Review: Arcade1Up Mortal Kombat Cabinet

Having an arcade machine in your home can be quite the expensive task. Arcade1Up has looked to bridge this gap with its arcade offerings over the past two years. The company released the very basic arcade titles that old-school fans would like such as Asteroids and Pac-Man, eventually graduating to more popular titles such as Rampage and Gauntlet. When Arcade1Up released its Street Fighter II cabinet, this began to catch quite a bit of arcade enthusiast’s attention. These cabinets aren’t just for kids, as there is quality and an artistic touch involved. Within the past six months, Arcade1Up has received attention for its game selection, with the company announcing it was doing a Mortal Kombat cabinet. What’s great about the company is that it includes multiple games in one cabinet for a reasonable price. This Mortal Kombat cabinet includes the original game, Mortal Kombat II and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (the right MK3). This may just be the most ultimate offering Arcade1Up has served up yet.

In the early 1990s, there were two types of fighting game fans: Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. The fact Arcade1Up released its Street Fighter II cabinet consisting of three different versions of the game opened the door for the idea for the company to do the same with Mortal Kombat. All three games included in the Mortal Kombat cabinet seem arcade perfect. Yes, these are roms and I am unsure what version of each of the Mortal Kombat games this cabinet is running, but the performance is fantastic. In previous cabinets, Arcade1Up had some bugs across various games or a control scheme hampered an experience. Thankfully, Mortal Kombat out of the box is everything a fan could want with no bugs or issues encountered.

If you are more of an aficionado of the recent games in the franchise, you will be in for a reality check when playing the original titles. These games are much more slower and less fluid. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 upped the speed from the previous games and introduced combos. Move sets in these original games aren’t exactly the same as the new titles. For example, Sub-Zero’s slide consists of holding back on the joystick and hitting both low punch, low kick and block. There was little room for error when attempting to pull off moves and that can’t be more exemplified then when attempting to do Fatalities.


One of the underappreciated aspects of the Arcade1Up machines is the cabinet art. Raiden graces the sides of the Mortal Kombat cabinet as that is derived from the original Mortal Kombat II cabinet. The joystick inputs follow suit with the design and the lower front of the cabinet contains all three icons. It also includes the Mortal Kombat marquee across the top and one speaker underneath the screen, which seems louder than other cabinets that Arcade1Up has offered. This has stayed trued with two separate cabinets I have played on outside of the one set for review. A friend of mine even puts a coaster over it because it’s so loud even at the default setting. Again, the Arcade1Up volume adjustment is located near the power button and is a manual switch. The joystick feels loose on this cabinet as it maintains what the other cabinets have offered from the company. The buttons hold up well and all the inputs are responsive out of the box.

Putting together the cabinet can be a chore, but isn’t overly complicated. When we reviewed the previous Rampage cabinet, putting that together was a two man job. Having done this setup myself, I recommend two people even though it’s obviously doable. The cabinet is still a perfect height for a child or sits at a good height to use stools with for adults. Arcade1Up offers the one foot riser that can be assembled and put underneath the cabinet to make it more usable for adults and really capture that arcade feel. The screen brings out bright colors and is equal to the original size from the original cabinet albeit a flat screen monitor.


Closing Comments:

The most important aspect of the Arcade1Up Mortal Kombat cabinet is having a literal Mortal Kombat arcade cabinet in your house. Even just having the music playing in the background will tickle the nostalgia bone. The most appreciative aspect is being able just to walk up, hit start and play MK whenever you please. If there is one Arcade1Up that is worth investing in, it’s the Mortal Kombat cabinet. There looks to be big titles coming for the company, but it’s hard to look past an affordable Mortal Kombat cabinet in your home. Attempting to find all three of these games in original cabinets would cost well above $3,000 and that doesn’t include the power bill.