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[4/25/08] Mortal Kombat IV


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Mortal Kombat IV

 

mortal_kombat_4-full.jpg

 

Published by: Midway Games

Developed by: Eurocom

Genre: Fighting

Number of Players: 1-2

Release Date:

US: June 24, 1998

Japan: April 1, 1998

Europe: April 1, 1998

Australia: Released

Emulators: Project 64, NullDC, pSX fin, SSF

 

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You can easily point out some new characters, along with some returning veterans.

Since some new MK titles have been mentioned in the last couple of weeks, I decided to go ahead and review the best 3D MK title in existence. MK 4 was Midway's first attempt at making a 3D MK game. They tried their best to stick to the traditional formula, but the 3D transition make it arduous to do so. All of the other 3D MK titles have spectacular graphics, but the gameplay is phlegmatic, but that's another story. This game was first released for the Arcade, just like every other MK title before it. It was then ported to the PS1, N64, and the Dreamcast. However, the Dreamcast version had superior graphics, along with more story content, characters, and stages. This game was called MK Gold, which was actually a port of the original with a few new things added. The game is still virtually the same as the original, and Midway did nothing to improve the gameplay, but anyways, moving on.

 

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Oooooh, 3D Ice Blast! :banghead:

 

Sense this was the first 3D MK title, Midway decided that they needed to meet the bar that Dead or Alive and Tekken set, by putting in Full Motion Video movies at the end of the game when it was completed. The visuals for the FMVs are decent for the PS1 port, but for the Dreamcast port, they looked like rat terds. There was no excuse, since Miday had a superior console to deal with, they did not use the full potential of it. The in-game graphics look great though, but the blood could have used some improvements. They've also added some new characters in this installment, some include Shinnok, Quanchi, and Kai. Some of these new characters were actually first introduced in Sub Zero - MK Mythologies, so they actually do have relevance to the main storyline. In this game, it will be the second time for Shao Kahn to be excluded from the game. This time they brought back Goro, and sinse they aren't using pre-rendered models anymore, his size has decreased, but he does look more taller and with less girth. Every hit on this boss takes little, and repetitive combos get the job done, but to my surprise, he actually is not the final boss, Shinnok is. Shinnok is still considered an equal to all of the other characters. It doesn't make sense to put Goro before this man.

 

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Hmph

Along with the new 3D graphics and characters, the combo system was revamped, and weapons were thrown in without warning. This addition is a small plus, and does really take much skill to use. Although, along with the new weapons for each character, they put in objects in each stage that can be thrown at the opponent. If these objects make impact, it takes nearly a quarter of your life away, and these objects can be thrown without a limit. This can be spammed very easily, but of course there are ways to doge them. The side step can be used to dodge these, as well as ducking. The side step was implemented for the simple purpose of moving around 3D wise. The weapons can be thrown as well, but you can actually pick up another person's weapon and use it against them. There are button combinations, that can trigger a weapon unsheathe, The weapons vary from each character, and they mostly suit the characters personallity and as well as attire. Of course the only character that does not have one is Goro, (not that he would actually need a weapon). The combo system has been changed so that, everyone has the same combo. They can be initiated about the same speed as the older games' combos'. Each combo can vary, in some of them, you can do 3 punches, then after the third punch you are free to do what you want. Some combos can be very long, and some also include using weapons, and using special attacks. To put it in simpler terms, the combos can be made completely by yourself. You can basically press different buttons each time to make a combo longer, and have variation. The more experienced you get, the better your combos will become. I do not think that scrapping the old combo system was wise, but it seemed to be an equal trade out, each has it's ups and downs.

 

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Practice Mode Menu

 

The music for this game is unsurprisingly superb. Midway is known well for creating music for their MK games. The sound effects are also hysterical these time around, and the battle cries and groans are all too amusing. B) Especially when Midway maps all cries and groans to one person's voice, and everyone has the same cry except Liu Kang. The animations are mostly fluid, and along with some animations of people getting various bones broken by grab moves. A grab move automatically grabs the person, and brutally just breaks one of their bones. This is just out of the norm and hilarious. Nothing like these has been seen in previous installments. Stage fatalities make yet another appearance, and this time they are a bit more brutal than before. I can't remember any of them, but I do remember the end of each where the character's face just hits the screen. Also, when hitting a person with a weapon, you can knock them against the camera, and they'll just slide down slowly onto the ground. You can tell that Midway actually had fun creating this game. There has also been a combo breaker, if too many combos are made, the game will automatically cancel them so you cannot spam them over and over. This does well to balance the game, and basically gives the opponent somewhat slack.

 

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I wonder what he's about to do?

 

The models basically have the same colors as the characters back on the 2D games. Although, there is no more palette swapping. Each character has their own unique design. Reptile actually looks like a humanoid snake being, and Scorpion's outfit actually has some design, which distinguishes itself from Sub Zero's costume. Sub Zero also has a new effect, of cloudy ice fog surrounding him, which gives the indication of just how cold he is. You can also input some combination of buttons at the character select screen, to unlock secret costumes. They have carried over, Tag Team mode from Trilogy into this game, so just about nothing was missed. You can also save your newly unlocked FMV sequences on a memory card, and also save your settings. A new practice mode has been put in, but unfortunately, you cannot practice fatalities here. Speaking of which, the fatalities are still here, but aren't as memorable or bad ass. The 2D fatalities were badass for what they were and how they looked. Translating those fatalities into 3D, stole away their individual spark, but I must say MK 4's fatalities are more humor based, and theirs not much wrong with that is there?

 

mc421.jpg

Lots of moves there.

 

Coming to a brief close with this overview, Midway did well to make the first 3D MK fighting game ever. Some things are lost because of this creation, but in the end it was a good attempt. It was actually going in a decent direction, then Deadly Alliance was released, then everything suddenly went down hill. Sense I am a very dedicated and hardcore MK fan, let's all join in a prayer. Let's pray that Midway can actually make a splendid MK fighter, after a decade they have yet to make one good one. And we aren't including Shaolin Monks, which was an Action Adventure game that was MK II based and deserves a sequel. Let's hope that Midway actually quits the crack cocaine addiction, and thinks of something fun and original, that will please all rejoicing MK fans across the planet.

 

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Getting eaten by a skull, how quaint.

I give this game a B.

 

Graphics - 8

Presentation - 7

Gameplay - 7.5

Sound - 9

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I thought this game was absolutely stunning when it came out. It really did a good job bringing Mortal Kombat to 3D. I just think it never really went anywhere after this. I never forget how you fall through the pit of sharp knives if you lose. :banghead:

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I miss Version 2 of this game. Noob was selectable from the beginning and I don't know if it was a glitch or intended but you could literally attack before the word FIGHT showed up.

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