Mortal Kombat has definitely aged, but its plain to see why it was hot back in the day.

User Rating: 7.6 | Mortal Kombat: Shinken Kourin Densetsu GEN
Mortal Kombat was originally an arcade game that sent shockwaves through the public with its popularity and its controversy. It was attacked by righteous conservatives and ambitious democrats looking to stir the nation so said nation may remember them during re-election time for taking the high road, and looking out for their kid’s moral fiber. Then the game went to consoles, and Nintendo was equally as attacked for censoring the blood out of the game. This was the beginning of Nintendo’s undeserved reputation for being “kiddy” (a stupid word and a stupid complaint). History has taught us to take these controversial games with a grain of salt. Sure, they can be good (Doom, Grand Theft Auto III) or bad (Night Trap).

The gameplay in this game is solid. It’s no Street Fighter, but it is solid. You can do the typical high punches and kicks, and low punches and kicks, et cetera, and a huge cast to pick from, but there is really no difference from one character to the other. They all fight the exact same. Only their extravagant and hard to pull-off combos are different. Of course, it’s just those combos that serve as the biggest attraction of the game. The gameplay may be lukewarm with novice players, but it can really heat up when you have two people who know what they’re doing, Bicycle kicking, crotch-punching, and other things. Since it’s so irrelevant I’ll get to it now. There is a story to Mortal Kombat. Liu Kang is one of the greatest fighters in the world, and he is invited to represent Earth in a battle to determine who rules the Universe, or different dimensions, or something. A few fighters represent a few different worlds, and there are no cutscenes or anything, really. You just fight all of the other fighters in the game, which is convenient for them. I wish there could just be 100 fighters, and you could fight to get seeded, and then fight in the tournament. But that’d be too many fighters. If you could make 100 decent, unique combatants and put them in a regular season and then a tournament, you probably will have created the best fighting game of all time.

Anyway, the graphics in the game were notable because the fighters looked like real people. Really, they are. They’re just composites of real people. The background scenery is as droll and morbid as you would expect, and complement the violent tone of this game even if, once again, it’s no Street Fighter.

The sound is also memorable. Comic vocal effects mix with good sound effects.

The replay value in the game is good enough because of the multiplayer alone. It’s also worth tooling around with to get good so you can learn the combos, and maybe showing off just how good you are.

Mortal Kombat is a classic, but I can’t quite help but think that its reputation was bolstered by its controversy. It was maybe a good blueprint, but it did nothing exceptionally well, and, like I’ve said a million times. It’s no Street Fighter.