Review by leeko_link
"A Great Arcade Port Despite Being on a Weaker Console"
When Mortal Kombat II first made it's arcade debut, it had became a sequel that was meant to offer more of what the first game did offering more playable characters, more blood, more gores, more finishers, more contents, more surprises, and more secret characters. Though today MKII had more than a lot arcade perfect ports than the first game did, back then only the Sega Genesis and Super NES ports are the ones to get in able to had the MKII arcade experience at home. Like the first MK before it, while MKII got the better graphics, music and sounds on the Super NES it got the better control and gameplay on the Sega Genesis. I know many MK fans would think the Sega Genesis version of Mortal Kombat II is a weaker port of the arcade game in terms of presentation and musical flares but besides the graphics and all, the gameplay itself makes this game worth getting especially for Sega Genesis owners.
As a 16-Bit port, you had to really expect some graphics limitation since the Genesis itself can't really handle most of the clear pictures or the animation its arcade big brother did. Expect some missing frames of animation from all the characters like Baraka's short win pose or Cage's missing standing pose. Since it runs on a weaker Genesis cart, there won't be any intro scene nor are there any ending clips so your best thing to do is read the text or enjoy the demonstrated attract mode. Also since it's on a weaker console, expect to see downgraded graphics in all the backgrounds such as the omissions of the shadow priest animations, lack of the dragonfly in the Kombat Tomb, and the crowd animation in Kahn's Arena. Also due to limitation, the original Goro's Lair stage where you fight the secret character are now replaced with a palette swap blue portal which aren't really that interesting since it's just the normal portal change to blue.
Do you really think the arcade music and sound would be able to land it here, well not really. Since the Genesis sound system can't really handle many of the DCS sounds of the arcade, most of the tunes you'll hear here are just some tone down chants and jingles. Of course they are better than what was heard on the weaker Sega Master system but compare to the many ports that came after, they really sound awfully tone down. Also most of Kahn's name shouts and encouragements from the arcade are also missing which makes this port lose the feeling of the arcade action.
You don't really had to memorize the buttons for playing this game since it is compatible with both 3-buttons and 6-buttons game pad. It would be a lot better playing with a 6-buttons game pad but the 3-buttons game pad works just fine and since there are no low crouch punch, the uppercut gets the better use for it for both low and high punches. The number of selectable characters are quite impressive, the complete roster of twelve selectable characters are yours for the mastering and the battle plan tower allowed all of them as formidable opponents to face. The bosses in Kintaro and Shao Kahn are quite easy to beat here and it really doesn't takes some skills to beat them. Fatalities and every finishers in the game are easy to perform and most look almost on par with their arcade counterpart. For being a 16-Bit port, the gameplay here are almost as fast as the arcade game, there are no lag or slowdown when fighting so it's all fast pace just like the arcade game.
As a port of the arcade game, this game is fun and offer tons of replayabilities. For starter you could access a cheat menu through a cheat code that let's you mess around with some game cameo, skip to some of the game's formidable bosses, fight hidden characters, or play against friends one-on-one and master all twelve characters as well as beating the game with every character to discover their fate or just playing competition. Perhaps the only thing that brought the replayability down a bit was that there aren't much to unlock to satisfied player to keep coming back for more but nonetheless, the game is worth it for the gameplay and muti-play option alone.
Is it Worth Buying?
As a weaker port, you really had to decide does having better graphics, superior sounds, and more features really that important to you because if they are you might be better off to skip this and get the superior Sega 32X, Super NES or many of the later versions but if you are a Genesis owners who absolutely don't care for the extra stuffs and only for the gameplay fun of it. This great 16-Bits port of an arcade classic is perfect for your Genesis library.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/12/09, Updated 08/03/12
Game Release: Mortal Kombat II (US, 12/31/94)
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