Howdy people and welcome to Day #16 of my Month of Nostalgic Game Reviews where I’ll be giving you reviews of some of my most nostalgic video games from my childhood. And today I’ll be remembering and reviewing one of the most famous games in history. It was one of the biggest games in the 90s, it really left its mark in gaming history and has a massive legacy behind it… Of course I am talking about Mortal Kombat II!
Now you may be asking how comes I’m not reviewing the first Mortal Kombat? Well while I did play that game, MKII was the first game in the series I played and owned and I never played the first game until I went over to my friend’s house. Plus my memories with the first game aren’t as strong, plus I don’t love it nearly as much as MKII. anyways let’s begin shall we?
So Mortal Kombat II was a fighting game released in arcades in 1993 and then ported to home consoles the following year. Like the first game, MKII is a fighting game where you fight in one-on-one matches where there’s two rounds, in which your objective is fight your opponent by depleting their life bar and when it’s empty you win the round. Win both rounds and you win the match. When you depleted your enemies life bar they’d go into a dizzy state where the game would tell you to “FINISH HIM!” or her, at which point you’d be able to pull off a finishing move known as Fatality where you’d kill your opponent in a gruesome and creative manner. You got to take control of one of several who all had specific special attacks, but all moved the same way in terms of punches and kicks, jumps, speed and height, with a few differences when it came to speed and range.
However in MKII, there are many more improvements and innovations that were implemented like:
- There were five new characters introduced in the form of Baraka, Jax Briggs, Kitana, Kung Lao and Mileena, bringing the total roster of fighters from 7 in the first game to 12 in this one.
- Returning characters were given new special moves.
- There were new standard fights moves introduced in this game like: a crouching punch, different high and low kicks depending on whether one was crouching or standing up, and the roundhouse kick was made more powerful and knocks an opponent across the screen.
- The gameplay was faster and smoother than before.
- This game introduced more than one type of Fatality, excluding the basic Fatality there were 3 more added like: Babalities (turning the opponent into a crying baby), Friendships (a non-malicious interaction, such as dancing or giving a gift to the defeated opponent) and stage-specific Fatalities (the winner uppercutting his or her opponent into an abyss below, spikes in the ceiling, or a pool of acid in the background).
When this game came out in arcades it was a very big deal. Fans of the original wanted more and they got it. MKII was one of the most successful games of the 90s and that success only increased after the game was released on home consoles. On the day of the games release it sold 2.5 million copies which was unprecedented at the time and the game continued its commercial success by going on to sell over $50 million in sales for cartridge consoles. It won a number of awards from many gaming publications and was critically acclaimed with most gaming publications including IGN, Computer + Video Games, Sega Visions, The Baltimore Sun and Complex to name a few. The game was also absurdly controversial because of the violent nature of the game and its Fatalities, the first game helped pave a way for the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) game rating system in 1994. And with MKII the controversy only continued, there were many complaints and court cases, with the game becoming more popular because of it. The games been noted as one of the most important games in history and has also found itself in many lists of the best games of all time.
When it comes to my nostalgic memories with MKII it was magical. Now my parents were very nice in terms of what I got exposed to when I was young. I owned the Sega Mega Drive version of the game and I saw all the blood and carnage and I loved it. And unlike a lot of stupid kids I was never corrupted by it, I just thought it was cool. MKII was one of the most unique and interesting fighting games I played as a kid, I was never really all that good at the game, but that never stopped me from trying. I was a massive fan of Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Raiden, Scorpion and Sub-Zero. Liu Kang’s fireballs and bicycle kick was legendary and awesome, Raiden and his electricity attacks was badass, and Scorpion with his grapple move shouting “GET OVER HERE!”, was one of the coolest things to me as a kid. But Sub-Zero was my favourite, he was just a badass fighter who could use ice to freeze people, trip them up and freeze them and smash them to pieces! Even though bare people bash the Genesis/Mega Drive port of the game that’s how I mainly remember the game and I loved it. Graphically it was cool and I loved the music too. And of course that “Toasty!” line that came up with that little man in the corner was hilarious, I remembered that ever since I was young.
In the end Mortal Kombat II was badass and was it was one of the video games that changed the formula for fighting games. It was the main influence was Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks and of course was the main influence for the more recent reboot, Mortal Kombat (MK9) for the Xbox 360 and PS3. This game was beautifully gory, fun to play and is classic 90s material. If you still have yet to express this madness go and do it right now! All I can say now is… MORTAL KOMBAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀
Well there’s another review for you, hopefully you’re enjoying this so far. Remember to drop me a comment and don’t forget to come back tomorrow to experience some more gaming nostalgia! 🙂