The Mortal Kombat franchise has been one of my favorite in the fighting genre. Sure, it may not sport the most innovative gameplay or the best graphics, but none of that matters when gameplay is this fun, and with a variety of unique characters and moves, you need nothing else to enjoy this old classic. I remember buying this game back in 1997 for my SNES and playing the hell out of it. My best friend and I had tournaments to see who the best on the block is, most of us even learned all the Fatalities overnight. Now that the game has been released over Xbox Live Arcade, the game now offers a few new obvious editions such as online play. That said though, how does it fair on this generation-console though? Let’s take a look …
Just as it’s SNES counter-part, the gameplay remains the same. With over 15 characters and a few unlockable ones, the game is not much different to the original. Some of your favorite characters like Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Johny Cage are back with their famous moves and over-the-top fatalities. Each character has their own unique fatality, which can be somewhat difficult to pull off using the Xbox 360 controller. If you’re new to the series or this game in particular, you might have some getting used-to before playing online against others or trying out different difficulty settings. This all falls back to the controls with the 360 controller. Once you’re somewhat familiar with each character’s moves or otherwise, your favorite characters moves, it’s time to test it out against harder difficulties or a online opponent. The game plays very well online with minimal to no lag, so you don’t have to worry about your kicks not registering or you moves not executing as it’s a smooth experience and quite fun, since you can play against 100’s of different players.
Just as in any XBLA game, the presentation is a simple as it gets. The menu consists of a couple of different modes such as Arcade and Xbox LIVE, where one let’s you play locally while the other allows you play against anyone in the world respectively, the only problem with online though is that there are little gamers in the world playing the game this late in it’s life time. Menu’s are easy to navigate and you never get lost. The game offers help to those not familiar with the game or which haven’t played it in years. It’s overall a basic presentation that brings nothing new to the table.
In the sound department, UMK 3 has the same old music that the SNES version did but it’s not part of the gameplay or anything in relation to the game but something to hide the silence. Thankfully the Xbox 360 gives you the ability to play custom tracks from your dashboard, so you won’t be hearing the in-game audio at all unless you’re into boring low-sound music that feels like an afterthought. Don’t hold your breath with this one if you’re expecting good sound effects.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 isn’t anything special that makes you miss old-school gaming as it was a basic 2-D fighter that was fun 10 plus years ago when you were playing with your friends on a hot summer day. No, the game feels different because you’ve gotten used to playing 3-D titles and it just doesn’t feel the same with these next-gen consoles. If you’re wondering whether or not UMK 3 is worth a purchase – it all depends. If you’re a hardcore Mortal Kombat fan than sure, it’s something you’ll be able to play until a next-gen MK game is made, but if you’re not, there is no appeal here to a new player to the series. I would definitely suggest purchasing MK vs. DC if you’d like a more updated look and gameplay, until the next true Mortal Kombat is released.
It's nothing over the top. A basic dumb down menu that's simple to navigate.
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The gameplay just doesn't feel the same with the Xbox 360 controller. It can be hard for the new players.
While the music is not a factor. The announcer is what MK games are known for. Did someone hear "Flawless Victory"?!
The online community is full of ghosts, so you're only left with playing different difficulty levels.
While UMK 3 may look the same and play the same as the original, it just doesn't feel right on the Xbox 360. It's passable.