Mortal Kombat
Box Shot
Mortal Kombat
Platform: Genesis
Publisher: Acclaim
Designer: Midway/Probe
Genre: Fighting
Players: 2 (Simultaneous)
Published Date 1993
Reviewed by: Chuck Roberts

Also read the SNES version review

Well, the grusome game of the early 90's hits home in this fairly good arcade port. If it had one strong point to it, it was that the blood and fatalities were left intact. (A B A C A B B is the secret password in the Codes of Honor screen.) The game is all about a mysterious tournament where 7 fighters are entering for their own reason. The dumb thing for them is that most of them are meant to die in this bloody war of wits. You select from one of the 7 fighters to face the other 6, a mirror match, 3 endurance matches, the huge 4-armed baddie, Goro and then must take on headmaster Shang Tsung for the Mortal Kombat throne! Each one have 2-3 moves (most fairly easy to execute, more simplistic than Street Fighter) and a unique fatality of their own. This is what made the game popular - killing off the other player via some unique method (decapitation, incineration, impalement,etc.) They each have a different ending and background info. of their own. First of all, there is Liu Kang, the good guy who came to eliminate the evil vibes going around. Rayden is the Thunder God and taking mortal form to compete. Johnny Cage is a big ego actor looking to make it big. Sonya is a kick butt lady, tracking down the fugitive who killed her partner. Kano is the criminal she's after, also in the tournament for wealth and power. Then there is Sub-Zero, an assassin after Tsung and Scorpion, a spector looking to kill Sub-Zero to avenge his death.

The game's plot is simple, fight your way to Tsung and win. You fight in one of 6 backgrounds, some outdoors like the courtyard and infamous pit (can give you nightmares), to indoor ones like the throne room and Goro's lair (gives me the shivers). There is even a secret character, Reptile, who lives at the bottom of the pit. He has all of Scorpion's and Sub-Zero's moves, plus you score mucho points for killing him. If you survive one-on-one combat, you may progress to the three endurance matches were you must beat 2 with 1 life bar! Why when you kill them, they must return from the dead to face them again later?! Another stupid bit is that you can't perform a fatality on the two bosses.

Alright, down to basics. The graphics are lousy compared to the Super NES and arcade. The backgrounds can scroll nice, but many bits and pieces of the backgrounds have mysteriously vanished and the pit is clean as a alot indeed!

The sounds are the most horrid of all the game's factors. Almost all the voices have been removed, except for "Fight!", "Get over here!", "Finish Him!" and "Excellent". These remaining voices are horrible, with no emotion to them. It sounded like the NES tried to say them, but only the NES could probably do a whole lot better. One grunt for 6 fighters and one for Sonya are the only real noises, except for the cheap hitting noises. The music I personally like and it has a more combat felling to them, even if they are barely the arcade's. The control is truly something that is a blessing for this game. It is so easy with a 6-button controller, while the regular one isn't that bad either. It is incredibly simple to perform moves and fatalities in this one. Plus, the Test Your Might events are easy to win, unlike the horrible Super NES control.

Overall, the game has about 1/3 of the gore the arcade has, but it's as close as you're going to get. The fatalities are still here, even though they are done poorly, with an incredibly cheap look to the heads and bodies. Weird blobs or discolorization appear all over the fighters and it gives it a less than real feeling to it. Goro is just as big as the fighters, when he should be bigger and he also is cursed with horrible, jerky moves. Shang Tsung looks like a grainy pile of crap and barely has any animation to him. Instead of bodies lying dead in endurance rounds, they blow up in flames, a totally stupid thing to do to conserve sprites. Are they rigged with explosives that make no noise or something? Overall, it's a rental or it's worth it when you spend the 6 dollars I did to buy a cheap, used copy. You will like it somewhat, though the arcade is the only real deal here.