Voted #1 by the Trench Coat Mafia.
Mortal Kombat, the origin of bloody video game violence, has finally come to the Dreamcast, and that's not such a good thing. I don't really think this bloody awful game will cause young, rich, white kids to shoot their classmates, but it might make them 'Kurt Cobain' themselves... Hide the shotguns! First of all, lemme preface this review with a pressing issue that has driven me close to the edge: Spelling combat with a "K" is no longer funny or cute!
"So what the hell is Mortal Kombat?" you ask. Well, if you must know, MK started out as a Street Fighter 2 clone with the addition of the murder gimmick, not to mention a button to block. Now I admit, when it first came out I dug the murder. The murder was cool... but that was a good 7 years ago and now, as the great philosopher Jim Rome once said, "Murder is not fresh!" The DC port of MK 4 (renamed MK Gold) is not fresh either. In fact, it is totally lacking in originality and general "fun-ness". Where's my cyanide pills? Ok, ok, now I'll review the damn game.
First off, the graphics are inexcusably horrible. Not since the PC goof "Stick Fighter" have I seen such anorexic, Ally McBeal-looking characters. Stick figures killing each other may be funny on STiCKDeaTH.com, but it's quite a depressing let-down on Sega's 128-bit masterpiece. The arcade version of this game has huge, cholesterol-filled meaty characters...what happened? When did Midway merge with Jenny Craig? Why is the camera always stationed so far out? I might be less bitter about this "giga-disc" full of junk if I didn't have to play it with a magnifying glass. In Soul Calibur, you can see their teeth... looking at the pathetic characters in MK Gold is like pulling teeth.
On top of that, the fixed camera and choppy movement makes MK Gold look like it's using five-year-old sprites. The camera only moves to make the game look vaguely 3D during a couple of the character moves. You'd never know this game was on the brand-new, cutting-edge Dreamcast unless you looked at the controller.
MK Gold, like MK4, has weapons you can pull out with special moves. However, even the weapons are dull and uninteresting, and don't make the combat system any better. I was hoping maybe the weapons would match the character who uses them (e.g. Sub Zero could use an ice pick, Sonya could have some anti-rapist pepper spray, and Jax could have a rocket launcher), but instead everyone has either a sword, axe or club. Tanya has a friggin' boomerang! Even Tanya Harding had a nightstick! Boomerangs belong in Foster's beer commercials, not video games: "Mortal Kombat, Australian for yawn!"
The award for never inventing any new fighting moves, ever, goes to... [drumroll] MK Gold! The gameplay is exactly the same as all the other MK titles. Even if you like it, you've played it before. You probably already own it. Why buy it again?
The music must be great, as you can order a soundtrack for the game (and the word is spelled 'music,' not 'musik'!) for only $12.95! Ugh - I'd rather buy the next N'Sync Christmas collection myself. Actually, where the gameplay lacks in intensity, the music occasionally makes the adrenaline flow. Unfortunately, the voices are the same screaming grunts and groans we've come to expect, nothing like the clean, crisp Japanese spoken in Soul Calibur. Hmmm... I wonder why I keep mentioning Soul Calibur during the MK Gold review...
Then there's the characters. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give the MK Gold fighting staff...a SUB-ZERO. Hahahaha! (Editor throws a tomato at author - Ed.). Although there are some extra characters in Gold that weren't in 4, these are still all the same old folks you've already met. You have Kung Lao (I wish my parents named me after Chinese food too!) who is a take-off on that James Bond dude with the razor hat, then you have Cyrax who is really Robocop with a pony tail, and of course there's Reptile who shouldn't be fighting anyone except Crocodile Dundee. Holy retarded artwork Batman, Reiko looks like Dick Grayson (that's Robin for all you uncool people who don't read comic books).
Ok, Ok, Ok. So everything about MK Gold sucks except for Kitana's thighs... but wait. You haven't checked out the 2 on 2 battle. Unfortunately, Street Fighter vs. X-men does it better. Unlike the famous Capcom "VS" series, you can't tag in and out of the fight with your other character. You must wait until your first choice dies before you switch. Mortal Kombat, like sex, "is best when it's one on one." [lyrics appear courtesy of George Michael, what a swell guy]
To make a long and excruciatingly painful story short, the best thing about MK Gold is that little Eurocom intro at the beginning that looks like an old movie clip. I thought that was neat-o. MK [Fool's] Gold is quite an upset. I'm tired of running combos, I'm tired of "little-baby-falling-down-a-well" continue screens, and I'm especially sick of that "toastie" dude who pops up. I bet I could kill him with a boomerang. I feel sorry for the voice actor who yells "FATALITY." He should be doing voice-over work for movie trailers or I-mac commercials, not loser arcade ports. Mortal Kombat is just that... mortal. It died 7 years ago... the Dreamcast version is just different maggots on the same corpse.