maanantai 25. kesäkuuta 2012

DOUBLE REVIEW - Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 & Mortal Kombat Trilogy

GENRE(S): Fighting
RELEASED: October 1995 (Arcade)
DEVELOPER(S): Midway Games, Avalanche Software (GEN, SNES), Eurocom Developments (SAT)
PUBLISHER(S): Williams Entertainment
DESIGNER(S): Ed Boon & John Tobias

GENRE(S): Fighting
RELEASED: October 1996 (PS1)
DEVELOPER(S): Midway Games (N64), Point of View (PC, SAT) Avalanche Software (PS1)
PUBLISHER(S): GT Interactive, Midway Games (PS1)
DESIGNER(S): Ed Boon & John Tobias

In October 1995, an arcade game named Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 was released. It was an update to the original Mortal Kombat 3 – a successful but risky game, which had fans raging and frowning over the loss of many of the franchise’s classic characters and traits. This new version included most of the characters, as well as a couple of new multiplayer modes and a new type of finishing move for each character. Ever since home versions of this game were released on the 16-bit consoles and the Sega Saturn in 1996, it has become known as the official version of Mortal Kombat 3, and it has subsequently been re-released in Mortal Kombat 3’s place on several occasions. Just a few months later, this update was further updated with Mortal Kombat Trilogy, that saw release on the PlayStation and the Nintendo 64, and later, Sega Saturn and the PC, which already had their versions of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 available. Confusing? I guess it is. I don’t mean to confuse you any further, but seeing how both games are apples from the same tree and their purpose is almost exactly the same, here are reviews of both Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for the SNES and Mortal Kombat Trilogy for the PC.


The Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 line-up...
Fresh off the Mortal Kombat movie train, I was jumping ahead to Mortal Kombat 4 on the Nintendo 64 until I remembered that I had the two updates to Mortal Kombat 3 to take care of. The average of this marathon would’ve suffered if I didn’t, ‘cause at the very least Mortal Kombat Trilogy is an often overlooked and underrated game. Since I owned the original Mortal Kombat 3 on the SNES, I never got around to buying the Ultimate version. It’s a good thing I didn’t spend my money on it on top of the original game, but I would’ve gladly replaced my copy of the standard Mortal Kombat 3 with it – especially since the cartridge was all fucked up and worked about 10% of the time.

The most important asset of both these games is the huge variety of playable characters. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is very much solely based on Mortal Kombat 3, so all the characters from that game return, except for the kind of strange exclusion of Sheeva – who does appear in the arcade, Saturn and PC versions, though. New designs of Kitana, Mileena, Jade, Reptile, Noob Saibot, the masked version of Sub-Zero, and my all-time favourite (no shit?) Scorpion join the fold. The game also introduces the new ninjas Ermac and Rain, who both went on to appear in the awful Mortal Kombat: Annihilation movie as members of Shao Kahn’s extermination squad, and features the return of Human Smoke from Mortal Kombat II as a hidden character. Overall, there are 25 playable characters – even Motaro and Shao Kahn are playable via a cheat code – so I think everyone’s as happy as they can be with Mortal Kombat 3 now. The franchise’s age-old tradition of hidden stuff all across the arcade ladder was a bit lost in their decision to make all characters playable from the start, but hey, 25 playable characters, most of their features and moves digitized from actual human beings, in a 16-bit fighting game? You have to understand that takes up a lot of capacity, be the cartridge 32-bit or not. You wanted this, now bear with it.

...versus the Mortal Kombat Trilogy line-up. Not
a bad performance from either one.
Mortal Kombat Trilogy has even more redesigned characters, actually everyone who was ever anyone, hence the name “Trilogy”. Since all of the secret characters of the past are made playable from the start, including every boss from Goro to Shao Kahn, there’s a new character – once again a ninja (sort of) – a female one, by the name of Chameleon. Seriously, they’re ALL here, and there’s simply no place for anyone to start flapping their gums about how Boon and Tobias allegedly destroyed the Mortal Kombat legacy by taking their favourites out. Now that we have this debated subject out of the way, let’s see how the gameplay fares.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Scorpion tells
everyone that Smoke farted.
Two words combined sum up both games perfectly: BRUTAL DIFFICULTY. Mortal Kombat was easy, if you were cheap enough. Mortal Kombat II was very hard, Mortal Kombat 3 was almost impossible, and these two games are one step closer to being impossible to beat. It doesn’t matter which size of ladder you choose, it doesn’t really even matter which difficulty level you choose – Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat Trilogy will both fuck you up the ass. You want practice? You get practice in the form of one single opponent, and that’s your first opponent. Everyone that comes after, it doesn’t matter who, is a brutal bag of those combos you grew to hate in Mortal Kombat 3, an endless reserve of the skill to block everything that comes their way, and annoying ranged attacks. Both of these games are fucking insane, but the positive side to this is that the “new” characters have basic attacks that make progress a little bit easier. Take Scorpion, for example – his close-range, knife-assisted combo does a fair deal of damage, and it’s difficult to block. If you’re enough of an enthusiast, you might not beat the games, but you’ll surely have fun with them.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 doesn’t really have much more to offer in terms of gameplay in comparison to the original article except for the Brutality finisher, which is EXTREMELY difficult to pull off, but Mortal Kombat Trilogy has the Aggressor meter, which sticks out like a sore thumb as soon as you start the game. It’s supposed to make things a bit easier. It’s simple: fill out the Aggressor meter by kicking ass or getting your ass kicked, or by executing special moves, and you become stronger and faster for a short spell. It might help a bit. I’m not sure, because I have a serious problem with the PC version.

Mortal Kombat Trilogy. Smoke pays back in
You see, the PC version has severe compatibility issues with any joypad, particularly the Xbox 360 controller. Now I know the PC version was released in 1997, when joypads weren’t that common and even the creation of the first Xbox never crossed Bill Gates’ mind, but it doesn’t even work right with an early model of the Microsoft Sidewinder. For some odd reason, the game automatically assigns any joypad as “Controller 2”. To my knowledge, it can’t be reconfigured. Secondly, no matter how much you tinker with the button configurations, you can only assign the buttons for basic movement, the punches and kicks. Thirdly, configuring the buttons yourself is a guessing game. The button options are just numbers, from one to ten. For example, if you’re using an Xbox controller, you have to assign each move to one button at a time, test it, and if it doesn’t work, you move on to the next one, and the next one, until you find the right one. The weirdest thing about this is that the Xbox controller has ten buttons, and the game lets you assign moves to ten buttons, BUT does not register Back, Start, or the triggers as buttons. If you’re a wizard with the keyboard, congratulations – stick with it. I certainly couldn’t.

Both games are good. What makes Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 stand out is the wide selection of characters in a mere 16-bit game, and it’s a huge improvement over the last one. Mortal Kombat Trilogy, on the other hand, has all the Mortal Kombat characters you could possibly want, and extremely fluid controls, IF you can get them to work on the PC. I decided to review these two games in one, ‘cause there really wasn’t much to say about them as individual games, but plenty as two updated versions of a game that was originally good, but now obviously lacking.

+ Lots of characters to choose from
+ Both games have mutual and individual minor qualities that shape the Mortal Kombat 3 gameplay experience for the better
+ Mortal Kombat Trilogy has the best controls out of all 2D Mortal Kombat games…

- …However, the PC version suffers from severe controller compatibility issues
- Both games are insanely difficult; once again, combos that are extremely difficult to land once, are used as basic attacks by the CPU

< 7.9 (UMK3) >
< 8.1 (MKT) >

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti