Review by Myzery_Clown

"Although Mortal Kombat II is still great even on genesis, genesis owners got the short end of the stick here."

INTRODUCTION
Mortal Kombat II was always labeled the best Mortal Kombat of all time. This point is very valid. However, the Genesis version seems to fall short of the other versions. I expected the Genesis version of Mortal Kombat II to be just as good as its Super Nintendo counterparts, and although I knew the Saturn and Playstation versions would be better, I was slightly disappointed at the Mortal Kombat II Genesis owners received compared to the Mortal Kombat II that owners of the Super Nintendo, Saturn, and Playstation got. Not to say that this is a bad game erough.

GAMEPLAY
Mortal Kombat II plays very close to its pretecessor, Mortal Kombat. The game is a best two out of three rounds fighting game. You press button and direction combinations to execute moves. An example of a move would be Sub-zero's ice blast: down, forward, low punch. There are four standard attack buttons, low punch, low kick, high punch, and high kick. There is also a block button. The six button controller is a definite in order to play this game, because if you don't have it, you'll end up doing dings like holding one button to do a high punch and tapping the same button to do a low punch. This is very difficult and confusing, so unless you own a six button controller, don't even bother with this game. There are also finishers in the game just like in the original Mortal Kombat. Fatalities are gruesome finishers that would kill your opponent. A babality is when you turn your opponent into a blubbering kid. A friendship is where you show an act of kindness to your opponent. And finally, stage fatalities, which can only be executed in certain stages, are fatalities that take advantages of certain background environments such as spikes on the ceiling orspinning blades under the floor. The game also features some complex combos that Street Fighter fans can relate to. The controls in Mortal Kombat II are very responsive and smooth. The game respones easily, and most of the moves and fatalities are hard to pull off. However, a few of them can be difficult, especially the fatalities that the game developpers would be considered the coolest fatalities in the game.
The roster in Mortal Kombat II is very complete. The Agenesis version receives all of the characters as the other versions. All of the original Mortal Kombat characters except Kano and Sonya Blade have returned. Reptile, a hidden character you could only fight in Mortal Kombat, is now a regular character in Mortal Kombat II. There are also a host of new characters that all intertwine with the story very well. Kung Lao, who is Liu Kang's ancestor is an example. Other new characters include Mileena, Jax, Baraka, Kitana, and a couple others. Also, Shang Tsung is playable. Goro has been replaced with Kintaro, a 4-armed Shokan very similar to him. Shao Kahn, Shang Tsung's boss, is now the final boss. There are no hidden characters in Mortal Kombat II that are playable. However, Jade, Noob Saibot, and Smoke are hidden characters that ea like Reptile in the first Mortal Kombat, are only able to be fought if certain accomplishments are reached.
The game modes in Mortal Kombat II are very good. Vs. Mode: You and a friend battle one on one in a best two out of three. There is also an Endurance mode found in the home version of Mortal Kombat II. In endurance mode, each team selects eight characters. The fight that follows closely resembles a gauntlet that is equal. Once one of the characters dies, there is an explosion and the next character jumps onto the screen and takes up the battle the last character just died fighting. You can only do fatalities, however, in the final round on the last guy, which I found to be a bit disappointing.
The Tower is Mortal Kombat II'S quest mode. You select a character and start fighting normal characters. After you've faced nearly everybody in the game, you will face one of the best characters that are selectable like Sub-zero, Scorpion, or Liu Kang. If you defeat this character in the final round correctly, you will face Jade, who takes the place of the questionmark. After that you will face Shang Tsung, Kintaro, and Shao Kahn to finish the game.
GAMEPLAY SCORE: 8.9

GRAPHICS
The graphics in Mortal Kombat II are good. The characters are large and detailed. Most of the moves look pretty cool, although a few of them look pretty cheesy. The fatalities look just as bloody as ever. However, the blood, which squirts very realistically, looks a red fruit drink rather than blood. It's too runny it seems to me. However, most of the fatalities that show the blood are cool, although almost everything is some sort of decapitation or explosion is seems. Sub-zero Deep Freeze Uppercut fatality looks very cool. The backgrounds also could use some work. They look a bit blocky and could use some improvements. There are a good deal of backgrounds, each stage has its own unique background, but a little more detail in the backgrounds would've been nice. Overall, the graphics in Mortal Kombat II need a certain amount of improvement, but for the most part are standard Genesis quality.
GRAPHICS SCORE: 7.9

MUSIC/SOUND EFFECTS
The music in Mortal Kombat II is pretty good. Each stage has its own individual music. Although I must say the Genesis once again got the short end on this area of the game, it is pretty good. Most of the tunes sound very dark and good. They fit the stages well too. For instance, when you are on the bridge at night with the moon shining eerily and the place is deserted, the song that goes with it is quieter and more erie sounding. It adds to the mood of the game rather well. The classic fatality music is included, and friendships and babalities have their own music which sound good. The bablity music, for instance, sounds like a baby's lulaby.
The sound effects in Mortal Kombat II are average at best. The commentary by Shao Kahn which was included in the other versions of the game was not included for the most part. When you do hear him though, his voice sounds a lot better than on the Super Nintendo version, and more resembles the Playstation and Saturn versions. The sounds of battle are not that great either. The screams, which are quick and unrealistic, are barely audible at times. The fatalities sound good erhgh except for one part. Explosions in the game are terrible. If a player explodes, it sounds a small ping of a dart gun going off, not a huge bomb exploding or an opponent being electricuted so much he explodes with a huge blast. No, it's a mere ping and that's it. Most of the moves sound good enough, with Midway's great sense of making moves sound realistic with what they do. Mortal Kombat has always done a fantastic job with this. Overall, the sound in Mortal Kombat II is good, but some improvements, especially in the sound effects category, could be made.
MUSIC/SOUND EFFECTS SCORE: 7.7

DIFFICULTY: MEDIUM
Mortal Kombat II can provide a reasonable challenge. Some of the regular characters can be difficult, and Kintaro, just like the other ports of Mortal Kombat II, is rather challenging. However, unlike the other ports, you're not out of the gate, because Shao Kahn actually provides the difficulty a final boss should. It'll take you a few tries to finally defeat him.

REPLAY VALUE: HIGH
This is probably the best Mortal Kombat of all time, and the penticle of a series should keep you coming back for more. The Tower can get a bit repetitive with no reward for winning other than congratulations and the character's final story, but the multiplayer enjoyment in this game is unmatched by any other Mortal Kombat. Me and my friend completely forgot about anything else from 9 PM to 2 AM, and we started playing it again at 8 AM the next morning until almost lunch. The game also rewards you for playing for so long, but it's not to get this that you continue playing for the most part. Although the other versions are better, this game will still hook you for hours.

OTHER GAME INFORMATION
RENT/buy?: BUY
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2
GENRE: FIGHTING

OVERALL SCORE: 8.7/10
Mortal Kombat II is a great game. The game has a lot of innovative gameplay, and it'll keep you hooked for hours on end. You should pick up the SNES, Playstation, or Saturn ports of this game if you can, but if those versions are unavailable to you, or you just can't have enough copies of Mortal Kombat II, pick up this game immediately. It's a great game you should definitely buy. Even today I still love it.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/18/00, Updated 06/18/00


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