However much Mortal Kombat Trilogy (N64/4 34%) disappointed, there’s no denying the Mortal Kombat series still has a massive following in the Western console- playing world. Thus, news of the sparkling new 3D MK4 is likely to leave advocates of the fatality-led fighting variant with breath well and truly baited.
The initially-disappointing news is that the N64 version isn’t expected in Blighty until the spring (even though the arcade version — which is supposed to have been developed at the same time as the home version — should be available here at Christmas). Still, a simultaneous worldwide release now seems likely, so UK garners won’t be left waiting for months.
The game itself oozes slickness, with fully polygoned fighters battling it out in gorgeous 3600 arenas. The characters are a mix of the old and new, with favorites Scorpion, Sub Zero, Sonja Blade, Liu Kang, Raiden and Noob Saibot being joined by new kids Tanya, Quan Chi, Kai, Fujinn and green- eyed freak Shinnock. As is traditional, there’ll also be a liberal fist-full of secret characters (including a couple from Midway’s other MK-fest, Mythologies, and an as-yet-unnamed other).
In the arcades, MK4 has had largely positive previews, and its chief developer, Ed Boon, has this to say
About the forthcoming home versions:
“They’re being developed in the UK by Eurocom right now. But if there’s something we don’t like in there, it’ll have to go. Previous developers may have thought we were too picky when we looked at what they’d done with home versions, but we want them to be of the highest quality possible. If that’s too picky then I’m afraid that’s just too bad”. Eurocom, you’ll recall, are also just finishing off Duke Nukem 64.
In a new twist on the age-old MK formula, characters will now be able to arm themselves with weapons. Boon explains: “We’ve got characters with big clubs, mallets, baseball bats with spikes in them, crossbows and even an axe. I think you can safely say there’s a variety of weapons in there”.
So, could MK4 really be the 3D fighter N64 owners have been waiting for? Well, certainly, it’s going to be a damn sight better than MKT. And with its new characters, new arenas, switch to three dimensions and weapons addition it could yet prove to be the Tekken-beater we’ve been so desperately waiting for.