It's been ported to every system available, and Midway shrinks it down for your GBA. Find out why Andres has been banging his head against the wall for a week.
From the bloodless SNES port of the original Mortal Kombat to the excellent N64 port of Mortal Kombat 4 by Eurocom, the series has been played on almost every console available. Unfortunately, not every port has been so successful. The latest version of Mortal Kombat comes to the Game Boy Advance, courtesy of Midway. Regrettably, their effort with this port of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 falls into the latter category.
Fortunately, it isn’t all bad. Of special note is the sound accompanying this game. Sound effects are crisp and clear, and the voice samples are quite possibly the best yet on the Game Boy Advance. The music is classic Mortal Kombat, subdued but fitting to the style of the game, and it is also well translated to the Game Boy Advance.
Graphically speaking, the game looks very much like the original game. All the characters are easily recognizable, and the backgrounds are well translated to the small screen. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much where the good points end. Dithering and slowdown plague this game. At keys points in the action, the game will slow to a crawl.
If you have played the original Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, you may recall that it was a six-button game featuring a button for high/low punches and kicks, blocking, and running. This was translated to the Game Boy Advance with the face buttons handling both punches and kicks and the shoulder buttons handling blocking and running. Although this is an understandable concession, there wasn’t much of a reason for the developers to change the timing of the moves. Many moves that were simple to pull off in the original game are now nearly impossible to do.
With all these problems, there isn’t much hope left for gameplay. Sadly, it doesn’t end there. Thanks to the poor controls and the slowdown, combos that worked in the original game are in many cases impossible to pull off. Even the combos written out for each character in the manual are simply, in many cases, out of the question. On top of all this, the artificial intelligence in the game is terrible to say the least. At the default difficulty level it is nearly impossible to defeat the AI opponents, while at the easiest difficulty it becomes a simple matter of finding something that works (such as Liu Kang’s fireballs) and using it repeatedly until the opponent is defeated.
As if all this weren’t enough, many of the things that made Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 a good game have been removed in this port. For instance, many characters and stages are missing. Every character is also limited to one fatality and one friendship move. Animalities and babilities are completely missing.
Whether the blame lies with the publishers for rushing the title out the door, or the developers for developing such a poor game, Mortal Kombat Advance is a very sad title that everyone, including fans of the series, should stay away from.