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iPad App Video Review: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

by Andrew Koziara

The iconic and brutal fighting series Mortal Kombat recently made its way to iOS devices, with Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Even more recently, the game has received an update which arguably completed the experience, adding 10 new playable characters and six new maps. The game has also been on sale since this weekend, so what better time to give it a review?

This app offers the classic Mortal Kombat experience we all know and love, along with simplified controls and a graphical overhaul, and it all works quite well. There are several modes to play, from local multiplayer, to survival, and even a 2-player mode on the same device. Though, the mode that really matters to most people is the arcade mode. Split into four difficulties, the arcade ladder will definitely test your might, even on novice. On one hand, the simplified controls have made it extremely easy for any casual player to pull off special moves and even finishing moves.

On the other hand, the AI is still completely brutal, and anything above novice will destroy any casual players. Rather than High and Low Punch and Kick buttons, there is simply a punch button and a kick button, and the moves you pull of are dependent on the direction you’re pushing the virtual joystick. The virtual stick is kind of hard to use, and you’ll often push it at a diagonal rather than the side you were looking for. Still, the revamped controls are almost necessary for a touch screen game. You can switch back to classic controls if you wish, but it’s just a whole new world of difficult. They definitely revamped the controls for a reason; this game is hard enough on its own. As you can see, I had a bit of difficulty beating Motaro here, and Shao Kahn is even worse. There is a horrible mode called Shao Karnage, in which you just try to get as high of a score as you can while fighting Shao Kahn for a set amount of time. This mode was made specifically for masochists, I’m sure of it.

The 3D graphics look pretty good on the device, but honestly, it all feels a little bit too clean and smooth. The blood and gore has been majorly toned town in this version as well. Mortal Kombat is absolutely famous for how gritty and realistic it was at the time of its release, from the real people used as avatars to all the spine ripping, skull splitting, and chest crushing over-the-top violence. It’s still a really fun game, but it’s just missing a few elements that really make it feel like a Mortal Kombat game. The game does offer a lot of extras, from leaderboards and achievements to character biographies and unlockable cheats. I wouldn’t really call it the “Ultimate” Mortal Kombat 3 experience, but it is a very good one. For five dollars, this is definitely a good deal for MK fans, though at the time of this review it was still on sale for only one dollar for Father’s Day weekend, so if you’re lucky enough to see this review right away, go grab it super cheap.

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