Helloooo folks! Another review brought to you by FiveByFive, today we’re doing Mortal Kombat for the PS Vita. As I’m sure a lot of you know that the Mortal Kombat reboot was released last year on consoles to rave reviews and several Fighter of the Year awards! Less than a month ago it was released on the Vita with every DLC and new Vita specific features and goodies. The real question is though, is it worth having the game again on the Vita. I’d say a resounding YES!
If you have the game on consoles you’ll notice that the character models have been degraded a bit, the nice gloss and shaders not available on the Vita version.
The top pick is from the PS3 version and the bottom is the Vita version, as you can see the character models aren’t on the same level. Some may be turned off by this graphical disparity but you shouldn’t be, graphics were tailored down to make sure that players got the same silky smooth 60fps gameplay of its console relatives. Once you get into the mix of things you’ll hardly notice the difference in visuals and it won’t matter. The environments are still as lively (well dead at times, with bodies impaled on spikes in the background) as before. Shao Khan’s throne room being my favorite due to him spouting insults at the losing player which I find highly amusing. The menu system is clean and straight-forward just as they were on consoles, everything being easy to find.
This is where the game truly shines, keeping its original 60fps, the fighting is as clean as console counterparts. What this Mortal Kombat brought to the table that the previous entries didn’t, was a balanced and deep combo system. There are basic combos that one can easily learn in practice but it is combining these combos with specials in various ways that can lead to a magnificent combo. The game is fair though and unlike other fighters you will NOT encounter any infinite combos here. To prevent an absurd combo you can wisely save your meter and use Breakers should you find yourself on the receiving end of a vicious combo, if not then the game will make sure that combos don’t go into the realm of cheap by making sure the next hit cannot land. Although you will be dealt heavy damage it’s nothing that can’t be compensated with your ability. Speaking of the super meter there are three ways in which to use, as mentioned before, when two bars are filled you use a Breaker to interrupt an opponent’s combo. Utilizing one bar you can use an enhanced version of your special moves, similar to the EX system used in Street Fighter 4. Should you refrain from using those abilities, filling the bar 100% gives you access to X-Ray moves. When landed there will be a small cutscene of sorts as your character unleashes a deadly combo breaking bones and such, you get to see it all in graphic detail hence the name. The Vita does bring it’s own features but none of which really effect true combat. These specific functions are left to the Bonus Challenge tower in which the missions will utilize all the Vita’s functions. Some missions will have you tilting your Vita and whoever is on higher ground due to the tilt will deal more damage. Some missions will make you tap the screen to destroy oncoming missiles or tap your character to get him out of a daze. There are new minigames specific to the Vita, once called Test Your Slice. Those who have dabbled in the mobile game Fruit Ninja should feel right at home, of course there are a few MK twists. Then there is test your balance, you character is placed on a balance beam of sorts and you must tilt your Vita to keep the slider from reaching the edges of the bar, should you fail your character will fall down the pit into a variety of deaths.
Now the online component of the game. I found online to actually run MUCH smoother than console versions and near offline pace. I was surprised because the console version is plagued with lag so this was a welcome thing and I find myself going to my Vita for the online fighting than the console version. Some may wonder how the Vita pad and buttons work for this game? Well they work better than the PS3 controller. The pad and buttons are IMMENSELY responsive allowing the player to dish out their favorite combos in stride.
The story mode is what all fighting games that take their story seriously should be. With well done cinematics you are thrown back in time by Raiden to the first three Mortal Kombat tournaments in order to stop a dismal future. You get a good amount of time to play as all the heroes in the MK universe and it gives each character depth and personality lending us to care more for the characters than we would have before. The story mode is lengthy also and put on Normal or higher difficulty is definitely not afraid to throw you into tough situations.
There’s not really much to say hear due to the fact the game doesn’t have much musically scores. What it does do right though are the sounds of beating on your opponent. Whether it be regular attack combos to the specials moves, they all sound great. Definitely worth mentioning for X-Rays and Fatalities as you can hear bones break and sinew tear from bones in all it’s audible glory.
What MK has always done is bring a wealth of modes so it’s no surprise that this MK follows suit. There’s your usual Arcade ladder, which upon completing unlocks and ending for the character. The story mode is lengthy and is definitely no slouch and will leave you waiting for the next MK installment. The Vita version gives you TWO challenge towers, the regular of course with 300 challenges that really test your abilities. The Bonus Challenge Tower gives you another 150 challenges to conquer and as you get higher in the tower the challenge ups itself greatly. Story and Challenge towers will earn you money to unlock a horde of goodies from the Krypt from concept art to music to secret fatalities, and with so many items to unlock in the Krypt you’ll want to keep earning money. Of course in the end the real replayability is in the Online play. With possibly the best server known to fighting games you’ll spend countless hours fighting online, I know I have.
Mortal Kombat set out to re-establish itself in the fighting game world, and it has done so rightfully. This is the most komplete experience you’ll find in a fighter, and my personal favorite.