Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is a perfect example of the degrees Acclaim would go to copy Capcom's strategy. This is not a sequel, this is nothing more than an expansion pack. Like the old Street Figher series, the only difference between Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and "regular" Mortal Kombat 3 is, the addition of a few "new" characters (like Smoke, Jade and Kitana) and a bunch of secrets (mostly unspired fighters like 'old Sub-Zero'). The story hasn't changed one bit - you still have to face Motaro and Shoa Kahn in this "ultimate" battle thing we keep hearing about.
Besides the forgettable Mortal Kombat II port, this is the only real Mortal Kombat-game avaible for Saturn owners. And, let's face it, it isn't very good. The sound is alright for such a fighting game; with the regular yells and screams if you kick someones ass, and the usual average music that works on one's nerves.. The graphics are another story. You get the feeling that the programmers wanted to make them look polished, but if you look closer it's almost possible to count the pixels of a character. The backgrounds are fine though.
But, of course, the most important aspect where the game fails is in its gameplay. Although they're three different options - Mortal Kombat one-on-one against computer or player, 2-2 kombat (which means you pick two characters and fight with one them untill he/she is dead) or 8 player tournament - you problaby won't bother to play them, due to the endless loading times which occur on almost every screen in this game you'll see.
First of all, before you can actually PLAY the game, you have to face some Acclaim/Midway screens and a 'Get ready for battle' screen, which altogether almost last for a minute! Every time you load the game in your Saturn you have to face that shit, because it isn't possible to click through it! After that you've to pick your type of combat as mentioned before - the one you click on seems almost to freeze for 5 seconds, and it takes another 10 seconds of loading time to get you to the pick-your-fighter-screen. If you picked one, you already guessed: another 'almost freeze', and another ten seconds of loading time. By now, you probably spent more time on watching the game load then actually playing it The worst thing is that even the morphing of Shang Tsung makes the game freeze and load for almost 10 seconds everytime you change, which makes playing with or against him nearly impossible!
Aside from the loading time the game doesn't play much different from the Super NES and Genesis versions, maybe they just made it a little faster in-game. The AI is still painfully stupid: early opponents tend to be doing nothing and waiting to be kicked, while later on the computer is almost impossible to defeat, pulling off combinations at a speed which isn't human.
It's also noticeable that they are some non-typical Mortal Kombat (read: useless) options avaible in the game. For example it's possible to turn the 'blood' and 'violence level' off in the option screen! Did they expect mommy and daddy would force you to do that in order to allow you to play the game or what? Another stupid option is the possibility for the 'Shang Morph' - you can pick or that's disabled, or that he can change in all opponents, or only the opponent which he's facing. It doesn't help the the loading times however - even when Shang can only change in his direct opponent it takes him 10 freezing seconds everytime.
Mortal Kombat 3 wasn't one of the greatest games ever and didn't match up to the expectations set by Mortal Kombat II. Unfortunately, the Saturn port of "Ultimate" MK3 hasn't changed ... it's still the same game, but much more irritating due to the endless seeming loading times. If you want a good, fun and fast fighting game for your Saturn, get Fighters Megamix.