Mortal Kombat User Review
Let me say that the transition in terms of gameplay for the Vita version is just about "flawless" (Get that one too?) The game plays just as you remember it, and if you could pull off a crazy combo you'd worked hard on for the console version, you can most certainly transition over to the Vita version without a hitch. Everything is here, with extras included. However with that said, the character models don't look that great. Which is the game's main weakness. I'll go into some detail here so you can get a better idea on what I'm talking about.
We'd heard talk the game would run at 60 FPS, and it looks like this is very true. The flow of "kombat" (That's the last one I swear) is excellent and needless to say feels great to play. You'll pretty much just be able to pick up the game right off the bat if you've ever touched Mortal Kombat before on consoles. However, to achieve this amazing fluidity and fit everything they have into this game (which is quite a lot) they had to make a pretty big sacrifice, which of course was the graphical aspect.
Being an old school gamer, who played back in the days of Nintendo This doesn't bother me all too much. However I know some people will not be happy about this. The levels look pretty nice, definitely not as high definition as they were on console, but definitely look great on the Vita screen. The character models themselves were not so lucky. There's no easy way to say they just look pretty ugly. We're talking PS2 era character models (albeit later PS2 era). They still become cut up, bloodied, and battered as you battle which is nice. I just wish they'd been able to make them at least somewhat similar to the console version.
If you played the game on consoles, you might remember going through story mode and it transitioning almost perfectly between cutscenes and fighting mostly because the characters looked just like their cutscene counterparts. Not so much in the Vita version, there is a definite noticeable change in how they look switching over. It can be a bit jarring, but honestly when the game is so fluid and fun to play it's easy to look past the characters detailing.
There are quite a few new offerings over and above the Komplete Edition. You will find lots of old costumes that are reminiscent of MK1-3 that the consoles did not get. You'll be able to play two completely new "Test your" game modes which are "Balance" and "Strike". In balance your character will be standing on a slim board over a pit trying not to fall in. You'll have to hold the Vita straight and tilt it left or right to keep your balance just right. First off is easy, simply keeping it from going too far in one direction. However as you progress further in the levels, you'll find heads being thrown at you to make you quickly shift to one side, or zones you have to stay in for more than a couple of seconds. With Test your strike, heads and bombs will be tossed into the screen. You will need to flick your finger across them to cut them in half earning you points. If you see bombs come up however, you'll need to shake the system to blow them up. In later levels, you'll see power-ups which doing things from adding more time, to freezing the heads in one place, or the lovely "Toasty toast" which causes tons of heads to fly up while you cut as many as you can!
Both of these new modes are great fun, but what really shines is the new challenge tower. You still have the old one in all of its glory, though with Mortal Kombat on the Vita, you'll be getting 150 all new challenges, most of which utilize the Vita's functions in fun and unique ways. I don't want to go into specifics for these as it's more fun to experience them first hand, rather than have it spoiled. Though I will say that (most) of these are a lot of fun. Some you will find annoying unfortunately however.
Which brings me to my next flaw in the game, that was somewhat in the console version. Computers on harder difficulties and further in the game can be extremely cheap. I know old school Mortal Kombat fans should be used to this based on how they were back in the day, however it can get really frustrating at times. If you didn't have much of a problem with this on consoles however, I think you'll be just fine.
The roster is complete in this version of the game. You have Kratos, Rain, Kenshi, Skarlet, and Freddy. Though everyone is unlocked right from the beginning. Which some people like, I personally find this to be a bit unfortunate, as I enjoy earning characters as I play through.
So, here's my conclusion on the game... Mortal Kombat is definitely worth the money if you have a Vita. With an average Vita game price tag, and giving you much more bang for your buck than even the Komplete Edition. You won't be disappointed with your purchase, provided you know that the graphics are not up to console standards. With all sorts of extras like costumes, a new challenge tower, touch screen fatalities, the ability to play as Shao Khan on some challenges, augmented reality background stages for practice mode, and fully functional online play without an online passcode. MK for Vita is an amazingly well done game with so much packed in it, the graphics keep it from getting a "Fatality" on the fighting scene competition, but you should love it regardless.
Graphics - 72/100: Definitely not the best you'll see on the Vita. However I commend Netherrealm for focusing more on gameplay over graphics, as 60 FPS is really important in a fighter, much more than most other genres. It's not horrible to look at, but it does seem behind its time.
Gameplay - 91/100: It's Mortal Kombat just as you remember it on consoles. With all new challenges and additions, it's hard not to fall in love with this game all over again. The combos can be pretty fast paced if you know how to work them, and it makes for some really entertaining battles and moments.
Sound - 86/100: The game's audio is a little soft at times, but not enough to be a real problem. Everything sounds as it should though, from "Finish him!", to Johnny Cage's "Damn I'm good!". People being torn in half, and stomach's exploding make gruesomely fun noises that just fit so well.
Control - 96/100: The controls are spot on, just how you know them. Even the Vita's functions being used are done really well and in fun and intuitive ways. You'll have a blast swiping blood off the screen, and tilting the world as you fight.
Replay Value - 95/100: With so many challenges, story mode, ladder/tag team, Test your might, sight, etc., offline multiplayer, and online multiplayer, you'll always have something to do on Mortal Kombat. It's a really worth addition to your Vita collection, even if you already own the game on console.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.