Mortal Kombat Advance

Full Name: Mortal Kombat Advance
Game Size: 5.6MB
Language: USA
Genre: Action, Fighting
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Rating: 4 Given by 157 Peoples

Mortal Kombat Advance for GBA: A Pocket-Sized Brawl

In the early 2000s, the Game Boy Advance (GBA) was a powerhouse of portable gaming. It allowed players to experience console-like gaming experiences on a handheld device. One of the franchises that made its way to the GBA was the iconic and controversial “Mortal Kombat.” “Mortal Kombat Advance” brought brutal battles, fatalities, and memorable characters to the palm of your hand. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of “Mortal Kombat Advance” and see how it stacked up against its console counterparts.

The Gory History of Mortal Kombat

Before we jump into the specifics of “Mortal Kombat Advance,” let’s take a moment to appreciate the legacy of the “Mortal Kombat” series. Created by Ed Boon and John Tobias, “Mortal Kombat” made its debut in arcades in 1992. It was an instant sensation, primarily because of its digitized graphics, over-the-top violence, and unforgettable catchphrases.

“Mortal Kombat” was in many ways a rival to Capcom’s “Street Fighter” series, but it distinguished itself with its realistic graphics and a unique cast of characters. It introduced the concept of finishing moves known as “fatalities,” which allowed players to execute their opponents in gruesome and creative ways.

The franchise’s popularity led to numerous sequels, spin-offs, movies, and even controversies. It played a significant role in the debate over video game violence in the 1990s. Despite the controversies, “Mortal Kombat” remained a beloved part of gaming history.

The Portable Challenge

Bringing “Mortal Kombat” to the GBA was no small feat. The GBA’s hardware limitations, including a smaller screen and less processing power than home consoles, presented a unique challenge. However, game developers at Virtucraft Studios were determined to give fans an authentic “Mortal Kombat” experience on the go.

The Gameplay

“Mortal Kombat Advance” attempts to capture the essence of the series’ signature 2D fighting gameplay. It features a roster of popular characters like Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Liu Kang, and Raiden, each with their unique moves and fatalities. The game also introduces new characters exclusive to the GBA version.

The controls are simplified compared to the console versions, given the limitations of the GBA’s button layout. However, it retains the series’ signature combination-based fighting system. You can still perform special moves, combos, and, of course, fatalities.

One notable aspect is the inclusion of a “Combo Challenge” mode, which helps players learn and master character-specific combos. It’s a welcome addition for newcomers to the series.

Graphics and Presentation

Visually, “Mortal Kombat Advance” does a decent job of replicating the characters and stages from its console counterparts. The character sprites are detailed, and the animations are smooth, although they naturally had to be scaled down to fit the GBA’s resolution.

The game’s backgrounds are less detailed than those in the console versions, but they still capture the essence of iconic “Mortal Kombat” stages like the Pit and the Living Forest.

The biggest visual drawback is the smaller screen size of the GBA. “Mortal Kombat” games are known for their detailed character models and visceral action, and some of that impact is lost on the smaller display. Nonetheless, for a portable version, the visuals are commendable.

Single-Player Experience

The single-player experience in “Mortal Kombat Advance” consists of an arcade ladder, similar to what you’d find in other fighting games. You choose your character and battle your way through a series of opponents, culminating in a showdown with Shang Tsung and Shao Kahn.

What’s missing, however, are the elaborate character-specific storylines and endings that have become a staple of the series. This omission is somewhat disappointing, as it detracts from the depth and immersion that fans expect from “Mortal Kombat.”

Multiplayer Madness

One of the highlights of any “Mortal Kombat” game is the multiplayer experience, and “Mortal Kombat Advance” does not disappoint in this regard. It supports multiplayer via the GBA Link Cable, allowing you to challenge your friends to intense, one-on-one battles.

The multiplayer mode is where the game truly shines. Facing off against a friend in a brutal “Mortal Kombat” duel, complete with fatalities, is an experience that captures the essence of the series.

The Fatalities Dilemma

Fatalities have always been a defining feature of “Mortal Kombat” games. These gruesome finishing moves have been a subject of controversy and fascination since the series’ inception. However, due to hardware limitations and censorship concerns, “Mortal Kombat Advance” had to make some compromises.

While the game does feature fatalities, they are notably tamer and less graphic than those in the console versions. This was likely a necessary concession to ensure the game’s release on the GBA, which was primarily marketed as a family-friendly handheld.

Some fans were disappointed by the toned-down fatalities, but others understood the constraints of the platform. Ultimately, it’s a reminder of the challenges of adapting a mature-rated franchise to a more family-oriented device.

The Verdict

“Mortal Kombat Advance” for the GBA is a commendable attempt to bring the “Mortal Kombat” experience to a handheld platform. It successfully captures the core gameplay mechanics, character roster, and brutal combat that fans love about the series.

While it does have some limitations, such as the smaller screen size and toned-down fatalities, it remains an enjoyable fighting game, especially in multiplayer mode. For fans of the series looking for a way to take the fight on the go, “Mortal Kombat Advance” is worth a play.

It’s important to remember that this GBA release was a product of its time, and hardware limitations forced certain compromises. Despite these limitations, it’s a testament to the enduring appeal of “Mortal Kombat” that it made its mark on the GBA, adding another chapter to the franchise’s storied history.