Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero
Reviewed by Scott McCall
Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero may be the first North American
N64 game to weigh in at 128 megabits, but the old adage of "bigger
is not necessarily better" certainly applies here. Mortal Kombat fans,
John Tobias, and Midway should all be ashamed of this game.
From the onset, MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero is just marred with
problems in every facet of the game. The game was upped to a
128 megabit ROM to fit all the graphics in the game, but quite
frankly, why was all that space needed? Each of the game's
eight levels uses a different graphics scheme, but the levels
themselves are filled with repeating scenes. Character animation
is probably worse than the one-on-one fighting games, too.
It appears all of that extra space went to the incredibly
lengthy cinema scenes in between levels that contain quite
a few rendered pictures to progress the game's story. The
only problem is that these are static cinemas, much like the
ones in Shadows of the Empire. The best part of the game is
probably the story, and something like this loses a lot since it's
not full-motion video like the PlayStation version.
Sound in MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero is nothing to shout about,
either. The mood-setting tunes aren't bad, and there is some
voice in the game, but most of the quality just isn't good enough.
After the music on the PlayStation version, it's almost painful
to hear it coming out of the N64.
MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero's biggest problem, however, is the
gameplay and control. John Tobias and his development team
broke nearly every rule in the book of how to design a good
game. MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero is filled with non-stop frustration
and cheap level design. But wait -- I haven't told you the best
part. The control in the game is great (sarcasm alert)! The geniuses
working on the game thought it would be a great idea to have a
separate button to turn you left or right! Isn't that grand?!
And better still, you get to use the Mortal Kombat control
scheme in a side-scrolling game! Oh wait, did I mention that
sometimes you have to use the Control Pad and sometimes
you have to use the Control Stick? Because of the quirky
control and terrible level design, you'll often find yourself
falling to your doom because of cheap hits. And nothing is
more frustrating in a video game than death because of bad
MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero is a serious candidate for worse
game on the Nintendo 64. I play video games to have fun, and
there's no way I can have any fun if the control is horrendous,
the level design is cheap and frustrating, and the game is
almost impossible. The PlayStation version is better because
of the full-motion video and sound quality, but that still
doesn't excuse the game. I imagine almost anyone reading
this could design a better side-scrolling action game. John
Tobias should go back to working on one-on-one fighting
games, because he obviously doesn't know much about any
other genre. Avoid this game at all costs.
Graphics: 2.9 out of 5
Sound: 2.3 out of 5
Control: 1.3 out of 5
Gameplay: 1.7 out of 5
Lastability: 1.9 out of 5
Overall: 1.8 out of 5