Review by GMitchell

"Not exactly a flawless victory, but a riot nonetheless"

Generally, Mortal Kombat II is recognized as the high point in the series. Mortal I broke the ground...but played rather poorly. Mortal II improved gameplay significantly, while introducing a whole host of well-drawn backgrounds, interesting characters, tons of secrets (and several annoying non-secrets, just teases with no payoff), loads of special moves and killer sound effects.

When MK II came out for the Genesis, every fan was starving to play it at home. We'd all lost countless quarters and hours of our lives playing the fairly buggy arcade editions, just to try to find the new stuff, the secret stuff, to show people we knew how to do the best fatalities. We were worried though - the Genesis version of MK I really bit it. Sounded awful, looked awful, controlled poorly...only good thing about it was the gore. But we were quite pleasantly surprised with the quality of Mortal Kombat II for the Genesis - it was in fact one of the best looking and sounding games ever to be released for the system. And...it didn't control half bad either. All the moves were in fact intact....a killer translation.

There were and are flaws, though, make no mistake. Little tidbits that just leave you wondering why they were left out, or questioning the power of the Genesis. On the ''Pit II'' stage, there's really not much 3-d falling as in the arcade. For some reason, when one performs Rayden's Thunder Uppercut Fatality, the decapitated head of the victim does not fall to the ground as in the arcade (it's just not there at all). Sound bytes from the low-voiced announcer are basically nil, aside from ''Fight!''. No character name announcements or anysuch - which really bites, since we all love the way the announcer rolls the ''r'' in ''Baraka'', at the least. No or minimal character screaming noises when moves or fatalities are performed, which mildly detracts from the overall effect. As a whole, just lots of little touches that made MK II great unfortunately left out.

That being said, MK II for the genesis is still a blast. As mentioned, it looks great, controls great, sounds excellent, has all the characters, stages and moves. It may not be what the arcade version was, but it's a very good conversion indeed. And no, MK II even in the arcade wasn't the best game ever (bugs and cheap AI detract from the experience, to put it mildly), but it was _fun_....and still is, even on the Genesis.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/26/02, Updated 03/26/02


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