Mortal Kombat Trilogy
Reviewed by Kid Catindig
Mortal Kombat Trilogy was one of the more anticipated games for the N64, and
debuted November 12 nationwide. Excited kids awaiting to get their hands on
this game flocked to the local malls. Yes, Mortal Mania seemed
intact...until this cartridge was popped on the N64 console and the switch
was pushed to "on".
Graphic-wise, your favorite Kombatants were reproduced well from their
arcade counterparts, boasting sprites a tad larger than the Playstation
version. What disappoints me is that SLOWDOWN is so evident, ranging from
punching your opponent to the level above to certain fatalities, such as
Kitana's, which have bones and guts spilling in annoying slow-motion.
Missing frames of animation was not all that obvious during fighting, but if
you are the observant type, you will find backgrounds with missing frames,
such as the River Fighting scene with the river looking like it's in
stop-motion type photography. I compared the Playstation and N64 versions
side-by-side and the Kombatant's beginning stance in the N64 also have
missing animation, although it is not all that bad, if you compare both
versions to the SNES or Genesis counterparts. Missing are some levels from
all four games, probably for the sake of memory saving. The color is superb,
and we all should expect that since it is on an N64 console. And for the
nitty-gritty's: the characters are further apart in the versus screen than
in the Playstation and even the SNES versions, cutting off detail from some
characters, and the levels are stretched out, so some graphic portions of
levels are gone, such as the gigantic statues on the edges of the Rooftop
level scene. Unmasked Sub-Zero is gone, with the masked one bearing his
moves, which is so STUPID because all this does is unbalance the characters
even more; he is now more cheap than ever (a big BOO/HISS to Midway). The
background does not go dark after completing the sequence for a Brutality,
and the bones flying amass somehow disappear instead of landing on the
floor. Also, on the versus screen, Johnny Cage looks buff, but pitted
against opponents such as Sonya during a fight, he looks scrawny and
unproportional, totally making it obvious that he was a late addition to the
MKT development. Rayden's photo on the character versus screen could use
some help also...his pose and facial expression suggest for one.
Now, here comes the worse aspect of the game: AUDIO. Audiophiles that
worshipped the MK3 soundtrack from the arcade will be left with a slap in
the face from Midway/Williams. What's gone? The
eerie/less-than-ethereal/haunting music from the Kombat Temple and Pit 3,
with the spooky choir-like background voices replaced by some cheap MIDI
rendition. Gone also is the BASS from certain tracks, such as the menu
selection music; on the Playstation, it rocks...but don't expect the same on
the N64. None of the tracks from the other MK's were included in, so some
levels from other games bear MK3 music, some of which aren't appropriate.
All the arcade sounds are intact, BUT sound like the Genesis version (oh,
lohrdy!). Muffled speech and sound effects do not do justice to this game.
And get this: the game is set to a lower volume than the other games, so in
order to even HEAR things, you always have to manually turn up the volume
every time you plug in the cartridge. And don't even bother turning up the
volume through menu select because it will just drown out the sounds and speech.
Midway and the MK team need to start looking over their work from another
perspective; I thought they would have learned after SNES MK1 and Saturn
MK2...both having flaws, such as missing voices and sound effects on the
Saturn MK2 and a slower engine on the SNES MK1. Both could have been
improved had they spent a bit more time with the development. There are
pluses to this game, such as no loading time whatsoever, but it just
doesn't balance out to the bad aspects of the game. Listen to me: I bought
this game without regard to the reviews, so that I can make my own decision
about it. After all, even if it was a tad bit bad it's still MK, right?
Well, not exactly. The policy that I will abide by now after buying this
game is: Rent FIRST! Poor programming, which I suspect they did in order to
ship this for the X-Mas season, does not justify the $75 price tag affixed
onto this poor excuse of an MK game.
Video: 85%...Missing frames of animation and other graphical aspects
do not affect the playability of the game, but it does leave us hungry for
the ultimate MK game.
Audio: 50%...The N64 is capable of CD-quality sound, but this game
doesn't show off its capabilities here. You get used to it, though, after
playing the game over and over.
Control: 70%...Forget the analog joystick! Start getting used to
blistered thumbs on the D-pad. Some simple moves, such as jumping
toward your enemy, require very PRECISE pressing, or you will end up
jumping straight up instead, leading to certain doom. The
C-buttons are too close together, however, that is the fault of
Nintendo. Still, I would have liked to use the Z button for
Lastability: 75%...After all, how many more versions of MK3 can we
all take? It is MK, however, how many more Friendships and Animalities and
other nonsense -alities can we all take? We want something NEW!!!!
OVERALL: 69%...Not bad, but not good either. Although I've forgiven
Midway (it is a 1st generation game, you know), but with games like
KI Gold where good programming and hard work was evident, I would
suggest to them that they better start listening to out cries or they
will soon find themselves out of support for MK merchandise.