Review by jeremylacroix
Reviewed: 07/02/02 | Updated: 07/02/02
You call this the "Ultimate" Fighting Game? Please say you are joking...
Since Mortal Kombat first appeared in the arcades, home conversions were highly anticipated, until the point where the creators of the series would use any cheap tactic to get the home versions finished as soon as possible, in order to fatten their own wallets.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for SNES used an even cheaper tactic. The developers got the same cartridge of Mortal Kombat 3 (Yes, the exact same game) and removed Sheeva, more than half of the backgrounds, sounds, moves, finishing moves, and in their place, they added 2 more characters. Yes two, they added a female ninja sprite, and a male ninja sprite, and from those two ''additions'', the developers pallete swapped them to form all the new characters. Ever wondered why Scorpion and Unmasked Sub-zero share the same Fighting stance? That's because they are the same character. Midway changed Scorpion's outfit color to blue, added the moves, and then proceeded to put the word ''Sub-zero'' in the health bar. Don't be fooled.
And because this is the same Mortal Kombat 3 released prior, all the bugs that were in the original version were carried over, only to accompany new bugs. I mean, how hard is it to bug test a game? Seriously. For example, Scorpion's spear sometimes travels through the character, the screen shakes a bit, and seconds later, he pulls the opponent close, and in that time you probably already forgotten what combo you wanted to do. Let this be a lesson to Midway, you can't just change a few things in one of your games, and slap the word ''Ultimate'' on it, and expect it to be good.
In the arcade version of this game, which I actually somewhat enjoyed, Mileena, Ermac and Masked Sub-Zero were hidden characters. You had to enter codes in order to play as them. Noob Saibot and Rain were fightable, but not playable. Which makes since, because those two characters were just extra's. It is fun to find hidden characters, but that fun is stripped away as Midway hands you not only the three hidden playable characters from the arcades, but also allows you to play as Rain and Noob Saibot right off the bat. This is not a good thing, as Rain and Noob Saibot have barely any moves, and I don't remember too many, if any, finishers at all for them. This makes it seem that part of the game is majorly unfinished. Plus, this takes away the fun of finding the codes for playing as Mileena, Sub-zero and Ermac. The only real playable character you have to input a code for is Human Smoke, whom is also terribly flawed and pallette swapped. Same as Scorpion, but with a grey outfit.
The fighting engine is the same as Mortal Kombat 3. That makes since, because this is Mortal Kombat 3, although more flawed. Thankfully most of the combo's are here, but they make the game terribly unbalanced.
These are the same exact sprite models used in Mortal Kombat 3, with the addition of sprite swapped male and female ninja's. The characters look as pixelated as they did before, with even fewer frames of animation. Most of the backgrounds are gone now, as well. When Midway removed most of the old backgrounds, they added extremely watered down and boring backgrounds in their place.
Sound Effects 010
Yup, a zero. Most of the sounds were removed from the game. The only sounds left are the flat sounding ''grunts'' and ''groans'' from the previous version, which I could swear sound worse. The announcer barely speaks, and never speaks the name of the fighter whom wins. Midway could have done way better than this.
Since this is the same Mortal Kombat 3 cartridge as before, what few background tunes that were actually carried over, sound exactly the same. Sometimes it is hard to even tell which song is which. Some tunes are actually on the level of average, but the others, well I would rather keep that opinion to myself.
This is actually a good point, but who buys a Fighting game for it's entertaining Fantasy storyline? The only reason this gets a 5 is because it is the same story as the arcade, but it isn't really hard to port over text.
You know the drill, Shao Kahn wants your soul, goes medievel on you, dies, everyone rejoices, etc. This was actually good back in the day.
On a final note, I must ask, why was this game even released? Were Midway that desperate for money? There was no real effort here. I heard of rehashes and some of them are fine, but taking the exact same cartridge as before, removing enough to increase available memory, then adding pallete swapped characters? That takes the rehash cake.
Honestly though, I have seen games on the SNES with far better graphics, gameplay, and sound. So please don't tell me that Midway did the best with what limited technology they had. Mario RPG had a ton of memory, it was a huge game with great graphics and sound. Donkey Kong Country was probably even larger in memory and had breathtaking sound and visuals in its day, so UMK3 has no excuse. If only Midway started from scratch on a cartridge chip with more memory, or hadn't released this at all.
The Good: This game costs around $5 nowdays, and it makes a great paperweight.
The Bad: The pallete swapped everything
The Ugly: It was released.
Overall Score (Not an average): 2/10
Rating: 1.0 - Terrible
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