I spent more than just a few of my childhood afternoons choosing my destiny around here. Maybe this is the best Super NES fighting game, maybe not and I’m under the effects of nostalgia, but I simply didn’t get tired of hitting and taking in the dreadful arenas of this Mortal Kombat. Smoke, Cyrax and Scorpion were my favorites – especially Cyrax and his sticky web – closely followed by Liu Kang and his handy fireballs. I still faintly feel the somewhat tense excitement that would invade me every time I reached Motaro.
I was never too good in fighting games – mostly because I never saw great reasons to learn them properly when by just smashing some random buttons and by keeping sure you’re heading in the direction of your foe would be enough to win more often than not – but this one made me learn. Not because I needed to, but because I wanted. When you’re a kid and see Sektor locking a missile on your ass, or Scorpion vehemently calling you there, or Sindel screaming the flesh out of you, you want to do those cruelties too.
Back in the day we didn’t have nowadays’ facilities; for example, we had to actually discover by ourselves – or by checking out suspicious magazines, whose writers always seemed to have the best job in the world despite their weird appearances and nicknames – how to perform certain moves, and anyone who knew how to make a Fatality or a Brutality was regarded as a true master of kombat. We could, theoretically, ask a friend how to throw Sub-Zero’s ice ball, but we knew that the answer, if provided, would come at a high cost… we knew we’d have to teach how to make Jax shake things up, or how to shoot Nightwolf’s arrow, or how to launch the hat Kung Lao got from Oddjob.
One last note. Since I’ve mentioned Motaro earlier, let me talk a little more about him. Let me at least say that he should’ve been the final challenge instead of Shao Kahn. Even though I admit Motaro didn’t have the brains necessary to be the evil leader, he still could’ve been the last enemy to overcome. Forget Deron McBee in Mortal Kombat Annihilation. (there are many people who want to forget that whole movie, I’m aware of that, and I’m not one of them: Two couples of changes here, there, over there and here again could’ve made this movie as good as its predecessor) Motaro is a scary villain no one sane would be happy to encounter in a dark alley. I can imagine myself giggling at Shao Kahn’s outfit but I probably would be petrified if something like Motaro showed up in front of me.
With that on the table, I conclude saying Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is a great fighting experience even by today’s standards. Furthermore, it has a fairly big roster of 23 fighters, and while some of them may have similar styles, there are also unique characters, and I’m pretty sure all of them are worthy of spending some time with.