Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
Developer: Probe Software
Release Date: 10/27/1994
Also Available On
Mortal Kombat II is considered the best of the 2D games and to another group the best in the entire series. It’s sad how some think the series peaked so early on when it had so much more to offer. Next-generation consoles were here and the series needed to adapt. This game was strung across three different generations. 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit systems. That’s a lot of systems to make a game work on. This would be the last in the series for the original Game Boy. Already 6 years old at this point in time. Sadly, Probe didn’t use a larger cart so we do have some cut content again here.
Thankfully, the gameplay part was fixed. This is by far the best MK game on Game Boy. It’s fast-paced, fluid, and responsive and plays similarly to the console versions. The control scheme is the same as the first game which works. Holding down away and towards plus punch or kick can do sweeps and roundhouses. The visuals have also improved with larger sprites on screen. Fatalities are intact as well as Babalities, however, Friendships were stripped. We still get a stage fatality on Kombat Tomb, but many stages were still stripped. We get The Pitt II, but no stage fatality there which makes no sense. We also get Goro’s Lair again, but it’s just a solid wall of gray bricks. Horray? Yeah, the stages suck here.
Also gone is Kintaro, but we do get Smoke and Jade as hidden characters which is kind of cool. Sadly, Johnny Cage is also missing from this game as well including Raiden, Kung Lao, and Baraka. Why did Probe cut Johnny Cage every time? While the gameplay was a serious issue in the first game the lack of content is the worst offender here is the awful stages. They were acceptable in the first game, but with a larger cart, they could have fit all of them. There is also still no gore or blood unless you count Candy Bonz bouncing on screen as gore.
Overall, this isn’t the best fighting game on the Game Boy, but it’s the best game in the series on the system. Fighting games just weren’t great in the 8-bit era and it shows here. I’m glad Probe improved the gameplay and made animations feel much faster, but we are only getting a part of a whole game.