Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (Xbox 360) Review

Back in the early to mid-90's fighting games ruled at the arcade. There were several different franchises that vied for the top spot, some held to be successful, others that flopped. The series that I loved was Mortal Kombat.

The Mortal Kombat series featured full motion actors that were captured and digitized for the game's graphics, a simple combo system, and most notably, an excessive amount of gore and violence.

Some time ago Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 was released over the Xbox Live Marketplace, and it is a faithful port of its classic arcade predecessor, with both its pros and flaws.

One thing I had forgotten about the Mortal Kombat series is how bloody cheap the computer's AI always was. After a few short matches, since the designers want you to die so you'd have to keep feeding the machine quarters, the AI will start to robotically counter everything you do, which includes extremely cheap throws. I've lost count of the number of times the computer has magically thrown me when I was smacking them, or when they've jumped and my hit failed to connect even though I was clearly touching my opponent. Granted, you have infinite continues now, however it still makes for some very frustrating gameplay.

It is nice to be able to play with classic characters like Scorpion and Reptile who were noticeably absent from Mortal Kombat 3, and Fatalities (when you can perform them due to such limited time) are still a hilarious, gory blast.

So is Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 worth your Microsoft Points? If you're only going to use it for a Single Player game, I'd have to say no. The AI is too cheap and frustrating to make it enjoyable. However if you have an Xbox Live Gold Membership and plan to play online, I would expect that you'll be able to have a lot more fun than facing a stream of cheap robot opponents.

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