Mortal Kombat II, which was released to arcades in 1993 and end of 1994 for Commodore Amiga was better than the original in every way possible. It was faster, sleeker, smarter, allowed you to be more reactive, had more characters, more fatalities, cooler bosses, and bigger ideas. It resulted in first-week sales of more than $50 million, which was more than Forrest Gump and The Lion King earned during their opening weeks that same year. For a time, it was the highest-selling video game ever. While the kombatants in the original Shaolin Tournament wagered their lives upon their skills, in Shao Kahn’s Outworld tournament the stakes have been raised. The tournament first tests a warrior’s fighting skill by pitting him against each of the Earth warriors.
Once a warrior has defeated the other kombatants in the tournament, he then takes on the first of the Outworld’s hosts, the demon Shang Tsung. His youth restored by master Shao Khn, Tsung possess both powerful magic and considerable physical skill. Should the warrior defeat Tsung, the next opponent is the huge Kintaro. Kintaro is from the same race of half-human dragons that spawned Goro. Enraged at his comrade’s death (in Mortal Kombat) at the hands of a mere mortal, Kintaro sought entrance to the tournament to seek revenge. Shao Kahn granted him this privilege in exchange for his servitude. Defeat Kintaro and you’ll become powerful enough to face Shao Kahn, the supreme ruler of the Outworld. End his life and his rule and you’ll achieve your objective and become the Supreme Warrior in the Outworld realm. Mortal Kombat II is a game with buckets of playability, and a depth of gameplay to match.
Tactics play an integral part whether you’re morphing into someone else (Shang Tsung) or anticipating a grappling hook on a rope (Scorpion). Canny players (not me, I hasten to add) know when to kick you in the teeth and when to produce a devastating special move. Mortal Kombat 2 is an astounding beat-’em-up, even if you have a casual interest in fighting games, you will want to get your boxing gloves around this, but watch out for that progress-thwarting difficulty level when you play it on your own. Mortal Kombat II is the computer equivalent of a Quentin Tarantino film – so violent in the extreme that it couldn’t be anything other than funny.