Mortal Kombat: Special Forces Review
Midway's Mortal Kombat series was once believed to be the biggest threat to Capcom's more gentler less gruesome Street Fighter franchise. Mortal Kombat was completely revamped for its Super Nintendo release but was released it all its gory glory for Sega Genesis. Nintendo tightened their belts and decided to give MK2 a full arcade translation by letting MK2 be played with fatalities, blood and everything else that made the game a hit. Another year another MK title, but fans were asking for more right so why not deliver it. MK3 had many added features, including the combo feature that made the game excel over previous MK games. Finally Mortal Kombat arrived on to next generation systems such as N64 and Playstation. Mortal Kombat Trilogy was the PS update of Mortal Kombat 3, but this time Midway pushed it, they basically released the same Mortal Kombat game wih a few more characters and tried to pass it off as a new game. Then they released yet another MK title (Mytholigies: Sub Zero), the game was criticized as being the worst Mortal Kombat as well as a horrible game. Meanwhile with Mythologies being bashed, MK4 was playing on the arcades and surprisingly doing good. No doubt about it that MK4 will be seeing a console port very soon and indeed it was true. Midway was working on MK4 for PSX, N64 and the PC, the results were decent but not great. The PS version and N64 were playable but didn't bring the arcade visuals that the PC version offered. But still there was nothing special about the MK franchise and it was quickly turning into a waste of time. Midway still hasn't realized that the MK series isn't wanted anymore, but they still decided to do Mortal Kombat: Special Forces. Special Forces arrived a while ago but we were busy doing many more important things with PSX Extreme, but I finally reviewed the game so see how it did.
It's clear that Midway didn't even scratch the surface of pushing the PS to any of its limits. Nowadays we are all used to our fancy lighting effects, great special effects, smooth FMV sequences and lush environments. But MK: Special Forces offers everything of the opposite, lame visuals, no lighting effects, cheap special effects and FMVs gone horribly wrong. Here are the details; the character detail overall isn't too bad but the same enemies are used over and over again, I have come across 5 different looking enemies throughout the whole game. The FMVs are incredibly grainy and the characters that are displayed look like thin rectangular blocks. The joints are separated and the whole body looks like one giant rectangular texture. Let's move on to lighting effects and special effects, well there aren't any. If you call cheap lighting source and blood good special effects then there is something wrong with you. Mortal Kombat: Special Forces is a waste of money, the semi barging price (19.99) is definitely not worth it.
The only way to describe MK: SF is run, punch a guy two thousand times, punch him more, move on and punch another guy a couple of thousand times. You read me? This is one of those games where all you do is punch, kick, punch kick etc. Dropping Sonya for some apparent reason, Special Forces has you fighting in Jax's shoes. The game is also incredibly flawed, Special Forces takes place before the first MK and yet Jax has his metal arms on. Now what a minute, didn't he get those in MK3, now that's how you know when a company is trying to make a quick buck. Throughput the whole game in SF you will find yourself always on the surface, that's because you can't jump, climb on other textures around you and for an action game that is a disgrace. Oh and did I mention that incredibly cheesy artificial intelligence, the opponent first of all blocks 80% of the time making killing him a pain the rear, and if you are in a 2 on 1 situation the enemy's buddy will just stand there and wait while you swing at him. The story is moderately weak and it goes something like this. Kano (Jax's worst enemy) has helped many criminals escape from the Special Forces security facility and when Jax finds out about this he threatens to kill Kano. Now I want to mention something, when Jax reacts to an event in the beginning of the game he shows emotion in his stance which is him kind of screaming at the sky but the way the voice actor says it is without any feeling at all. So Jax is standing next to this wreckage with an enraged stance and what comes out is *in a soft voice and girlish voice* "I'll get you for this Kano". I wet my pants when I heard that, the quality of Special Forces is so poor that this may very well be one of the worst PS games to date.
The voice acting is average but at times can be incredibly deficient. The characters may sound as if they are zoning out and falling asleep. When playing the game the only thing you will often hear is grunts and that's about it. The sound is really bad let's just leave it at that. The music is cheap and the voice acting could be better.
The control isn't as bad as I thought but it is too repetitive and has absolutely no sensitivity in the analog sticks. You basically have 2 punch buttons and two kick buttons, and at times you will be required to combine them to pull off poor looking combos. If you ask me I think that MK: SF should have definitely been cancelled, this was a title so dramatically flawed that it isn't even funny. Hell more than half of the original creators of the MK series left Midway so there was surely nothing to work with. Mortal Kombat: Special Forces may have a pretty cool neon green case and a $20 price tag but this game isn't even worth buying copied and playing on a modded PSX. Folks just stay away from this game no matter how big of a MK fan you are. Special Forces deserves to be locked up and thrown into the forbidden list of videogames.