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Mortal Kombat II (Game Boy) artwork

Mortal Kombat II (Game Boy) review


"Much like its console counterparts, the Gameboy version of Mortal Kombat II improves on pretty much everything the first did. However, Acclaim wouldn't be Acclaim until they go completely blind and look past two very distinct problems. The engine isn't too thrilling, either. "



Much like its console counterparts, the Gameboy version of Mortal Kombat II improves on pretty much everything the first did. However, Acclaim wouldn't be Acclaim until they go completely blind and look past two very distinct problems. The engine isn't too thrilling, either.

The first Mortal Kombat for the Gameboy was problematic because it was like trying to play Dance Dance Revolution in a tub of thick molasses. The characters moved slow, and the time it took your character to react to a press of a button was ridiculous. This creates, what professionals would call, the *YAWN* factor, which is lethal to any fighting game, or any game in general for that matter. If you had the patience, the game was slightly playable. But hey, at least the two tracks of music were surprisingly awesome medleys.

Compared to MK1, MK2 comes and kicks down your door and brutalizes your family with a shovel, all while head banging to a death metal tune-- a force you can feel all in your pocket! The game is just that more playable. The programmers did a fantastic job of scaling the simple engine of Mortal Kombat down for use on a Gameboy.

Now that you don't feel like your character has the DNA of a Three Toed Sloth, you can focus your attention on the strategies used during the heat of the battle. And by strategies, I simply mean uppercuts and sweeps, with some fancy projectile specials to throw in. Keep It Simple Stupid, as an old man once said. He was later shot and killed for suggesting that a simple kick-punch fighting engine, such as the one found in Mortal Kombat II, can be more logical than a more advanced, engrossing one.

One issue of the gameplay, however, roots back to the ever controversial 'block button' of the Mortal Kombat games. "Rubbish!" cries the Street Fighter dorks, a curious crowd that focuses their defenses on the joystick rather than a button. Well fellas, this is no deviation from the norm, as MK2 binds the block to a button as well. But due to the obvious limitation of the Gameboy buttonry, you are forced to use the Start Button as a means of protecting yourself. Now imagine the face of a Gameboy in your head-- how exactly can you use reach the Start Button, and use it functionally, without taking neither thumb off the essential D-pad and B, A buttons? Well, you can't.

Blocking is for wimps anyways. Just kick, punch, shoot iceballs, and suck it up like man.

Beware the Kahn

Forgetting all the block button nonsense, MK2's semi-solid fighting comes to an abrupt halt. Truth be told, once I triumphed over the initial eight matches, I could just hear the small processor in the Gameboy sizzling as it computes this massive equation before I challenge my last foe:

D * 1,000,0000 = x | x = D(Shao Kahn) | Let D[Difficulty] = 12.3

Alas! You don't have to be a mathematician in order to figure out that this boss is insanely hard. And it's not just for Gameboy, either. Shao Kahn has been a piece of **** throughout all of the MK2s, a reach that spans many systems. The battle usually bores down to this: time Sub-Zero's freeze the instant before Shao Kahn throws his spear at your throat. If you're successful, his brutish self will be frozen in mid-throw, leaving him open for a swift uppercut. If you miss your timing, however, be prepared to have a spear spiraling towards your head as he grins behind his coffin of ice.

The presentation is a little more sharp over the original, though at the expense of the characters shrinking in size. Otherwise, you have your normal Gameboy game-- black, white, and if you're lucky enough to own the original Gameboy, you'll get the barf-green tinge to go along with it. Dashing! Remember how I said MK1 had some pretty awesome medleys? Well, this one took the same direction in remixing the songs from the Arcade version, but mixed the MK2 songs just crappy enough to be unforgiving, even coming out of a Gameboy speaker.

Despite its triumphs, MK2 for the Gameboy is a lost cause and I honestly cannot see why anyone would own it in this day and age. No, not because of trivial matters such as blocking and music. But because its such an archaic form of entertainment, and I'd see trouble even treasuring it in a collection. -Shin (5/22/2005)

Rating: 6/10

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Community review by shinnokxz (May 22, 2005)

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