Mortal Kombat 4

a game by Midway, and Sony Imagesoft
Platforms: Nintendo 64Nintendo 64 PC Playstation
Genre: Fighting Games
Rating: 8/10
See also: Mortal Kombat Games

Snapshots and Media

Description

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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User Reviews

Mortal Kombat 4 is coming home for N64 gamers with more features than the arcade version, including Practice and Tournament modes. All home versions of MK4 will be based on Revision 3.

Weapons, Anyone?

The N64 version of MK4 will contain a control setup that's identical to its arcade counterpart: two Punch buttons, two Kick buttons, and Run and Block buttons. And just like in the arcade version, each character will carry a unique weapon that can be drawn any time during a fight. You can even pick up and use a weapon that's been dropped by your opponent.

"Round Four! Fight!"

MK4 is the second Kombat game to hit the N64 (Mortal Kombat Trilogy was the first), ranking as the first 3D entry in the MK series. Judging by these screens, MK4 looks to have the potential to be a top arcade translation. In this home version, the extra exclusives like the Tournament and Practice modes are a definite plus. Hopefully, MK4 won't be plagued with an unruly computer opponent A.I. (like the other MK home versions) that either destroys you in seconds or hardly puts up a fight.

Looking Good?

The characters are already looking excellent, although not arcade-perfect; there's still some apparent blockiness in the fighters' joints and the vari ous projectile and special attacks have yet to be fully implemented. It still remains to be seen how the N64 will handle MK4's flashier stages, especially the Prison of Souls and Rooftop kombat arenas.

reggie posted a review

The Mortal Kombat series may have been huffing and puffing after Trilogy's endless palette swaps and Mythologies', umm, everything--but Mortal Kombat 4 is here to blow your house down with gorgeously gothic visuals, bone-crunching sound, and the best fighting controls ever to hit the Nintendo 64.

Kombat Kontinues

In MK4, the warlord Shao Khan has been defeated, but his antics have freed the evil demon Shinnok from imprisonment. Now Raiden must assemble Earth's most powerful fighters to combat Shinnok and his minions (including the fearsome, four-armed Coro, last seen in the first MK). Fifteen kombatants will thus battle for the future of Earth, each with several special attacks, multi-hit combos, and unique weapons. Those who are familiar with the arcade version will be pleased to hear that the home version is even more advanced than Revision 3, with extra secrets, stages, and characters.

The 3D konversion has been good to the MK warriors. It's a challenge to imagine MK without digitized, motion-captured animation, but Eurocom has done a magnificent job using polygons of duplicating the series' trademark realism. The Mortal Kombatants look and move like real live people, without goofy, car-toony faces or Raggedy Ann limbs--and some are enhanced with intimidating special effects, such as the jumping, crackling lightning which emanates from Raiden's body. These impressive visuals are complemented by a soundtrack that's vastly improved over MKTs: Agonizing screams, brutal smashes, sizzling energy spits, and Shao Khan's trademark taunts (even though he's not in the game) will echo through your living room in stereophonic splendor.

Complete Kontrol

Thankfully, the move to polygons hasn't harmed the heart of the MK franchise: strategic fighting. Unlike so many 3D fighting games, this series has never been about random button-mashing, and neither is MK4. In fact, this is the most "2D" of any 3D fighter available, and that's good news--characters can move to and fro within each arena, and the camera adjusts for maximum viewing (although it's often a bit behind the action). Still, you're almost always on a 2D plane, which makes for optimum head-to-head fighting. Combined with MK4's impeccably responsive controls, the result is extremely tight gameplay.

Armed and Dangerous

New to the MK formula, each Kombatant is equipped with a weapon--like a crossbow, a sword, or a mallet--that can either be drawn during battle and used as normal, or thrown at an opponent. However, while wielding your weapon may be advantageous (a good hack inflicts a plethora of pain on your opponent), it can also be detrimental (you're very vulnerable while drawing or swinging your weapon). Plus, if you're hit with a weapon in hand, you'll drop it and your opponent can then pick it up and use it against you.

Mortal Mania

As for gameplay, MK4 delivers the goods, featuring two-on-two fights, a couple of types of endurance matches, and a Practice mode. There are also tons of secrets (including hidden characters), level-specific fatalities, special attacks, killer combos, Kombat Kodes, and cinematic endings for each character. Unfortunately, there aren't any animalities, babali-ties, brutalities, or friendships this time around.

Grab your controllers, N64 fighting-game fans, and prepare for MK4--the franchise is back with a blister-worthy game that's ready to pummel you!

