Despite a few control issues, Mortal Kombat on the Vita is every bit the great and gruesome fighter as its console counterparts, but with even more bloody content to explore.
- In-depth story mode
- Revamped control system makes it easy to pick up and play
- Huge amount of content to unlock--even more than the console versions
- Challenge Tower minigames and challenges are lots of fun
- Viciously brutal moves.
- Tag team combos ruined by placement of the tag-switch command
- Shao Kahn is incredibly cheap.
As fighting games go, Mortal Kombat has always held a distinct place in the history of the genre, shunning the often cartoonlike style of its contemporaries in favour of gore and guts. Its latest incarnation on the Vita is no different, pushing the boundaries of taste to the extreme with ludicrously over-the-top attacks that see you ripping your opponents in half and impaling them on spikes, while also building upon the console versions with new content and challenges that make great use of the Vita's multitude of inputs. Subtlety and sophistication are not Mortal Kombat's strong points, but beneath its bloody exterior lies an engrossing 2D fighting game that manages to capture the feel of its forebears, while also offering new experiences for longtime fans.
Most fighting games have some kind of narrative backing up the action, but few do more with it than bookend their arcade modes with a few cutscenes. Not so in Mortal Kombat's Story mode. Each fight you have is punctuated by in-engine cinematics, taking you on a journey that reboots the narrative from the first three Mortal Kombat games. The story picks up where Mortal Kombat: Armageddon left off, with Thunder God Raiden under attack from Shao Kahn, an evil emperor hell-bent on merging Outworld with Earth Realm--a process that threatens to end all life on the planet.
Raiden sends a message to his past self in order to prevent that outcome, which manifests itself as a series of visions. Though he's not entirely sure what the visions mean, Raiden proceeds to help the people of Earth Realm compete in the Mortal Kombat tournament, which decides the fate of the two worlds. By using the time travel mechanic, the story does a great job of introducing new players to the series, while also giving long time fans a new perspective on events. Be warned if you're not a fan of cut scenes, though. You can't skip them, even if you've already watched them when you resume a game. You also can't choose to replay specific sections of Story mode, even after you've conquered it; you either resume from your last save or start all the way from the beginning.
You initially take on the role of the actor Johnny Cage, whose arrogant personality and inordinate sexism make him something of a chore to listen to. Fortunately, you play as different fighters as you progress, most of which made an appearance in the first three games. They include classics such as Scorpion, Sub Zero, and Liu Kang, through to later additions such as Kabal, Smoke, and Sindel, who are unlocked from the start. You're also taken through a range of different environments, which look great. They're full of detail, re-creating some of the classic environments from previous games. One moment you're fighting beside a river of blood or in the fiery depths of the underworld, and the next you're being transported to an arena filled with giant monsters and chained-up slave girls.
Since the Vita version contains all of the previously released DLC, you also have the option of playing as Skarlet, Rain, Kenshi, and the infamous Freddy Krueger, as well Kratos from the PlayStation 3 version. Plus, you get a bunch of new costumes and fatalities for characters like Reptile, Jade and Kitana. Each time you switch characters in Story mode you learn about their origins and motivations for joining the tournament, whether that's revenge, bravery, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though it would be inaccurate to say the story is particularly deep, it is entertaining, with tongue-in-cheek dialogue and a number of twists that keep you guessing--even if it gets a little absurd at times. Each character is well voiced, and because there's some motivation for the fighters' actions, there's more than just gameplay to keep you invested through until the end of the five-hour-plus narrative.
That's not to say the gameplay isn't enough to keep you entertained--far from it. Mortal Kombat makes a return to the single-plane 2D fighting that the series is known for, albeit with 3D models in place of digitised sprites. Your goal is to knock out your opponent using a range of kicks, punches, and special moves, such as knife throws, acid spit, and fireballs. You can chain moves together to perform combos, and also juggle your opponents by knocking them into the air and following up with additional attacks. Pulling off such moves is tricky, but things are made a little easier with a stripped back control scheme that harks back to the simple controls of the arcade originals, albeit with some tweaks.
There are still four primary attack buttons, but rather than launching high and low attacks, each button now corresponds to a limb--similar to the control scheme from the Tekken series. Separate buttons perform blocks, while another performs throws. Though longtime fans may lament these changes, they actually make things a little easier, particularly if you're new to the series, as it's much more intuitive to perform low attacks by pushing down on the D pad or analogue stick. The new controls are pleasingly responsive, with a feel that's very much reminiscent of Mortal Kombat II--that is, very fast. You need quick reflexes to dodge your opponent's attacks, as well as for finding those small openings in fights where you can squeeze in a punch and follow up with a devastating combo.
