Midway Manufacturing Company
Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat II review
Mortal Kombat II for PlayStation is the recreation of the original arcade game made for home consoles.
After a long backstory that tells you why Liu Kang goes fighting, how Shang Tsung survives after his failures, and what the new plan of Shao Kahn’s is, you come directly to the action. All the fighters from the arcade version of MKII are here, from those aforementioned to Johnny Cage, Raiden, Scorpion, Reptile, Kitana, Jax, Kung Lao, Baraka, and others. It’s still inspired by Hong Kong tradition of martial arts movies, and this digital art requires mastery too. Now you’re all out in Shao Kahn’s outer world, dangerous for earthly creatures, but you still have to fight.
The game represents the same arena martial style, with common moves shared by all the characters and unique ones for each particular fighter. Using them, you need to beat the life out of your opponent in two rounds, and then finish the enemy with fatality.
These unique abilities are often very spectacular, like Baraka’s sword hands, Johnny Cage’s martial magic, Mileena’s teeth, ice tricks by Sub-Zero, and so on. The heroes are so diverse that you can define your favorite but remain eager to try others; this will follow the whole evolution of Mortal Kombat.
You can play solo mode, against an AI, or with your fellow player in local multiplayer mode. Online playing is not supported in this game released in 1996.
Though the game seems obsolete from our 2019, for its time it was more than decent. Colorful and bright, with quick response and distinct moves, the game looks as great as 1990s players could only wish. It’s hard now to find the original arcade machine to compare, but reviews of the time say the PS port lost nothing, including all the blood and gore.
Those still with the original PlayStation may enjoy it yet (alas, PlayStation Classic doesn’t feature MKII due to copyright contradictions). The only doubtable decision was not to use audios from a CD with the game and opt for synthesized sounds instead, with lower quality.
The original controller may seem less comfortable that later released DUALSHOCK, but Mortal Kombat II for PlayStation was released when no DUALSHOCK was available, so it’s well controlled with the regular one (if you have it). Tricks and combos are done with combining buttons and joystick moves, and, while it takes time to learn, it proves effective enough against any enemy. Now it’s easier to find DUALSHOCK II that’s compatible with the original PS as well.