Graphics

MK4's 30 fighters look and move a lot better than MK's previous photorealis-ticly digitized offerings, and the special lighting effects rock.

Control

With customizable buttons and lightning-fast response time, MK4 gives you a better sense of control than any other Nintendo 64 fighting game.

Sound

Crisp, bellowing voices, pounding stereo music,and gory effects pepper MK4 like a bloody rump roast.

Fun Factor

No more palette swaps! No more canned sound! Fighting gurus and fans of the franchise, rejoice: Mortal Kombat has finally hit the Nintendo 64 in style!

reggie posted a review

Fans of Mortal Kombat 4 should certainly have something to cheer about with the home conversions. This 20 percent complete version shows promise: MK4's actually fun to play in its unfinished form!

Four Scores More Than Before

Rest assured that all the expertise that went into creating the original MK4 will go into the home system releases: The team at Midway that worked on the game for the arcades is also hard at work on the home conversions (see the preceding feature, "Home Is Where the Kombat Is").

The team also included a few things to make the games more competitive with other fighting games, like adding Goro as a playable character, along with more secrets and possibly more hidden characters. MK fans, rejoice--the master of Mortal Kombat games is on its way--but everyone else should gear up as well. There's one helluva game coming down the road.

MK4 in 3D

If you haven't seen or played MK4inthe arcades, you don't know what you're missing! Midway has taken the current Mortal Kombat engine and made the game a true 3D experience. You can sidestep around players, dodge attacks, and interact with the backgrounds, as well as perform the usual assortment of MK moves, specials, and, of course, fatalities.

Although the game is still in its earliest stages, the control already lets you easily perform the smaller combos. In fact, it actually seemed as if you could pull off the combos faster here than you could in their arcade counterparts. There was some slowdown, but that's not unusual in a game at this stage of development. The characters still need some detail added before the moves can be finalized.

reggie posted a review

Mortal Kombat 4 is finally here! Since the first MK hit in 1992. it has been one of the most popular arcade series since, well. Street Fighter. Each incarnation has had just enough new additions to keep fans poppin' in their hard-earned quarters. MK was revolutionary in its gameplay (heck-it added the word "fatality" to every game player's vocabulary!). MK2 was just da bomb with several new characters. new fatalities and the most kick-ass graphics of any fighting game to date. MK3 had the Run button. originally scoffed at by some people as "no big deal" but now used as often as fireballs and uppercuts.

So what does the newest MK deliver? Its graphics are far superior to that of. say. Street Fighter EX. The idea, however, is extremely similar: a 3-D rendering of a 2-D fighting engine. Just as with SFEX. MK4 is lacking in 3-D gameplay. There is no sidestep, for instance. Ed Boon said he chose not to put it in because no one uses it in games like Tekken. But MK4 is also missing reversals and multistep throws that could have added much to its gameplay.

So as it stands, the game plays quite a bit like the series' previous installments-quite an achievement considering its 3-D graphics. It does have absolutely the best collision detection of any 3-D game (for example. you can uppercut or roundhouse someone out of the air just as you did in MK2 and MK3. but really can't do in SFEX. Tekken or the VF games).

Another major change is that now every character has a different weapon The finished version's weapons may be different from those in the test game. Once the game is tested for balance, the weakest character will get the strongest weapon and so on).

The finished version will also have scripted cinema endings, as well as one more selectable character and three secret characters.

On the MK4 test tour, gamers are getting their first taste of the new MK. But still to be added (besides the missing characters, character balance and other gameplay items) are the fatalities and endings. These will be quite different from what you're currently used to. The fatalities will be graphically enhanced. A few of them, such as Scorpion's fire-breathing finisher and Sub-Zero's spine rip. will look familiar, while an arm rip and others will be completely new. Boon has stated the perspective during fatalities will be much more dynamic. The endings will also cease to be two or three pictures with text underneath. The team is currently working on scripted cinema sequences! There is still quite a bit of work to be done to MK4!

SCORPION

Scorpion is the same fun-lovin' ninja he's always been. He still has his teleport, air throw, and of course, his "GET OVER HERE!" spear. The bad part is that his previous "real" combos, such as his teleport punch spear, don't work because of the animation times of his moves. His current weapon is a basic long sword.

SUB-ZERO

Sub-Zero is pretty standard as well. He has his slide, freeze clone, and of course, his freeze fireball. His combos such as jump kick slide and freeze, uppercut then freeze in air for another hit, remain intact in MK4. His current weapon is a hatchet that can take off medium damage.

