Ultimate Mortal Kombat Review

Player(s): 1-2
Multiplayer Option(s): single card play, multi-card play, online Wi-Fi play

Back in the mid-90's many fighting fans had only one fighting game series on their mind - either Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter, or perhaps both. The MK series' third installment marked the end of its 2-D appearance and ushered in the 3-D style games that we now know. Mortal Kombat 3 arguably had the best 2-D gameplay out of all the Mortal Kombats thanks to the added run button and the addition of dial-up combos. Later it had an expansion with the extended title of "Ultimate" that brought back many fan favorite characters from past MKs.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat for the Nintendo DS is basically a direct port of the arcade version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. The graphics remain identical to the arcade counterpart with only one exception - the fighters have a slight pixilated look them thanks to the smaller DS screen.

The game runs just as well as the original arcade game did except for a few slowdown areas. Shao Kahn's rams sometimes have a choppy appearance and fights can slow down if there is a bunch of action taking place on the screen at one time. For instance, if Cyrax tosses out a bomb then teleports while Nightwolf performs his shadow ram then the game will slow down a bit. Other than these few areas, the overall game runs the exact same as the original arcade version of UMK3.

One might think that the MK team may have cut a few areas in order to make the game fit, but it is all here! The returning cast from MK3, the four additional fighters (Jade, Scorpion, Kitana, and Reptile), the hidden three characters (Mileena, Ermac, and Classic Sub-Zero), and the super hidden character (Human Smoke) are all present and accounted for.

The sound is exactly the same as the arcade version with no faults whatsoever. "Get over here's" and Sub-Zero's freeze sound crystal clear with no drawbacks as well as the stage music. From what I have seen with MK ports, the sound is usually the area that suffers from a porting job, but it remains completely fine this time!

The controls are smooth and responsive, but playing this game with the DS control setup takes a bit of getting used to. Some moves (especially fatalities) can be quite hard to do thanks to the control setup. Creating a forceball with Reptile, throwing a fanblade with Kitana, or performing Kung Lao's spin takes more effort with the DS controls when compared to performing these moves a control pad and we're not even going to go into some of those fatality commands - just know that it can be very hard to input some of these commands within the small window of time given at the end of matches (and UMK3 had some VERY short fatality time).