Review: Mortal Kombat Vita

Now released for the handheld market, Mortal Kombat Vita provides everything that’s great about the home console, but with extra features perfect for the commuter.

Firstly I’m just letting you know that I’m not going to really talk about the main portion of the game as I feel that there isn’t much need. We all know that it’s good, the home console version’s Metacritic rating is sitting at 85, so I’m only going to talk about how the transition to a handheld console has gone and the exclusive additional content for the Vita version.

Rest assured though, the port to the handheld console has been very successful. Transferring a full console game to a handheld is no mean feat. Many ports are of far lower quality and sometimes completly different, normally as a result of the port being developed in tandem with the main release by a less experience developer. I’m thinking many multiplatform releases for the Xbox 360/PS3 and Wii/DS here. However with the combination of NetherRealm working on this port and the power of the Vita, a quality product has been produced. My only complaint is that character models look a bit rough up close, however when they’re fighting you don’t notice this and thanks to the game clocking 60fps, the combat is nice and smooth.

The controls for the most part work well. The touchscreen is wonderfully responsive for moments it’s required and the d-pad is works very well. I wouldn’t have touched the analogue sticks if I didn’t have to as for me they were that bit too small for directional input and I stuck with the d-pad for movement. Plus having to flick the right analogue stick to bring in your tag partner was very awkward, born out of necessity for the Vita’s reduced number of shoulder buttons.

For the dozen or so people who’ve bought a 3G Vita, you’re going to be able to pick up the game and fight wherever you are. But for those time’s when you’re at home and for everyone else, you can use WiFi to fight people from around the world. Something that is missing though is cross-compatibility with the PlayStation3 version of the game.

This release is also rammed packed with content. Including everything released for the home console versions to date, from additional characters like Kratos and Freddy Krueger to the Klassic Skin Pack, and lots of new content, you’re not going to run out of things to do quickly. New content includes a 2nd bespoke Challenger Tower to battle your way through, containing 150 challenges designed specifically for the PS Vita system, making full use of the touchscreen controls and the accelerometer. This is a mix of similar challenges from the original Challenge Tower to new mini-challenges, including Test Your Slice. This plays exactly the same as Fruit Ninja but NetherRealm Studios have substituted fruit with decapitated heads.

Despite all this new content, if you don’t commute or you already own the home console version, there is no point in purchasing this game. You may as well buy the Komplete Edition of the game as it’s cheaper and contains a plenty of content. The new content, although fun and fairly substantial, does not warrant the extra £15 or so, you’d be much better off downloading an app or too. If you do commute however, Mortal Kombat provides not only a rock solid fighter that stands up well to the home console version, but plenty of additional content for when you’re on the go.

8/10

Mortal Kombat Vita is out now for the PlayStation Vita. You can purchase the game from our online store.

Author: Martyn Newton

Overlord of PopBucket and a gamer from a very young age with earliest memories including Theme Park, Detroit (look it up), Sim City, Championship Manager 2, The Lion King and Command & Conquer.

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