Review by KingBroccoli
I'm not here to lambast Mortal Kombat II for its ridiculous interpretations of the laws of physics. Some might call it nitpicking, if I were to rebuke the game for the way it's characters move as if underwater, throwing themselves around the combat arena with careless abandon, lazily sticking a leg out behind them in a vain attempt to undo their opponents. Surely it would be unjust if I were to classify MKII on the way the shadows of the combatants lift off the ground on occasion, and constantly make their owners out to be some fatuous oval shape. It would be unfair of me to bring up these points to attack this modest game, so I won't.
Nor will I talk about the combat tactics of the opponents. Really, what purpose do opponents serve in a fighting game, anyway? Who cares if they have the ability to preempt every move you make? They're perfectly entitled to look at your movements and employ one of many preset counter-attack techniques to ensure their own survival! They should be commended, not condemned, for having the ability to catch an errant leg, or a flailing arm, the split second before it knocks them unconscious, and use it to throw you into the unforgiving tile deco. Why shouldn't they be allowed to react to any jump you make with a special attack designed to keep you at bay? Why should you be allowed near them? Where's the fun in that!? Just because the opponents use impossible tactics to win fights, why should the overall rating of the game suffer?
And since we don't mind that our opponents use their pre-programmed nous to pound us into the dust, there's no point bringing up the shallow mechanics that control the game. It wouldn't be fair. Surely it's irrelevant that most attacks are stilted and ineffective, removing completely the chance of a fluent fight. It doesn't matter that it's virtually impossible to string two or three attacks together, because as soon as you throw a punch your foe will undoubtedly catch your fist in his teeth, turning your well-timed maneuver into a 10-hit combo for him. And we certainly don't need to bring up the special attacks of each character! After all, they'll only be blocked or ducked, leaving you open to further embarrassment. Since we'll be neglecting punches, kicks and special attacks, it's only fair to render these points moot. We can safely move on to the next paragraph with the reputation of Mortal Kombat II intact.
We shan't adjust the score for any of the fatalities or the like that MKII so wonderfully provides. Why would one bother going through the strenuous task of inputting a 5,450 button combo to see Liu Kang do a silly dance? They wouldn't! Sure, we can add points to the score because of these woefully rendered scenes of unimaginative violence, seeing as how they're the only thing that sets the MK series apart from the rest. But we wouldn't dare take points off. That wouldn't be fair. The Mortal Kombat series can be violent as it likes, it won't influence any of us to be bad people, it's not like we're the ones perpetrating the violence. We're the ones sitting back and watching as our uppercuts sail mercifully through the torso of a rogue Scorpion, only to be hammered into submission by an uppercut of his own. If anything the realist values of Mortal Kombat II teach us how harsh and unforgiving the outside world can be! Bravo Mortal Kombat II!
It wouldn't be fair to finish off a review of Mortal Kombat II by commenting on the design elements of the game. After all, gameplay makes a game! There's no need to mention the inadequacies of the ominous music that plays as you mull over which character to help get beaten up, nor should I mention that lackluster fanfare that arrives with your choice, punctuating the music always at the most inappropriate moment. Why bother mentioning how silly most of the characters look? You'll only pick Scorpion, Sub Zero or Reptile anyway. The allegedly stylish Johnny Cage can wear his pants as high as he likes. I'm not going to complain! Who cares if the game looks and sounds embarrassing, I'd never let pictures and noises affect my judgment.
With all this in mind, being the unbiased adjudicator that I am, I must give this game a ten. Once you overlook the flaws of the game, you'll find a game that deep down is truly beautiful. It's just a shame that my zero key doesn't work. As soon as I get it fixed, I'll adjust the score, I promise. Just don't let my malfunctioning keyboard give you cause to think less of me.
Please overlook my inadequacies!
Reviewer's Score: 1/10 | Originally Posted: 02/14/04
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