Having a console with touch capabilities, gyroscopic sensors and other nifty tricks seems like the perfect home for a game that was made famous thanks to it’s slice and dice gameplay and over the top bloody move sets.
Neatherrealm Studios clearly thought the same and bought Mortal Kombat to Sony’s hand-held box of tricks that is the PlayStation Vita. But how does it play with those teeny tiny buttons? Bloody excellent is your answer.
If you have ever played a Mortal Kombat game before, you know just what to expect, a wealth of characters from Earth Realm or Nether Realm are all battling to see who can spill the most claret, or is that save the world? I forget sometimes. The gore is here the fatalities are here, as are the brand new X-ray moves introduced in the console reboot. Add to that the story mode, two challenge towers (one especially catered for the Vita’s unique skills) The Krypt of un-lockables is all present and correct. PLUS, you even get all the DLC thrown in too including playable characters Freddy Krueger and Kratos. Which gives you one hell of a hand-held package!
The story mode is brilliant; it sees you take control of most of the games characters as you attempt to stop Shao Khan destroying Earth Realm for good. It works really well because the story dictates which characters you use, which works out nicely as you get to explore some characters you normally wouldn’t have chosen. The Challenge Tower is equally as good, pitting your player against 200 odd challenges from fighting upside-down to not getting hit. If you have played the console version, nothing much as changed in this respect. Unlike the graphics, which have been downgraded somewhat. They’re not as good as the PS3 even though the Vita is more than capable of achieving the same results. What this boils down to is the rather pleasant transition from fighting to cut scene is all but gone. Instead Netherrealm studios have opted for the CGI route, leaving a sour taste in your mouth as you go from in-game engine to super smooth CGI. Not a deal breaker by any means, just more of a disappointment.
Special to the Vita version is the second Challenge Tower, a tower specially catered for the PlayStation Vita, Taps, swipes, tilts and shakes make your player inflict all kinds of pain on the poor hapless foes. If you have ever played Fruit Ninja, you’ll feel right at home. They work well enough, with the Vita’s screen picking up your various screen inputs with ease. but you have seen most of the tricks done before on the other touch devices. Just not as gory, or fun for that matter.
If you’re worried about how the game actually plays on the small Vita, don’t be, I actually think it plays better on the Hand-held than it does on console. Simply because the Vita’s D-pad is excellent and picks up each move with accuracy. I found it a breeze to pull of some blood flowing finishers with just a few taps and on the first attempt too, which was unheard of on the console big brother.
Mortal Kombat is the pinnacle of hand-held fighters, it has an astonishing amount of content for a hand-held game and the gameplay is spot on and easily accessible. Because of this, the dip in graphical fidelity can be forgiven. If you have the game on console, there is nothing here that would want to make you purchase the game again, unless you really want to chop people up on the bus. But if its portable fisty cuffs that you really want, you can ‘t get much better than this.