This was very different from the sequels...NO BLOOD IN IT!!
- The storyline is good. The first Mortal Kombat game takes place in Earthrealm where 7 different warriors with their own reasons for entering participated in the tournament with the eventual prize being the continued freedom of Earthrealm. Among the established warriors were Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, and Johnny Cage. With the help of the Thunder God Raiden, the Earthrealm warriors are victorious and Liu Kang becomes the new champion of Mortal Kombat.
- The gameplay is okay. The controls consisted of 5 buttons: a high punch, a high kick, a low punch, a low kick, and a block button. If the 2 fighters were standing next to each other, hitting any of the attack buttons would result in a modified strike: a low punch turned into a throw, a high punch turned into a heavy elbow, head butt, or backhand, and either kick turned into a knee strike. Crouching and hitting high punch resulted in an uppercut, which was the most damaging attack of the game. The blocking in Mortal Kombat by itself greatly changed the flow of fighting in comparison to existing games which used for the Street Fighter II games. Characters do not block while retreating or crouching, but only block when the block button is pushed. Even then, characters take reduced damage from any hit while blocking. However, successfully blocking moves is simple: a crouching block can successfully defend against all moves, even aerial attacks such as jump kicks, and blocking characters give very little ground when struck rather than sliding backwards like the Street Fighter II games. Unlike the sequels, this game contained modified gray sweat in place of blood. They may call it "gray sweat", but it looks like they spit out sand from a beach to me when they get hit. Additionally, the fatalities are changed to "Finishing Bonus" instead, and I can tell that they were altered or changed completely because compared to the sequels; this game was meant for kids. "Test Your Might" is the mini-game that is featured in Mortal Kombat as a bonus level between battles, identical to breaking. In the Test Your Might mini-game, the player's character is stood in front of a large block of wood, stone, steel, ruby, or diamond. In order to receive points, the player must break the material in front of them with their bare fist by filling a strength gauge past its breaking point, which is noted by a red line placed on the bar. If the player fails to fill the strength gauge past that point by the time he strikes, the material will not break (leaving the character looking stupid) and the player fails the round. The first material the player must break is wood, once broken he progresses onto stone, then to steel, ruby then finally, diamond. Each material has a higher breaking point than the last, with diamond being the hardest, requiring the player to fill the strength gauge almost entirely. As the player progresses, the materials award more points. In 1 Player Mode, the mini-game appears after every 3 successive battles. However, since the 1 Player Mode ends after the twelfth battle victory (against Shang Tsung), this mode gives players only 3 chances to test their might before their game is over. This means that the 2 hardest blocks of the 5 (ruby and diamond) are reachable only by playing 2 Player Mode. In this mode, the mini-game also appears after every 5 successive battles, with each player's progress maintained individually.
- The graphics are pretty good. Everything looks okay.
- The sound effects of the game are okay. I still remember the famous lines: "Finish Him!" and "Get Over Here!" The music is all right, it could have been better though.
Overall, I give this game an 8 out of 10. I would have rated it higher if the game had blood in it, and if the game was not so slow. What I mean by "slow" is: the characters move slowly, and it takes too long for the characters to do what you want them to do, meaning that every command that you input has a 1 second delay. They also need to fix the way Liu Kang looks when he is "swept" by an opponent. He looks like a fat man lying down with his legs wide open!