The Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Review Page.

Original arcade hardware: Midway Wolf Unit

Blood curdling screams, arcade machines falling from the sky and nearly every “C” word spelt with a K, the Mortal Kombat series brought fighting to new horrific heights. With more palette altered ninjas than you could shake Jade’s stick at, and utterly bizarre ways of executing your battered opponent, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 brings you overkill martial arts to a new level. Or something like that. Just when you thought all that blood leaking out would have killed your foe after the first few hat throws from Kung Lao or spearings from Scorpion, you still got to finish off your poor wobbling enemy in some of the nastiest forms imaginable. Unless you wanted to show off how you didn’t need to block, with a Friendship or Babality.
It was the 20th of February 1997 that I got this, and paid $89.95 at Game Keeper, when they used to be at Penrith. I played it for quite a while and got to learn quite a lot of the moves for just about every fighter. The Saturn’s 6 button pad is perfect for UMK 3. The arcade version had 6 buttons also, and by default, they’re all pretty much set up the same. Although I prefer Run on Y and Block on B.
Unlike the regular Mortal Kombat 3 game, you can now begin various combos from a flying punch, which is great for the likes of Sub-Zero, Scorpion and Liu Kang to name a few.
New fighters include Jade, the return of the original Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Reptile, Ermac, Mileena and human Smoke as well. They all offer new combos and finishing moves to learn.
When you’re up for some 2 player action, be sure to check out the 8 player tournament option. You’ll also get to see the various ending options here once you’re done too. The arcade version required a butt load of credits to do this mode, so you can save quite a wad on the Saturn. Choose 4 characters each, and then biff it out to see who’s the best.
Although the graphics were pretty much identical to the arcade version, the loading times were not. As a CD based system, the Saturn could never really be fast enough to bring you the same experience. The intro sequence was cut entirely from the game, and Endurance stage knocked out characters were removed also before the next fighter appeared. This may’ve also been a RAM issue, although I don’t know how much RAM the arcade version used. So waiting for new fights to start and Shang Tsung morphing was a bit of a pain in the butt after a while. The Mega Drive version of regular MK 3 was instantaneous pretty much, although it didn’t look anywhere near as good, and played quite a bit slower. The Saturn version also has the zooming in feature of the “Choose Your Destiny” columns.
The Bank stage, which was removed from the arcade version due to storage memory restrictions, makes a fine come back in the Saturn version, as does the Graveyard, which wasn’t included in the Mega Drive game.
Apparently the sprites were scaled down by a small percentage to match the slightly lower resolution that the console version runs at. The Wolf Unit games run at a somewhat unusual resolution of about 400 × 253 pixels, which is close to a 8:5 ratio, where as the Saturn version probably ran at 352 × 224 pixels.
Quite a lot of the sound exists on the CD as audio tracks, some of which could have been significantly trimmed to increase loading times. One such example is when you get the “FATALITY” announcement. This stays for quite some time on screen. In the arcade version it would have the announcement, and almost instantly afterwards proceed to the next stage.
There are a few bugs in the game unfortunately. These don’t come up very often, but on longer plays they seem to be more common and even display error messages on the screen. The game doesn’t save anything to your internal or external memory, so characters you unlock and cheats you enter will need to be done all over again on your next play.

Sub-Zero gets ready to give Jade the blow off.
Krunch! Arcade games are quite heavy I suppose.
Shao Kahn slides up close.

Graphics: Pretty much spot on to the arcade original. I think there was some talk originally that the sprites were smaller, but they look pretty much the same to me. Not much to complain about really, although some of the backgrounds look a little patchy and dotty. 80%
Fairly smooth all round, and somewhat decent background animations also, although some of which don’t look quite as smooth as the arcade version. Some of the finishing moves look a bit out of whack. 85%
Pretty clear effects as well as the other grunts, groans and gibberish. The music’s not bad. Some of the speech is missing from the arcade version and occasionally bits of it are missing. 87%
With the slow loading times, you’ll feel less like playing it after you’ve played it for a while. The large array of characters helps you to come back though. 68%
With the Saturn’s 6 button pads, this is really great. No complaints here really either. 91%
Apart from the few bugs and the loading issues, I’d recommend UMK 3, especially if you’re a fan of older MK games. Not so recommended if you already have MK Trilogy though. 83%