Kombat Kolumns: Mortal Kombat Games for Sony Playstation
Sony PlayStation marked the dawn of a new age for the gaming industry and so did Mortal Kombat. Lets see what happens when you combine two great things into one.
Mortal Kombat II was released in Japan only and is considered as rare for that reason. In my opinion this game surpasses the version for Sega Saturn. First, you don't have the wrong moon gravity that exists in the Sega Saturn, the loading times are a bit longer, BUT the gameplay is way MORE solid. Shang Tsung's morphing abilities take so much time to load the necessary data that it is a good idea to to turn the it off from the options menu (this will affect the gameplay with him a lot). There is an option for Shang Tsung to morph only in the opponent which will reduce the loading time. The "Player Names" option when enabled simply makes the game take another second load time to have the voice samples such as "Sub -Zero" "Scorpion" "Baraka" loaded. This includes the "Sub-Zero Wins" and well. This however does not apply to Flawless Victory or Fatality.
About the gameplay - what is interesting is that the lying frames does not exist here at all, unless you use the RH trick in corner and time it perfectly. I don't know if they fixed that for a reason or it was just a side effect. Some moves result in different screams, the music does not end during the round, and it sounds kinda different. The music is not XA streamed or redbook audio tracks. It is run on the SPU. For those who don't know what that means, basically it's programmed music like a tracker or midi. The music quality is good but not close to the original arcade. The gravity is changed a little, and the opponents still fly a little higher than in the arcade version (example is the RH, aaLP, Spear corner infinite for Scorpion). The recovery time is shorter, Cage for example can throw fireballs infinitely because of that, and be almost untouchable. Slides for the male ninjas had almost no recovery if blocked. The graphics are nearly arcade perfect. Every bit of color detail and animation appears to be there. Still i prefer the PC DOS version, but this one is not that bad for its time at all.
Mortal Kombat 3 for PlayStation was a complete copy of the PC Win95 version. Almost everything is the same, the gameplay although is slower (and there are some juggle/block issues based on the gravity), the menus, even the codes. Loading times were of course longer than the PC Windows 95 version, because of the crappy optic laser that is a very well known weakness of all PlayStation consoles. They used the right song for the character select screen this time but there are no Fatality crescendos for the arenas now. For some reason while I played this game I've never heard the announcer say "Round #" before the match, just the word "Fight", then I noticed that the "Fight" word actually is recorded in the CD audio tracks - probably to save data. Other than that the musics and most of the sfx are identical to the arcade version.
The graphics look very good and they are way better than the 16bits ports. But here come some gameplay issues. One of the biggest weakness is the play with Shang Tsung, the loading times when you morph are too long, similar to Mortal Kombat II for the same system. When you beat the game the lifebars stay while Shao Kahn is exploding, and they disappear after the first scene when Shao Kahn's tower is shown. The game also slows down sometimes. Mortal Kombat 3 was re-released on the system due to the lack of a version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for the PlayStation.
Mortal Kombat Trilogy was released twice on Sony PlayStation. The first one, had really broken gravity system, and people call it "Buggy" not without a reason. Let me mention a few things: Nightwolf's Axe Infinite, Kitana's and Jade's corner JPs otg infinities, Smoke and Reptile Invisibility Infinities, Kintaro's Fireball Infinite, Unmasked Sub-Zero's Ice Shower infinities and so on. The game is also a lot slower than the final version, everything flies higher, there are sound glitches and etc. Later a second version was released as part of the "Greatest Hits" which is actually the latest official version for this console. Seems like almost everything is fixed here and there are just a few issues left. The game looks a little slower than the PC port, the loading times are really huge, especially when morphing with Shang Tsung (although you can turn them off in the options menu, but this affects the gameplay of course). Something interesting to mention is that if you turn off Shang Tsung's morphs you can perform infinities in corner with aaHP/aaLP, Morph combination (but because Shang Tsung will not morph, you will not be pushed away). This infinite trick can be done also in the Sega Saturn version. Some of the arenas for the PlayStation have extra animations - The Armory, Wasteland and Dead Pool are animated now (that is not the case in the PC and the Saturn versions).
What I found really useful is, if you play on ePSXe emulator this game you can make the FPS limit to 53. That's the speed the arcade version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 uses, so you will play it at that speed. The codes are the same as those of the PC version but they contain more buttons here. In the PC version to morph into Chameleon you should only hold LP+HP before the round starts, while here you have to hold B+HP+HK+BL+RN. The graphics are great, and the music and sfx are identical to the PC version. So, is this version better than PC? I'd say yes, if you plan to play on emulator and you use some emulation tips. But if you play on a real console, I will have to go with the PC (Windows) version.
Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero was the first Mortal Kombat game of the Mythologies series. It is an action-adventure game and it was released only on PlayStation and Nintendo 64. The style of gameplay is very Mortal Kombat 3 style - you can run, combo (you have the MK3/UMK3 Sub-Zero combos), jump, block and etc, just like the classic Mortal Kombat games. You can play through 8 levels that follow the storyline of the original Sub-Zero. In my opinion the story was very well written and presented. Small details of its further development depend upon thing you have done on earlier stages. For example: Performing of not performing a Fatality on Scorpion on the first stage or on Sareena in Shinnok's Fortress. One of the things that fans really complain about is that there is a separate button for turning Sub-Zero left or right, which requires some getting use to and takes time.
