Review by Shirow

"It burns like Hell! It burns to Hell!"

With the advent of 3D, some programmers thought if fit to take a dying franchise and try to pump some money out of it. Okay, I never met the programmers (thankfully for them), so I cannot tell you how they came to the conclusion that a dying series would bring them money. In any case, they worked for 3 days and the result was Mortal Kombat 4 (MK4 for the purpose of this review).

I suppose the publisher and salesmen too are as bright as Britney Spears for actually distributing and selling this fighter. My conclusion is that the CD emanates a foul odor which slowly but surely destroys all your grey cells. Of course, this alone should already have told you everything about this game but since CjayC doesn't accept 150-words review, I'll delve into more details.

Starting the game…

Here I am, at home, inserting the disc in my brand-new computer. After enduring the installation process, I start the game. With anticipation, I screw all the options and additional modes and head directly to the arcade mode. Here, I don't really know what to do. Should I choose the yellow ninja or the blue one ? Why so many ninjas after all ? Finally, I opt for the yellow one because he looks less like ****.

Once the battle starts, this being a fighting game and since it's at the easiest level, I press some buttons rapidly. Nothing…I mash them…Still nothing…I go look for a hammer (the game being at easy, I am safe) and start hitting my poor joypad with it. STILL NOTHING ?!?! @$#%!!

What the hell is this ? The controls are as responsive as a dead man ! Still, since I spent some money on this game, I decide to give it some time and finally the controls become responsive. A bit…

MK4 rule #1 : Never believe us !

Being the sadomasochist that I was jailed for, I take it upon myself to set the game to the highest difficulty and head to the arcade mode once again. My pick is still Scorpion because it's well-known he's the easiest character to handle. Understand by this that he is the cheapest.

My opponent is a female character. I have forgotten her name and I really do not care anymore. She didn't even look like a female. As soon as the usual words flash across the screen, she comes lunging at me and rips through me as if she hasn't eaten for weeks. Okay, what's with this ? My foe, who is bigger than me, moves more quickly than me. Or is it that the gravity on the left side of the screen is greater than on the right side ?

One of the innovations of MK4 is that you can use weapons. However, you can also lose if after being it and thus need to crouch and claim it back after it falls. I move Scorpion over to where it's lying and attempt to grab it back to make my life somewhat easier. ''TAKE IT, YOU FOOL ! WHY WON'T YOU TAKE IT ?''

MK4 rule #2 : Only fools trust their lives to a weapon !

Before I effortlessly speak of the total absence of of graphics in MK4, let me show you why you should never listen to advertisement. Remember how they kept bragging that the new release would be in 3D ? Well, I don't know…Maybe side-stepping is considered as 3D on the planet the developers of this game come from…Even then, the side-steps last for approximately 1.00001 seconds, so why you would bother to use them is utterly beyond me.

Other than that, while the producers were aware of 3D-ism, they did not realize that the era of 8-bits game was over. Actually, this game is not even 8-bits, it looks more like 3.67-bits one. Your characters look essentially like mud pulp while the backgrounds are just some worldwide feces trapped together. I think the designers stalked dogs and waited for them to do it so they could bring it home and paste it behind the characters.

Some animations and frames are even missing. You actually see someone's leg raise from low to high without ever being in a mid position. Okay, a reason to this could be that some evil guy came over and stole those frames but hey, who would ever believe something so far-fetched. More importantly, who would ever be stupid enough to bother about such a game ?

MK4 #rule 3 : Don't look !

Sound effects are complete screwed-up. Rumors have it that the same dogs whose feces were used to design MK4 did the voices and all the pathetic effects. I completely agree although I think there were some mice too but I'm still not sure whether the mice were laboratory ones or not. The little crying and shouting there is in this horrible fighter will make you want to cut your ears and put it in porridge before you offer the latter to your devilish neighbour. I've also heard that the Congress have banned MK4's sound effects from the this planet and Solid Snake now has the task of tracking whatever themes and voices managed to leak through.

Should you have the guts to cope with the stinking visuals and the horrendous sound, the total absence of gameplay will make you want to watch Titanic over and over again until your eyes are sore. The different modes barely manage to make the game at least interesting for a while. Not to mention the fact that the highest difficulty is suicidal due to the lousy controls.

MK4 #rule 4 : Play this game when you are stoned !

There are still some reasons you might want to play MK4 though :

- You want to see how games were in 1274.
- You want to destroy your friend's computer (playing this game on it will do that).
- You never realized there were other fighting games besides the Mortal Kombat series.
- All of the above.

You know, games are supposed to be a hobby so you can forget about everyday's routine. MK4 is an exception. It will turn you into a madman and have you running back to the store where you bought it and slicing up that evil-looking guy who convinced you to buy it. If you were intent on getting it yourself, I feel sorry for you…

~ Scorpion told me Mortal Kombat 4 was worth a 2 ~


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 04/13/02, Updated 11/09/02


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