Review by Mav-1701

"All the power of the outworld in the palm of your hand..."

I can't say I rushed out to buy MKA, but I did get around to it after pooling together some Christmas money. I stood in the store with ''Super Street Fighter Turbo Revival'' in one hand and ''Mortal Kombat Advance'' in the other. Eenie Meenie Miney Moe. I had already heard great reviews for the Street Fighter port, but I felt like taking a chance with Mortal Kombat instead. The fatalities always drew me to MK.

Graphics: So far I've seen people really complain about the backgrounds of this game. It's true that there aren't the details that we all saw with the SuperNES, but I think it was a wise decision. I think the graphics could have supported it, but moving objects in the background of such a small screen would have just confused the issue. It was a wise decision on the parts of the developers to keep the backgrounds static and out of the way for the fighting.

All of the characters are present, but their stripped to one fatality and one friendship as far as I can tell. The instruction booklet printed these, so there could be more unprinted. The character graphics are really awesome in my opinion. The characters are large and easy to see and distinguish from each other. The movement of the characters is fluid, although sometimes the game seems to award hits even when the connection is never seen--especially against Shao Kahn.

The fatalities are lacking sometimes in detail, but they're easy to perform and fun to watch. I'm glad they kept the friendships, too, because it's a welcome alternative to the old fatality from time to time.

Play Control: I really wondered before I got the game how they would tackle the lack of buttons. The easiest thing to do would have been to rid the world of the low kick and low punch. Instead, they came up with a pretty crazy scheme to get all the important moves in. I love the sweep as much as the next guy, but they made it nearly impossible to pull off, but of course the computer controlled opponents have no problem with it. That leads to some problems from time to time. A lot of the special moves are a little different, and rolling around the crosspad is pretty impossible now. It's all about the tapping at this point to get off Sub-Zero's ice blast. The game seems a bit too dependent on combos. I've found that winning against the computer is usually all about combos. That's a real shame, because the computer gives you very little chance to effectively showcase the special moves of each character.

Sound: This is by far the best I've ever seen in any handheld game. The same ol' guy is around to say ''Sub-Zero Wins'' and ''Fatality'' whenever it's appropriate. The grunts, yells, and even Scorpion's ever famous ''Get Over Here!'' are completely present and easily heard and distinguished. The music is just like I remember it, too. They did a good job porting the sound over more than anything else.

Replayability: Well this really depends on what you want to replay for. I personally like to try to beat the game with all the characters and learn all of their moves and fatalities. If that's your cup of tea, then you should be busy for a while. Sometimes the computer controlled opponents seem a bit frustrating, though, because they'll lock you in corners or get locked there themselves. Shao Kahn is easy pickins if you get him combo-ed in a corner with Kitana's fans.

Overall, though, I'd say Mortal Kombat Advance is a great game for the Game Boy Advance. It ported over the classic very well, and it seems as though the designers really worked on figuring out how to make it most playable on the Gameboy Advance itself instead of just throwing it on there and leaving it to us. A lot of thought clearly went into how it would play on the handheld. I've heard that you can unlock human smoke, Motaro, and Shao Kahn as playable characters, but I also hope for a few more secrets to crop up. MK was always about the little secrets. Who could forget the one-button fatalities of the super nintendo? Those were great! If you like fighting games, and you prefer Mortal Kombat to Street Fighter, then you can't go wrong with this game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/28/01, Updated 12/28/01

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