Kombat Kolumns: MK3 VS. Ultimate MK3 VS. MK Trilogy (Part 2)
In Part 1 of this Kombat Kolumn, I reviewed the differences and the similarities between the arcade versions of Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. In this, second part, I will compare the PC (Win) and PSX (Greatest Hits) version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy and the arcade version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Which game gets the upper hand? Can Mortal Kombat Trilogy be considerate as a better version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3? Lets find out...
So, what's new in Mortal Kombat Trilogy? I want you to know, that if the game is played only at home, then it is OK. You can have fun against the CPU and with couple of your friends, but let's see why the game is not better than Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 if played competitively. You have all characters including bosses and old school versions for Kano, Rayden, Jax and Kung Lao, although they do not have running animation - they just move faster while you running LOL. Plus, of course, they have only 1 Fatality and no Animalities (MK1 characters don't have Friendship either). I will review these characters in detail later. The game has more bios during the demo and the team has even put together a "new" story too! Sadly, not all arenas are here: The Throne Room, Palace Gates and Warrior Shrine are missing and no Mortal Kombat 1 soundtrack, just Mortal Kombat 2 and Mortal Kombat 3, and these tracks are slowed down - that's probably because of the conversion of the audio. It should be noted, that some arenas are cut (notice the floor) shorter and have new elements (like Pit I clouds and Moon). The arenas also have no ending and finish crescendos, just regular tracks. New Finishing Moves for a lot of characters have been added and everyone now has a Brutality. The graphics are OK, but are not anywhere near arcade's level. If you take a screenshot from the game and resize it to Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Arcade version, the characters and text look really ugly. Tons of Kombat Kodes are removed and now you have like 20 Kombat Kodes total... The Endurances in Battle Plan sometimes have 5 to 7 opponents in there, no idea how this works, so it seems to be completely random.
All characters are smaller and because of that, some infinites and combos from Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 are not working here (like the universal crouch LK infinites and c. LP ones). There is also a new Aggressor mode which fills after regular and blocked hits and once activated your character becomes faster and does more damage until the Aggressor is gone. This mode counts as an unbalanced feature, and although the game is not good for tournaments, the Aggressor mode is always turned OFF for when it is present. Something very important that NEEDS to be said is that Mortal Kombat Trilogy is about 33% FASTER than Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for the Arcades. This makes some of the harder juggles almost impossible to be performed. Also the game seems to be a mix between Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 1.1 revision (CPU patterns!), so you have the Mortal Kombat 3 run jabs too! The run jab pressure here is way more easy. Add the speed issue to that and you get the picture! The Loading Times are a huge pain in the ass in the PlayStation version. However, this was not team's development issue, and rarely effects gameplay, if you exclude Shang Tsung of course. The mini- game Galaga has been removed, and I have no idea why, since the game targets the home gamer and has been a great bonus feature. One secret character is also present - Chameleon. Chameleon is a male ninja, with no storyline or ending and he changes completely random into any of the other 7 male ninjas, so its hard to use him properly in combos and juggles. He doesn't have the properties of his counterparts in the previous Mortal Kombat games - he is not faster, and takes normal damage. You can make some unique combos with some good timing. He seems to eventually get stuck as Noob a lot, and will never change into anyone else. Let's know take each character and see what is new:
Noob Saibot (playable in UMK3 only through hacks) has a beyond full set of moves, and previously had none. The Disabler is a projectile with very fast start up, traveling speed, and recovery. When it hits, your character cannot block attacks, and cannot hit you for a short period of time. This move has a bizarre reset property when it wears off, it breaks the counter, no matter where you are when it is done. If you're in the air, the combo resets and so does damage, but you still are completely vulnerable as you would be normally, ie: no instant recovery. One Disabler = infinite potential on many characters. Noob Saibot also has a Teleport Slam, which, when it connects, can comboed either with his special moves. This move has an infinite property. If you put enough time in between uses, you can repeat it. This is typically satisfied by 3 aaJabs. Noob's faster walking speed allows him to get these necessary jabs on virtually anyone. He also has a Clone Throw, which works like Scorpion's Spear, except he throws a clone of himself at you, which runs up and throws you like they would in Mortal Kombat II. If the Clone catches you, you are tossed into the air at an abnormal pattern. With the right timing, Noob Saibot can infinite off his move. He can also infinite off his 4 hit pop up. This means, Noob Saibot can start an infinite off any logical attack, and utilize his moves in combination to make it look fancy, or reset to end things quickly. Noob Saibot's throw also does heavy damage. Noob takes normal damage (he took boss damage in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3).
Cyrax and Sonya have no changes, although Cyrax's air throw infinite is a little harder here because of the characters being resized.
Shang Tsung's morphing ability is increased due to the added morphs he can now perform, however, typically in tournament play, Shang would be required to use the limited (no load) feature, which forces him to select specific morphs. He can max out his morphs by selecting any male ninja, which gives him all the male ninjas due to the fact that they are all palette swaps, and either the robot or female ninjas. He can also morph into his opponent. If your opponent pics any one of the palette swap characters, you can max out your morphs to like 12 characters I believe. The loading times affect a lot of Shang Tsung's gameplay on PSX, while on the PC version he plays way better. Shang Tsung has a corner infinite if morph limit is used, which can help him sometimes. What you have to do, is perform a morph combination for a character you cannot morph to, and it disables the pushback. Also, he cant morph after Ground Eruption now, unless the third eruption hits and the opponent reaches the highest juggle position.
