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Mortal Kombat (Vita) review

We have already reviewed Mortal Kombat on the PS3, we rather liked it too. So how would you like to see all this content, plus more, packed into the PlayStation Vita? Well thanks to NetherRealm Studios, you’ve got it, but at what expense?

It’s easy to be cynical really. Here we have a portable version of the game packed with more content than its PS3 cousin. How could the developer possibly achieve this without compromise? The answer is, there are compromises, although despite this, Mortal Kombat on Vita is a very impressive, dare we say almost perfect port.

The fact that NetherRealm has managed to pack so much content into the Vita version is a credit to both the developer and the device itself. Whether you want the ladder mode, full challenge tower or the story mode, it’s all here. In addition to this you get access to a bonus challenge tower, which provides all new and exclusive PS Vita challenges and finally, you also gain access to Kratos from God of War and an additional four characters that were only available via download for the PlayStation 3.

Looking back on our review of the PS3 version nothing has changed in terms of the story. Basically Shao Kahn is trying to destroy the world and Raiden ends up convincing everyone that fighting in the Mortal Kombat tournament is the only way to stop him. It’s still a ridiculous plot but fun all the same, thanks to the ability to take control of different characters throughout each chapter, which in turn gives you a basic knowledge of each of their fighting moves, something that’ll come in handy in other parts of the game.

Just like the PS3 version, you still have access to some brutal combat moves, aided with the return of the  super gauge. The gauge can be filled in three parts, filling one segment makes your special move stronger, two helps you get out of an opponent’s combo and spending the lot pulls off the stunning X-Ray attack which shows every bone breaking hit. Like I say, brutal stuff.

As mentioned, the challenge mode is intact, allowing you to battle your way through plenty of challenges and earn Koins, which can be spent on new costumes, art, and other unlockables. This is a game in itself practically and then you add in the aforementioned new tower, which takes advantage of Vita specific features, such as the accelerometer and touchscreen controls.

This mode is separate from the original challenges in that it has its own option on the main menu. As well as including the standard, Test Your Might, Sight, Strike and Luck modes, the Bonus Tower Mode also greets you with two new modes, Test Your Slice and Test Your Balance. Test Your Slice has you slashing body parts using the touchscreen, while Test Your Balance has you using the accelerometer to tip the Vita, with the aim of balancing your character and stopping them from falling into the pit below. You’ll also use the touchscreen in other challenges, for example, one of the earlier challenges has you touching the screen to detonate missiles, while trying to defeat your enemy at the same time.

The controls of the game are something which could have let this version down, however with the standard moves working well and the fatalities using the touchscreen, it makes things that much easier for those who aren’t used to pulling off all manner of button combos in order to finish off opponents. As a bonus, the fatalities are still just as gruesome, if you like that sort of thing.

On the presentation side, Mortal Kombat Vita runs at a smooth 60 frames per second, although the character models do suffer slightly because of this. Closer inspection does reveal a few flaws in the overall presentation, but the game does look fantastic when the action is taking place, meaning that this is more nit-picking rather than a major flaw.

Finally, you’ll be pleased to know that Mortal Kombat Vita also supports Wi-Fi and Ad-Hoc play. I’ve managed to find a few fights online, each of which ran smoothly and went without flaw, well apart from the fact that I got my head handed to me on a plate, but hey, you can’t have everything can you?

If you loved Mortal Kombat on PS3 then you will love this. It’s that simple. Sure there are a few flaws in the graphics, however the sheer amount of content packed into this title, coupled with the fast and frantic gameplay, means that Mortal Kombat on the Vita is a near perfect port.

Rating: ExcellentReview Policy(version tested: PS Vita)

You can order Mortal Kombat for PS Vita from ShopTo.

Edited On 08 May, 2012

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