Gee – sure does play like Mortal Kombat 1
Mortal Kombat 4, the game that finally brought the series into 3D, has just
been released for the Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation. Even though it is in
3D, it contains tons of similarities to its 2D counterpart. Although it may
not be original, and certainly not revolutionary, it is some good fun – and
is definitely better than Mortal Kombat 3 (an utter piece of garbage).
Graphically speaking, Mortal Kombat 4 is a treat – particles, flying blood,
decapitations, and special moves look better than they ever could have in the
dimension of the past. Most of the characters you remember from Mortal Kombat
1 and 2 (in my opinion, 2 was and still is the best) are back, along with with
many of their original fatalities and special moves (anyone remember Sub Zero’s
head rip move?).
The characters are detailed and animate smoothly, amazingly looking much like
they did in the arcade. The Nintendo version has smoother backgrounds than the
PSX version, and the polygonal characters are a bit faster. On the other hand,
because of the cartridge format, the N64 game lacks all of the video clips.
The graphics aren’t arcade perfect, but they definitely come close.
Control is rock solid. When you tell your character to do a jump kick followed
by a punch to the male anatomy, your character executes it perfectly. You just
have to be able to press the bizarre button combinations to be able to do them.
The aforementioned head rip-off fatality is achieved by pressing forward, back,
forward, down, and then run, block, and punch all at the same time. These tricky
hand coordination tests can be aggravating, but they give the game some depth
– mastering all the button combinations could take you months.
hugely important considering the blatantly poor control found in Mortal Kombat
3. Characters have their own combos, no longer are there tons of combos that
every character can do (although there is still one… sigh).
The story, in case you cared, is as dumb and convoluted as the all the other
Mortal Kombat stories. There is a tournament, you’re in it, yada yada yada.
Been there done that. But then that’s never been the point of Mortal Kombat
(and people wonder how a movie about it – with the same lack of plot – could
The most obvious addition (other than the 3D graphics) is the inclusion of
weapons. Each character has their own special weapons that they can pull out
by using a special move. Lose your weapon and your opponent can pick it up and
use it against you! While the weapons are fun, they don’t really change the
Just like all previous Mortal Kombats, this one is loaded with cheats.
There are tons of different costumes, secret characters (Goro, Noob Saibot),
and other wacky anomalies for you to experiment with. These may seem alluring
at first as something that adds depth to the game, but in all honesty these
codes really don’t do anything that adds to the value of the game.
In essence, this is the Mortal Kombat you have played before. If you didn’t
like it before, you won’t like it now. The gameplay mechanics are identical
to all of the previous Mortal Kombat games. Sure, it isn’t new, but it still
manages to be fun.