Kitana has no changes or upgrades.
Kano has a Crazy Cannon Ball, which flies around the screen in a random zigzag pattern. I have heard players say it is a useful move, but due to the fact that it randomly hit your opponent and be blocked and you have no control over that, I would say it's definitely not useful, unless in some cases like sweep distance where it will whiff your opponent.
Scorpion has the Forward Teleport Punch. It's not really so much a teleport punch as it is an attacking forward dash. As far as I know, it has no real teleport value. It is very valuable and good for mix ups, but it is just as punishable as his regular teleport. The teleports do not effect each other's usage in terms of frequency, but, they both get disabled after 4 hits, and both do cause damage protection. Regardless of that, this makes him worth picking.
Unmasked Sub-Zero has no intentional differences. His Ice Shower is affected by the new game resolution and his Infinites with it are not working here. His regular freeze has a weird property where now if you spam it, it will disappear on occasion. I don't believe that was intentional, but it can be useful.
Human Smoke is one of the few characters affected by the difference in screen area from Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 to Mortal Kombat Trilogy, because of the resolution, but it does not hinder him in any competitive way. The timing for his double spear combos is a little different but still very doable in match.
Reptile, Jax and Mileena have no changes from first look except that speed issue makes most of the Reptile juggles almost impossible to be performed. Mileena's teleport kick also have different hit properties but thus does not help her much.
Sektor has the Double Dumb Missile. This move is not necessarily a substitute for the regular Dumb Missile. It is good to use in combos, and on the occasional mix up. Also, apparently he can no longer fire a Dumb Missile while a Smart Missile is out. In Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Player 1 Sektor could do this and it made him a lot better than Player 2 Sektor. This is bad news for Sektor. There is a similar issue with Player 2 Jax in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, where you cannot do the Gotcha Grab, or Dashing Fist while charging the Ground Pound.
Liu Kang has the Red Bicycle Kick. It goes farther than the normal one and has a red trail. It's not particularly impressive.
Jade has no changes or upgrades. Sheeva has no changes I am aware, but, her Teleport Stomp is another one of those moves that might benefit or be hindered by the new game resolution.
Kung Lao can now move around during his Spin. This is ridiculous and unnecessary property that makes him in some ways, more broken. Fortunately, his Spin is disabled after one hit so he can no longer do his corner infinite. He also has a Double Teleport. For this move, he will appear in front of you an extra time before he appears behind you. It's somewhat useful.
Robot Smoke has no changes or upgrades.
Nightwolf has a Red Shoulder Tackle which acts similarly to Liu Kang's Red Bike Kick. Also, the recover time on his regular Tackle may be very slightly shorter than in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, but I'm not 100% sure on this. You can punish with aaHPHP, Tackle, Tackle, in Mortal Kombat Trilogy, even in the final version. I believe the only character who can be punished with this mid screen is Jax, and it's very difficult. Also, his Axe is red in his combo (the one that is built into his combo only), and his Arrow is Red when it has the fast start up in a combo. This merely indicates that the moves have been comboed.
Sindel has a Double Fireball, similar to Sektor's Double Missile, however the recovery frames for it are way slower than Sektor's double missile.
Ermac's double TKS combos are affected because of the game speed and requires different timing. His RH, TP, TKS, RH, TP, TKS... combo for example is always blockable here.
Classic Sub-Zero has no changes, he is also the only regular character who has an incomplete set of finishing moves - no Animality.
Stryker has the Double Grenade. He throws both the high and low Grenades at the same time, and has massive recovery time. It's a relatively worthless move unless it is used to terminate a combo for the extra damage, or to win a match vs an opponent on danger, because even if it hits the recovery time is too long and easy punishable.
Kabal has no changes I am aware of but still TOP 3 in this broken game.
I will not go too deep into the new characters. Johnny Cage is an entirely new character. He does not use any recycled animations from previous games. He has a Red Shadow Kick which was a play off the one you could do in Mortal Kombat II, it has longer range than the normal Shadow Kick, but does less damage. He also has all of his special moves from Mortal Kombat II, except the Nut Punch. I don't know why they removed this, other than the fact that they didn't feel like filming the new animation for everyone. He has some really hacked combos, no launcher kick, which I figured they would have done for his combo. Overall, the worst incarnation of Johnny Cage in any 2D Mortal Kombat.
Baraka has been completely transferred from Mortal Kombat II. Added has been the Blade Spin, which is performed similarly to Kung Lao's Spin in Mortal Kombat 3, but with Block instead of Run. This move is crazy broken. I don't understand why they would think to limit this monstrosity to two hits, but not give it damage protection. Two Blade Spins and any major hit and you're taking 50%+. Baraka's Blade Swipe has Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 properties. In Mortal Kombat II it eventually pushes you back in the corner like all moves would do after 4 juggled hits, but in Mortal Kombat Trilogy, he can get a lot of Blade Swipes in the corner before you hit the ground with relatively simple timing.
