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Mortal Kombat 2 - Acclaim

by Jenn Dolari 'n' Sir Giggles von Laffsalott (

    If I were an Acclaim employee right now, I'd be ashamed to admit I worked, advertised, and helped put out Mortal Kombat II for the Saturn. The entire game, while graphically beautiful, really is lacking in every other area, making even the Super Nintendo version look like a much better translation...which is saying a lot considering the Saturn is a 32-bit powerhouse.

It's main shining spot is the quality of the graphics. the Saturn really shines here, with larger sprites, 12 million color backgrounds giving you an arcade in a box. Missing animations were put back in, such as the CPU-played Shang Tsung laughing when he wins and a color Dan "Toasty!" Forden. The graphics are smooth and sleek with no shearing of the images. Unfortunately, with larger sprites, your TV is still the boundary of your playing field, and certain moves can make the game hard to play. Kitana's fan lift will pull your opponent too far away, or proper timing can get Shang Tsung to hit Kintaro with fireballs while Kintaro tries to stomp you, which couldn't be done in the arcade 100% of the time.

The main bad point. Really bad. Horribly bad. All the sounds that are in the game are crystal clear. There are just hardly any sounds at all. Same with music. Instead of playing music off the CD, it has PCM music played from the machine itself. While some of the tracks sound arcade quality, others, such as the "Mortal Kombat II Battle Plan" sound like the composer fell on his drum machine. There is no "Finish Him!" music, and no Fatality "fanfare" at all, leaving you with only quite air as you listen to...nothing. There are no screams when you kill your opponent, and very little sound at all throughout the game. Raiden STILL has no yell when he torpedoes you, Liu Kang doesn't scream correctly when cartwheeling you and many of the sounds simply aren't there.

The game play needed a little tweaking with the larger characters and smaller "TV box" but is mostly here, and long time players will get used to it after some time. But what is most distressing is a noticible pause before the first time you do any special move. The game is LOADING your move into memory. It's not long enough to completely hamper gameplay, but long enough to make horribly noticible.

Frankly, MK2 Saturn was a half-assed attempt to make a quick buck on the MK name by Acclaim, who has also put out noticably incomplete versions of other games (such as Wrestlemania and Revolution X). And this just tarnishes their already soiled name even more. If you're looking for a good MK2 time, shove your 16-bit (or 32x) version in your machine and play it, you'll have more fun with that than this.

Graphics: 9

  • + Large sprites make for large smiles, even with wierd mechanics.
Sound: 3.5
  • +/- At least what's there sounds impressive.
  • - CD Music would have helped TREMENDOUSLY here (any music in some cases!).
Gameplay: 6
  • +/- It plays well, if you can stand the loadtime while playing.
Replay Value: 2
  • It's MK, but you'll be annoyed by all the missing elements.
Overall: 5

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