Review by DarkSaiyan20
"Almost no difference from the Genesis version but closer to the arcade than any other port."
In 1992 Mortal Kombat came onto an arcade scene that was riddled with dozens of Street Fighter revisions and their respective clones. MK lacked the depth of the Capcom fighting engine but offered a few things not seen in previous fighting games - an unparalleled level of violence and a deep story and characters. The original Mortal Kombat became an instant hit and rivaled the Street Fighter series in popularity. Although it only offered seven playable characters with not much difference in normal moves it was still a great game and loads of fun to play. After such a successful arcade release, home ports were sure to follow. Every home version paled in comparison to the original but they all stood out in their own unique way. The two primary 16-bit systems at the time - Super NES and Genesis - saw the primary versions. Since Nintendo's "family" image of the early 90s was responsible for the butchering of it's version, the Genesis Mortal Kombat became the version every teenager owned and played with friends. What most don't know is that aside from Game Gear and Master System ports, Acclaim also brought it to the SEGA CD add-on. This special version didn't offer much new to the Genesis version but made it the closest to reaching the arcade in terms of quality. It had it's quirks but I sure don't know many SEGA CD owners who don't have this version.
Story - 10/10
We should all know the story by now. 500 years and 9 generations after Goro defeats the Shaolin Monk, Kung Lao, Earth is on the brink of disaster when seven new warriors enter in the 10th Mortal Kombat against Shang Tsung. However each character has their own hidden agenda for competing in the tournament. I'm not going to go into much detail here storywise but like I said before it did offer more depth to a fighting game story as oppossed to other fighters at the time. I like the story and of course it sets up the many sequels that followed so well. This version of the game offers the same bio and ending screens as the Genesis version but includes the bio FMV of the arcade machine. Nice to see Acclaim attempt to be complete for a change.
Graphics/Sound - 5/10
Exactly like the Genesis counterpart with the execption of better animation. Still the colors look really splotchy and unattractive. They don't look nearly as realistic as the arcade but they do their job. It is nice to see that Sub-Zero and Scorpion move differently here. The Genesis version had them with the same animations but with different colors. Still after seeing some of the sequels on the Genesis and 32X, I feel a better job could've been done to make the game rival the Super NES in some way. Oh well this is what we've got so it'll have to do.
Sound - 8/10
Because this is a CD based game, the sound is spectacular. It's not arcade perfect but is still great. I actually prefer the sounds here to the arcade. The music is dead on and helps to set the dark mood of the game. Shang Tsung also retains all his speech from the arcade. Something that was almost nonexistent in the Genesis version.
Play Control - 10/10 (6-button)
Here's where both SEGA CD and Genesis really shine. If you're using the 6-button you can pull specials and fatalities off with ease. Play control is actually superior to any other port, including the arcade version.
Gameplay - 6/10
There are seven characters. They all are basically the same except for specials moves. The specials range from being pathetically useless to insanely cheap. You fight a 2-out-of-3 rounds match and after the final round you are given the opportunity to kill your opponent. If you're playing alone you take your chosen character through sets of battles fighting the other 6 six characters, a mirror match, 3 2-on-1 endurance matches, and 2 bosses. This is also the first MK game to be on a CD based system so I'm sure you know what comes with it. Loading time but it's not as bad as say Saturn Ultimate MK3 or PS1 MK Trilogy. It's bearable. Although the endurance battles do get annoying as the game stops to load when the AI switches characters. Also the game stops to load your character's fatality animation which really doesnt take that long. However there is no option to turn off the Shang Tsung morphs so expect a long match during the final boss fight. Overall we don't see much difference from the Genesis version except for the loading time.
Fun Factor - 6/10
I always considered the original MK more fun to play alone as oppossed to playing with friends. There just arent enough characters to keep you occupied for very long. Seeing the endings are more fun in my opinion. However this is the most complete port and hearing Shang Tsung say all his arcade lines is always priceless as home ports of fighters do tend to cut alot out. However even playing alone will not take long to finish the game with everyone. Of course there are adjustable difficulty levels to add some challenge. Also there is no need to enter the famous blood code as the violence is already there. If you're offended by it then you can still access the DULLARD menu and turn it off from there if you wish.
To buy or not to buy?
If you own a SEGA CD I say go for it if you don't have it already. It's relatively easy to find on EBay for a decent price. Usually anywhere from 10-15 bucks on almost any of the auctions. However if you don't have the SEGA CDand own a PS2 or Xbox I hope you've got the kollector's edition of MK Deception. It includes the arcade version of MK1. And if you can't get it anymore then the Genesis version is probably your best bet.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/17/04
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