Mortal Kombat 4 was a rough start into the realm of 3D gaming for Mortal Kombat. Midway Chicago were experts at 2D fighters and somehow MK4 seemed a little rough around the edges. It looked decent, and better than most 3D fighters back in the day, but Gold was an opportunity to release the arcade port of MK4 which looked the best and ran the best over the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 versions.
Gold is pretty much an unchanged version of MK4 with just added content. We get added characters such as Mileena, Baraka, Kung Lao, Cyrax, and Kitana, and hidden characters such as Noob Saibot, Sektor, and Meat. That a large roster change and just these added characters make the game worthwhile, but there are no added modes or anything like that. Despite this being an arcade perfect port it still looks dated compared to current Dreamcast games like D-2, Soul Calibur, and Sonic Adventure. On top of all this, Mortal Kombat has never been known to be a very deep fighter and it's extremely clear in this title.
Another added feature were weapons that could be brought out instead of just picked up off the ground, but they don't add any depth to the game and are actually quite useless. Once you get hit the weapon flies out of your hand and your left defenseless. There are also no real combos in the game, there's an over-reliance on cheap fighting with character special moves that are hard to break from and there's a lack of grappling. Even the Fatalities, which are iconic staples of the series, are lacking in this game with only two stage fatality levels and most of the new characters have repeated Fatalities from MK3 or both of their Fatalities are similar such as Mileena who throws sais and then nails. I have to say the Fatalities in Gold are some of the weakest in the series, but there are some great ones at least.
Because of the lack of depth in the game after you see all the Fatalities and endings, there's really no reason to back to the game, especially when there are better fighters on the Dreamcast. It's great to have an MK game on this system, but why not port MK Trilogy over? Even UMK3 would have been nice at this point.
Overall, this is the definitive version of MK4 so take that how you will. If you never liked MK4 you will like Gold even less, but with the arcade version of the game intact it's a nice fighter on a system that has few of them. If you can ignore the weapon system and enjoy the added roster of characters and the Fatalities then this is a decent fighter at best.