Rayden is also very similar to his Mortal Kombat II incarnation. He was given a reverse Electricity that goes off the screen and comes behind you. Doing both Electricity moves will result in some frame disappearance. Again, this is just something that happens. He has running and falling animations, and his Superman is built into one of his ground combos. He has some weird ground combo properties as well with holding directions causing a different number of hits which looks like otherwise the same combo, similar to Kabal's 3 and 4 hit kick combos in Mortal Kombat 3. All of his combos feel and look hacked with almost no creativity.
Mortal Kombat 1 Raiden feels ultra hacked. They didn't try very hard to make him feel like he plays in the Mortal Kombat 3 style. He is about as clunky as he was in Mortal Kombat 1, but has now been given an air Superman attack, similar to the one in Mortal Kombat II. His combos are all totally hacked and uninspired. He doesn't have a ducking LP or a ducking LK like in Mortal Kombat 1, but his ducking LK acts like the ducking HK and is as fast as a ducking LK. This results in corner infinites with just the ducking LK after a pop up combo. Fortunately he has a pop up otherwise he'd be last, last, last. His jab animation is pretty hacked up.
Rain is similar to Noob Saibot. He can score infinites in many scenarios. His infinite pattern is not fool proof for every character, but it is dangerous nonetheless. He has the Lightning Bolt, the Water Ball and the Super Roundhouse. He can start his infinite off any of these moves. You can connect a Lightning Bolt to knock them high into the air, a Water Ball on the way down, that pulls them close to you, then do a standing HP, Super Roundhouse, and start his infinite pattern. So, all three specials have infinite potential, and oh yeah, his 5 hit kick combo ends in the Super Roundhouse.
Mortal Kombat 1 Kano is even more hacked than Mortal Kombat 1 Raiden. A lot of his attacks were recaptured for some reason. Kano's victory pose is recycled from Mortal Kombat 3 Kano, at least, I think they used the top half. He has a new kick in his combo, no headbutt, instead an elbow smash that happens 4 times, and his old Roundhouse is missing. His Jabs are totally butchered. They are so unbelievably fast you can juggle up to 4 of them in a string. They hit like machine gun bullets. Also, his straight up (neutral) Jump Kick has a strange property where if you tap the kick while in the air, it will retract and combo out again. Added, is his Knife Uppercut. He rotates his arms in a ridiculous and hacked manner, doing an uppercut. It has reasonable corner juggle potential, but it activates Damage Protection. He also has the same animation flaws as Mortal Kombat 1 Raiden for attacks, however in the final version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, his ducking LK cannot infinite in the corner, but it still is faster and can bump up his corner juggle damage.
Mortal Kombat II Jax is a very solid character. His combos have some more creativity and uniqueness in them. He has an air Sonic Wave. This creates some sinister mix ups with ground and air Wave spam. His Mortal Kombat II moves like the standing HK, gotcha, Ground Pound and Backbreaker for the most part serve the same purpose they did in Mortal Kombat II, except the overhead fist, which doesn't really exist anymore, is part of his combo and doesn't stun. He can't do a grounded Jump Kick to Backbreaker like he could in Mortal Kombat II. He is missing his Arm Rip Fatality, as they obviously didn't feel like recapturing the missing frames for everyone.
Mortal Kombat II Kung Lao is a monster. He has basically everything from Mortal Kombat II except one of his Fatalities. He benefits from the better juggling collision of Mortal Kombat 3 on his dive kick combos. His ground combos like all other added characters are hacked nonsense. He can easily combo off his sweep, however it is always blockable, but extremely fast. They gave him the Superman, and he can do it in air as well. I don't know why but it's totally unnecessary. His chip damage alone is cruel and terrible. His Spin does not push back in the corner, but is limited to one hit before it's disabled like Mortal Kombat 3 Kung Lao's. His pop up combo leads to a semi infinite cross screen. All oldschool characters use the endings of their newer versions, but Mortal Kombat 1 Kano and Mortal Kombat 1 Rayden have new ending images.
And finally bosses. You have Goro, Kintaro, Motaro and Shao Kahn. Sure it's cool to use them for humiliating the cpu, but they should never be used in a vs game. They take half damage, can block in the middle of combo, regular characters cant escape their throws, run jabs have different properties on them, and etc. Should you use them in Single player just for fun - yes! But they are banned for even casual vs.
So, it turns out, Mortal Kombat Trilogy is really not a bad game, if you want to have fun with it for a while... at home. Despite the rushy job they did with some backgrounds, frames and ridicilious finishers, this game could be fun. But when things come to the competitive scene, this game has just too many rules, that needs to be put on the table, so it could be played in tournaments.
At the end I'd like to say HUGE thanks to Shock from UltimateMK.com, for allowing me to use tons of his info for this article.
Rated by 120 Visitors
Written by: ded_
Date: October 24th, 2010