Even though it has been a year ago when the reincarnation of one of the most loved series in the fighting genre was first brought back to life in what some would say is the best version to date, the team at Netherrealm has re-crafted this gem for the PlayStation Vita. If you have played the versions on either the PS3 or the 360 you will feel right at home with the story and the characters. Even though this is a port of the highly acclaimed game, You still get everything that you love from home console versions in a portable format plus much more.
The story mode of this version includes the CGI cutscenes that are done impecibally well to intertwine you into the universe and give you the most complete story of MK to date. There might even be a little teaser at the end of it for you to ponder the future of the series. In terms of the graphics during battle, they did have to reduce the character designs to be able to get the flow of battle to run smoothly and for the controls to behave as responsive as they need to be. So yes, the game is faithful to the tight control scheme and they even added touch points for special moves like the X-ray attack where you simply have to touch the X on the screen and your fighter will unleash their bone crunching super. With the Vita version they have also included touch controls for fatalities as well in order for you to be able to perform the move quickly without having to worry about messing up on your distance or accidentally hitting the jump button.
Of course in addition to the Story mode, there is also the inclusion of the challenge tower which features all of the challenges from the home console games and now they have added an entirely new challenge tower that utilizes the new touch controls and incorporates the bonus content that was released previously as DLC. For example, you will find yourself fighting Freddy Kruger in modes where he will be causing you to fall alsleep and other matches where you will have to perform certain actions to keep the screen from going completly dark. In addition to the new types of challenges they have also created special ones that fully use the vita’s abilities such as modes that are minigames similar to the popluar fruit ninja. Overall, these challenges are a great addition to the game because they give the variety of it more depth and encourage you to try everything that the game has to offer.
Even with the addition of these minigames, you also get access to all of the DLC that was previously released. Which means that you will instant access to all four fighters Skarlet, Rain, Kenshi, and Freddy for you to smash up and cut up. So, at $39.99 this is the most complete version of Mortal Kombat to date and you will find yourself playing it for hours unlocking all of its secrets.
What it comes down to in the end with all fighting games is the multiplayer. With handheld systems in general leaning toward a more single player experience, it is always a challenge for games to incorporate that aspect into their creations. Mortal kombat does the best that it can by adding not only ad-hoc mode for local multiplayer that allows for up to four players at once. However, for those of you who do not have access to friends with Vitas, there is also online multiplayer via wifi where you can play ranked matches or just casual battles against competitors from all over the world. Even though they do very well with adding multiplayer, It still feels very difficult to do because one of the biggest draws for fighting games for myself is the live interaction. Since Sony had incorporated Skype and Party Mode for the Vita, you get the closest thing to the real acrade experience that you can get in a portable format. With either of these programs running, the game will play just as smoothly as possible.
The only other gripes that I could possibly have with this game, is that there are a few little things that I have a problem with and they are minor. For example, I have a really hard time understanding why they chose to give Freddy Kruger two gloves. I also wish the character models could have been done a little better but those two things aside, this is still one of the best games to date on the vita and something that everyone that owns one should have incorporated into their collection.
One of the biggest points that I would like to address with this game is that not only is it a faithful port of one of the best fighting games of 2011, but it also proves that big games from the PS3 can be ported onto the Vita. Just think, with the entire library of PS3 games out there, what are the possibilities that we might see other ports on this handheld? Why not put GTA IV on it?