Mortal Kombat Mythologies
Reviewed by Catherine Bonadio
The concept of an RPG utilizing the immensely popular Mortal Kombat characters
is as close to a sure winner as imaginable in video games, an easy touchdown. Mortal
Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero, however, comes awfully close to fumbling, due to
outdated graphics and a frustrating control system.
In this first of a possible franchise of Mortal Kombat Mythologies games, you take
control of Sub Zero and explore his mysterious past. Mortal Kombat junkies will no
doubt salivate at the prospect of learning more about Sub's feud with Scorpion and his
involvement with a new mysterious character from Mortal Kombat 4.
The game plays like a side-scrolling Mortal Kombat installment, with some
RPG-elements, like potions and keys, thrown in. The fighting is right out of Mortal
Kombat, but you have to earn your special moves with experience points, All well
and good, but the controls in general are a sluggish chore, cutting into the fiercely
paced action Mortal Kombat is known for, especially now that you have to press a
button to turn around. You can get used to the controls, and the game is still enjoyable,
but a simple delineation between fighting and exploring mode and faster controls
could have done wonders for this title.
The digitized graphics are very sparse: The rendered backgrounds are mostly very
plain and drab and the character animation is lacking. In mid-combat, the fighters
look like they're illuminated by a strobe light.
This N64 version's FMV cutscenes are well-produced and nicely executed, above
par for video game movies. Ironically, the most innovative and unique levels are
also Mortal Kombat Mythologies's most frustrating. For example, a "wind" level
where you jump from platform to platform, often with the assistance of
intermittent wind blasts, is very different from anything seen in the fighting
franchise, but the sluggish controls make precision jumping very difficult and frustrating.
The story advances at a good clip, and Mortal Kombat fans will find a lot of merit
in this title if they can get past the control problems. Mortal Kombat Mythologies
is one of those games that will grow on you the more you play it.