Mortal Kombat comes to the Playstation Vita with this new and exciting fighting game from the beloved cult classic series! Mortal Kombat is one of the premier and most popular one-on-one fighting games from the nineties, third only to Street Fighter and Tekken with regards to fan following. It made famous the concepts of juggling, which was integrated into other fighting games, palette swaps, extreme gore and violence, and the execution of fatalities, which made it very controversial at the time, leading to the formation of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board or ERSB.
That unique style of gameplay has been integrated smoothly within the Playstation Vita, along with many more additional features that will surely interest fighting fans and MK addicts. Featuring classic one on one fighting action at a very smooth sixty frames per second, the visuals from the Vita’s screen would look very smooth and textured, taking advantage of the device’s graphics hardware. Some sequences would still look blocky, though, but these are compromises that have to be met in order to provide gamers with much more fluid movements and animations. Still, the stunning visuals in Mortal Kombat can be considered as one of the best in the market right now. Player vs. player competition via Wi-FI has also been proven to be fast and smooth under most conditions.
Boasting just under thirty playable characters, Mortal Kombat allows gamers to play as series favorites such as Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Scorpion. Featured characters also include Quan Chi, Baraka, Sub-Zero, and many more. Free downloadable content (DLC) also allows you to play as Skarlet, Kenshin, Rain, Kratos from God of War, and even Freddy Krueger. There are also a lot of unlockable content within the game, so replay value is off the roof, as players can choose to master just one character, or be an expert in any one.
With regards to fighting mechanics, controls are still pretty much the same. Juggling and combos have been improved, much to the style of Tekken, and there is now a power meter that players can consume in order to use powerful attacks called X-Ray commands. Special attacks have been simplified, and fatalities, where you can perform classic and gruesome personalized or environment based finishers, can be performed by doing swipes on the screen. Mortal Kombat also has a tag team feature where you can control and switch between two different characters.
Mortal Kombat features many different modes, such as the Vs mode, Story mode, and Tournament mode. Different modes require you to fight through different opponents, albeit with certain storylines, plot points, and matchup brackets, whenever applicable. There is also a Tutorial mode that can help you get acclimated with the game’s controls, and it can even allow you to perform fatalities at will. As previously mentioned, you can fight AI opponents or human players using Wi-Fi connectivity.
One of the best features of Mortal Kombat is the Challenge Tower. This comprises of over 150 minigames and challenges that puts gamers in the shoes of their favorite characters, while performing tasks and trying to reach objectives. Some of the challenges include swiping at flying organs ala Fruit Ninja, and balancing on a plank while heads are being thrown at your character. These minigames make much use of swiping, directional and command buttons, as well as the gyro control of the Vita. The Challenge Tower games provide even non fighting fans with tons of games to play, if they are the ones that enjoy “wholesome” games of the more mature and gory variety.
Mortal Kombat for the Playstation Vita is jampacked with content, which would greatly satisfy MK fans and fighting fanatics alike. The game features very smooth animations, and battle scars are even worn and stays on the bodies of the fighters during the course of combat. Playing Mortal Kombat in the handheld device would feel like playing the game in a console with much powerful specifications, but the developers behind this game were able to cram all these, plus many more, in one nifty little package.
Mortal Kombat symbolizes the perfect port from home console to handheld device. It assimilates almost all of the features of its previous incarnation, and was able to offer more with regards to content than its predecessor. Visuals are stunningly smooth and fluid, and aside from a few usual glitches and blocky textured animations, Mortal Kombat would prove to be a very entertaining game at the palm of your hands.
The MK franchise has fallen short in recent years by trying to delve into new territories, including going into 3D fighting and crossing over with DC characters. This incarnation of the game, however, brings MK back to its roots by providing great fighting action along with other very enjoyable features. If you are a former MK follower that has lost its way in previous years, then picking up this game would surely rekindle your old love for the game.
If you are an MK fan from years back, then you would surely enjoy this latest addition in the MK franchise. This game includes the same over the top humor and move sets that fans are very familiar with. Classic characters have been included and reinvented, and there are tons of features to unlock and enjoy. The game is also pretty easy to pick up, and due to its Challenge Tower stage, there are a lot of games that can take up players’ time when the one on one fighting becomes a bit tedious and repetitive. Mortal Kombat for the Vita is one of the few games that was fully able to take advantage of the Vita controls to provide a total entertainment package for gamers of all shapes and sizes. Whether you are a Mortal Kombat fan, or simply has a mild interest in fighting games, Mortal Kombat for the Playstation Vita is a great game to purchase and enjoy.
Tested on Playstation Vita. Final Score: 8/10
Mortal Kombat was developed by NetherRealm Studios with original MK programmer Ed Boon at its helm, with Warner Bros. Interactive serving as publisher. It was released on May 1, 2012 and is available exclusively for the Sony Playstation Vita.