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Are you going to buy an Xbox One X This Holiday Season?

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Game Profile
Game Boy
Virtucraft Studios
GENRE: Fighting
PLAYERS:   1-2
December 19, 2001
Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Ultimate Mortal Kombat

More in this Series
 Written by Matt Swider  on April 29, 2002

Review: Now I can see why Sub-Zero started working on a solo career.

Throughout its lifetime, Mortal Kombat has been able to distinguish itself from among the countless number of fighting titles out there, despite the fact that it has been somewhat problematic during certain periods. When it first premiered on Sega's Genesis, Mortal Kombat reigned as king along with its renowned blood code that shocked, thrilled, and amazed many at the time. With Street Fighter becoming a bit of a tired series, Midway had a fighter with the utmost power in its hands. Mortal Kombat went on to inspire two movies, tons of merchandise, and of course videogame sequels and even spin-offs. Despite Mortal Kombat's following, the series started to lose its touch, especially when it came to those spin-offs. However, the name that Mortal Kombat made for itself could withstand any criticism. Midway has proceeded onward through its four primary releases, two spin-offs, and now provides us with this version of the series on Game Boy Advance, its debut on the 32-bit portable.

Unlike the console versions of Mortal Kombat, and exactly like the four previous Game Boy Color iterations, Mortal Kombat Advance plainly fails to capture the gameplay essence of the arcade pastime that has made the series what it is today. While its visual and audio departments come through with fair results, the core of MKA is lost without hope, making it almost unplayable. This may leave some with just a little surprise, as the game is almost direct port of Mortal Kombat 3, considered by many to be their least favorite of the entire series. Regardless of that, there is no excuse for the terrible and over challenging AI in the game. It'll take a religious person, not a skilled player, to win a game here. Battling a computer opponent on novice and the lowest difficulty setting is still a chore, and anything else seems impossible without a spot of luck.

Furthermore, your own attacks are slow and choppy. The AI executes everything as a fluid breeze with the end result being that the computer kicks your ass across the screen. Due to the severely stiff movements of each and every character, performing any sort of button mashing is useless. The character animation is so stiff, it's a surprise that Midway didn't have them doing the robot during the slow (aka all) points of the game. The only true way to win a fight is not to be true to the fighting style at all. Instead, players will be forced to perform repetitive cheap shots on each opponent to remain victorious in their game. This sucks the fun right out of MKA.

Having the link cable does present some value to Mortal Kombat Advance. However, the game still remains shoddy in the multiplayer modes. Players can chose between One on One Kombat or Two on Two Kombat. While both are much better and almost enjoyable compared to the single player segments of the game, it's still tough to pull off combos and the execute moves. Although it may be some fun, it doesn't make buying the game the right thing to do, especially for the two copies that are needed to play. In its defense, the game did look like Mortal Kombat. However, the visuals aren't without their own issues. Almost all of the backgrounds and characters are there from past conversions of Mortal Kombat, yet much of the settings are too dark for the Game Boy Advance. The animations for each character could have been more fluid and less choppy, not to mention the fact that it seems certain frames of movement are absent. Also, you're limited to the small amount of moves Midway included for players to pull off--if you can pull them off that is. In addition to choppy motions, the character models themselves seem unnatural with skinny bodies that have been stretched out and pixellated, seeming more suitable for the Game Boy Color screen dimensions than anything else. Even with these problems, I must face the fact that I can still tell it's of Mortal Kombat background, unfortunately.

In a strange and ironic twist to things, the audio department contains some sub par efforts. Usually the fault of a decent percentage of Game Boy Advance titles out there, Mortal Kombat has sound bits and samples from the old versions of the game that bring back some memories of its original sayings. The announcer still remarks the trademark comments of Fight and Finish him and there are a few character samples to be heard. The music plays some eerie tunes that don't exactly remind me of Mortal Kombat, but they are something that I was able to withstand.

Bottom Line
Mortal Kombat Advance is full of problems, the biggest one being its core gameplay. Getting past this issue in an effort to enjoy this game seems impossible, much like getting past each of the opponents on Grand Master. Despite having more than 20 characters from the Mortal Kombat series, none of them do the trick in shelling out the fun factor. It must be said that this Kombat doesn't even Kome Klose.

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