Review by Ramagamma

"Good for its time"

Ah Mortal Kombat. The game with litres of blood and a following that were up againt the old Street Fighter series. It depends on your point of view but i am firmly set in the idea that it is Mortal Kombat that came out of the winner.

To understand why Mortal Kombat was so popular, you have to go back in time to 1992 when it was first released. Now think about this, who were the main game players of that time. Mostly adolescents. Not very many adults, just mostly kids and teens. And what was the one thing that got their gaming hearts racing. Mostly taboo stuff like Blood. Mortal Kombat provided that.

When Midway made this MK in the early ninties in the arcade version they must have been delighted with the amount of money it was drawing in they decided to keep milking the cash cow by releasing a Snes and Genisis (mega drive) version. The better version is not really the issue but its the genisis version i will be focusing on.

Well incase you didnt already know, and i am sure you know, but Mortal Kombat is a beat em up. And what do all beat em ups have in common...Stupidly unrealistic finishers...no, Mad multi colored backgrounds which screw with your eyes...no, a selection of characters...yes. And Mortal Kombat was no different. Sure it wasnt the largest selection. There were 7 characters in totall, all that matters is that they played as well as each other and that is the case in Mortal Kombat. Of course everyone has their favourite, mine being Rayden. There was also Liu Kang, Sonya, Kano, Sub-Zero, Scorpion and Johny Cage.

Graphics
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The graphics have a sort of weird, slightly more realistic look than anything else. That is probably something to do with the fact that the Genisis uses a primitive form of Motion Capture for the graphics. They dont look real but there more realistic than in say, Street Fighter. However the graphics for somethings can look a little weird. For example Johny Cages projectile just doesn't look right. Its basically a big great blob with a tail. Also some of the fatalities look a bit off but i wont go into details because that would be spoiling it.

Sound
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Oh er. The sound is decidedley chilly. It has that uniqe touch that sends a chill up your spine. Some of the digitised sounds can seem a little weird. Despite this its classy the first time you hear the announcer shout ''Finish Him''.

Storyline
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In the beggning there was light. And a little further on from that there was this really evil dude called Shao Kahn. You dont actually see Kahn until the second Mortal Kombat game. But anyways one day he decided to hold a tournament to gather together the best fighters from all over the land to come together and beat the living daylights out of each other.
Look storyline isnt one of Mortal Kombat, or indeed any fighting games strong points. If your really intrested in the Mk Storyline go watch the excellent movie. Speaking of which its on tv in the UK tonight.

Gameplay
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Ah the most sweet pure essence of a game. If it dont have any gameplay then it sure as hell aint worth playing. While Mortal Kombat does not have the most invative conrtol system in the world it does the job ok. Basically you have 4 attacks (reduced to 3 in the genisis version) High Punch, Low Punch, Low Kick and High Kick. In the genisis version High Punch and Low Punch were combined into just one punch. You also have a block attack for reducing the damage of the opponents moves. The moves are mainly charging as opposed to Street Fighters Quarter and Half circles. Each of the charaters have some kind of Projectile attack. From Scorpions Harpoon too Kanos Knife.

Overall
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A nice classic for the Mega Drive that is well worth playing at least once. Heck its worht renting but maybe not buying.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/07/00, Updated 10/07/00


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