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Mortal Kombat Trilogy

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Reviewed by Devin Horn My brother and I have been wanting this game for a while now and when we finally got it, it wasn't exactly like I thought it would be, but then again I wasn't disappointed either. It's actually a pretty good game. Now, let's get down to the categories...


The graphics in this game are pretty much arcade quality, except a tad more, I don't want to say blocky, but yes, blocky. This is because the graphics look to be low-res. The stages from the original MK (like the first pit) look fixed up a lot so you can't tell the difference between them and the new ones. The fluidity of character movements are smooth except when it comes to certain situations. When I say this, I mainly mean finishing moves. Most of us that were actually anticipating its release had read somewhere or another about missing frames of animation due to lack of cart space. The places that animation is missing from is pretty noticeable. For example, after pulling off Baraka's 'blade hang' fatality, the character being killed is missing a lot of animation in the twitching phase, which creates a super fast twitch look. It looks painful, but it also looks pretty corny. I've noticed these problems in other areas, but not too bad. Only one other really bad area was after Sub-Zero turned into a polar bear for his Animality and clawed his victim up, he suddenly turned back into Sub-Zero instead of morphine back. The colors in this game were used very well in my opinion and not too bright or flashy. One other really great thing was the size of characters. They are very big and detailed.


After first turning on the game I noticed the music quality was that of my MK3 cart for SNES. My brother and I then looked at each other and said: "Something's got to be wrong with the speakers." The music tracks are pretty much the same as the tracks in UMK3 and its predecessors except for a couple of remixed ones and maybe one or two new ones. They are fast paced and fit with the stages most of the time (There is this one song that plays in the tomb stage that sounds more like it belongs in a street stage, though). Some of the songs (like the options screen music) are very annoying. Enough about the music, though. Let's talk about a more important factor; sound effects. The SFX in this game are pretty good, but not quite arcade quality. Some main talking sounds in it are too deep and have too much bass. There doesn't seem to be any areas that have space-wasting sounds, and a lot of the new sounds are nice additions. Some of the new sounds are for Rayden, Brutalities, Motaro, Baraka, and many other places you will probably remember not hearing if you've played UMK3. I think that the sound overall is very good, but Super Mario 64 could beat it in a vote.


The control in MKT is a perfect arcade translation. Everything is easy to pull off and combos are especially easy. The controller configuration can be changed, but I'm comfortable with the default settings. When you play, I would suggest using the D-Pad for movement. The Analog is functional, but it really sucks because trying to pull of moves using forward or back is a strain on your thumb and hard to pull off quickly enough. If you do decide to use the analog you should hold it like an arcade joystick (with more than your thumb) because forward and back moves are easier. This though, is still kind of hard because the Analog is much smaller than an arcade stick. Because 'run' is used so much by me, it's pretty easy to have access to it. But for me, the block button is not used because I can't find it that easily. I don't use the 'R' and 'L' buttons, so that may be my problem (I depend on my block being one of the 'C' buttons).


This game is not that much fun when you don't have a second controller and you just sit there and watch someone else play. So, if you do buy it, make sure you have a second controller and a sibling or parent that likes to play it also. When you play a one player game you may notice that the 'Novice Tower' is still pretty hard to beat. This is because (at least on my machine) Jade is usually the first character to fight, and in my opinion she's one of the hardest characters to beat in the game. Even if the difficulty in options is set to 'Very Easy', it's still hard. Speaking of options, there are some very useful ones in MKT. There is a violence censored, automatic combos, a screen centered, and a few other useful or interesting options. It may not look like a must-play game at first, but the first time you sit down top play it with a new character, you'll probably be playing for awhile. The new moves, characters, and finishers are pretty impressive. My favorite new character is Noob Saibot. His moves are new and original, and are very effective. Now let's see how fun it is. If you've already bought the entire MK series for your SNES or 'other system' and you've played the arcades a lot (that means you're an MK fanatic like my brother) then this definitely won't be as fun as it would be for a person who's only played the MK series a little. It's not really too original, except for the 'Agressor Mode' (which I think is useless; It's only cool because of the great shadow effect and because of the fact that you can't do Brutalities with out it (I think)) and the new characters + moves. If you're an MK fan then you'll still probably like it.


This game will only stay fun as long as some of the following are true for you. 1) You have a second controller and are able to play others in VS. mode.
2) You are a fighting game fan.
3) You haven't already had your full dose of MK.
4) You are trying to find all the secrets on your own without the help of cheat sheets.
5) You have eight player tournaments with friends & family. These five should keep you busy for a while. Now, about the other parts. If you play the computer a lot and you like it, then the challenge should be great for you because of the four towers. The game does not have any save features as far as I know, but it's not that hard to change your button configuration every time. Just remember, if you can play the VS. mode with others, the fun won't leave you for awhile.

Overall: 4.0

Graphics: 3.9 + Arcade quality + Large characters + Fixed up MK1 backgrounds + Great fluidity on combos, special moves, and character movement. - Missing frames of animation on finishers - Low-res graphics with some blockiness Sound: 3.2 + Lots of great new sounds + Realistic human voices + Fast paced music - Music placed in strange places sometimes - Super NES quality MIDI - Some songs seem annoying when played for too long Control: 4.5 + Prefect arcade translation + Easy to pull off everything +/- Analog joystick is hard to get used to, but D-Pad is easy to use. - block button in awkward position when used with 'C' buttons Gameplay: 3.4 + Very useful options + Lots of new moves, characters, and finishers + Lots of characters + Brings the arcade quality home + more! +/- Plenty of challenge - Too hard on novice - Not too original -- Not lots of brand new fun Lastability: 2.8 + Plenty of challenge + Very fun Vs. mode + Lots of new secrets to find - Not too fun if you have had your full dose of MK already - Not too much fun without a friend - No save features

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