It’s that time again to protect Earthrealm, battle between the six realms has started again and Earthrealm needs protecting. It is up to you to help the warriors of Earthrealm in the tournament that has come to the PS Vita.
PS Vita owners can look forward to the ultimate version of the game, because not only all the DLC are included, but exclusive features and content. Mortal Kombat for PS Vita is a direct port of PS3 version, which is why we will concentrated mainly on the new content.
The PS Vita contains game modes just like the PS3 version with the classic arcade and battle mode, story mode, the tower of the challenges, training, and the Versus and tag team mode. The crypt and necropolis are also making a welcomed return. The new additions include a second challenge-tower, two additional bonus games, and exclusive outfits. One thing what was missed was the King of the Hill’s online mode. But then again the surprising Easter Egg was the augmented reality feature used in practice mode. For those that don’t know how to access this the instructions are:
1. Enter Practice Mode
2. At the Character Select Screen, press [Triangle] to bring up the arena select screen
3. At the Arena Select Screen press [Left Shoulder] and [Right Shoulder] to enable AR mode. (You will know you have done this correctly if you hear Shao Kahn’s laugh)
4. Select your characters to enter Practice mode.
The arena itself is inspired by the Kombat Tomb, which was an environment from MK2. Instead of looking out into the horizon of Outworld, the user can see the fighters looking out over wherever they may be.
Next is the story mode, which is the same as in the PS3 version and leads you through the tenth Mortal Kombat tournament where you fight for the fate of Earthrealm. As noted before everything is that same except for the graphics, cuts scenes were not affected as much but gameplay was sadly. The ‘Kombatants’ seem a little pixelated in certain areas at times which was a let down. But on a positive side, button response was smooth and fluid, so if some pixelation from time to time is the sacrifice I have to pay for smooth and responsive gameplay I’ll take it.
The tower of bonus challenges has 150 additional challenges, which consist of various tasks. Easy fights that have been provided with handicaps, bonus games, reaction games, or all mixed. For example, you have to fight a common opponent and destroy missiles with the touch-screen before they damage you. The challenges are ideally used in order to showcase the special PS Vita features, such as running Fatalities using the touch screen or to generally exercise moves. The towers offer a challenge with not a big variety of modes, but also sufficient enough for a longer replay value and entertainment.
The two new bonus modes are, test your balance and ‘Test your Slice’. In test your balance, you’ll have over 15 levels on a small object with a certain amount of time we maintain a balance on it. This mode use the motion sensors of the PS Vita. If you do not manage to stay on beam balanced, you inevitably fall into a death pit. With ‘Test your Slice’ Slice any items such as severed heads, skulls and bodies as they wildly fly across the screen, which you must cut through them via the touch screen. At the same time, bombs will fly across the screen, which can be detonated by shaking your Vita. The higher levels become more difficult, but the six bonus games are still a welcomed break between fights.
Next is the online mode which can be done via WiFi or ad-hoc. WiFi is a great way to challenge players from around the world. You have the choice between classic 1v1 or tag team fights. There are ranking fights, private matches, player statistics and leaderboards. The gameplay and response times didn’t seem to be laggy or have any problems when I played, also match finding didn’t seem to be a great big issue either.
The gameplay of Mortal Kombat is based on the classic style of the series continue, the PS Vita has no big experiments. As a small innovation, integration with the touch screen to the gameplay is a nice idea, and so far it has been welcomed. For example Fatalities can be done by running your finger across the screen. In the X-Ray moves has this implemented in a way also, when your power bar is filled completely, you can activate X-Ray by tapping on the X at the end of the bar. Otherwise, you can expect the usual high-concept gameplay of Mortal Kombat.
Graphically, Mortal Kombat doesn’t fully live up to its big brother on the PS3 version. But on the positive side is that it has retained the 60fps on the PS Vita and so everything runs smoothly. The display acts pretty impressive. The edges are not always as clean as on the PS3. As a whole Mortal Kombat looks good on the PS Vita, it still offers a varied and colorful set of stages, as well as the usual excellent animation of the fighters.
The loading times of the game are vanishingly small, so you can start the game quickly and immediately start the fights. Here Netherrealm has done a really good job on making sure gaming on the go is as fast as you would want.
Mortal Kombat has brought a title to Vita that was needed in the absence of recent game releases. It is the most complete version of the game that trumps in terms of the big console offshoot. The two additional mini-games are nicely done and add value to the game. Along with, all DLC characters, including Kratos or Freddy Krueger included, and you can also look forward to exclusive outfits. Graphically, Mortal Kombat makes a good impression, even if it does not quite up to the console versions. Since it is a handheld game, you can see through the one or other blemish quite away. With the AR mode, steady online, new mini modes and extra content, this game should be in every Vita’s consideration as a must buy. Especially how spaced recent releases are for $39.99 this has more than enough replay value for on the go gaming. The team at Netherrealm should be proud of this work as Mortal Kombat seems to be the best fighter out for Vita.