What's with the skulls?
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 on console was arguably one of the best games in the series. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 on the iPhone is arguably one of the most fun fighting games on the platform. I’m not saying I personally think that UMK3 was the best in the series, in actual fact, I didn’t think much of it at the time. However, the spirit of the Mortal Kombat series was definitely there, and I’m actually surprised at how well it’s translated over onto this handheld device.
Honestly, the controls aren’t on par with those of the Street Fighter app available for download. The joystick is very hard to get used to; I found myself involuntarily jumping and running around the screen without much of a clue why it was happening.
The game does offer the choice to either use a traditional 6 button layout, or a simplified 5 button layout. The former provides the standard High Kick, Low Kick, High Punch, Low Punch, Run and Block. This provides a complexity in figuring out special attacks and gives it more of a traditional control. The latter, 5 button layout, is actually my preferred control scheme. It simply provides Punch, Kick, Block, Run and Special. Of course, this makes it a lot more simple, but having the special button makes it a much more enjoyable experience for me, even if it does feel a bit too much like cheating.
Depending on your choice in layout, a handy little ‘i’ is always there at the upper left corner providing you with what buttons do what, and how you can hope to pull off some of those awesome specials. Actually, the whole experience is laid out in an appealing and easily navigable manner. The front-end of the game is presented in a simple way, the load screens are slightly odd, but better than the blank screen I’m used to with my iPhone games, the game options are also fairly extensive. Local Multiplayer is available, as well as the standard, classic Arcade, a Survival mode and a Shao Karnage option.
EA have been cunning enough to add achievements, as well as leaderboards for both Survival and Shao Karnage. Unlockable characters are also present as ever, as well as some fun Bios of each of the characters. If you wanted personal stats, they can be found in the Extras menu alongside all of these. It feels as though ElectronicArtsBV have actually made a real effort with what this game gives you, and each feature seems to have been though through quite well. An example of this would be the fact that if you were to exit the application during an arcade battle, on returning UMK3 allows you to continue your progress.
Arcade is the standard fare, and depending on which difficulty you opt for (Novice, Warrior, Master, Grandmaster) you will face a different number of enemies, progressively becoming more and more of a challenge. Survival is basic, you face a single round against enemies with no life restoration and see how many you can defeat before you die. Shao Karnage is a game where neither you nor Shao Kahn have a health bar, but the more damage you do to Shao Kahn, the greater your score. Local multiplayer speaks for itself. No experience feels tacked on or half-heartedly added, and you end up with a wealth of different options.
When it comes down to it, in UMK3 you’re being rewarded with exactly what you’d expect out of a Mortal Kombat game for your £3.99. I haven’t even mentioned the enormous collection of fatalities, animalities, babalities and brutalities available to experiment and have an awesome amount of fun with. If you’re seeking out a fantastic fighting game with precise controls and extremely deep gameplay then maybe you’d be better off with Street Fighter IV for the iOS. However, if you’re a MK fan and want some of the brutal fun on-the-go, well EA have given me a million reason to recommend this as a brilliant option.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 7
- Gameplay: 7
- Longevity: 9
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