Review by Bobo The Clown
"No Blood? Most Indeedly BOGUS!"
Mortal Kombat is not a really bad game. On the contrary, of the early generation fighting games on the Super Nintendo, it's one of the better ones, second only to Street Fighter 2. However, it immediately loses points for comprimising its integrity, by providing a watered down version to make sure it didn't offend TOO many people.
In Mortal Kombat, you play the role of a fighter, out to win, well, Mortal Kombat, a big-time fighting tournament held on an island. Each character has different reasons for fighting; fame, wealth, saving the entire world, or enslaving it. All of these reasons, and the idea that a tournament can grant their requests, are ludicrous, but hey, it's not that bad for a fighting game.
The Mortal Kombat series has traditionally been marked by a few things. Well, one thing - blood. Buckets and lakes of gore. Waist-deep. It is one of the main appeals of the series; the blood is more realistic than the rosy-colored fighting in the Street Fighter series, where no matter how much you pound at opponent, he never even bleeds. In the Mortal Kombat series, people bleed profusely from simple jab punches.
Or at least they did, before this installment. Because Nintendo was worried about Congress, and the uproar about violence in video games, they told the creators of Mortal Kombat to tone down the blood completely. In addition, some of the gorier Fatalities were completely removed from the game, and replaced with more ''friendly'' deaths. This was a death knell to the Super Nintendo version of the game; it would never sell well head-to-head against the Genesis version, and to this day Nintendo as seen as a ''kiddie'' company.
The actual gameplay mechanics of Mortal Kombat are not too shabby at all. Each character has a stable of moves which include divisions for height (high or low) and type (kick or punch). Each fighter can also perform a sweep kick and an uppercut, or block attacks by the usage of the block button. Like any fighting game, special moves are available by inputting the right keypad movements and button presses.
Unlike other fighting games of the time, Mortal Kombat had a revolutionary idea known as the Fatality. After you had defeated your opponent, you could deal out extra punishment on them. While they stood dazed, you could perform stomach turn acts such as ripping out their heart, or freezing them and then shattering their frozen body. The tasty treat at the end of the fight made Mortal Kombat that much deeper than the other fighting games.
Mortal Kombat also featured quite a few easter eggs. You could fight the hidden character, Reptile, at the bottom of the pit. After beating the game, you could even play through it again as one of the last bosses. There was also a whole slew of other cheats and side matches to make each gameplay experience different.
Graphically, overlooking the fleecing of the blood and gore from the game, Mortal Kombat isn't too bad. The fighters look a tad more realistic than the somewhat cartoonish fighters in Street Fighter 2, especially the female. Since most of the blood is gone, a lot of the fatality appeal is taken out also.
Musically, Mortal Kombat really isn't that great. The themes are all annoying and forgettable. However, the effects are outstanding. A spooky, digitalized voice calls out moves and offers commentary, and also commands you to fight. Thumbs up on the effects.
Overall, Mortal Kombat was one of the best early Super Nintendo fighting games. However, the hideous sellout of what the game REALLY was backfired miserabley and hurt Nintendo dearly. Hence, it's hard to respect this version and to give it a good score when you know there's something radically better just over the horizon, on the Genesis or the arcade console.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 02/20/02, Updated 02/20/02
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