accurate version already available for portable like the PSP, I think you are better off getting that instead but if you just want some nostalgic fun, this port deserve a play just for that factor too.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 09/04/12
Game Release: Mortal Kombat (US, 09/13/93)
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