MK4 is Great on the Game Boy Color

This is one of those games that I’m amazed exists on the Game Boy. Mortal Kombat 4 is compatible with the original Game Boy, even if it is meant for the Game Boy Color. It won’t look as good as the Arcade or the console releases. I’m not going to hold that against it.

What I am going to hold against the game are its bad controls, terrible animations, and confusing hit detection. The game is playable, but I’m not sure why you would pick this version unless it were your only option.

TLDR: A Great Version of MK4 if you can’t play the Arcade or Home Console.


This is the game that introduced Shinnok. He is an Elder God, and he had tried to conquer the realms that makeup Mortal Kombat’s world. Raiden had defeated him and imprisoned Shinnok in Neatherrealm.

Quan Chi helped Shinnok to escape from his prison. Shinnok seeks vengeance on the other Elder Gods for his imprisonment and sets off to take over the realms.

I like the idea of having a martial arts tournament much more than this, but I think that plot had run out of steam. This is where the game’s story would get increasingly confusing, even if it was still very interesting.


This is a one-on-one fighting game. Each fight is a two-out-of-three match that ends with the possibility of performing a fatality. It isn’t as bloody as the other games, but that could be due to the version I’m playing.

The first thing I want to mention is the roster. The Game Boy Color has 8 out of 15 characters. Here is a list of the characters in the Game Boy Color port:

  • Quan Chi
  • Tanya
  • Reiko
  • Raiden
  • Lui Kang
  • Scorpion
  • Fujin
  • Subzero

Here is a list of the characters that are missing from the game:

  • Goro
  • Jerak
  • Jax
  • Johnny Cage
  • Kai
  • Noob Siabot
  • Reptile
  • Shinnok
  • Sonya Blade

There are two unlockable characters in Mortal Kombat 4. However, the Game Boy Color port only has one. The character select screen doesn’t have names, which is desperately needed for the Game Boy games, and the pictures can be hard to tell who the characters are.

The AI seems a bit off when you start the game. However, it does ramp up in difficulty as the game goes on. It made the game better as I didn’t feel like I was hopelessly outmatched, and I could get used to the controls.

It is similar to the second Mortal Kombat game on Game Boy. The controls are good. Given the limited buttons, they did well with this game.

One thing that had to be changed was the sidestep in the other game ports. Mortal Kombat 4 is a 3D fighting game, and the Game Boy wasn’t going to be able to do that, so it was turned into a 2D fighting game.

There are issues with hit detection in the game. It is my biggest problem with the game, even though it isn’t as bad as the ports of Mortal Kombat 1 and 3.

Overall, the gameplay is solid. You’ll have the usual issues of playing Mortal Kombat games on the Game Boy. That boils down to not having enough buttons and missing characters.


This is where I have issues with the game. The animations are awful in this port of the game, specifically when you hit your opponent. It makes it hard to tell if you’re hitting your opponent or if they’re blocking your attacks.

I was extremely frustrated by this. I had to watch the health bars to see if my attacks were hitting. Every once in a while, your opponent will react to being hit, but it is inconsistent. You have to assume that your hits are landing.

 Since Mortal Kombat 4 is a 3D game, it was made differently from the previous three games. This changes the game’s art style, and I think it looks worse than the previous Game Boy games. It still has good graphics but doesn’t look as good as the other games.

Overall, MK4 looks good on the Game Boy. There are some issues with animations to the point where you might be surprised by winning or losing.

8/10. It is a good game. Having to port, a 3D fighting game to the aging Game Boy came with several concessions. I like this game as much as I liked the second Mortal Kombat on Game Boy.  


  • Good Controls
  • Good Graphics
  • Fun to play


  • Missing animations
  • Missing characters


This is my second favorite fighting game on the Game Boy. I think it looks good for a Game Boy Game. I like how the Mortal Kombat II port looks slightly more than this one.

The developers did an excellent job of converting a 3D fighting game into a 2D fighting game. They couldn’t get everything from the arcade into a Game Boy cartridge, but I think they put together a solid fighting game.

I still prefer MK2, but this game is good if you can’t get to the arcades or don’t have one of the console ports.

Published by Paul Werkema

Hi! I'm here to share my hobbies with all of you. I love video games and books, so I write about the books that cover video games or are novels about video games.

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