The fighting game known as Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 returns with a portable version for Game Boy Advance. It features the 23 selectable fighters from the arcade game such as Liu Kang, Sub Zero, and Scorpion to Smoke, Noob Saibot and Jade. The game itself is almost exactly like the Ultimate Mortal Kombat game which was released years ago for home systems, except for a few things.
Mortal Kombat has always been a one-on-one arcade fighter that pits you against an opponent. You’ve got kicks, punches and special moves during a fight. If you win two out of three rounds, you’ll get to “Finish Him!” Or her of course. There are females in the game like Sonya, Sindel and Sheeva. These fatalities have always been the draw and appeal to the game. Seeing the big pay off at the end of the match that doesn’t just kill, but humiliates any human opponent. Outside of your special maneuvers and fatalities, every character has the same moves. Punch, kick, block, run, up to jump and down to crouch.
Every single move, maneuver, friendship and fatality is in the game, but brutalities and animalities are not (no one should care). Because of the limited buttons of Game Boy Advance, there is only one punch button and one kick button making each move easy to learn! Instead of having to differentiate, back, back, low kick you just have back, back, kick. Instead of low punches and uppercuts, there are only uppercuts. It lacks the depth that the console or arcade versions have, but there’s a much deeper problem.
The game might sound stupendous now, but when you play it, the characters are rather slow and sometimes the animation jerks! Its pretty difficult to play compared to every other version of UMK3. The controls are simpler, yet there’s just something off about them; something slow and rough around the edges. Its not smooth like the other versions and the D-pad or a new system aren’t to blame, it feels like its a programming issue.
The objective is as its always been, select a combatant, pick a tournament ladder and work your way up to the evil Emperor Shao Kahn! Along the way you’ll fight in one on one battles against some crazy and unbelievable ninjas, rogues, sorcerers, four-armed body guards and even a centaur on your way to the top. Its everything you’ve already played before, but in a portable hand held version. The same secrets, hidden characters, with nothing extra or new outside of the fact the title screen was changed to a cheap MK Dragon logo.
Its almost unplayable. I’ve had to endure a lot to make it through the game. If it wasn’t the controls, its the arcade difficulty that beefs up an opponent’s difficulty unless you lose. Then the difficulty drops enough for you to keep playing until the next opponent. Its always been interesting seeing Mortal Kombat’s methodology of difficulty.
If you’re a Mortal Kombat collector (kollector), pick it up, but if you want UMK3 on the go, I suggest that you pack an arcade in your back pocket or find a machine somewhere. Mortal Kombat Advance just isn’t fun to play. Its a big step down, and I would have rather had less characters and backgrounds if it meant the game played well. This feels like a cash in for people like me that didn’t know any better.