If there was ever a game that should have been a movie...
MKII is a very fun game, until you have performed every single fatality on the computer 100 times, and seen the Pit II fatality 100 times on every character. The overall gameplay can be taken as fun, but you have to like the pace of the game, as there is no choice in how you play it. Because of the limitations of the game system, you are forced to play the game in a "turtle fest" which means, both character must stay on opposite sides of the screen, making the other one move in, getting countered in return. It is almost a turn based game in which the person who performs the highest damage juggles wins.
This not withstanding, even though Mortal Kombat II was a complete success over a decade ago, today it remains a stale, slow, underdeveloped, overstated, overrated, limited, repetitive, monotony with pseudo competitive gameplay that has not evolved in many years, and it will remain that way forever. The genre's aesthetic potential in the 2D realm had been completely uncovered and the next logical step in the process was to improve the gameplay and depart from the gore, partially due to being developed in a time where video games were coming under fire for being too blatantly violent. This step took on mixed reactions from the fans, and ultimately (no pun intended) winded up being a series of gameplay tweaks adding up to UMK3.
Playing against the AI, like any other MK game, requires a little bit of patience and pattern recognition ability. You should be able to defeat all the normal characters rather easily after a few days of playing, once you discover the universal methods. Playing against another person would be something you should try doing if possible, however it is not likely to happen much anymore. The game's competitive top tier list is very limited, to Mileena and Jax being the best usable characters in the game, based upon years of tournament outcomes, and some chance of winning with Kitana, Liu Kang, and Kung Lao.
I would never tell anyone not to try MKII because it is something everyone should experience, in fact, if you haven't gotten into the series, you can jump in MKII over MK1 and probably learn it just as fast as if you had been playing MK1 for years, and then move on to MK3, and UMK3 after that. If you enjoy performing fatalities, a lot, I would suggest sticking to MKII. I *was* an MKII fan boy, and then I grew up and fell in love with UMK3.
To learn more about this game, visit www.ultimatemk.com/forum and receive tips from professional Mortal Kombat players.