(A Commentary on Ultimate MK3)
Eight long months of loss and sorrow is what I endured when my favorite character from the Mortal Kombat series was omitted from the third installment, Mortal Kombat 3.
Now all is right with the world as my void has been filled with the arrival of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and the return of my beloved Kitana.
Here blue, low-cut bodysuit covers a lethal force which can open a fresh can of whipass on her opponents at any time.
The two razor-sharp fans she clutches can fly through the air at will, slicing through whatever gets in her path.
It may sound like I possess an unhealthy obsession for a fictitious character, but don't grab the straightjacket just yet. It's just excitement consuming my senses as I not only revel in the reunion, but enjoy the crop of new features in this upgrade to the blockbuster arcade game Mortal Kombat 3, which debuted to mixed reviews in April of 1995.
Some have credited this mixed response to the lack of certain characters -- like Kitana -- in the game. The producers, however, must have read the minds of the millions of fans out there like myself, since the old favorites are back -- Reptile, Mileena, Scorpion, and the classic versions of Smoke and Sub-Zero. That and the fact that Mortal Kombat 3 in the arcade was loosing popularity due to the release of home versions.
Also included are new characters Ermac and Jade, along with new stages and another dimension to the story originally presented in the first game...
Shao Kahn, evil emperor of the Outworld, finally succeeded in his conquest of our planet after failing in the first two chapters of the series. With the rebirth of his "queen" Sindel -- who we learn is the mother of the lovely Kitana, he is able to cross the dimensional gates to the Mother Realm, Earth, and start taking the souls of the populace.
Twelve individuals are protected and -- wouldn't you know it -- they are the participants in the Mortal Kombat tournament.
Ultimate brings Kitana into the picture as the princess of the Outworld -- now a fugitive from Shao Kahn's armies -- who seeks to warn Sindel of the true intentions of her king.
There are many more subplots, which add to the series' mythos, but let us concentrate on the play of the game itself.
The graphics are the usual sort you've come to expect with this series. Kitana and company have become more streamlined, as have their maneuvers. Never before have I been able to complete my woman's fan combo so smoothly.
Oh, and on the subject of combos, those of you who were incensed by the "run" button and all the multi-hit massacres it brought about, should prepare your tempers for a leap, because they are back. The designers of the series claim this button will move the whole fighting game genre in new directions.
Yeah, towards a land known as cheap tactics and suckiness.
A small bit of tarnish on an otherwise flawless jewel.