Review by Bobo The Clown

"One Of The Most Influential Games Ever"

If you've never heard of Mortal Kombat 2, you've obviously been living under a rock for the past decade. However, I'll explain it anyways, just because I'm a nice guy :)

Mortal Kombat 2 is a fighting game with one unique feature: oodles and oodles of blood. It's the first game to ever use TONS of blood. This caused almost every fighting game from then on have blood, as opposed to before, when almost none had blood.

The story is actually kinda interesting if you read it. A tourney is held each year where the most powerful warriors fight. This serves as a place for the evil sorceror Shang Tsung to recruit souls to power open the gateway for his master's (Shao Kahn) minions. However, warriors have gathered to stop him, and, for some, to get personal revenge and/or wealth.

Okay, so maybe the story IS a little lame. But that doesn't change the gameplay. You have 12 different characters to chose from each with his or her own special moves. However, the pride of the Mortal Kombat series comes from the finishing moves.

First, there are Fatalities. These are extremely bloodly attacks. They range from chopping off heads to electrucuting them to eating heads. The really cool ones are hard to pull off though, but can be done with practice. Each character has two that they can execute.

There are also babalities. These turn your opponents into little babies. It's not really deadly, but kinda cute. Friendships are also like this. Instead of maiming your opponent, you offer them a gift, like a doll or paper figures. Each character has one that they can use.

Here's a quick run down of the characters. Rayden is the thunder god who is out to thwart Shang Tsung and Shao Kahn. Jax is a member of the US Army and is out to save his comrade Sonya Blade who vanished during the first tournament while searching for the convict Kano. Scorpion is a ninja brought back from the dead. He's out for revenge against Sub Zero, the ninja from a rival clan who killed him in real life. Sub Zero is a ninja who has entered the tournament for unknown purposes. Ditto for Reptile. Kung Lao is Liu Kang's great ancestor.

Kitana is the princess of a world that was taken over by Shao Kahn and she's out to stop that from happening to Earth. Mileena is her twin. Baraka is a member of Shao Kahn's royal guard. Johnny Cage is fighting in the tournament for glory. Shang Tsung is fighting for the souls of warriors so that he can open the gate to Outworld for his emporer. Liu Kang is victor of the first Mortal Kombat tourney and is out to stop Shang Tsung again.

In addition to these characters, there is also Shao Kahn, Kintario, Jade, Noob Saibot, and Smoke. Shao Kahn is the ruler of the Outworld who wants to take over Earth. He's using Shang Tsung as his pawn. Kintario is a relative of Goro, and is the main body guard of Shao Kahn. Jade, Noob Saibot, and Smoke are all secret characters and you'll have to look hard to find them :)

The game has four different attack buttons: high and low punch, and low and high kick. The distance you have from your opponent effects the move done. You can also block attacks with one button. The special moves are executed by using taps, motions, or charges on the controlling. Using your special moves effectively is a big part of the game, and you'll need them to survive.

The graphics in the game are very nice. The characters are clearly distinguishable from each other and the splattering of blood looks rather nice. The backgrounds are also varied, with about ten total.

The sound is decent. The effects are above average. There are effects for punching the enemy, fireballs, fatalities, and all the rest of the fighting action.

The game is very hard though. In my opinion, almost anyone should be able to beat a game when it's on Very Easy. That's not the case with Mortal Kombat 2. Everyone but the experts will be hard pressed to win the game on normal difficulty.

Also, it can't be stressed enough, you just can't play this game with a 3 button controller. Well, technically you can, if you like double tapping buttons. However, a 6 button pad is essential for any serious Genesis gamer for this game and many others.

Mortal Kombat 2 was also one of the games that stirred up a controversy with senators (more specifically, Joseph Lieberman). The game was billed by parents and senators as total crap and damaging to young minds. They proposed a rating's system for games and this was one of the first to get a MA rating, for mature audiences only.

Overall, Mortal Kombat 2 is a very good and solid game. While it doesn't have quite the depth of Street Fighter 2, there's no questioning that it had much more of an impact then Street Fighter 2 at the time. This game would have been around an 8 if it wasn't for the tremendous impact this game had on the gaming community.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 11/01/99

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