This week, Netherrealm Studios released Mortal Kombat X, and while it is arguably the best game the series has ever produced I felt it was a good time to go into the JasonRivera.com archives and bring back my review of one of the WORST games Netherrealm (then a part of Midway) had ever produced: the atrocious side-scrolling "Mortal Kombat Mythologies."
Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero can be considered by many to be one of the four horsemen of Mortal Kombat’s apocalypse in term of popularity with gamers. The other three are Mortal Kombat 4, Mortal Kombat: Gold, and Mortal Kombat: Special Forces. All four titles are so awful that Midway banned the entire Mortal Kombat franchise from its life until somewhere in the mid-life of the Playstation 2 and X-Box consoles. I guess technically that would make the full-length feature film “Mortal Kombat: Anhilation,” the devil incarnate.
Back to the point, somewhere after the release of Mortal Kombat 3, which in and of itself was cheesy in comparison to its predecessor, Ed Boon and John Tobias decided they wanted to elaborate more on the back-stories of several of MK’s more popular characters in their own “Gaiden” games. The first chosen were Sub-Zero and Scorpion, and the developers wanted to explain this rivalry while at the same time possibly introducing new characters that would appear in Mortal Kombat 4. It sounded good on paper, but so did Communism and look how THAT went.
MKM: SZ can be summed up as having the graphics of the original Mortal Kombat, the combos of Mortal Kombat 3 and the fun of neither. It’s essentially a side-scrolling version of the three games in the series itself with Sub-Zero running around, freezing enemies, beating them up, and climbing ropes.
The story is as follows: Long ago before Mortal Kombat existed, the Elder Gods watched over creation. One of these elder Gods, Shinnok felt that he should take complete and full rule over the Earth Realm. Why he felt this way? We really don’t know. The result was that the Gods fired him from being a God (how you get fired from being a God, I do not know), and Raiden sealed him in the Netherrealm and threw away the key (actually he hid it in the form of an amulet in a temple somewhere). Unfortunately since Shinnok is all godly and evil and shit he actually took the Netherrealm away from the Devil himself, with the help of an Oni-Sorceror Quan Chi. Unlike Shinnok, Quan Chi was able to teleport between different realms at will and eventually hired Lin Kuei Sub-Zero to retrieve this amulet for him. Little known to Sub-Zero that in case he failed, Quan Chi also hired a ninja from a rival clan known as Scorpion…
And that’s where this game starts off, with Sub-Zero eventually having to clean up the mess he makes by delivering Quan Chi the amulet, and having to fight Quan Chi and Shinnok in… MORTAL KOMBAT!
The game marked the introduction of Mortal Kombat Characters: Fujin, Sareena, Quan Chi, and Shinnok. Of these four, only Quan Chi ever achieved any sort of remote fandom. Meanwhile we get an explanation as to Sub-Zero and Scorpion’s hatred, and allusions to Sub-Zero’s ultimate fate. Unfortunately to get all this nice story info you have to play the game, which is a chore that makes peeling potatoes seem like a trip to Disneyland. The game controls exactly like a Mortal Kombat fighting game… which is a problem when you’re playing a platformer. Extra controls allow you to turn around, and you can also climb shit. Unfortunately, for such a great Lin Kuei grand master cryomancer, Sub-Zero can’t jump from high places without dying and also can’t swim. He doesn’t even try to maybe freeze the water or something. He just sinks, which is kind of retarded since the body has a natural tendency to float, but honestly from a consistency standpoint, do YOU want to hire assassins who can’t even swim? What if your enemy has a moat? This game is responsible for turning my perceptions of the original Sub-Zero from a ruthless cold-blooded killer into a whiny pussy.
Enemies are everywhere, and you’ll fight demonic-looking creatures in the Netherrealm, Shaolin monks on earth, and all sorts of other perils in between. Oddly enough everything you kill disintegrates into skulls and blood and sinks off the screen. If Sub-Zero were that badass, he wouldn’t have gotten MURDERED during the original Mortal Kombat tournament.
In the end you will take on Quan Chi and Shinnok and ultimately kick their asses and retrieve the pendant only because Raiden forced you to do it, and the whole way you’ll be treated to poorly acted live action scenes of Quan Chi calling Sub-Zero a ninja (which always pisses him off because apparently Lin Kuei and Ninja are two different things), Raiden yelling at Sub-Zero, and Sub-Zero whining (I guess you can't expect a guy named "Bi Han" to be anything other than a fucking crybaby). You’ll also see three 5/10 bitches Quan Chi sends to kill Sub-Zero. Naturally they fail because of all that “hitting people makes them turn into skulls and blood” and stuff.
All in all this game is nothing more than a source of hours of frustration and turmoil, and the only reason I can condone purchasing it is if either:
--You’re a collector who needs to have the entire series of the game in house, or--You have children, they’ve been unruly, and you’re thinking of a unique punishment for them which involves hiding every game in the house except for this one. never misbehave again, and after playing this shit for thirty minutes, neither will I. In closing, I need to take a major shit. Maybe I should put the disc in the toilet BEFORE I actually do so.
There's one more reason. Maybe you're just a sick fuck who gets off on bloated fart-face Shinnok from this game.
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