The StarSoldier


Artist touch: It's just a logo but when people see it they know it's the arcade game. Don't know about everyone else though. Cover art rating: 5/10

Month it won: October 2005

(Arena/Midway, September 1993)

Special note: There was a huge stir when the news broke just how violent the game is!

Introduction and Story:

During the height of the Nintendo and Atari era Video games had been long regarded has great entertainment for the kids. Games like Space Invaders and Super Mario Brothers for example were fun for the whole family (although there are still a lot of hidden adult games like Bubble Bath Babes out there for hard-core perverts like me). It wasn't till Sega started to become a force in the industry when a few of actual licensed video games dared to expose the kid's only myth. On the surface Midway's Mortal Kombat in the arcades was your typical Street Fighter II (one on one beat em up) clone but upon further playing the game was much more violent. Just throwing a few punches could have your opponent dropping buckets of blood. The game was very successful but the problem is how do you bring a gory friendly game like this to the home market especially since popular game companies like Nintendo (per 1994 anyway) likes to censors questionable content. Sega and Arena had a great idea for their home version of Mortal Kombat so everyone could play it. See why when it comes to this game all the attention was worth it.

In MK you pick from one of seven fighters ranging from heroic good guys to wanted criminals to deadly ninjas. Each character here has their own reasons for entering the deadly Mortal Kombat tournament. Your fighter must then defeat the other combatants one by one to have a chance to save the world from the sinister Shang Tsung, a 500 year old from the parallel universe Outworld. It won't be easy because to get to Shang Tsung you must first fight the reigning Mortal Kombat champion: the seven foot monster with four arms Goro. Pretty freaky story, eh?

Controls and Game Play:

Unlike Street Fighter II each fighter has the same list of basic moves like rapid fast punches and roundhouse kicks but each one has their unique special moves to help set them apart. Although the game doesn't sound too original, the action was always very fast and intense so it was still a pretty good clone. One thing that really separates Mortal Kombat from the rest is that each character can perform one secret fatality once they beaten their opponent. Just imagine when the game says you can 'Finish Him' (or her) and you do something outrageous like ripping off the head off your enemy! These bloody fatalities moves not only got the players talking but they got angry parent groups and politicians attention as well. Just about everybody was talking about Mortal Kombat.

Controlling the game can take some getting to. Usually in other fighting games to block you to hold back but in MK you have to hit a button. Other then getting use to the strange block button the game only has a hand full of moves to learn so gamers can master all the attacks in no time. To get the perfect control it is highly recommend you get the upgraded 6 button controller Sega released in 1993 so you can use all the buttons at once like in the arcade game.

Graphics and Sounds:

The game may play well but not everything is so arcade perfect. The graphics for one thing are heavily watered down because it looks like everything shrunked in size and the flat 2D backgrounds are quite bland too. The character's are still digital actors you would see in the arcade but they look grainy and have missing animation. The music and sound effects also take a hit. You still get the cool Asian soundtracks and various real life voices as well but they sound too muffled and the announcer doesn't even say who is the winner after each fight.

Both the graphics and sound are actually better on the Super Nintendo version but the Genesis edition is overall the superior game. Why you say? Like the Nintendo game the Sega version is also censored but the popular violence can be unlocked by a special code so you can hide the blood and guts from the kids. The choice is up to you! The game also plays better because of the more responsive controls so it feels just easier to play too.

The Bottomline:


As good as the fighting game it is still far from perfect. The sequels of Mortal Kombat just have more fighters and moves per character so the original just feels way too old now plus the downgraded graphics and sounds on the Genesis weren't so hot either. Still, there is no denying what the original MK here did to the entire gaming industry.

This game was so violent and brutal that was one of the main reasons the video gaming world had to enforce a new rating system back in 1993. Because of all the press Mortal Kombat was quickly becoming a house hold name and it easily out sold the censored Super Nintendo edition. Thankfully it both bloody and fairly good too brawler that's filled with cool secrets. If you are looking for fast and fun violent fighter that's super cheap and easy to find: Mortal Kombat for the Sega Genesis is a great pick for the devil in all of us.



overall rating: 75/100

Find Mortal Kombat on eBay here!

For 1 or 2 players
Rated (MA-13) for 13 and up

graphics: 7/10
sound: 7/10
gameplay: 6/10
replay: 7/10

(Ryan Genno) 2005

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