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Mortal Kombat by BMan2
Game:Mortal KombatCompany:Midway
Type:FightingPlayers:1-2

If Street Fighter 2 was the game that set the trend for all fighting games, the first incarnation of Mortal Kombat was the game that blatantly went against it. Mortal Kombat brought semi realistic characters and some incredibly detailed VIOLENCE to the fighter market. Parent groups were outraged, zealots rehung banners - for here was a game where it was possible for your pre-teen's child to pull a human head out of it's socket - in full gory detail! Cool hey??
Mortal Kombat was a dominating machine in the arcade - a large well painted arcade box - it drew GREAT interest away from the already burgeoning SF series - and while it might in retrospect be the greatest example of the genre - it introduced some key concepts.
Well, actually one really big one - death. That's right folks - after beating your opponent senseless in two rounds - you have the option of performing a preset pattern of moves - which perform the "fatality" on your opponent. These grim deaths range from incinerating the character - to the afformentioned head's disassociation from the body! It was a new concept, and a controversial one at that - but one that has translated into the plethora of death moves and super finish moves that litter the new fighter releases.
Graphics in Mortal Kombat are semi digitised from real actors - giving a better sense of realism. The sprites are smoothly animated - although missing a few frames here and there. However, the most noticeable part of Mortal Kombat's graphics are not the slick sprites - or the various backgrounds that change the scene for your character. In fact - it is possibly only a few pixels. Blood. Bright red - and brimming with texture - when you're hit in this game - it LOOKS like pain - with the bright red claret oozing from the appropriate body. Sound is appropriately moody - although the background track does tend to grate after a certani time. Again, though, the fx are superbly done - with the voice echoing evilly thoughout the room - whether it be an evil laugh from your opponent - or their scream of anguish as they are destroyed by your character. An aural experience for sure.
If anything lets Mortal Kombat down - it's the control system. Maybe it's because I am a great lover of the SF series of fighters - but I have always struggled with the concept of a seperate key for "block" To my way of thinking - it is extremely redundant - and makes fighting all the more difficult. Also, the special moves layout don't seem all that logical and flowing - making well known moves awkard to execute as a matter of reflex. A minor complaint maybe - but one that I feel stands out.
Mortal Kombat is a game that deserves respect from all serious fighting game enthusiasts. Spawning a serious of games now in it's fourth incarnation - it challenged a fairly established genre - and in doing so carved itself into gaming history. Give it a whirl!
Graphics
9
9
Sound
Play Control
6
8
Challenge
Replay Value
6
8
Performance
1999 EmuViews