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Mortal Kombat Mythologies

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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 Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero, however, comes awfully close to fumbling, due to outdated graphics and a frustrating control system.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.

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