Many of the button combinations for moves have been simplified. You still need speedy thumbs to enter in the button commands at the right time, but with less to remember it's easier than ever to pull off some impressive looking attacks. If you're used to playing the likes of Super Street Fighter IV, then the feel of Mortal Kombat will take some getting used to because the animation is less fluid. Moves don't string together as smoothly, so if you try to perform a combo that isn't in your character's repertoire, there's a delay between each attack, which feels jarring if you're not used to it. This doesn't make the game any less fun, though; it's just a different approach.
While the basic controls have been stripped back, a super meter has been introduced that gives you a few more options during a fight. As you receive and land hits, the meter builds up through three levels. The lowest level gives you access to enhanced moves. By holding down the block button while performing one of your character's special moves, that move becomes faster and more powerful, making it much trickier for your opponent to dodge. Fill the meter up to the second stage, and you can perform breakers--a type of counterattack. Tapping a directional button while holding down the block button breaks up an opponent's combo, letting you unleash a satisfying counterattack of your own, though getting the timing right does take some practice. Max out the meter, and you can perform devastating super combos called X-ray moves. These vary depending on your chosen character, but all are performed the same way, by holding down the block and grab buttons.
I absolutely loooove this game! I picked this up for 10 bucks when I purchased my Vita. I only have this And MGS:HDC in my game collection. Greats games, though.
wonder if any1s thought to switch "throw" L with "swap" R-stick
anywho, this games awesome, just wish i didnt hit the L-stick while using the d-pad so much, damn thumb, wish u could disable the left stick
@i-rock-socks I agree! The placement of the left analog stick is really annoying when playing with the Dpad. Lets spam the Netherrealm forums for a fix (Option to disable left analog stick)
Yes indeed gameplay is more important than graphic, but why do they had to compromise graphics so much?
If you have experienced the UMvsC 3 port, you can see that Vita can do more than that and deliver better graphics at an apparently equal rate.
Was it of lazyness or cost-wise, i cant tell, but i d go with the second.
Better textures hold more details, more polygons, more job to do.
WB charges for the full next gen packet, a bit less than the original game for those consoles. So there has to be a catch and the catch is that they did not invvested bug cash to adapt this game, in order to maximise the aesthetic end result.
The priority was to make no compromises to the gameplay and add extra content.
Adapting the textures in order to fit the Vita display, already took a toll, re-writing the whole code and re creating the anti-aliasing would increase the needed budget and push back the launch date considerably. They would need to charge it as a full priced next gen console game and after all that time, i doubt that they would take the moneir money back.
So they made this compromise.
Its ok, Vista will be pre-calculated in the initial budget calculations from now on.
@InquisitorCrox Models are just assets. Reworking assets doesn't involve modifying code, as far as I can see they just turned off some features like antialiasing and bumpmapping, presumably dumbed down models with 3ds Max auto-tesselation tools, and downresed textures. It looks like they were not investing ANY time in porting and optimizing.
I wonder if it's because of the publisher or the dev management.
@risseer23 Replies with passion to every bad comment, but the graphics in MK stay crappy. Why? risseer23's opinion doesn't matter that's why.
at first i thought vita would have better graphics and i was planning to purchase it instead of a powerful PC with awesome graphics,now i see there's no improvement whatsoever.i have seen only two games with some what good graphics that is unit13 and uncharted :the golden abyss.but yet again ,it might improve later on. as for MK the PSP version, MK unchained had better graphics,but the Vita version's got better gameplay which is definitely a fact one can't deny.
well this game is awesome got it today amazing for the psvita considering from whats on the vita currently i bought the orriginal mortal kombat 9 back when it came out on the ps3 then bought the DLC's and the bought the complete edition for the ps3 and now for the vita all i can say its this game doesnt seize to amusing
''Tag team combos ruined by placement of the tag-switch command''
I don't have a issue with that at lol but ok...
You can't ding the games graphics it runs 60fps..Their are only a few Psp games that even run 60fps.This game looks fine most importainly it has all the content that the console versions has plus a extra 150 mini games.I agree when i first saw the graphics i was thinking umm is this Psp.After awhile it didn't bother me because the game runs at a great framerate and has more content then the console version's.You have to look at Psvita as a handheld still.As for your comment about crisis core having better character model's is just funny.Last time i checked you can't cut people in half in CC.MK looks fine this issue is everyone thinks graphics makes the game.Well ask yourself this would you want to play a shitty game that looks good?Like lets say Superman 64 crappy gameplay,with the graphics of BF3 or Crysis3.MK onVita is awesome sure i would love to have seen better graphics but whatever it's a very very good game still.9.0 game imo.
@risseer23 Bullshit. In most modern games 60 is an overkill. And you know what? A shitty picture on 60 fps is still shitty no matter how much FPS is there!
Moreover if you think that the models that you cut in half are the same you are fighting - you are wrong. Insides and animations are prerecorded and when some polygons are not seen, they are not rendered, therefore don't cause a slowdown. You obviously don't know a lot about gamedev and models, so I advise you to remain silent and agree that GRAPHICS ARE 60 FPSed CRAP.
