Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Mortal Kombat

Preview: Mortal Kombat Vita has more ways to Finish Him

6:00 PM on 02.01.2012 // Abel Girmay

The last half of this generation has been extremely kind to fighting games. Street Fighter IV returned the series to form, newcomers joined the fray with BlazBlue, and my personal favorite fighting franchise experienced a much needed rebirth with last year's Mortal Kombat.

The trend doesn't show any signs of stopping, and continues on the handhelds with Mortal Kombat for the Vita. This isn't a simple port, mind you. With all the costume and character DLC, as well as new outfits, modes, and Vita-specific controls, the only thing holding it back from being the definitive version is its gutted online play.

Mortal Kombat (PlayStation Vita)
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release: Spring 2012

If you played the last Mortal Kombat, you should have a basic understanding of what to expect from its Vita iteration. Mortal Kombat 9 returned the series to its 2D roots, retold the story of the first three games, and brought a polished fighting system while keeping all of the gory hyper-violence intact. 

Right out of the box, Mortal Kombat comes with all the DLC from the console version. That's four characters, eight retro costumes, Kratos, and Sub Zero's MK3 costume, all unlocked from the start. Also, players are not required to complete story mode to unlock Cyber Sub-Zero or Quan Chi, as they are also playable from the beginning. The biggest addition, in terms of content, is the Bonus Challenge Tower.

The Challenge Tower from the last MK tasked players with completing 300 challenges for Koins, and a promised secret prize upon completion. With its creative challenges, and difficult (sometimes excruciating) missions, it quickly became a fan favorite. Bonus Challenge Tower aims to accomplish the same, focusing exclusively on challenges that incorporate the Vita's touch screen and accelerometer.

The first mission NetherRealm showed, called Missile Mayhem, cast players as Scorpion fighting against Sektor. The twist was that players are constantly attacked by falling missiles, that you either must dodge or detonate prematurely by tapping them. Now while this part of the demo was hands off, it warrants mention that moving your fingers back and forth from the d-pad to the screen looked awkward. Especially considering that you still have to focus on fighting.

The next challenge we played was another versus match, except whenever your character would land a hit or take one, blood would splatter on the screen. The only way to restore your view is to make quick wiping motions across the screen. This is actually a pretty clever idea, being both a smarter way to use touch controls, and a good fit to Mortal Kombat's hyper-violent tone.

Our final look at the Bonus Challenge Tower was an interesting one, a new addition to the "Test Your" series called Test Your Balance. This challenge has your characters high up on a plank above a pit. Using the Vita's accelerometer, players will have to tilt the Vita to balance their character as body parts are thrown at them. Fail and you fall into the pit, where a unique death sequence waits for you each time. In this particular challenge, failure meant watching Jade fall into a giant saw blade, cutting her into two clean pieces.

Overall, Bonus Challenge Tower is a welcome addition, and actually has a better-structured rewards system. The Tower in Mortal Kombat 9 offered Koins for each successfully completed mission, but only one prize awarded at the very end. The Bonus Challenge Tower offers Koins in addition to a total of sixteen extra costumes, awarded over the course of 150 challenges. The additional costumes also include -- long overdue -- alternates for the DLC characters. Personally, my fingers are crossed that NetherRealm will bring them to the console versions as well.

The fighting system in Mortal Kombat remains as fast and intense as it did on consoles. Running at a constant 60 frames per second, the game mirrors its console brethren. Button for button, all the combos that you spent time mastering can be pulled off here. In my hands-on time with the game, I had no difficulty performing any of my Scorpion or Kung Lao combos. Mortal Kombat on Vita will also come with the same gameplay tweaks and patches that the console versions are running on now. There are no block infinites, 77% Cyrax combos, or overpowered Kung Laos to be found here.

The only addition to the fighting system are the touch controls. Since fighting games require accuracy and precision more so than other genres, NetherRealm has, thankfully, kept the touch controls to a minimum. When you have a full meter, players can simply touch their meter to perform an X-ray. It's not ideal for comboing into an X-ray, but the touch controls (in actual combat) were made with casual players in mind, exactly who you wouldn't see leading into an X-ray with a combo. Rest assured, you can still press the shoulder buttons to perform an X-ray.

Fatalities can also be performed with touch controls, and are pretty simple to use. So if you win a match with, say, Scorpion, you can swipe your finger, back, forward, back, and then tap the X button to perform his fatality if you don't want to go for the standard input. The screen reads your swipes accurately, so either option is viable.

