Review by KasketDarkfyre

"There are just some things that time cannot touch...this isn't one of them..."

Mortal Kombat is a fighting game that doesn’t really have a word or phrase to describe it. Breaking all sorts of rules when it was released in the Arcades some years ago, its reception on the home consoles were met with moral scrutiny and protest as parental groups started an uproar! Featuring several different characters that are based somewhat on old ninja movies that you might have caught on late night television; Mortal Kombat features some of the more insane things that you would expect out of those movies.

From ice throwing ninjas to crime bosses that spin and fly across the screen, Mortal Kombat is an attempt to cash in on a new type of market and impress gamers everywhere. When brought to the PC, it featured the everything that other console versions of the game didn’t, and that was the violence and the gore that you came to love and respect in the Arcades and the small details such as the movie style introductions! Even though it featured this little addition, the translation to the Genesis system wasn’t exactly a smooth one and I’ll tell you why.

As with most computer games, the results that I got with my game play was different than it may be with yours. For the most part, the game is nothing more than a carbon copy of the arcade machine and it is worth playing if you’ve got some bucks to spend. However, if your computer isn’t set up to handle the speed and the different visuals that you find here, you may find that some of the fatalities cause the program to shut down or cause illegal operations. Beware, as always because the files on this game take up a small portion of your drive, and if you try to delete it, it could screw everything up!

Same thing as before. 7 fighters, all fighting for one goal or another. It's the first stepping stone to the MK series, so you have to bear with it. To find it, you'll have to play through, or perhaps browse GameFaq’s for them! You do alot of fighting, it's still pretty much punch, kick, special move, and fatality after you've defeated your opponent, but this game does port something over from the arcade: The cheesy AI Cheap moves, and ultra hard opponents can make you sweat and throw the controller. Some of the other features that the game has to offer are the two-player mode in which you and a friend can go toe to toe in a battle to the death! The idea of Test your Might and Endurance Rounds being kept and used, straight from the original machine with nothing being left on the cutting board.

The challenge of the game isn’t centered completely on fighting toe to toe, but with the amount of special moves, in which you can freeze your opponent, do damage with projectiles and generally turn the tide of battle in your favor. Through several stages of fighting action, you’ll see that Mortal Kombat has plenty to offer in the way of fighting moves and overall strategies that you’ll need to incorporate with several of the opponents that you face. Where one would fall for a certain pattern, another won’t and the game play simply increases to allow you time to figure just how you’re going to make it through your match and onto the next round!

The control interface of Mortal Kombat is where it does stand out. The control on this is near perfect in many ways. There are no real problems with pulling off moves, and fatalities. Using the six-button controller with the computer as opposed to the keyboard is much more satisfying and you can tell the difference. It makes playing the game easier, and more fulfilling, when you try to rip off a head, and it actually comes off when it's input into the pad!

Most of the game is set with just two punches and kicks, both of which have slightly varying height. Special moves can only be inputted off of the directional pad and then by a button press such as low punch and high punch or one of the two kicks. This is something like Street Fighter in the respect that you have to perform input moves and then tap a button to get it to fire off, so vets of that series should have no problem picking up the controls after just a couple of minutes!

This is a near perfect translation of the arcade game featuring the fatalities, the blood and the gore! However, this brings us to another point, blocky and pixilated characters, shading problems, along with flat colors. Also, this being an arcade translation, it did pull along with it, slowdown, image break up, and missing frames of animation! Because the computer that you may run this on has speed and power, you get the addition of the movie style intro screens with the character back-stories. This is an added feature that is rather impressive in its own right and makes an impact over other home conversions.

It's got the music, but much like the arcade version, it has missing sections, the effects are a little garbled at times, and can come crashing out of your speakers like a garbage can tumbling down stairs. Again, when you hear the sounds of the game, you have to remember what system you're playing this on, and at the time, this was the best that the arcade soundboard could do and it is transferred to the computer with usual results. Something that was rather interesting though, was the fact that most of the music was ported over and without much distinction from the arcade version. With certain stages, you’ll have the pace keeping music that sets the mood of the game, but you’ll also get some slight stuttering when you’re on the same stage for too long as the track loops over into the same one again!

Enjoyable to an extent, this game is hard to find anywhere and you might be better off to go with the Trilogy. Although all of the arcade features are here, it’s hard to work with sometimes and if you’ve played the other games of the series, then there isn’t a point to having this one. However, if you’re truly into Mortal Kombat, then you should find this one and if you do, pick it up and add it to the collection.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 01/27/02, Updated 01/27/02

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