One of the best Vita games released to date!
One of the first games I wanted for Vita upon its announcement was Mortal Kombat. The two key titles that would guarantee Sony a purchase from me were this and Infamous. Of course I bought the thing anyway, despite the fact that I said I wouldn't touch Sony's next portable, but let's save that for another review shall we.
Typically, when a game is ported from console to handheld they are two completely different games, with the handheld version usually lacking in features, visuals and just about every other aspect. Mortal Kombat's transition to the Vita is different though.
The story mode transfers over to the Vita version flawlessly, both versions are identical, down to the very last cutscene, something that cannot be said about most, if any, handheld ports.
The main story focus' Raiden and Liu Kang, Raiden sends himself a message back in time in the hope that his past self can prevent the events about to unfold. We first encounter present day Raiden in a line up of Kombatants about to take part in the Mortal Kombat tournament. Throughout the game you take control of many different characters, including Scorpion, Sub Zero, Johnny Cage and Ermac, all of who are unlocked from the very start, so if you like, you can practise their move set in training before using them in the main story.
NetherRealm wanted the Vita version of MK to retain the smooth 60 frames per second that the console versions boast, however, as powerful as the Vita might be, compromises had to be made to achieve it.
Character textures and models are of a very low resolution and sharp edges are abundant, this is only really noticeable in the close up taunts before each fight, however when you notice it, you really notice it. During the actual fight though, any visual discrepancies of the fighters are barely noticeable do not take away from the experience.
The stages are a different story though. The console version contained a variety of different stages with lots going on in the background, all of this is still present in the Vita version. Gigantic monsters being restrained by chains, lava flowing through Hell and what seems like endless sand dunes all made the portable jump, something which is Vital when dealing gruesome stage fatalities.
MK Vita is not just a straight port of the console version, NetherRealm have included a wealth of Vita specific additions that add to the already pretty full Komplete Edition.
Aswell as containing all the DLC, including Scarlett, Freddy Kruger, Kenshi and Rain with all consumes, the Vita version introduces the Bonus Challenge Tower. With 150 additional challenges the bonus tower adds even more bang for your buck. Some challenges require you to use the Vitas additional inputs in inventive ways like wiping blood off the screen and tilting the arena to gain the high ground advantage.
Test Your Luck, Might Sight and Strike are all still present, however Test Your Slice Balance have been added which utilise the Vitas extra inputs. Slice is essentially Fruit Ninja, with severed heads instead of fresh fruit, cutting through several heads in one swipe builds up a combo and earns you more points, swipe the bombs though and that's it. Test You Balance requires you to tilt the Vita to keep your kombatant balanced over a pit of death. Should you fall, being burnt, impaled or crushed awaits you. I thoroughly enjoyed these modes and found myself being sucked in trying to perfect the right technique and keep my character balanced, even with limbs and other objects being thrown at me to try and knock me into oblivion.
You can now also perform X-Ray moves by pressing the icon at the bottom of the screen, while this is handy for beginners, users that perform X-Ray combos might not find use for this. Fatalities can now be used solely by utilizing the touch screen, swiping up, down, left and right imitates the directional input required to instigate a fatality and conveniently no action buttons are required when using the touch screen.
Mortal Kombat will provide you with many hours of entertainment, with an abundance of different modes including an identical story mode, the standard plus bonus challenge tower, online kombat mode aswell as practise and training, you will be hard pressed to find fault with one of the best Vita games released to date. Although the character models leave a lot to be desired, the smooth, identical gameplay more than makes up for it.