MORTAL KOMBAT!!! Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you where I stand. I love Mortal Kombat. I love the fighting, I love the characters, I love the fatalities, I even love and follow the story and mythology. When I saw Shang Tsung snap Liu Kang’s neck in the beginning of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, I was like “OH MY GOD!” I memorized all of the moves and fatalities for all of the characters in Mortal Kombat II, including all of Shang Tsung’s morphs. Side note: I had both the SNES and Genesis versions of Mortal Kombat II. The Mortal Kombat franchise holds a special place in my heart and for the longest time, I always stood my ground and proudly proclaimed that Mortal Kombat was just as good as the Street Fighter franchise and the SNK fighters.
That brings us to Mortal Kombat Trilogy. This review is about the Nintendo 64 version that was released at the end of 1996, about two months after the launch of the console itself. This game was basically Mortal Kombat 3 with every character featured in the past two games combined with the current fighters. Now, not many people liked Mortal Kombat 3. The overly complex combo system, the poorly integrated run button and generally weak character designs turned off fans and Mortal Kombat 3 is mostly seen as a disappointment. However, I am not in that camp and I like Mortal Kombat 3. Although not the best game in the series, the combo system is robust, and it finally solved one of the biggest problems with the game: the characters now move by the pixels, instead of on a grid which made the game very sluggish.
I may like Mortal Kombat 3, but that doesn’t mean I wanted three different versions of it. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 may have improved the original but Mortal Kombat Trilogy is just milking a dry cow. The Nintendo 64 version is particularly offensive because it doesn’t even make good on its promise. There’s characters and levels that aren’t even in the game where they are in the other versions. Now to be fair, the N64 used cartridges instead of compact discs and had less storage room that the others but there is just no shaking the fact that they didn’t even try and this still could’ve been better than it is. The problems don’t end there, though. There’s evidence all over Outworld showcasing this as a slapped together port with which not much thought or care was given it.
First thing you’ll notice is the graphics. They aren’t good. At all. This baffles the hell out of me because the Nintendo 64 can handle polygonal 3-D graphics and this is only a 2-D fighter. However, all the characters seem to have some sort of outline around them, animations are choppy, and the backgrounds themselves are flat and dull and just unappealing. Now these characters and levels are all from previous games and there, they look great. On MKT for the N64, they were not ported well and the game just looks like a mess. The controls feels strange and uncomfortable on the N64. This could be because of the N64 controller itself but that’s a different discussion for another time. The sound is very quiet for some reason. Everything sounds muffled and because this isn’t a CD-rom version of MKT, the music is low quality and heavily compressed. At least all the music comes on when it should, unlike the other versions which have to load the soundtrack.
This brings up one good thing about this version over the others. No load times. Is that good enough to save this port? NO! How about the fact that this version has a exclusive character named Khameleon, a female ninja character that switches between the move sets of the other female ninja characters? NO! Hell, she replaces Chameleon, a male ninja character that switches between the move sets of the the other male ninja characters. WHAT KIND OF EXCLUSIVE IS THAT?! Removing a Y chromosome from a character doesn’t not make a new character, who is a copy of pre-existing characters. There is an exclusive three on three kombat mode but that doesn’t matter when this game does so much wrong, it’s silver lining, however small it may be, instead comes off as a cruel joke.
On it’s own, Mortal Kombat Trilogy isn’t a bad game, it’s just stale. There’s some fun to be had if you are a fan of the series like me. But not on the N64 version. This version is just insulting to the franchise and takes something good and somehow ruins it to the point that you’d rather it never existed in the first place. It’s as if you’re about to have sex with this smoking hot girl and you realize very repulsively that she had a big ass burrito beforehand. Mortal Kombat Trilogy on the Nintendo 64 is the gaming equivalent to farting during sex.