Ultimate Mortal Kombat (DS)

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Ultimate Mortal Kombat, the name says it all. What was the best Mortal Kombat game in history? Some would argue that Mortal Kombat 2 was perfection but I would still say that Mortal Kombat 3 was the pinnacle of the franchise – as 3D environments obviously do not suit this franchise which was originally built around a 2D environment. If sweeps and uppercuts with the odd “TOASTY!” for good measure is something that appeals to you, then this is for you!

This is basically Mortal Kombat 3 scaled down for use on the DS. Seeing that the DS does not yet have any decent fighters, it’s an obvious move by Midway to cash in on something that just needs minor altering for the handheld as the game is already in existence.

Puzzle Kombat

Before continuing I should mention that there is a nice little extra add-on for this game – Puzzle Kombat is available for times when you are tired of fighting and need some puzzling in your life. A really nice addition to the game! For those that have never played this game before, it’s basically a Tetris clone with your chosen Mortal Kombat characters fighting each other on the bottom screen depending on how well you place those blocks.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat Screenshot 1

Anyway, back to the heart of this game. If you at any point in your life played Mortal Kombat 3 at the arcades, on the Mega Drive or SNES then you will have a very good idea of what this is all about. Nothing has been tampered with and it is an exact arcade port. Even the hidden characters are still hidden and there are no extra characters available that you have not played with before (which is quite a shame), even the stages are the same. So one does find it quite hard to perceive a reason to buy this game as it is really a 16bit game emulated for modern technology.

Seeing that the DS does provide little functions to enhance game play, Midway did make use of one very important aspect – Fatalities. Do you remember sitting at the arcade or in front of your TV randomly pressing button combinations to pull off a fatality? Or printing the entire fatality moves list? It was hell I tell you! Well, the DS’s top screen has all the moves for your gaming pleasure, available to memorise at any point in the match if you see you have a chance of winning. Not just Fatalities but also Brutalities, Babalities, Animalalities and Friendship. It really just feels so awesome having all of the fatalities available just by casting your eyes to the top screen, barely missing anything at the bottom screen…it sure beats looking down at a printed piece of paper on the floor!

Ultimate Mortal Kombat Screenshot 3

Ultimate Mortal Kombat Screenshot 4

2D Mortal Kombat is back

Secondly, for the first time, we have 2D Mortal Kombat online. It is quite awesome but unfortunately my skillz were not up to scratch in this 3D day and age and some 2D Mortal Kombat veteran kicked my butt before I could blink an eye. It did, however, have no slow-down issues and things really worked well. It also gives you an option to download this game to a friends DS for some two player glory, but if he does not have the game you will only be presented with four characters to use.

The thing that does bug me about the game is not that it is set in a 2D environment, as 2D really does suit this franchise much better – nearly like Sonic the Hedgehog – but the fact that they only presented us with the characters of Mortal Kombat 3. Do you remember Mortal Kombat Trilogy on the PS1? Now that would be perfect for the DS. That would be the ULTIMATE Mortal Kombat game to ever grace a handheld.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat Screenshot 2

Your ticket to 2DMK-realm

The game play is as tight and entertaining as it was back then but the animations of the characters do seem a bit out of place in comparison to smooth 3D animations of the top fighters these days like Tekken, Dead or Alive or Virtua Fighter. Sound clips are also a straight conversion which really does sound terrible because of what we have come to expect from games these days.

This game will sit in your DS dependant on the online multiplayer factor. If you plan to play this alone you will have nice cinematics for each character, which is a bonus, at the end of the game and the quick pick-up-and-play mechanics work very well for it. The thing is this – if you are an avid old 2D Mortal Kombat fan who is dying to play this type of game on a handheld or online then this is possibly your only ticket to 2DMK-realm.

Pros: Fatality lists at your fingertips – literally; online 2D Mortal Kombat.

Cons: Not the full set of Mortal Kombat characters; outdated graphics and sound.