Attempts at appeasing the Censors rob this port of MK of a perfect score

User Rating: 7.5 | Mortal Kombat: Shinken Kourin Densetsu SNES
Ah the original Mortal Kombat, the game that marked the beginning of a revolution in fighting games, with it's excellent controls, dark atmosphere, compelling storyline and of course the blood and gore that would become the Mortal Kombat series' most recognizable trademark.

Of course, like any major Arcade hit back in the day, ports to the major home and hand held consoles of the time were imminent. However the resulting ports of the first game produced mixed results, due to technical limitations or attempts to avoid the wrath of angry parents.

While all the ports kept Mortal Kombat's storyline intact, pitting the player's chosen character against the tyrannical sorcerer Shang Tsung and other fighters in a martial arts tournament to decide the fate of the Earth, the SNES port suffers from a number of problems.

On the surface, the SNES port of Mortal Kombat has all the hallmarks of being the definitive port of Mortal Kombat, when compared to the Genesis, Game Boy and Game Gear versons, the SNES port feels a little more complete, with smooth graphics and more complete character animation, and backgrounds that look for more vibrant and colorful then their Genesis, Game Boy and Game Gear counterparts.

However the biggest improvement the SNES port has over the others is that it kept the game's vocal tracks relativity intact, including announcing the character's name once you've selected it and announcing the winner of the match, all though at times the vocal tracks sound delayed.

However despite these improvements, the SNES port's greatest weakspot is in it's controls. When compared to the Genesis port, the controls feel stiff or suffer feel delayed, which can prove to be fatal during the later matches and on higher difficulties. The prime example of this is while trying to do Scorpion's spear throw move, it feels as though there's at least a second to a second and a half delay between pressing the button combination and the move working.

The other major flaw this game has, comes from Nintendo itself. In an effort to win over the parents of gamers, and get the censors off their backs, Nintendo removed all of Mortal Kombat's trade mark blood and gore, including replacing the word FATALITY with FINISHING MOVE, and changed a number of Fatalities. While this would be only a small problem, the loss of the blood and gore also strips the game of much of it's dark atmosphere, making it feel more like a Street Fighter Clone then a Mortal Kombat Game. The loss of blood also affects the drama of many of the finishing moves as well, causing them to lose much of their dramatic effect, such as when Kano rips his enemy's heart out, instead it looks more like he just tapped the enemy on the chest and holds a blob of sweat.

The changed finishing movies also destroy much of the game's atmosphere, and bog down to at times just being ridiculous, such as Johnny Cage kicking through the opponent's chest, but looking more like he's tickling the enemy with his foot. As a result, the changed finishing moves also destroy much of the dramatic effect the Fatalities were designed to have.

All in all, the SNES port of Mortal Kombat is still a game worth checking out, especially if your a fan of the Mortal Kombat series, or are just starting out. However the loss of the game's trademark blood and gore, will no doubt disappoint many.

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