Currently, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 by Electronic Ats is being featured in the App World carousel and considering how much of a huge success the franchise has been in gaming history, it was hard to avoid paying the $2.99 to give it a try. While UMK3 has a pretty wide range of device support, the Torch was used for this review.
When you boot up the app, be sure to be in landscape mode. UMK3 doesn’t support portrait mode, due to the way the game is played. As you can see from the below screenshot, the controls use a virtual joystick and two buttons (one for regular attack and the other for a special). Fighting is done with a basic combination of ‘down+special’ or ‘back+attack’. As with most mobile games, you’re seriously limited by what you can do with the device, and the cramped key space means that developers have to get creative with how you play the game.
The most fun part of UMK3 was how easy it was to do a finishing move. I remember back in the day playing Mortal Kombat for first Nintendo system and figuring out how to do a finishing move was harder than translating the first hieroglyphics. The button combinations were absurdly long and the timing had to be just right. Unless you had a subscription to Nintendo Power, you weren’t going to figure it out. With UMK3, the finishing moves are often simply a matter of pressing the special button when the “Finish Him” screen comes up. There’s an element of nostalgia watching the finishing moves, and it was good of EA to make them so easy.
The least fun part of UMK3 was just how basic the controls were and the fact that the developers chose to do a VS fighting game in the same style as the original. This sort of game just doesn’t work on a mobile. The virtual joystick is unresponsive, awkward and the buttons generally don’t respond in the way you expect them to. If EA wanted to do a Mortal Kombat for mobile, they should have avoided the act of walking and moving entirely, because it’s just too hard to do on a BlackBerry.
If you’re looking for a simplified MK experience, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 sort of delivers. The real downside to this game is that the developers weren’t able to come up with a game that made sense for mobile. Instead, the took a console game and took out a few elements in the hopes of making it playable. This sort of worked, but it doesn’t come close to delivering the sort of fun you had on the arcade version.
Porting console and arcade games to mobile is a great test of a developer’s creativity and EA should have done something a little more out of the box with this one. If you’re pressing more than 2 buttons, you probably haven’t quite got it.
I give this game 2 stars out of a possible 5.