UMK III for xbla
I have never really been a fan of the fighting style in Mortal Kombat. I prefer other 2D fighting games. UMK III continues my trend of viewing the gameplay in the game as just average when looking at the fighting game genre as a whole. Executing moves and combos in UMK III or any MK game for that matter takes a good amount of skill, and the combos are really tough to string together. I grasp the basics of the game and can still have fun without studying move lists or practicing certain combos. UMK III boasts the largest roster of characters for an MK game, and mostly all of the characters are unique and have their own unique move sets. I really love the character design in MK games from both the visual and personality aspect. All of the staples of the franchise are there including sub zero, scorpion, jade, and others such as Cyrax. Another gripe against the game that really only involves this version is that the xbox 360 controller tends to be awful for fighting games. I found that to be the case. What really disappointed me was that there were no options in the game to set control layout, thus rendering my arcade stick completely useless. Once you get use to using the controller the game is certainly playable. The game features a story tournament mode and xbox live play. The tournaments are broken into 4 difficulty tiers. When a tier is completed you get to pick an option between many different choices. One option would give you the story background of that character, while another would pit you up against a hidden character. This method of different choices adds some replayability to the game, but most of the choices are either the same thing or useless. There is very little story for each character in the game. The xbox live play when the servers were up was ok. I didn't find myself playing it much because of my skill I would be dead with one combo.
As I mentioned previously the graphics and visuals in UMK III are pretty good. I say this even though the graphics havent been upgraded much from the arcade version. I really love how the characters and stages look, and the game features some of the best animation for a fighting game. The color scheme and art style of the game is also very good, and it is a pleasure to look at. The sound design in the game is also pretty good. I love the commentator who always manages to point out when you fail and add his one line phrases into the matches. The music and sound effects are also pretty good, but there is nothing that really stands out.
Overall UMK III is a game that is certainly worth playing. It isn't my favorite version in the MK franchise, but I still found myself having a handful of hours of fun with the game. Nearly every version of the game can be found cheaply, and it should be in any game collector's library.
3.5 stars (7.0)