It's nice to see thoughtful use of the touch controls, rather than cramming them in because you can, which is actually why Mortal Kombat for Vita will not be using the rear touch pad, or use the touch controls to pull off enhanced supers. When asked why, NetherRealm stated that they did not want any touch controls that would interfere with the moment-by-moment fighting. Using the back touch pad lead to people performing moves they didn't intend, and using the touch pad for enhanced supers yielded similar results, so they were both cut.

Finally, there is the multiplayer. Mortal Kombat on Vita supports local ad hoc via Bluetooth in addition to online over PlayStation Network. While player and ranked matches make their return, the lobby and King of the Hill modes that made the console version such fun are not making the jump. I'm not going to lie, that really sucks to hear. As a player who logged a good 5,000 matches into the console iteration, I am really disappointed to see the King of the Hill lobbies go away. It's how I spent most of my time online, and I fear that the Vita's MK online experience will be the lesser for it. 

Still, with all the great new additions to this version, you can not argue that NetherRealm isn't working to do right by fighting game fans who plan on getting the Vita. If you didn't like Mortal Kombat 9 (crazy talk, I know) when it was released last year, there's nothing here to change your mind. But if you're getting a Vita and enjoy fast-paced, gory, accessible fighting games with plenty of depth to master, you'd be a fool not to keep this portable version on your radar.



Abel Girmay, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Born and raised in Oakland, CA. Avid fan of FPS, RPGs, and Little Caesars Pizza.  more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Mortal Kombat


  May 28

We could be seeing a new Mortal Kombat soon

Can we get some new Friendship moves too?


  Apr 15

Mortal Kombat 9 is almost definitely coming to Steam

No official announcement, but hard evidence


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Video Gaming Bits -- Rampage: Total Destruction

Roses are black, PS4 lights are blue; This is a game, and it has valkyries too?

Cblogs of 02/10/16 and WONDER-isms

Modern face of survival horror

Discussion Discussion on Games

PStoid Episode 38: Doomed from the Box Art

Cblogs of 2/9/16 - Only Slightly Late Edition

Narrative Mistakes: Mass Effect's Reapers As Primary Villains

Journey to Become a Jedi Knight - Jedi Outcast

Waifu Wars - The End

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
Uncontrollable with slightly less Engrish.
Scrustle avatarScrustle
Hachi Roku is my waifu.
Occams avatarOccams
#Darksiders2
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Finally getting around to cataloging all the intergalactic-level augments I want to use for post-game Tyrant killing in XCX. The grind feels more substantial than Monster Hunter but then again there are no four-story-high monsters in MH.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Your waifu is poop. The Ultimate Waifu agrees.
mrandydixon avatarmrandydixon
Boner.
Kaio Da Silva Queiros avatarKaio Da Silva Queiros
Kaio Da Silva Queiros avatarKaio Da Silva Queiros
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
So due to things at my job picking up and bunch of real life stuff, I don't think I'll be able to give my Waifu Wars blog the love and attention it needs. Still, I don't think I need to remind you guys who best waifu is, but just in case you forgot.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Nurse Joy is watching your Waifu quick posts
RenaudB90 avatarRenaudB90
Happy belated 30th anniversary!
LaTerry avatarLaTerry
Playstation Universe obviously taking notes from Destructoid. http://www.psu.com/news/29381/Enter-PSUs-Nitroplus-Blasterz-Whos-Your-Waifu-contest
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
I said I'm sorry Linkslaya, I never meant to hurt ya, I never meant to make you cry But today, someone else brought PM up (in the discord chat)
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Waifus. Waifus everywhere. I want them all, but I won't dare. nya
Torchman avatarTorchman
THE TRUTH BOMBSHELLS ARE DROPPING FOLKS. OH MY LORD, GAJ'S SUPPOSED LOVE FOR NAOTO IS ALL A LIE
El Dango avatarEl Dango
For the next Assassin's Creed, they should completely overhaul the gameplay and base it on the latest Splinter Cells. Stealth, climbing and action would all be massively improved that way.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
I come to remind you all , that these tights are ever vigilant , Best Waifu is watching YOU
Torchman avatarTorchman
YOUR WAIFU IS AS GARBAGE AS ZELDA IN COMPETITIVE SMASH 4.
SayWord avatarSayWord
So I am totally in love with adult Nep Nep. New Waifu approaching...
Brazen Head avatarBrazen Head
When does Undertale get "Interesting"? Played for 2-3 hours, having fun, but failing to see what it does that's so utterly amazing.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -