Video Game Review: ‘Mortal Kombat’ Comes Fully Loaded to PlayStation Vita

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CHICAGO – Fans of’s video game coverage will know by now that I LOVE the new incarnation of “Mortal Kombat.” The team at NetherRealm brilliantly brought this legendary franchise back from the brink of irrelevance by focusing on what worked about it in the first place and giving players one of the deepest fight game experiences on the market. There are a lot of good fighting games out there right now including “Soul Calibur V” and “Street Fighter x Tekken” but “Mortal Kombat” wins with a brutal fatality, even on the PlayStation Vita. Video Game Rating: 5.0/5.0
Video Game Rating: 5.0/5.0

The portable version of “Mortal Kombat” is no mere import of the console version. Hold on to your fight-game-loving hats — not only does it come with everything that was available on the PS3, including all DLC, but it has been bolstered with new challenge tower missions that take advantage of the Vita touch screen technology. This is simply one of the best Vita games available to date. It’s a must-own for fighting game fans who have picked up the latest and greatest Sony handheld.

Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat
Photo credit: WBIE

The core of the game is exactly the same. You get the hours of story gameplay, the entire challenge tower from the console version, and all of the wonderful fighters (including DLC characters Skarlet, Rain, Kenshi, and Freddy Krueger).

Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat
Photo credit: WBIE

The main draw for those who have played “Mortal Kombat” on the console besides being able to play through it again during your morning commute is the addition of a 150-level challenge tower exclusive to the PlayStation Vita. Not only does this tower incorporate the DLC characters like Freddy and Rain but it employs the Vita technology with a variety of touch screen highlights. For example, on one level, you have to wipe away blood with your finger as the fight progresses. On another, you have to tap incoming missiles to stop them from ending your combat quickly. The developers even incorporated a “Fruit Ninja” homage as you slice skulls instead of watermelons and a “Test Your Balance” challenge. In one of the coolest additions, you can even use the touch screen to perform fatalities, swiping front and back instead of pressing it on the directional pad.

Not all of the Vita bells and whistles work. There were times when I found the touch screen challenge clever and times when they felt underdeveloped or just annoying. However, the way the challenge tower works you can skip the ones that don’t work for you.

Perhaps even more important than all of the content crammed into the Vita is the fact that you will notice little technical difference between this version and the one you played on the PS3. The game runs at 60 fps and looks simply amazing. Many have pointed out how well it shows off the Vita’s touch screen functions but it also is a great demonsratation of its technical prowess in terms of graphics and audio.

We’ve all played ports from console to handheld in which not does the game seem to lose a bit in the transition but fans of the franchise have little reason to play it again. Such is not the case with “Mortal Kombat” on the PlayStation Vita. If you’ve never played the game, it’s going to be an addiction for you for weeks. If you have, you’ll be stunned at how new it feels in the palms of your hands.

“Mortal Kombat” was released for the PlayStation Vita on May 1, 2012. The game is rated M (Mature). content director Brian Tallerico

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