Review by dtm666
"Only worthwhile if you don't have the Playstation version"
Mortal Kombat Trilogy... for Nintendo 64.
I had already reviewed the Playstation version of the game, which I thought was a fairly fun multiplayer game, but an absolutely horrible single-player experience thanks to the unbalanced and cheap computer AI . So really, there's no point in reviewing the N64 version, right? After all, it's the same game, right?
See, the N64 version is a vastly different game (well, okay - not really) from its PS1 counterpart. Not so much that it plays or looks different, but rather that it's just seems a bit different. Some stuff has been removed, some stuff has been added or changed, and the end result is a strange and unique version of what is essentially the first Mortal Kombat family reunion. Interestingly enough, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon would pull off the same thing years later, but other than an additional disc on the Playstation-2, both versions seem roughly identical. Go figure.
I recently picked this up at a garage sale along with a bunch of other N64 titles and gave this game a go - up until that point, I have never actually touched the N64 version. Now that I have...
STORY: Outworld king Shao Kahn finds a loophole that allows him to conquer Earth Realm without winning tournaments and it's up to the forces of good to kill him and stuff. It's the same recycled story from MK3 - which is appropriate. Each character has their own storylines and stuff. You know the drill with most of these games anyway. 6/10
GRAPHICS: Visually, the game looks about as good as it does on the Playstation. I've heard that the animation is lacking a few frames here and there, but from my time playing the game, I hadn't noticed. Seems to run smoothly enough and it isn't visually offensive, so no complaints in that regard. I personally haven't noticed much difference in terms of graphics in comparison to the PS1 version. Live-action digital graphics look about as good as they can get here so no complaints. As with the PS1 version, they brought back some of the older stages from the first two games such as the original Pit and its thankfully simple means to uppercut a guy onto the spikes below. There might be a couple changes here and there, but again, I haven't noticed. 7/10
SOUND: One of the advantages the Playstation has over the N64 was the ability to play CD-quality music - and while the tunes seemed somewhat slower than I'm used to, they're still fairly true to the arcade tracks. On the N64, such perfection is impossible, but they've done the best they could with the MIDI implementations. Also, there doesn't seem to be as many tracks on this version as the other one. As before, the sound effects in this game are acceptable. Everything sounds like what they should, so no complaints here. 6/10
GAMEPLAY: The main attraction of Trilogy seems to be the multitude of kombatants at your disposal. Quite simply, you have a lot of varied choices and each one have their own set of attacks that should prove useful if you can master them. Of course, as you may have already noticed, the roster on this N64 version seems less plentiful than on the various CD versions. Specifically, this version is missing two older bosses, all the classic versions of certain characters, and also the bosses native to MK3 are only accessible via a code - but as an interesting compromise, both bosses have their own unique fatalities. They also merged the two Sub-Zeroes into one masked hybrid, which is interesting to say the least. They tossed in a 3-on-3 endurance mode for kicks, which isn't on the PS1 version - and there's another ninja here... but I never saw her, so no comment there.
So, as with the PS1 version, MKT is based off MK3, which means all the fun stuff like dial-a-combos, run buttons, and all that other "fun" stuff is present in this version. Okay, so it's not really all that fun and MK3, in all honesty, isn't necessarily a favorite on my list of fighters or MK titles, but for the most part, it's serviceable and it's fine as long as you're not playing against the AI. They did add an Aggressor meter which makes your fighter stronger when filled (something I forgot to mention on the other review) but you can easily turn this function off without a second thought. Control in this game is actually fairly good and comfortable - a remarkable thing considering I don't particularly like the N64 controller and find it to be an awkward beast to handle. Moves pull off (mostly) without a hitch. 7/10
CHALLENGE: Much like the PS1 version, there's virtually no semblance balance here... certain fighters tend to abuse the run system a lot and perform endless combos that are seemingly impossible to perform by a human being. The bosses, in true MK fashion, are nigh impossible to beat unless your fighter has an inhibiting move of some sort that can give you an edge. There's challenge a-plenty here. It's just a matter of whether you'll want to stick around. 10/10
REPLAY VALUE: Fighting games are those rare beasts where a bunch of people could get together and have a couple quick matches. Whether it'd be between two skilled players or just a couple guys having fun, there's that innate attribute that the genre possesses. What does this have to do with MKT? Well, if you've got friends and they like MK, there's your replay value. Other than that, not much else to add. 8/10
OVERALL: While it comes in a much-bulkier package via cartridge and features less stuff, N64 MK Trilogy is virtually the same game you've played on the Playstation... and as such, bares much of the flaws and frustrations that version offered. It's basically Mortal Kombat 3 that has been souped-up somewhat, but isn't anywhere as good. While it can be a good game to play among friends and is a fairly decent fighting game for the most part, it is an abysmal single-player experience. If you have an N64 and need your Mortal Kombat fix, it's worth a try if you can find it cheap enough, but otherwise, there are far better fighting games worth your time... such as Mortal Kombat 4.
But on the bright side, there are virtually no load times. 5/10
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 08/28/09
Game Release: Mortal Kombat Trilogy (US, 10/31/96)
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