Review Information
Reviewer Name: kungfukid
Reviewer Email: Private
Game Difficulty: Easy
Difficulty Options: True
Game Information
Full Title: Mortal Kombat II
Year Released: 1994
Game Type: Fighting
Max Players: 2
Introduction


A year on from the original, and Mortal Kombat II was to be released for the SMS. Once again on the release day I qued up to purchase the next instalment of the gore-fest for my favourite console. MK2 was once again, as with its predecessor, probably the most anticipated game of the year. Surely it would be a god of games - they had done such a fantastic job of the original - they had seen how successful it had been - they knew now what the Master System could do - And now, they were going to take it to the next level, or were they?....
Gameplay
Obviously, the game follows the same format as the original. You are entering a fighting tournament and must fight through several rounds to become champion. MK2 has even added some new fatality finishing moves such as an uppercut to throw your opponent up onto spikes suspended from the ceiling. Unfortunately, it's all the same as the original except simply put - just not done as well. The game doesn't seem to flow as well as the original and nothing has been added of any significance to make the game an improvement. Don't get me wrong, two player mode is still a great laugh, but you do seem to find yourself more frustrated than satisfied at times when playing on your own.
Graphics
The graphics were another disappointment in MK2. Although the main character sprites are still big and bold, the movement is terrible - it just feels a lot more jerky than the original and when jumping towards your opponent the mid-air summersault just leaves your character looking like a mess of arms and legs. The look of the graphics when playing is more like a series of stills as opposed to a fluid animated game. The backgrounds aren't great either - the spikes used for fatalities on the ceiling are simply different length lines (you can see in the provided screenshots what I mean), and don't resemble spikes in any way, shape or form. The rest of the backgrounds just seem a bit bland. Basically, the attention to detail from the original game seems to have completely vanished. Sadly this is a trend that would seem to affect a lot of Master System games from around 1994 onwards.
Sound & Music
The biggest disappointment for me about this sequel is the music and sound effects. In the original game, for once the Master Systems sound chip was put to good use - with chilling and suitable music and sound effects adding to the atmosphere. In MK2 however, it has gone the opposite direction. The sound effects are just too 'beepy', and the music is not in context with the game and after about 5 minutes will start to grate - I'm just warning you, your ears may or may not bleed...
Controls
The controls are fine - a lot of the same moves from the original game and the same buttons do the same things. Unfortunately, once again it seems like the programming has deteriorated though, as the controls do appear to be a little less responsive, and some of the same moves from the original game are actually a little more difficult to administer. A lot of the time I find when trying to jump towards your opponent, you simply jump vertically allowing your nemesis of the moment to simply move forward and hit you! One of those 'bite the control pad' moments that will happen again several times during a lengthy gaming session!
Replay Value
Scores
Gameplay
Graphics
Music & Sound
Controls
Replay Value
A lot less than the original. In one player, once I'd completed the game (I think on the first or second day!), I felt almost no incentive to pick up the controller again. On two player it is of course still a great laugh as I always enjoy mutilating and decapitating my friends - which reminds me, I must see a psychologist about that....
Conclusion
It is very difficult to sum up Mortal Kombat II. If this game had come out a year earlier, before the original, I probably would have thought it was all singing, all dancing and a masterpiece for the Master System. It still looks an impressive game alongside other games of the same genre at a glance, and if you play it before you've played the first instalment in the series. Unfortunately, that is the key - having played the original, and waited a year I really thought the game was going to be something special and it just wasn't. Give it a go if you're a lover of beat 'em ups and fighting games because there is still enjoyment to be had, just remember that Mortal Kombat II does all the same things that Mortal Kombat does, but just doesn't do them as well. Oh, and remember to turn the sound down....
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