Mortal Kombat 2 Reader Review
Three euro or two quid. That's how much it costs to resurrect a classic arcade machine from the nineties and bring it to your living room.
It's the exact same game, same characters, same stiff yet somehow balanced game engine, and one of those games where you could play as Shang Tsung and he could actually morph into the other characters. Before the travesty we were forced to witness in the otherwise satisfying Deadly Alliance.
In case you haven't noticed, my favorite MKII character is Shang Tsung. Because the game is nearly completely loaded from the HDD to the memory and not loaded by bits from a CD (like back in the day), it runs fluidly even as Shang switches appearance. Just like an arcade. That Kitana-Fan Lift-morph back-Three Flaming Skulls combo is feasible again, love it.
Now, to be honest, there really is nothing special about the game. It's just a straight port from the original arcade game, hacked to work together with the PSN. The PS3 controller has plenty of available buttons, so the conversion of the controls was pretty obvious. You can use either the d-pad or the analogue stick to move, and while neither of them controls your character perfectly, it will work pretty well most of the time. Just like back in the day in the arcade, the game doesn't reveal to you the fatalities and not even special moves (even though nowadays there's gamefaqs, anyway).
Half of the fun is about learning how to do fatalities, even if there is little gameplay involved there. The other, better, half is finishing off your friends online. This version gives solid PSN online support: you can invite friends, accept invitations, or face a randomly chosen opponent. The online interface is pretty bare bones in that it simply consists of a hack that assigns the host player as the player on the left and the guest player as the one on the right, and then boots the arcade emulation in this way. It works fine, and in this way makes sure that arcade features such as the possibility to fight Smoke or Noob Saibot, or even the hidden Pong game, are still present. Just don't expect anything fancy like headset support.
The single player mode is, just like the arcade, agonizingly difficult. You WILL feel like a supreme champion once you defeat Shao Kahn, I can guarantee that. But single player never was what this was about, two-player is where it's at.
If you easily get itchy about spending 3 euro/2 quid don't bother downloading this. If you're into two-player fun, download it, and enjoy this classic for what it is. With your friends. Online or offline. You'll find it a good deal.
7 / 10