Review by ROD

"Good, but could have been better"

I was happy and curious when seeing the box, saying ''mk-a'' in the front. After all, the game had so little marketing and publicity, I never heard anything about it.

After seeing it, I noticed it was UMK3 for the GBA. I thought ''nah, I already got MKT and MK4 for N64''. Then I remembered the portable mk's. Mk1: Poor control, poor graphics, 6 characters (hey, if MK2 had 7, why was MK1 missing one?) and teeny sounds. Mk2: Great game, but lacks many things. mk3: Back to mk1 style poor control. Mk4: EEEEWWWW

I decided it was time to get a decent portable mk game, so I bought it.

Graphics: 8 out of 10

The characters are easily the most detailed ever to be seen in a portable system. I don't see any blur, and I think they look better than MK1 for the SNES. Actually, they look like MK3 from the SNES, only smaller. The backgrounds are real sharp, and incredibly detailed. They lack some stuff, thoug. For instance, no papers moved by the wind in the street stage, and the green thing in the chamber of the souls is now static. No more movement, no more paralax scrolling, NO MORE PIT FATALITIES. It's a small price to pay, thoug.

However, they feel rushed. For instance, the floor in the kombat temple is very pixelated, and when you lose, the continue numbers look so bad it's a joke. Maybe those numbers were ported directly from the SNES, so they look all weird in the GBA resolution...

Control: 4 out of 10.

This is by far, the worst thing in the game. While MK1 for the gameboy had bad controls, it was fun and still felt mk-ish. MK2 had great controls. MKA's control is not only bad, but it kills the mk feeling. No more ''down to the right, B'' motions for freezing, for instance. Press down, pres forward, press B. It's frustrating. Want to foot sweep? EVEN IN MK4 for the gameboy, pressing down-back and kick would do a foot sweep. Not here. Press down, wait until your character crouches, then press back too, then kick.

It does not only feel un mk-ish (even the crappy MK4 felt mk-ish!) but it also kills the fun.

Sound: 9 out of 10.

Hearing the voice say ''Round one, fight!'' EXACTLY like in MK2 for the SNES is impressive. Lots of voices. The characters have their own voices too, exactly like the SNES ones. Remember liu kang's mickey mouse like
''ooooooooaaahhh'' screams? They're identical. Very impressive.

Fun factor: 4 out of 10.

Why is it so low?

1)Well, the computer's CHEAP. fight scorpion in any level that's not very easy, and he'll teleport-punch 90 times per second, use his spear many times faster than you can press ''block'' and he'll do a cheap combo and you're dead. Wow. Motaro teleports, fireballs, kicks (sounds good, but it's done so fast it reminds me of SF2 turbo with 10 starts! You CAN'T do that, but the CPU can!) and you're dead.

2) The fatalities suck. Some are cheap, ridiculous versions of their SNES counterparts. For instance, kitana upercuts you, and then your *burnt* bones fall to the ground. Sub zero's freeze breath fatality is EXACTLY reptile's acid puke... only that you turn blue and break. 90% of the fatalities are you being touched, and then your burnt bones go to the ground. Hey, why burnt bones? I mean, if you're uppercut or ''kissed''... oh well, guess they had to save memory.

3) While the graphics are SNES level, there's something bad about them. I mean, I played MK2 for the game gear, and saw blur, few colors, low resolution, no detail, and yet, the game was much easier on my eyes than the GBA'S. Isn't the GBA supposed to be better than the SNES? (playstation power!) Well, the 8-bit game gear maybe looks better...

4) Want to have a 2 player game? You need two carts.

Flaws aside, this is the best Mk game to ever grace a portable.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/14/02, Updated 01/14/02

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