The Mortal Kombat II port on the Game Boy is significantly better than the first game. The graphics are better, and the gameplay is much better!
The same team did both games and vastly improved on the first game. While it was fun to see Mortal Kombat on the Game Boy, Mortal Kombat II is a much better game. However, like the first game, some concessions had to be made.
The difference is that the second game better covered up a handheld port’s faults. While not a perfect game, it did a good job compressing the arcade into a Game Boy cartridge.
TLDR: A decent port of Mortal Kombat II, much better than the first game on the Game Boy.
This game picks up after Liu Kang wins the first tournament. In this game, the tournament is going to take place in Outworld. We have some characters returning, a few secret characters are playable, and new characters have been added.
The changes to the characters are explained in the game’s plot. Their motivations have changed or are explained as the setting has moved to Outworld.
The expanded roster is awesome, but I wish some characters had been included because they were my favorites. Shao Khan is the boss now, and Shang Tsung gets his youth restored. We also have some Outworld characters like Baraka being added to the cast.
Shang Tsung, and the other Outworld fighters, attack Earth and then issue a challenge for a tournament in Outworld. The Earth fighters accept the challenge and head to the new tournament.
Liu Kang wins again in this tournament’s lore, saving the Earth.
Mortal Kombat II is a one-on-one fighting game. You can select from eight characters to play and progress through the other fighters until you reach the bosses.
Special moves and fatalities are in the game, but they have had to change how they were performed because of the limitations of the Game Boy. Having them in the game makes this a faithful port of the arcade game, despite the missing features due to the constraints of the Game Boy.
The problems from the first game have been mostly solved in this game. The hit detection is better, the controls are responsive, and it is easier to play the game. The only issue that I have with the game is the control scheme.
There isn’t much the developers could do with the controls besides ensuring they worked better than the first game. Having only two buttons seriously hamstrings what you can and cannot do. However, I think the developers worked well within their limitations.
I was glad that the hit detection was fixed from the first game. In Mortal Kombat II, when you miss your opponent, it is because you did something wrong. In the first game, it was like playing rock-paper-scissors. It was almost unfair.
As you play through the game, it does get a little cheap. However, you could say this about any home console or handheld fighting game. It is a solid port from a gameplay standpoint and a vast improvement over the first game.
This is where the game outshines the first. The slowdown has been fixed, and there is no stuttering. The animations are smoother, and the moves look like they connect with your opponent. This makes it easier to line up your attacks.
The character select screen is still rough around the edges, much like the first game. You can’t tell the difference between Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Reptile (Milleena and Kitana have this same problem). These characters are easier to identify in the arcade and home console ports. However, the Game Boy version would have been better off including the characters’ names.
Being a black-and-white game doesn’t help matters. If it was in color, you could tell the three ninjas apart, as well as Kitana and Milleena.
Aside from the character select screen, Mortal Kombat II looks good on the Game Boy. It doesn’t compare well to the other ports, but it does look good compared to the other games on Game Boy.
8/10. Despite the faults of converting the arcade into a Game Boy game, this version of Mortal Kombat II is quite good. This one is considerably better in every area than the first game.
- Good Graphics
- Responsive Controls
- It doesn’t feel cheap in terms of gameplay and quality.
- Missing four characters
- Difficult to pull off fatalities
- Multiplayer requires an extra Game Boy.
Conclusion I have some arcade memories of this game, but not as many as other players who lived near an arcade. I sometimes conflate this game with the third game. I think it is due to the quick pace of the game’s release in the 90s.