STORY / GAMEPLAY
While the combatants in the original Shaolin Tournament (Mortal Kombat) wagered their lives upon their skills, in Shao Kahn's Outworld tournament the stakes have been raised. The tournament first tests a warrior's fighting skill by pitting him against each of the Earth warriors. Once a warrior has defeated the other combatants in the tournament, he then takes on the first of the Outworld's hosts, the demon Shang Tsung. Should the warrior defeat Tsung, the next opponent is the huge Kintaro, a half-human dragon that spawned Goro. Defeat Kintaro and you'll become powerful enough to face Shao Kahn, the supreme ruler of the Outworld. End his life and his rule and you'll achieve your objective and become the supreme Warrior in the Outworld realm!
There are 12 characters, each with different moves and skills. Each one has also a different type of special weapon, such spikes, spears, ice, fireballs, acid spit, flesh slicing etc. Fortunately, the game supports both one and two-button joysticks and to perform the many complex and varied moves, the two-button option is most favorable. The special moves aren't so easy that they can accessed every single time, but unlike Street Fighter 2, it's not just a matter of wiggling the stick and praying that a move is executed!
Mortal Kombat II looks and plays brilliant and it's as close as you're ever going to get to having a full-blown coin-op in your bedroom!
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The graphics are even better that the original Mortal Kombat, and it's packed with fatalities even worse than its predecessor. The PC version runs only in VGA mode and offers up to 256 colors on screen. Multiple decapitations and cannibalism are at the forefront of the various death-maneuvers. Of course this is what the Mortal Kombat series became so big in the first place! Take the blood and gore aside for a moment, and you'll find that the various static and animated backdrops (missing on the Amiga version) and sprites look pretty damn good. Especially the digitized actors have been faithfully ported over from the Sega Megadrive version and look slightly better and tad sharper than the sprites found in the original. The digitized frames that make up the fighters are so well animated.
The sound is fine, although you'll not be impressed with the (rather) atmospheric music within the game. The sound effects on the other hand are fine, with plenty of sampled squelches, smacks and speech to keep you interested, although there isn't anything that you haven't heard in the previous Mortal Kombat incarnation.