Mortal Kombat II

Game Gear

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 3

Overall: 3


Mortal Kombat 2 (JUE)-01.gif (5464 bytes)Again helmed by Probe Software, this second Game Gear Mortal Kombat follows the same path as the first. The graphics are again the highlight, and gameplay secondary. The choppy movement, limited roster, and unresponsive controls render this one unplayable.

Looking back at the first Mortal Kombat for the console, it stands as an average conversion. With Mortal Kombat II doubling everything from the original, there's no space left on a standard Game Gear cart to reproduce this one faithfully. The deletion of multiple new fighters, most of which made the game such a fantastic sequel in the arcades, is the most depressing cut.

Fan favorites Baraka and Kung Lao are gone, along with Rayden and Johnny Cage. It's obvious the palette swapped characters are the priority due to the limitations. Still, this radical character change is the first hurdle.

Even though the Game Gear sound chip oddly does a fine job handling the music, the game is too much. This is a sluggish, slow, and choppy mess, failing to capture the intensity or game changing combo system. In other words, this is Mortal Kombat with new graphics and audio. Nothing here resembles the sequel this is based on.

Other deletions include backgrounds (only the two pits remain, and one of those is no longer a pit), fatalities (one per character, down from two), friendships (none included), and almost all front-end graphics. Blood remains, and this time no code is required. However, most have changed for the worse, and so have the commands.

Mortal Kombat 2 (JUE)-02.gif (5071 bytes)Even if the controls for the special moves and fatalities were the same, there's no use trying to pull them off. The controls barely register, and the d-pad on the Game Gear can hardly be considered forgiving. Comparing the two games, it's obvious there was nothing done here to improve on the highlights of the first game, and that's only more aggravating.

The only thing this version of Mortal Kombat II is good for is screen shots. Still pictures make this one look fantastic, and it's enough to make the marketing material easy to assemble. As for playing it, you can find a plentiful number of surprising fighters on the console, including Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown, and (yes, really) Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.


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Last updated: Sunday, October 02, 2005 12:26 AM