SONYA

Sonya has the same old moves with the addition of a really cool weapon. Her (if she keeps it, that is) "spiked pinwheel" is a group of several spinning daggers on the end of a stick and can do the most damage next to Liu Kang's snake sword. Her diagonal kick seems to be more vertically arched as well.

LIU KAING

Liu Kang's moves are all the same but he is now a full-on F, F character with no more charge moves. His bicycle kick is now F, F LK making him even more deadly than he was in the previous MKs (and that's a bold statement!). His current weapon is a curved snake-like sword. It is fast and takes off the most damage.

RAIDEIN

Raiden is a little different. He now has a high and low fireball and his "backward lightning" no longer exists. The animation of his Torpedo is excellent. He doesn't seem to have his teleport anymore either. His current weapon does not do the kind of damage you'd expect from a 3-foot-long mallet.

FUJIN

Fujin has the most amount of moves of any new character. He has a jumping knee attack, a couple of spin moves as well as a fireball. He also has Ermac's levitate move. His weapon is the most interesting: a crossbow that shoots out a green bolt of energy that bounces off walls.

SHINNOK

Shinnok only had one move playable in the newest version and unfortunately as of press time we don't even know what that one move is. He is an evil character in Japanese mythology and looks extremely sinister in his red robe and strange hat. His weapon is a long staff with a blade on the end of it.

QUAN CHI

Quan Chi is the only character in MK4 making appearances in both MK Mythologies and MK: Annihilation (the MK movie sequel). He seems to be a monk of some kind. He has a couple combos as of press time, as well as a move where he automatically steals another opponent's weapon from his or her hands!

NOOB SAIBOT

Noob will probably have the same moves he did in the previous MK, but right now he doesn't have much of anything new. He has his teleport, but that's as fancy as he gets right now. Once he teleports through the floor, it's up to you to provide the attack. He has no weapon as of yet either.

REPTILE

One of two new characters in the most recent MK4 tour version was a much more reptilian Reptile. He has scales and a strange new mask. His only move right now is a bizarre one where he crawls on the ground after you. It is unknown if he will have his ball, spit or slide attacks.

KAI

Kai is the "African-American Liu Kang" character we reported in last month's EGM*. He is extremely fast and has several attacks, such as a fireball that shoots vertically (like the new Sub-Zero's freeze attack) and a move where he stands on his hands and chases after you. He had no weapon as of press time.

????????

Who's still to come? Well you won't see ShangTsung (THE BEST CHARACTER), Kintaro, Shao Kahn or several characters from MK3 (NO JAX!). There is a chance Goro will be in it, as there are three characters still shrouded in mystery. One character will also be added to the selectable roster.

reggie posted a review

People say:

6.0

If you're still a Mortal Kombat fan after all these years, well, more power to you. I felt the series should've been laid to rest with the first MK3, and after seeing MK4, it only confirmed my feelings. Mortal Kombat games are simply not as deep or as fun as any of the Street Fighters to keep the series going on this long. Mortal Kombat 4 pales in comparison to MK2 or MK3. It offers very little to the series, and what it does offer is no big deal. Weapons? They provide a fun distraction...at best. New fighters? They barely have an interesting move or characteristic between them. BUT...the game isn't without its merits. Obviously, the biggest improvement is in the graphics. The animation and frame rate are superb. Fatalities look great in 3D, as do the throws and bone-breakers. On the gameplay side, Eurocom and Midway did an excellent job of bringing the "MK feel" to a polygonal world. Unlike Street Fighter EX, which is a bit floaty, MK4 plays exactly like any of the 2D MK games. I also like the slightly (but not overly) cheap combo system. MK4's 10-hit combos actually take more skill to pull off than most of Tekken 3's 10-hitters (not a hard feat). All in all, the game's not bad. If you still like Mortal Kombat and you don't mind some load times, then MK4 may be for you. just don't expect a Tekken-killer.

6.5

Though the N64 suffers from a fighting game drought, the PS doesn't. There are many more, much better fighting games than this on the system. Games that don't mysteriously start loading from the CD halfway through an animation. Games that offer far more graceful moves and combos. Games that aren't filled with cheap moves. Unless you're a real MK nut, you're not going to come away from this feeling rewarded.

6.0

The PS conversion of MK4 isn't quite as sharp as the N64 one, but it's still just about arcade perfect. But while the graphics have made the jump to 3D, the gameplay is still standard MK-fare, and frankly, that got old about three years ago. The backgrounds aren't as interesting as they were in MK3, and while the weapons add an interesting twist, only the hardcore MK fans are really going to care. It's nice to see Goro back, at least...

