Mortal Kombat 4

a game by Midway

Platform: Nintendo 64Nintendo 64

Genre: Fighting Games

See also:Mortal Kombat Games

Saints preserve us, another Mortal Kombat game. 'What a surprise!

Wh-kishl Wh-kish! What's that noise? It's the sound of a deceased horse being soundly flogged, that's what. Mortal Kombat has been around in its various guises for most of the millennium's closing decade, and it hasn't changed a bit. Sure, more characters have been added, the signature 'fatalities' have been spruced up and made ever more ludicrous with each new incarnation, and now the franchise has made its first steps into the third dimension... but the underlying game itself is all but identical to that in the first arcade version.

Mortal Kombat 4 is the latest, but almost certainly not last, addition to the series. Once again, the evil forces of the Outwortd are trying to take over the Earth, the fate of the planet being decided by a bout of fisticuffs in the traditional manner. Familiar faces from the previous games make a comeback, some from beyond the grave, and a few new bugs pop up to make their play for a part in the next sequeL It's basically business as usual.

Worry On Mombat

Anyone who's played any of the previous Mortal Kombat games (apart, that is, from the godawful MK Mythologies, which made even Mortal Kombat Trilogy look good) will be able to get straight in and start playing MK4. In fact, even if you've never set eyes on a Mortal Kombat game, you'll be able to get straight in anyway, as the gameplay is a model of simplicity. Two punch buttons, two kick buttons, a rarely-used block button and a practically irrelevant run button, and you're away. It's possible to have some fun just by slapping the buttons as quickly as possible to see which fighter goes down first in a haze of blood, but obviously things get more interesting if you learn how to perform the special attacks - acid spitting, spear throwing, teleportation and the like.

It's these special moves that show up just how little the MK series has advanced since its early days, because not only do they look the same, they're performed in the same way. You could argue that this lets fans get straight into each new game as it appears. Or, alternatively, you could argue that it saves the designers from having to do any time-consuming and expensive thinking up of new ideas. Even though the game is now in 3-D, with the addition of sidestep functions (which, like the run button, hardly ever get used in play) most of the moves could have come straight from the first MK game. All that's changed is the amount of gore.

Killing Joke

To its credit, Mortal Kombat 4 has added a few minor new features. Each character has a special weapon which can be pulled from a portable hole (or somewhere) during a fight and used to bray the other fighter upside the head, and objects lying around the arenas can be picked up and hurled to painful effect. That's really about it, though.

The Street Fighter titles, Mortal Kombat's long-term rival, have added things like chargeable power bars, reversals and combo breakers which add to the original gameplay without overwhelming it, but MK4's designers are happy just bending someone's knees the wrong way instead of advancing the game.

Despite its limitations, Mortal Kombat 4 is actually quite fun to play for a while. The brutal fatalities, now played entirely for laughs, are the kind of thing that appeal to the 14-year-old boy in all of us, and the whole thing is just so ridiculous that not even the most uptight Mary Whitehouse type could possibly find it a moral outrage. It's very fast, it's easy to play, and as a two-player game it can be enormously amusing. However, it's also as shallow as spilt coffee, and if you take out the comedy violence there's not really a lot left. For now, MK4 is the best beat-'em-up on the N64, but only by default.

2nd rating opinion

Mortal Kombat 4 includes many new additions, but still retains the fighting techniques developed in the many prequels. This game is great and cannot be beaten for fun and thrills, all splattered with tons of blood. MK4 rocks and you'll love it to death!

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Mortal Kombat 4 Downloads

Nintendo 64 Mortal Kombat 4 download

The long-awaited 3-D update of MK is the N64's best fighter to date. Loads of gore and manic gameplay, but the joke is wearing thin.

reggie posted a review

Figures suggest that 97.4% of the world's population has, at one time or another, played a version of MK. This one's the best yet.

reggie posted a review

Lots of fun with buckets of blood. Silly too.

reggie posted a review

The biggest beat-'em-up news this month is that Mortal Kombat 4 will be available on the N64 come Chrimbo -- in full 3D. After the cash-in that was its predecessor, MK4 will hopefully reaffirm the series' elite status.

Details are currently sketchy, but shots from the intro have been glimpsed and do indeed look impressive, with Scorpion being introduced via a roving camera which also traverses the fully 3D shapes of Raiden, Sonya Blade and Liu Kang.

The game will appear first in the arcades this summer, but Williams are already busy with a 64-bit conversion. Needless to say, Nintendo's machine will be the first to get the game. More news next month.

reggie posted a review

Because its the first Mortal Kombat for ages that's actually tried. The Fatalities are great fun, and whilst it's not in proper 3D it maintains the old speedy Mortal Kombat feel and introduces a few new tricks. Buckets more blood too.

reggie posted a review

Having trouble beating Coro? Just select Raiden and continuously do his torpedo move when you're fighting.

reggie posted a review

Question: Are there any cheats for Mortal Kombat IV?

Answer: On the options screen, highlight the word 'continues' and hold the Run and Block buttons simultaneously to get a hidden cheat menu.

reggie posted a review
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