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Kombat Kolumns: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for Xbox 360

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Fans have been crying for a perfect home port of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 since its arcade release. Unfortunately that never happened, not until the release of the game for Xbox Live Arcade in 2006. Although almost perfect, the game has some issues which make it stay a small step away from the original arcade one, it is, and probably will remain the best home port ever created for Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for XBox 360 Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for XBox 360

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for XBox Live Arcade has really just one main purpose, and that is to provide online competition. It is that simple. However, it succeeded for a while but slowly people started to stay away from it, mainly due the stupid ranking system, lag, delay and of course cheating players.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for XBox 360 Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for XBox 360

The game is an emulated arcade version, but this time there were a few changes made. First and foremost, this version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is the arcade version 1.1 (which isn't the latest). You can easily check this by entering the 999-999 kombat kode. You can also run and combo the CPU after hitting it with Teleport Punch with Human Smoke, Scorpion or Ermac. The AI is way more easier in revision 1.1 then in 1.2, and a lot of fighting strategies that work here do not work in the newer revisions of the game. Rain and Noob Saibot are not playable and Ermac, Mileena and Classic Sub-Zero must be unlocked using their respective Ultimate Kombat Kodes. Not only does this require 2 controllers, but it becomes particularly annoying in that the characters do not stay unlocked properly. There is a simple fix however, make sure that you don't exit to the dashboard using the Guide button after unlocking them and always go to the character selection screen in single player first before heading online.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for XBox 360 Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for XBox 360

Xbox Live online VERSUS support was added. Online leaderboards were created to keep track of all time network stats and friends. Multiplayer comes in the form of the usual ranked matches, and player matches. The difference being that in ranked matches, you can only play one match until you are booted back to the main menu. In player matches, you can play with the same guy for as long as you like. There is also a mode called "Challenger" in player matches, which is essentially a re-creation of the arcade scene. Allowing a maximum of 4 players, the winner stays as the two other players who are waiting can watch the match. All in all, the multiplayer is pretty much perfect except for a rather annoying bug that will have you fighting on the same 2-3 arenas almost the whole time (which was well known glitch in UMK3 Arcade too). One of the pluses in online mode is the voice chat, which was missed in Mortal Kombat II for PlayStation 3.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for XBox 360 Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for XBox 360

The graphics are arcade perfect and the game supports HD output (where the screen is surrounded by MK Dragon). The screen size is also adjustable for anything between 4:3 and 16:9 televisions. There have actually been some minor sound improvements for a smoother audio experience, but most people won't notice any differences. One of the few things you may notice is that occasionally the music pauses for a moment if you end a fight without doing a finishing move.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for XBox 360 Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for XBox 360

A lot of Achievements were have also been included. It seems that this is without a doubt the best home port of the game. The only thing to mention here is that input isn't as good as arcade. The XBox 360 controller is horrible for this game, but this is not a development issue. A move in the wrong direction was that you cannot change the control-settings, and if you want to use a third party control like madcatz pad or stick you are out of luck. You can't play 2 on 2 or Tournament Mode online. The game actually resets every time you play it. Say that you play one match against someone, you win, and you are immediately send back to the lobby then the game is pretty much reset. So you start it again and then you start at Scorpion's Lair AGAIN! The speed of the game is the same as in the arcade, and there are no sound glitches. I've heard people complain that sometimes the character select screen is messed up when you unlock the hidden characters like in the MAME/PS2 version, but I cannot confirm it.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for XBox 360 Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for XBox 360

Other than a healthy dose of achievements, and the online mode added, there are still some things about this game to mention. There are no control options and not even a moves list (the moves list is really not that important but it was a great addition to the Nintendo DS version of the game). Anyway the game is definitely the best home port of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 so far.

At the end, I would like to say thanks to Patrick McCarron of The Realm Of Mortal Kombat for his assistance.

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Written by: ded_
Date: January 5th, 2010