Review by KasketDarkfyre
Mortal Kombat is a fighting game that doesn’t really have a word or phrase to describe it. Breaking all sorts of rules when it was released in the Arcades some years ago, its reception on the home consoles were met with moral scrutiny and protest as parental groups started an uproar! Featuring several different characters that are based somewhat on old ninja movies that you might have caught on late night television; Mortal Kombat features some of the more insane things that you would expect out of those movies. From ice throwing ninjas to crime bosses that spin and fly across the screen, Mortal Kombat is an attempt to cash in on a new type of market and impress gamers everywhere. When brought to the Genesis, it featured the one thing that other console version of the game didn’t, and that was the violence and the gore that you came to love and respect in the Arcades. Even though it featured this little addition, the translation to the Genesis system wasn’t exactly a smooth one and I’ll tell you why.
Same thing as before. 7 fighters, all fighting for one goal or another. It's the first stepping stone to the MK series, so you have to bear with it. This particular version of the title does come with a hidden option, which is, and has been known as an ''Easter egg''. To find it, you'll have to play through, or perhaps browse GameFaq’s for them! You do alot of fighting, it's still pretty much punch, kick, special move, and fatality after you've defeated your opponent, but this game does port something over from the arcade: The cheesy AI Cheap moves, and ultra hard opponents can make you sweat and throw the controller. Some of the other features that the game has to offer are the two-player mode in which you and a friend can go toe to toe in a battle to the death! The idea of Test your Might and Endurance Rounds being kept and used, straight from the original machine with nothing being left on the cutting board.
The challenge of the game isn’t centered completely on fighting toe to toe, but with the amount of special moves, in which you can freeze your opponent, do damage with projectiles and generally turn the tide of battle in your favor. Through several stages of fighting action, you’ll see that Mortal Kombat has plenty to offer in the way of fighting moves and overall strategies that you’ll need to incorporate with several of the opponents that you face. Where one would fall for a certain pattern, another won’t and the game play simply increases to allow you time to figure just how you’re going to make it through your match and onto the next round!
The control interface of Mortal Kombat is where it does stand out. The control on this is near perfect in many ways. There are no real problems with pulling off moves, and fatalities. Combos...well, what there are of them, come off clean and precise, Kudos to the Genesis controller. It makes playing the game easier, and more fulfilling, when you try to rip off a head, and it actually comes off when it's input into the pad! Most of the game is set with just two punches and kicks, both of which have slightly varying height. Special moves can only be inputted off of the directional pad and then by a button press such as low punch and high punch or one of the two kicks. This is something like Street Fighter in the respect that you have to perform input moves and then tap a button to get it to fire off, so vets of that series should have no problem picking up the controls after just a couple of minutes!
All right, given the time, and the specs of the Genesis, there really isn't much to complain about. This is a near perfect translation of the arcade game featuring the fatalities, the blood and the gore! However, this brings us to another point, blocky and pixilated characters, shading problems, along with flat colors. Also, this being an arcade translation, it did pull along with it, slowdown, image break up, and missing frames of animation! The Super Nintendo Entertainment System really didn’t outshine the Genesis version in terms of the blood and gore that was available, but did in every other aspect of the visual appearance.
It's got the music, but much like the SNES version, it has missing sections, the effects are a little garbled at times, and can come crashing out of your TV like a garbage can tumbling down stairs. Again, when you hear the sounds of the game, you have to remember what system you're playing this on, and at the time, this was the best that the Sega Genesis soundboard could do. Something that was rather interesting though, was the fact that most of the music was ported over and without much distinction from the arcade version. With certain stages, you’ll have the pace keeping music that sets the mood of the game, but you’ll also get some slight stuttering when you’re on the same stage for too long as the track loops over into the same one again!
It's a port over from the arcade, to a system that can't quite handle the graphics. It did have an upper hand over the SNES version, in which it featured the blood, and fatalities of the full game. There were no cutbacks on this game; however, you have to look at this game, not knowing that PSX, Dreamcast, and N64 exist! This game is a piece of video gaming history, and worth, if you can find it, picking up. I give it my recommendation just on that fact alone. But if you're looking for a weekend rental, don't bother with this...it's not worth it when you can find better versions of the same game on other systems that are currently out on the market to date!
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 02/23/00, Updated 11/23/01
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