Review by Blackjack4x

"Mostly hype with little substance"

Mortal Kombat is NOT Street Fighter. SF is a better overall game, and don't let anyone tell you different. Mortal Kombat was released on four platforms simultaneously: SNES, Game Boy, Genesis and Game Gear. The SNES version, like the others, was a below average game, but the hype surrouding the game made it seem like it was the game to own, and even to this day some people still talk about the first Mortal Kombat in a positive sense. Truthfully, this game was not very good. It is, obviously, a one-on-one fighting game, with seven selectable characters: Liu Kang, Raiden, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Kano, Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage. In the one player mode, you choose a fighter and battle through the other combatants, then the huge four armed beast, Goro, and finally Shang Tsung. In the two player mode you square off against a friend. A lot of the appeal in this game was in the introduction of Fatalities to the fighting genre, which were devastating and gruesome finishing moves you executed on your opponent to REALLY finish them off when all their energy was gone. They included such things as Johnny Cage's "heads up" uppercut which took his opponent's head off and Scorpion's infamous move which rips off his opponent's head, twitching spinal cord and all. A massive movement stirred against the game for these previously unseen acts of brutality, despite the fact that Nintendo had taken out all the blood from the arcade version and replaced it with sweat.

Graphics: 9/10

A high rating because they were very good at the time. The backgrounds were nice, especially The Pit, where you could uppercut your opponent onto the spikes far below, a neat thing at the time.

Sound: 7/10

Decent music coupled with short snippets of voice. Well done.

Gameplay: 6/10

Sometimes very frustrasting and confusing, most notably because of the delayed reaction times associated with all the moves. Combos did not take off with this game; they were perfected in Mortal Kombat II. Your repetoire is decent, though some of the moves are very cheap. The selection of characters could have been bigger. Fighting Reptile in The Pit is a nice touch. However, the bottom line is that the fatalities can't hide the glaring gameplay flaws.

Replay: 4/10

Even with a friend this game isn't much fun. You'll be bored after not too long.

Overall: 6/10

If you're buying a MK game for SNES, make it MK II. It's a much better game overall, and Midway apparently learned from their mistakes (and just as quickly forgot for MK 3, but that's another story). I recommend not even renting this one, because you can rent MK II and see everything in this game and more, all improved.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 11/01/99


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