Mortal Kombat

I could be in big trouble for this one:  the original Mortal Kombat does not  hold up.  I go upstairs the other day, drink in hand, turn on my system, boot up Mortal Kombat, put in the blood code and prepare my eyes for violence I hadn’t beheld since a young lad.  What I got was strange graphics, choppy gameplay and stiff characters.  This is not what I remembered.

To be fair, I’ve always been a Street Fighter guy.   And from my memory, Mortal Kombat II was always superior to this one.  The way characters on Street Fighter move has all it’s own style and fluidity; the characters on MK, to their credit in part, move like a rough human, a drunk dinosaur, but perhaps it’s not so stylized, just like with the innovative character models.  They look off; but to know they were using real kung fu practicioners to act these moves gives the game a neat feel.

I don’t need to cover the blood code and the brutal Fatalities that broke barriers (and John McCain’s prostate) with it’s brutal attacks and vile finishes.  Kids everywhere rejoiced in triumph.  It was a bloody, brilliant, bloody, brilliant idea.   Half the fun of fighting in MK is to get to the fatality; the rest of the fight almost didn’t matter.  It was beyond frustrating if you didn’t put in the right button movements to pull it off though.

Raiden has always been my favorite of the early games; it was his close resemblance to the Lightning character from Big Trouble in Little China:


“It’s all in the reflexes.”

“Son of a bitch must pay.”

Sorry, went on a Jack Burton quote-spree.  It happens.

Anyways, Raiden was my jam and I loved his tricky move set.  The boss fights were really cool too; taking on Goro was always a challenge and Shang Tsung had the appropriate high-level villainy to place him atop a list such as the one M. Bison sat strongly at.

Innovation aside, which this game deserves a score of 15 for, everything else felt, almost disappointing from a young child’s memory, but it still deserves high status as the jumping off point of this tremendous franchise, which like the other giants of the industry (Mario, link, Pokémon, etc.) it still lives on today and is always improving and making better games all the time.


Playability/Controls- 6     Graphics- 7.5      Sound/ Music- 8.5     Replay Value- 7.5    Originality- 10

(ps. it should be noted the Super NES actually has better graphics than this game)



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