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Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero

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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 game design. 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

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