Review by leeko_link
"A Decent but Censored Version of an Arcade Classic"
The 16-Bit era was an era full of surprises and gems, it seems that whenever something came out at the arcade and becomes popular, it's likely we'll see a home port version of it for our very own home console. Mortal Kombat for the Super NES is no different, it's a port of the arcade version of the arcade game, honestly when the game first came out I don't even realize it's an arcade game since the Super NES version of Mortal Kombat was actually the first game in the series that introduce me to the popular fighting series, guess how I feel when I later play the arcade version? Anyways here's how I feel about the Super NES port of this game.
For the time the graphics look okay, to me it was the very first time I actually seen real digitize sprites on a videogame, don't get me wrong I had play games like Pit Fighter before but the only ones I play was that of the arcade game, not the home ports so seeing realistic digitize sprites on-screen for the first time makes me feel at awe. The visual standard of the background and animations look nice, there's not a lot stages but the ones that are shown looks colorful and vibrant. I can't really compare to the arcade game since the Super NES had limitation that the arcade doesn't but these graphics look almost as close to its arcade counterpart, the only thing missing are the blood and gore which I never realize at the time since I didn't know of the arcade game until way later. Also the arcade intro is altered, there are no demonstration in attract mode and the endings are just text and no picture highlights.
Now here's something to note about the Super NES version of this game, since Mortal Kombat was suppose to be a bloody gory game like the arcade version and it was port to a Nintendo console which is to be approved by Nintendo. At the time Nintendo had a policy that prevents any graphic contents, fowl languages, any sign pertaining to religious references, etc., to be either altered, removed, or replaced and this affect MK as well. All the blood were replaced by sweat, the darker environments and the dead body parts from the bottom of the pit stage were removed indefinitely, most the gory fatalities were altered to be brutal fatalities (ex: Sub-Zero's got a deep freeze finisher instead of the more gory spine rip and Johnny Cage got a brutal kick to the chest finisher instead of the gory head decapitation of the arcade version), any paragraphs that had the words assassin or kill in them are change to destruction and destroy and because of that the content of the game looks mediocre and cartoony compare to the more darker, grittier arcade version.
The voice-works for this port is excellent, you get your roar from Goro, your encouragement from the announcer, a few Bruce Lee -style grunt voices from Liu Kang among many other cool voice shout from the arcade. The only thing missing is Scorpion's popular quote, "Get over here!," that was shorten to "Come Here!" which I thought was okay but after playing the arcade version was kinda disappointed. The music is still good though, it isn't as epic as the arcade tunes but it's close and still had that arcade feel to it.
The control is kinda wonky here, most of the time you had to delay your input a bit slower just to perform a special moves like an ice freeze or a lightning bolt but other times there's issue which prevent you from performing a special like Scorpion's teleport punch which you had to perform in an open distance from your opponent otherwise it won't work. It's not a huge issue since the same problem also happen in the arcade version but it's still not a game breaker, just slow pacing. The gameplay on the otherhand is simple and satisfying if you know what you're doing. You got your basic uppercut, roundhouse, and sweep maneuver, and a block button to guard you from attack as well as a basic throw. Each of the seven playable fighters are given 2-3 special attacks and 1 finishing move call "Fatality" to which you can use on your opponent after you beat them. The AI is balanced enough, there are time when the game glitch and the AI will constantly throw you from anywhere on screen but the glitch is preventable and the bosses were fair. All in all, the gameplay is decent, it's a bit slow pacing at times but it's not broken.
Well considering this is an arcade style fighting game, playing this game with friends are the only way to go since it's basically a short game and not a very in-dept one at that. There are better fighting games out there than this but if you want to have fun replaying this for old time's sake then a sleep over party with some friend maybe a good thing. There's no cheat features in the game so you won't be able to mess around with all the debug stuffs here like the Sega Genesis version but you could still fight the hidden character Reptile if you so desire since it's easier to find him here than the arcade version. Other than that the replay value here is kinda low, once you beat it a few times, play a few Test Your Might mini-games, and a few matches with friends, you'll probably have enough already.
Is it Worth to Get?
Well considering there's better versions of this game out there right now and since you can't get the flawless arcade version other than to buy emulated versions of it elsewhere, I had to say nope, it isn't worth it. For a short one night rental maybe or unless you're a collector who have to own everything MK, but if you want to buy a good version of the original MK in any form, I suggest get it as a compilation of sort or through a premium deal like the PlayStation 2 MK Armageddon one otherwise this game will seem like a disappointment to you.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 01/04/12, Updated 08/03/12
Game Release: Mortal Kombat (US, 09/13/93)
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