6.0

It's not often that a PlayStation version of a fighting game is beaten by its N64 brethren, but MK4 is a case in point. Graphically it doesn't have the solid feel that you expect, but more importantly, it suffers from some terrible loading problems. As a game, my comments regarding the N64 version stand here too--compared to many of the class fighters on the PlayStation though, this really doesn't stand a chance.

reggie posted a review

Although Mortal Kombat 4 has been in the arcades for some time, a home translation, complete with a few additional modes and at least one exclusive character, is still on its way. The new addition to the series is scheduled for a third-quarter release on the Nintendo 64.

Midway came by the EGM offices recently with a new rev of the cart and we're pleased to say it has come a long way since we first saw it a few weeks back. In fact, Midway tells us it's now about 60 percent complete (last time we saw it, it was at 15). Most of the special effects are now in the game, as well as nearly every fatality, stage and feature of the coinop, as well as the standard console modes of play. It was moving at a brisk 30 fps, and Midway reports that it'll soon be up to 60.

As you might expect, the gameplay of the N64 ver-on of MK4 hasn't changed all that much from what you already know and love in the arcade. There are now two types of jumping punches and two types of jump kicks. You have the ability to sidestep projectiles and other attacks by tapping the run button twice. The MK3 combo system has been scrapped in favor of one that is a bit more skill-based. But the main change, at least visually, is the addition of weapons. Each character can pull out a weapon specific to him/her, at any point in the match and wave it around in an attempt to separate an enemy's limbs from his/her body. Since some weapons have special moves (Sub-Zero's Ice Wand can freeze people), grabbing an opponent's weapon can be highly advantageous to a fighter's cause.

Like the older MK versions, you can straight-up dismember your opponent in the final round when his/her power is depleted. Fatalities will be the only finishing moves available in MK4 though, and each character will have at least two. The fatalities are among the best in the series, partially because a good number of them are 3D versions of existing fatalities. Jax rips his opponent's arms off, Scorpion still torches his victims, Sub-Zero tears off heads, etc.

  • MANUFACTURER - Eurocom
  • THEME - Fighting
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
reggie posted a review

People say:

6.5

Does the world need another MK game? Wasn't Trilogy enough to keep everyone happy? In terms of what this offers as a "pure" fighting game, it's more of a step backward rather than forward. Sure the graphics are all pretty and there are some cool special effects, but the fighting engine seems limited. Underneath it all, it looks as though this is all of the bits that people loved from previous MKs jam-packed into a 3D environment. The more frivolous -alities (Babalities, etc.) that reared their ugly heads in later MKs are now gone, and the net result should be a purer experience. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. There are some awesome combo moves locked in there somewhere, but they are fairly tough to pull off. This would be all well and good, but once you've managed to squeeze a 10-hit combo out of a fighter, you realize that it does no more damage than a four-hit combo that's finished off with a suitably mean uppercut. It's almost as though it does some of the stuff just for show. The weapons-based combat is OK, but it's merely a distraction, and it can seriously affect two-player games as it cheapens the action. When all is said and done though, MK4 is a fun game. It may not compete with the Tekkens and Virtua Fighters, but it's a step in the right direction.

6.5

Midway has been flooding the N64 library with many a sub-par fighting game. It's about time a decent one came through. MK4 is much more enjoyable than Midway's other 3D fighters on the system (i.e., War Gods, Mace). It has solid controls, terrific graphics and an interesting combo system. Though I'd rather play MK Trilogy (my favorite Kombatant is Kitana), MK4 will do for now. It's not a great game, but it has its moments.

6.5

I'll say up front that I've just about lost all interest in the MK series since MK2 came out. That being said, MK4 for the N64 is definitely a step up from the last MK, though the game-play is still too dull and repetitive for my tastes. The 3D graphics are very nicely done and the weapons system is innovative, but there's just not enough depth here to keep me interested. Once you've seen all the fatalities and such, it gets old, quick.

7.5

Basically this is much of what MK2 provided but with considerably more gloss. By default, I think that makes this the best fighter on the N64 right now. The graphics are extremely close to the arcade game, and the game-play is very solid, if a bit dated by Tekken standards. It's a shame it can get a bit cheap. The combos are hard to pull off and are often just flash rather than being useful. The two-on-two combat is very cool though.

reggie posted a review

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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