Mortal Kombat Trilogy Review

Mortal Kombat Trilogy is the last gasp of this 2D game.

Mortal Kombat Trilogy is the last gasp of this 2D game, and the only remaining question is: Will Mortal Kombat leave the realm of 2D with an awesome bang, or will it whimper and die? So, like the kombatants themselves, let's get right down to it: Players who enter the tournament on the Nintendo 64 should prepare themselves for feeble misadventure not worthy of the Mortal Kombat name.

If Mortal Kombat Trilogy on the Nintendo 64 has a plus side, it comes from its multiple play modes. In addition to the normal one-on-one fighting, Mortal Kombat Trilogy keeps the two-on-two and eight-player tournament mode (found in Ultimate MK3) and adds a three-on-three battle, which keeps the fight going for quite a long time. The game plays identically to the arcade, although the N64 controller isn't perfectly suited for a game of this nature.

The downslide continues in the form of character selection: The Nintendo 64 combines the characters from all the Mortal Kombat games into one package, but to conserve memory it left out such favorites as Goro, Kintaro, and the unmasked Sub-Zero. (By contrast, these characters are found on the Playstation version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy.)

But the N64 game receives its fatal wound from the graphics and sound. Not only will players encounter a massive amount of slowdown whenever more than a few bones go flying, but also several missing frames of animation are conspicuously absent. The result is graphics that look faded and jagged, as if they were cut out of a magazine, scanned, and then pasted into the game. When played side-by-side, the PlayStation version makes the N64 version look like it's on a SNES. Then there's the sound: The digitized sound effects are utterly atrocious. In fact, it's so muffled that players may as well put their speakers on the other side of a cement wall before starting the game. The music is typical of a non-CD game - that is to say, worthless. It's tinny and very electronic sounding.

Mortal Kombat Trilogy proves that the Nintendo 64 is merely mortal. While it surpasses the Playstation version in regard to load time, it still suffers a three or four second delay when loading a new character in multiplayer fighting. Ultimately, only Mortal Kombat addicts, who don't already own a PlayStation, will find this game worth picking up.

The Good

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The Bad

About the Author

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.