Genre: Fighting Developer: Sculptured Software Publisher: Williams Ent. Players: 1-2 Released: 1995
Back in the days of my youth, I racked up a ton of hours on the first three Mortal Kombat games. Mind you I didn’t have a SNES, so I didn’t care how they played in comparison to the arcade. So one day when I saw this game at a flea market one day years back, I jumped on it. And I sure didn’t regret it.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 was made by Midway and released by Williams (a subsidiary of Midway, much like Arena and Flying Edge were part of Acclaim) in 1995. It is essentially an upgraded version of Mortal Kombat 3. It adds a lot to the table in terms of content. For starters, the roster has been expanded to include a whopping total of twenty-seven characters, five of which are secret ones. This is a huge expansion over the original Mortal Kombat 3 game, which featured a paltry seventeen characters, only three of which are secret. Sheeva has been taken out of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, most likely due to cartridge limitations, but the same was done with the SNES version, so no ground lost. The character Rain not found in the arcade version has now been added as a playable character as well! Also, Animalities, Mercies, and some of the levels from the Genesis MK3 and the arcade have been lost as well, including the Balcony, the Street, the Graveyard, and the Bell Tower. There are also only ten hidden Shao Kahn treasures instead of twelve. This port may not be perfect, but it does the job in terms of recreating the game as a whole overall.
If you’ve played and/or own Mortal Kombat 3, you pretty much know the gameplay of this game. Virtually nothing has changed from MK3, so I’ll be relating the game to MKII instead in terms of graphics, sound, and so forth. The game’s mechanics have been spruced up from MKII and a special combo system has been included. You can now pull off many combos, including air combos. You also get a damage percent read-out after doing a combo. The feature is interesting, albeit somewhat useless. One thing has been added in though from MK3, and that is a special run move. Run allows you to rush at your opponent at top speed and start up combos by simply hitting them. It helps speed up the gameplay a small amount, especially after one of the fighters has been knocked to the other side of the screen. Other than that, not much has been added besides new special moves for characters, and a broader selection of finishing moves.
The graphics in this game are basically the same as MK3. The game has given everything a more realistic look to it when compared to the slightly cartoonish look of Mortal Kombat II. Everything has a grittier feel to it: the levels, the character designs, and even the copious amounts of blood look a bit less like ketchup this time around. It still looks almost nothing like blood, but then again, this is Mortal Kombat.
I’m not a big fan of the sound in this game; it just seems kind of mediocre. The background music is extremely melancholy, and sometimes it’s used multiple times in different levels. For example, the title screen music is the same as the music for the soul chamber. Sometimes it just gets a little boring. The sound effects also seem a bit dulled as well. Screams just sound downright strange. For the girls, you would’ve thought they were getting raped rather than getting punched and beat-up. The guys don’t sound much different either. Blood hitting the pavement sounds a lot more like water, but at least the punches and kicks sound alright. Mortal Kombat II definitely had the better sound overall though. Everything didn’t sound as bizarre.
In conclusion, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is a decent enough game. It brings a lot to the table from Mortal Kombat II, and it upgrades the game in some spots, especially combos and character selection. I actually would say that this game does offer enough of an upgrade to actually warrant a purchase, even if you already have Mortal Kombat 3.
SCORE: 7 out of 10