• Anyone who is a true gamer will consider Mortal Kombat as one of the oldest stables in terms of fighting games.  Last year’s outing on the home consoles was a great success.  Indeed it received a lot of great reviews and high scores.  The good people at Warner Bros and NetherRealm have teamed up to bring this to the PS Vita and I’m glad they did.  This has so much content in it, including all the new DLC characters that were available last year for free.  There is also new and specially designed content for the Vita as well as well as the core fighting mechanics have been ported over.

    If you’re not familiar with the Mortal Kombat tournament, where have you been?  Mortal Kombat is a tournament between the realm of Outworld and Earth consisting of the best fighters from each.  The winning realm gets to control the other realm.  Just as there was on the console version there is a story mode where you play as various characters in different chapters as they progress in the Mortal Kombat tournament.  It’s good as you can see their reasons for entering and how their stories overlap and intertwine.  Just like with the console version the story is told in cut scenes where CGI animation comes in.  Unlike last year the smooth transition between the CGI and fighting is not seen.  You can clearly see a difference in graphics between the story and gameplay.  The fighters are blocky and not detailed enough.

    However during fighting this is a great game, boasting a huge 60 FPS.  There is no slow down or lag as the animations run very smoothly and the models are highly responsive and detailed.  The fighting is just flawless.  All the moves are the same and there is no need for adjustments as the Vita controls are perfect for this game.  The touchscreen and the accelerometer have been used in very clever ways. As an example the X-ray special moves have been made very accessible, simply land enough hits and your meter fills up.  Then all you do is touch the meter on the screen and you unleash a devastating X-ray move that looks great and does a lot of damage.  Another great innovation is the touch screen implementation of the fatalities.  You can simply perform these tough moves on the screen by swiping your finger and pressing the correct buttons. It’s so satisfying to be able to use the front screen in this way.

    Other ways the Vita has been used is the addition of test your slice and the test your balance modes.  The test your slice mode is like fruit ninja.  You cut things and then shake the screen to detonate bombs.  There are 10 missions available for this.  The test your balance mode is where your character is in the middle and you balance the Vita so they stand on the pole and not fall to their death.  Both these modes offer a way to collect Kurrency which you will use in the Krypt to unlock goodies such as costumes, fatalities, art, music and other bits.  There is so much more content as well.  There is the challenge tower with 150 missions but there is also an all new bonus challenge tower with another 150 missions that is exclusive to the Vita version. So already there are 300 missions, that’s a lot of gaming.  Other modes include the fight mode which is a ladder based system and then the tournament itself.

    You can also play tag ladder where you use two fighters in a tag team scenario, allowing 2 vs. 2 battles.  There are modes called test your luck, where you spin a slot machine and it gives you and your opponent several advantages or disadvantages, like health, blocking disabled or other strengths.  You will never have two battles the same.  The test your might mode is the traditional breaking of the boards.  You press the face buttons to get your meter above the threshold and then press a shoulder button to break the boards.  Again, this is another fine innovation that breaks up the monotony of fighting.  Test your sight gives you the chance to play the cup and ball game but with severed heads.  Just follow the ball and pick the right one.  As if the aforementioned content wasn’t enough there are also 16 new costumes as well brand new costumes for the fighters that were downloadable on the console version.

    In this game you can play as Kratos and Freddy Krueger, can wipe the blood of the touchscreen, perform fatalities easily and have more content than you know what to do with.  This is truly fighting on the go; the ad hoc, Wi-Fi options are great and never suffer any lag issues.  There is also a new AR arena.  In practice mode you can fight in an arena that uses the camera to see what you’re seeing and puts it as your fighting arena.  Where else can you do that?  There is so much fun to be had it’s hard to fit it all in a review.  I highly recommend this title as I believe for the first time a handheld has got a truly amazing fighting game.  The only issue that stops this being a 10 is the jump in graphics during the CGI story as well as the fighting and the blocky approach of the fighters and their musculature. It’s that time again: Finish him!

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    The TotallyGN Verdict
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    • An amazing amount of content, including the DLC characters.
    • Takes advantage of the Vita’s unique features.
    • It runs smoothly with no slow down both on and offline.

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    Summary:

    Mortal Kombat is one of the best fighting games on a handheld yet. It takes advantage of the Vita’s unique feature set and runs flawlessly.

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    • Format: Vita
    • Developer: NetherRealm Studios
    • Publisher: Warner Bros
    • Release Date: May 1, 2012

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    About The Author

    UK Editor

    A gamer that loves to play games and write about them. Just living the dream.