When I heard Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 was released, I had to try to at least try it out. As a console gamer, I hadn’t really though about what this type of game would be like on a touch interface. I hadn’t played any fighting style games like Mortal Kombat before on my iPhone, so I figured if there was ever going to be a first, this game was it.
As can be expected, the game starts with a menu screen, and then character selection. If you were a fan, or even remember playing a Mortal Kombat game before, you’ll likely recognize the linear fighting gameplay and the progression from one fight to another fairly quickly. This game has a few good things about it, and a few not so good things. Let’s start on a positive note:
1) Gameplay: It sticks true to what Mortal Kombat has always been. The gameplay is the same (with the exception of course of the touch screen interface) and the progress through the story are the same. There are the same characters as before, although not quite as many as you may be used to (I have yet to unlock “Raiden”… he better be in here!). There are even fatalities (which are actually easier to prompt then it was on the console).
2) Customizability: If you do not like where the buttons and joystick are arranged, you have the option to move them to, quite literally, anywhere on the screen. It doesn’t care if your hands will cover your view of the game any… if you want the button there, you got it.
3) Quick learning: It’s very easy to learn how to play. Even if you’ve never played Mortal Kombat before, you’ll still be able to pick it up and go relatively quickly. Like most games, however, you cannot expect to win every time, and beat the whole thing without first fine-toning your skills. That’s a plus though. Keep them playing, and make them earn it.
4) Extras: The game comes with a few extras. One, as you may have guessed, is the ability for multiplayer (because what would a fighting game be without being able to bash in the heads of your closest friends?). You can connect via WiFi or Bluetooth, making it super easy to just find a friend, and fight to the death.
I like the game, for all the reasons above. But don’t get me wrong, it does have a few flaws as well:
1) Gameplay: Yes, while gameplay sticking true to it’s nature is a good thing, having glitchy, touch interfaces are not. The attack commands work fine, I have no issues with it responding to what I want to do with my character. The touch-joystick (which of course controls movement, and aids in the selection of your techniques) however…. not so much. I frequently have the stick doing things I don’t want to do, such as ducking when I want to move forward, or taking a step back when I want to press UP+button (for a combo or something). While it’s likely that my thumb is the stupid one, and not the stick… the very nature of the game requires quick responses without much thinking. The way the interface is set up with the stick, however, requires a little bit of thinking.
2) Online Presence: You’d think a game with Achievements and such would support GameCenter by now. After all, Apple has been pushing it for a while now, and many games, some that even aren’t really multiplayer at all, are supporting it. So far, Mortal Kombat is nowhere to be found on GameCenter. What makes this even a little more irritating is that you can only play online against other people on your network… with an iDevice… and Mortal Kombat… running and looking for somebody to play with… at the same time (you see where this is going? How often does that happen?). The only reason I find this distressing is that I would have though this simple concept game would have been able to play online, like UNO, another game that has been matching people up since it’s early versions before iOS 4.0. Come on Mortal Kombat… I wanna play against people world-wide! If not, at least give me GameCenter.
3) Graphics: I probably think this lacks because I just got done playing Infinity Blade, and as you can tell from our review: Infinity Blade has amazing graphics. Perhaps it’s wrong to compare these two, but even without comparing, I feel it’s lacking a bit from what it could have been, especially since it has a lot of pre-rendered images. The backgrounds are great, but the characters during battle should ust be a bit sharper, and less “boxy.” Perhaps it’s just me and I’m not being fair… yeah that’s likely the case.
4) Price: It’s $6.99, which is a bit steep for what it is. It’s just what EA does for their games though, and it’s a decent port from an old game… Still, it cost less for Madden right now!
Overall, it’s fun to play, when you aren’t frustrated with the joystick not cooperating with you. I’d say it’s a disadvantage of touch interfaces, but I’ve played games that do it very well (some use a d-pad… which I think is much better on a touch screen. My opinion though). It is fun to play though, and It’s also challenging. I found myself dying a few times on the novice stages, and I can’t seem to win yet on the Grand Master difficulty (cause I’m not good enough to be a Grand Master).
I rate this title: 7/10, only because of one factor: Price, and comparison to other titles like it, namely: Street Fighter. Although street fighter does cost more, it’s gameplay is smoother and it’s controls are solid, even with the similar layout.
Recommend? – At it’s current price of $6.99 I can’t say I’d recommend buying it quite yet. If the price lowers, or the game gets a big update, then by all means indulge yourself. It’s totally worth it if it goes on sale, or they drop the price, to perhaps $4.99. EA Games is having a HUGE holiday sale right now, where pretty much all of their games are just $0.99. This game, for whatever reason, is not included in that sale.
HERE are some more Screen Shots:
Download Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 from the App Store. It is compatible for all iOS devices, running 4.0 and above.
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