Mortal Kombat II (32X version)
The 32X peripheral was an oddly positioned add-on for the Sega Genesis. While the company was focusing on a next-generation console (which would become the Sega Saturn) they decided to jump to the front of the line by releasing this poorly supported peripheral. Sega already had a large install base for the Genesis as well as an existing add-on (the Sega CD) so sales of the 32X were poor, not only due to support, but the cost and newer consoles looming on the horizon.
That’s a shame as the 32X gave us some of the best arcade translations, almost all from Midway. One of those is Mortal Kombat II, which is the most authentic translation of the arcade title available on a home console at this time. Everything is here and nothing appears to be scaled down or cutout. The graphics are sharp, the audio is sound and the controls are tight.
As for gameplay, MK2 was a major update over MK1. The roster of playable characters was expanded, as were the number of finishing moves. However, it wasn’t just the amount of fatalities that could be performed by each character, but the addition of “babalities” and “friendships” which increased the appeal of MK2. Former hidden fighter Reptile became another palette swap playable character as did MK1 boss Shang Tsung (who retained his ability o change into other characters!)
A number of series staples such as “Toasty”, more pit/stage fatalities, and a handful of other secrets bring this to the forefront of fighting games. In my opinion, MK2 was the best of the series and still hasn’t been topped since.