Friday, August 17, 2012

Mortal Kombat II (Game Gear) Review

Mortal Kombat is without a doubt the most infamous video game of the 1990s; for crusaders against video games and fear-mongers, it perfectly typified all the anxieties associated with video game violence. Politicians and parents could blame Mortal Kombat instead of looking at the real sources of violence in our society--ignorance, a harsh prison system, racial inequalities, xenophobia, etc.

Well, the joke's on those fuckers because today the "violence" in Mortal Kombat is laughable at best--cartoonish explosions of 4 heads, 16 arms, 5 torsos, and 9 legs; skeleton's rising from acid; heads being eaten by dragons... you know, all the standard shit that in 2012 feels closer to a Nintendo or Disney production than a serious threat to society.

The solid gameplay, however, remains undisturbed and has easily evaded Time's deadly caress.

Like the Ultima series, Mortal Kombat is a franchise that I'd like to delve deeply into over the following months, and to kick off this exploration I'd like to look at the first Mortal Kombat game I owned: MK2 for the Sega Game Gear.

Quite possibly , MKII for the Sega Game Gear is the best 8-Bit fighting game you'll ever play. Considering the Game Gear is as powerful as an NES, the animations and graphics are an incredible achievement. Although 4 characters were purged for this release (Raiden, Johnny Cage, Kung Lao, and Baraka), the rest of the cast looks very close to their arcade counterparts. The moveset has been simplified as well, due to the reduced buttons (so just 1 punch button and 1 kick button), but if anything this just makes the game slightly easier without hurting anything. For example, Scorpion's spear is still activated by Back, Back, Punch, and so players can easily transfer the moves they've learned onto this version. Even Fatalities are the same, however mercy's, babialities, friendships, and animalities are all absent.

The game only has 2 regular stages to play on, which is disappointing but acceptable. The bosses, thankfully, have unique arenas. You can still uppercut players into the spikes for a stage Fatality. Music is recognizable and catchy, but fewer tunes exist than on the arcade, which is to be expected.

There are 3 difficulty settings, each ups the intensity and also adjusts how many credits the player has. Every character has an ending, and I'm pretty sure the storyline follows the arcade, but I can't remember if it is exactly the same.

As a kid I couldn't put this cartridge down. I'd stay close by a power outlet so I play (Game Gears took 6x AA batteries per 3 hours...) These days I'd probably rather play Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, but that doesn't mean I won't occasionally power down the M.A.M.E. and indulge in a nostalgia trip through Game Gear City.

You should too. Via Meka if necessary.

1 comment:

sir jorge said...

this surprisingly looks halfway decent, i miss the old game gear