The Sega CD got a rock solid port of Mortal Kombat
I just want to say from the very beginning that I'm going to compare the Sega CD version to the Genesis version so if your looking for a absolutely full review then I suggest reading my review of the Sega CD version and reading a detailed review that someone else made of the Genesis version.
Game play: 4
The Sega CD port of Mortal Kombat is pretty straight forward so things that didn't need changing didn't get changed. So since the game play of the Genesis version was a lot more true to the arcade then the Super Nintendo version they developers didn't bother changing anything in this port. Back on the Genesis version if you wanted to get access to the gore and blood of the game you had to type in a code to get it, but on the Sega CD version they got rid of that so right from the start so you get access to all of the blood and uncut fatalities (in the Genesis copy if you didn't punch in the blood code and did a fatality it would be cut and would be pretty much totally different that what the original would be). So as you can see already right from start this port already feels more like the arcade version but guess what, it gets better! Since the Genesis version felt more authentic to the arcade version then any other version on the console market the developers had no need to mess around with the controls of the game. What I mean by this is if you play the Super Nintendo version you'll notice that there's about a full half-second delay in anything that you do. While the Genesis version was nice and tight so if you pulled off a move it would just go without any delay. But sadly not everything is perfect in Mortal Kombat Sega CD land, one major draw back to the game that might keep people away from every trying out this version is the load times. Since CD technology was so young and early in its stages it kind of sucked. Everything had slow loading time and just ruined the game for some people. Let me explain where and why the loading times become such a problem. Imagine that your playing the Genesis version of this game and your at the endurance rounds as most of you know when you defeat or kill one person their body will disappear and the other person will come out and fight you. That's mostly the same in the Sega CD version but what happens in this version is you'll fight one person, their body will disappear and then it will load...and about a full 5 seconds later the other person will appear. Now that may not seem like a lot of loading or that bad at all but the game loads when you first turn it on, when you choose your character so the announcer can say the fighters name, when it loads up an upcoming level, when you pull off a fatality, when you finish a round/match, and loads when another person needs to load up which happens a lot when you fight Shang Tsung. So as you can tell the game play is really just great and would have been perfect but due to all of the load times it only gets 4.
If you look at a screen shot of the Genesis copy and the Sega CD version side by side you might be astonished to find out that they look almost identical. This is actually pretty depressing considering that the Sega CD is much stronger then the Genesis but yet they didn't make it look as pretty as the Super Nintendo copy. Although that's because the developers weren't really trying to make the game look as pretty as the Super Nintendo copy as much as they were trying to make the game as fluid and smooth as Nintendo's copy. One major flaw with the Genesis version is that the character/models only had a few frames to them so when your just standing there not even fighting your character looked weird like he or she's arms would be in one area of their body and then a second later it would be instantaneously moved to another area of their body. So what I'm getting at is that it just didn't look good. Thankfully the developers noticed this problem in the Genesis copy and fixed it in the Sega CD version by adding as many frames to the characters as there were in the Super Nintendo copy. So when just standing there or actually fighting everything looked a whole lot better and just more fluid. So due the fact the game looks graphically identical the Genesis copy it only gets a 3 but the added frames to all of the well everything makes everything look a lot better.
As all of you know the Sega CD uses...CD's! Since the game is on a CD it now has CD audio so instead of the low quality sound effects/music of the cartridge systems the music and all of the sound effects are essentially arcade perfect but strangely the game is still missing some sound effects here and there. I can't tell if their just not on the game or if the game can't load the sound effects fast enough while your playing. Either way if I can't hear them then their not there. Speaking of not hearing things one minor problem I did notice with the audio is that some sound effects just aren't loud enough. So example when I was playing as Raiden/Rayden when you doing the flying move Raiden/Rayden does this yell but the music is much louder then the actual sound effect and although you can hear it, its just not balanced. One more problem although this might not actually be a problem and the developers did it on purpose is that all of the music tracks have been switched. So you'll hear the Pit music on the first stage and the first stage music on some other level. Like I said above I'm not actually sure if this is a problem because the music switch sounds good on the stages that they appear on. So some people may see it as a problem or a fault in the game but I don't. Then again it really depends on how hardcore of a Mortal Kombat fan you are to care about switching the tracks. So that's it for the sound/audio section it gets a 4.5, over all the sound is great and almost perfect the few problems that there are can be ignored considering how small of a problem they are.
So over all the Sega CD port of Mortal Kombat is great and should be checked out by any fan of the series. I'm not guaranteeing that you'll fall in love with it because this review is all my opinion but being a long time Mortal Kombat fan and gamer I'm almost positive that most fans of the series will also really enjoy the game, not just because its on a CD but because its an even greater port of an already great port. So should you buy it? If you already own a Sega CD but don't own Mortal Kombat I would buy it the game for the Sega CD goes for around $15 on eBay and thats with a manual and everything. If you don't own a Sega CD there are other ways to play the Sega CD version that might push you to either buying it or just passing it up.