Anyway, comparing the two versions and choose which one is better will not be hard at all. First the musics and sounds are way better in the PlayStation, and I will not even bother to explain explain why, because it's obvious. Then, there are those awesome cinematic movies in the game, which got really huge attention back then, and were PlayStation exclusive, Nintendo 64 used slide-show pictures. You also have some extra FMV content like MK4 Trailer, the Bloops while shooting FMVs and Slideshow of the Team if you beat monster Shinnok, and the hidden Rock-Boss explode, that for some reason was never used in the actual game. The Nintendo 64 graphics might be superior but since the game is 2d that should not be taken too seriously. So, what else could make the PlayStation port more enjoyable than the Nintendo 64 one. Get a Gameshark!!! This guy, AceKombat, discovered some really neat Gameshark codes that allows you to play with many characters from the actual game. You can use both Scorpions (the one in the first level and the one from the Prison Stage), all type of monks, prison guards, Quan Chi and etc. The only bad thing is that you can use those characters only on specific stages, because otherwise it will crush the game. This was one really great game and I really enjoyed playing it. Many negative reviews were written when the game first came out, The game was innovative and different and many fans didn't like that, but for me, this game was really good.
Mortal Kombat 4 for PlayStation was better than PC but worse than the Nintendo 64 version. The Nintendo 64 graphics beat those of the PlayStation when it comes to 3D, and Mortal Kombat 4 makes no exception in this. Of course that doesn't mean that Mortal Kombat 4 looks that much uglier on PlayStation but it does comparing it to the arcade. Unlike the Nintendo 64 version, a lot of the graphics here look kind of wash-out. Most of the background polygons had pop-up problems from time to time between matches, making the game look so out of places, such as the Living Forest and Prison Stage. Disappearing parts of the arenas during some hits and Fatalities are present here too and the shadows are still just ugly squares. The character models are the same as those used in the PC version, but smaller and lighter. All the special effects after fireballs, that were added in the PC version with a the patch, are here, although they look uglier than their Nintendo64 versions. The floors are flat for all the arenas, unlike the PC version, and some of them are a little different, like Prison and Living Forest. Noob Saibot has different Fatalities (when 1 Button Fatality cheat is turned On), in fact he has different Fatalities in all home ports.
You can also play on Skull arena and play as Kitana if you use gameshark. One of the pluses, that the Nintendo64 version don't have are the FMVs. They were glitchy for the PC version until the patch was released, but for the PSX they were fine. The audio and sfx are also better than those of the Nintendo64, and sound like the PC and Arcade. However there are other issues with this port. It may sounds funny, but the Nintendo 64 controller is way more acceptable for this game. The PlayStation port is a little slower than the N64 one, but that doesn't mean smoother. Loading times are one of the biggest issues here again, mostly when Shinnok morphs. Some of the sounds and sfx are wrongly placed and these were just fine in the PC and the N64 versions. Although rarely the game slows down sometimes. Final words about Mortal Kombat 4 on PlayStation. The game is better than the PC version, but gets beaten by the Nintendo 64 port.
Mortal Kombat: Special Forces is an exclusive PlayStation game. It is the second Mortal Kombat game from the mythologies series and is focused on Jax and his conflict with Kano. The game is bad, but it's really not THAT bad as some people are trying to make it. I want to say at first that the game was planned to look and play very different. Sonya was planned to be playable character, Raiden was in the storyline, Fatalities were in, secret areas, more stages and etc... But..., for some reason John Tobias left Midway half way through the development and all his ideas left with him. As a result the game was turned into a low budged game (offered in the end for just $20) and was rushed. Mortal Kombat: Special Forces is a third-person action adventure. You have run by default, 2 punches and 2 kicks, plus 4 special moves (2 variations of Dash Punch and Ground Stomp). There is a block button but what is funny is that you take the same amount of damage if you get hit while blocking.
All characters are extremely small, and there is no jump. The graphics would have been just fine if the game was released a few years earlier, but for a 2000 release they are just outdated. The music and sound however are nice. You need an experience to learn new combos that will make your game more easier, however the only useful combo in the whole game is the Cross, Cross, Triangle one, which if not finished is something like an infinite against all bosses except Tasia. What you have to do is just tapping the Cross button like insane. The game also offers weapons, which are probably the most enjoyable part. Everything except Grenade Launcher is fun to use. The storyline is extremely weak. You have 5 stages with 5 bosses, only two of which are old faces - Jarek (Stage 3) and Kano. We unfortunately never get to learn who No Face, Tasia and Tremor are and how they are involved in the storyline.
As I already said, the gameplay is only the half of what it could have been. If you have the ability to pick both, Sonya and Jax, your choice would have influenced the gameplay and your course through the game. But, now you only get Jax as a playable character, which means you only play one course through each level. I remember in one stage you had to swim, but that was taken out. In the last stage you can see some guys with Uzis. Their model was planned as the model for Kabal, a character who was planned to be Boss in the game. Sonya was also left out and wasn't even mentioned. What is really insulting is that John Tobias is not even listed in the actual game credits. After you beat the game you get Mortal Kombat Co-created by Ed Boon. Tobias was not even mentioned, weird policy by Midway for their ex-workers. Mortal Kombat: Special Forces is definitely not a good game, but at least it is not the only one. If you are a real Mortal Kombat fan, give it a try, even if it is only out of curiosity.
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Written by: firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank">ded_
Date: October 12th, 2009