Review by leeko_link

Reviewed: 07/31/12

An Arcade Perfect Unbalanced Kombat

Everyone knows Mortal Kombat II was one of the most greatest sequel to the series yet. It had being released on each and every popular consoles ever existed and in almost all of them, featured the arcade blood and gores completely intact. With Mortal Kombat 3, Midway is aiming to repeat that success, but with big success comes big sacrificed. Though the arcade version of Mortal Kombat 3 was a hit at first, playing it reveal much disappointment. When Midway was planning to port Mortal Kombat II to the PlayStation, Sony took matter into their own hand and refuse that they don’t want a late port of an old game, instead Sony prefer Midway to port the arcade perfect version of MK3 exclusively for the PlayStation. A deal was sign so after the arcade version hit the scene, news had spread that the only arcade perfect version of MK3 was guaranteed to hit the PlayStation. Does this arcade perfect version of MK3 worth the investment?


You know when Sony said they want arcade perfect for the PlayStation, they meant it and all the graphic visuals, violence, blood and gore all made their presence almost flawlessly on the PlayStation. Character sprites are large and detailed, the original arcade intro was retain, and all the characters from the arcade made it to this port as well as all 13 back-to-back stages (2 are hidden stages) which are all fully presented with glorified 32-Bit greatness. The only problem with all these; however, was that even with all the pretty stuff, the game did tend to glitch a lot in most part. If the game is play on an original PlayStation, during a few matches there will be constant freezing in some area of the arena, most of the time it would be loading issue which mess up a few small part of the stages but won’t often happen. This issue doesn’t happen that often if the game is played on the later consoles like the PS2 and PS3.


There’s nothing wrong with the music or sounds at all. It got all the arcade soundtracks right on the disc and in the game. If you want you can even plug it into a CD player and just listen to all the kick-ass soundtrack it featured. The Subway stage is always my favorite theme and this port does a great job of producing it.


The PlayStation controller like the Super NES controller is perfect for this game with the attack strengths all apply to the action buttons on the diamond layout, the trigger buttons could be use for block and run. Now let’s get to the actual game. First of all, like the arcade game, it featured 15 selectable characters, 5 returning from MKII, 2 returning from the first MK and 8 which are new to the series. Now the problem with this roster is not that it is small, but that most of the fan-favorite characters from the first two games such as Scorpion, Johnny Cage, Raiden, Kitana, Mileena, Baraka, and Reptile were all dropped from the game leaving fans to deal with the remaining storyline characters and 8 newcomers. New to this sequel is Cyrax, Sektor and Smoke (as a hidden character), palette swap cyborg assassins sent by the Lin Kuei, Sindel, a sinister queen from Outworld, Stryker, a riot cop with an attitude, Kabal, an ex Black Dragon member with a vengeance, Sheeva, a female four arms Shokan, and Nightwolf, a Native Tribesman with a cunning spirits. Also new to the game is a half-human half-beast sub-boss creature name Motaro who is now chosen by Shao Kahn as his second in command in the game.

The gameplay like in MKII is simple: sweeps, blocks, throws, roundhouse, uppercut all returned from the first two games. New to this sequel is an original dial-a-combo system that allows character to string in different attacks together for multiple hits and a “run” button as well as a “run” meter for sprinting in battle and chaining combos. Now some of the biggest issues with MK3 here was that in terms of balance, the game is too far apart and there’s a few certain characters that had overpower moves and combos some of which were deem too powerful and unbalanced such as Stryker, Kabal, Shang Tsung, Sub-Zero, and Cyrax. Another issue was corner trapped which would allow a certain character to trap an opponent into a corner and continue rapidly repeating the same move over and over and since this is on a PlayStation, there are loading delays from time to time especially if the player use Shang Tsung’s morphing ability or when they attempt to perform a finishing moves such as a Fatality or Animality.

As for the A.I., the CPU plays out very fairly, there are certain times when the CPU read the player’s input especially if the player play it on the more difficult tower but never in a bothersome way like the arcade version. Also unlike the arcade game, players don’t need two controllers to enter the Ultimate Kombat Kode for unlocking Smoke as that could now be done with just one player or through a cheat menu. I say the gameplay is quite decent here if the players get use to the dial-a-combo and don’t mind the unbalance roster.


As far as replayability goes, this game is quite enjoyable. There’s a ton of versus kombat kode you could discover and some hidden features you could unlock such as free play, the hidden character Smoke, or even fight the secret opponent Noob Saibot like in MKII or play single to uncover all the cool endings as well. As for multiplayer, just as long as you and your friends don’t mind the unbalanced roster or don’t care about the missing character from MKII, then you’ll be in for some good beating.

Is it Worth Buying?

Yes if you’re a collector but in terms of a truly good balanced version of MK3, no unless the first PlayStation console is the only console you own. If you’re a PS2 or PS3 owner, you’re better off getting either the arcade perfect version of Mortal Kombat 3 on the Midway Arcade Treasures 2 collection or Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 on the Mortal Kombat: Arcade Kollection through PSN.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Product Release: Mortal Kombat 3 (Long Box) (US, 10/07/95)

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