If I buy a game on VITA I expect it to be pretty because of the amazing Uncharted Golden Abyss.
personally i wouldve settled for less than 60fps if it meant better looking characters (which you only look at 99% of the time and even zoom in at times). i was looking forward to this on my vita but now i guess i'll get the komplete edition on ps3 (and inevitably share game time with the upcoming tekken tag 2).
"shao kahn is increcible cheap" Come on guys... just dodge the stupid hammer (teleports makes it easier), get down when he throws the spear, smack his face with a combo when he is laughing or something, it might be cheap, but his AI can be really stupid
Ohh Man, I love PSVita even more with Mortal Kombat in it now TT..TT .This will be my second girlfriend while I'm not home playing Diablo 3. I think I heard someone say "now I don't need porn anymore", now I understand what he mean~~!!
Shao Kahn is cheeeeap, dammit i am struggling to beat him..still 3 hours of trying not even a single round
@sky-619 if it's the same as the ps3 version Kratos can actually fleece counter all of his projectile attacks (yes, even the hammer!), which makes Khan easy to beat on all difficulties as long as you keep your distance ;)
@sky-619 I'm assuming everyone here replied because of the profile pic.
You can use distant attacks as well just stay away from him.You can't fight him like the other's his attacks are just beast.I only have 5-8 characters to beat the game with now.
If your playing in Fight mode just wait till he laughs then uppercut him back up use block rinise and repeat.
@sky-619 tell me about it, I gave up trying after 1 1/2 hours on Xbox 360 version, I could win 1 round, and came so close on a second, but just got frustrated and sent it back to blockbuster, the trick I used was to use raiden and teleport at the same time he'd do his moves, and then immediately uppercut him afterwards, check youtube instructional videos :P Didn't work every time though, huge pain in the ass.
@sky-619 If you are trying to beat him in story mode with Liu Kang then back way up and use his high and low fireball. Its cheap, but that's how I beat him.
@sky-619 it actually gets super easy once u learn which moves u can punish... but it does suck at first.. u just gotta block more, if u block a shoulder charge, an overhead hammer slam, a low hammer slam, u just have to continue blocking (or jump if u feel risky).. if u block a rising shoulder charge, a simple punch or kick, or his uppercut looking hammer swing, attack him immediately and when the combo finishes get ready to block again... if he throws a hammer u must jump.. if he xrays jump kick him.. i thinks thats about it.. just be patient cause he will murder u if u attack him at the wrong time lol... better luck next go round
The graphics are ok the game runs 60fps smooth gameplay.Morphine_CD go away you junkie..if you want to play with the best graphics buy a Pc.If you want a great game on the go buy MK Vita.
@risseer23 You... are insanely irritating. Here I was, trying to do a little research on a reason to buy a Vita, and here you are, yammering on about, "oh, it runs on 60fps, it runs on 60fps, blah, blah, but it runs on 60FPS!!!" SHUT UP!! The frames per second DO NOT ACCOUNT FOR SUB-STANDARD, LAST-GEN ARTWORK!!!!
@risseer23 I have a PC, thank you. You can wipe your ass with 60 FPS, I bet you wouldn't tell 30 fps from 60 fps if you weren't looking at them side by side. Quit buying that marketing crap and think with your head. Vita costs a small fortune and can render amazing stuff as seen in Golden Abyss. 60 fps is just a lazy excuse for a poor port.
@Zerosumgame no, graphics are bad, last-gen
lol tag combos aren't ruined, try hitting Triangle + Circle (or FP+FK/3+4). smh I don't even own the game and I know this.
I'll take it that the Vita version is almost the same as the PS3 version? Amazing how powerful handheld games have become over the past few years.
Was this developed for the PSP and then ported wholesale with a resolution upgrade to the Vita? Because the textures and models sure look like it.
@jamyskis Nah, it's most likely a memory thing. The game must be able to support 4 characters on-screen at any given time, with damage models as well, and the graphics suffer because of it.
for the vita the graphics are subpar, sure it doesnt affect that is pretty amazing, but seriously, award for graphics???
@Anema1986 That award medal is for visual artistic design. It's not an "award for graphics". The technically proficient graphics award is the medal with the spark plug on it.
- Player Reviews: 8
- Game Universe:
- Mortal Kombat: Special Forces (PS),
- Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (XBOX, GC, GBA, PS2),
- Mortal Kombat: Deception (PS2, XBOX, GC, PSP),
- Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (PS2, XBOX),
- Mortal Kombat Trilogy (N64, PS, SAT, GCOM, PC),
- Mortal Kombat 4 (PC, GBC, N64, PS, ARC),
- Mortal Kombat (GB, GEN, SMS, PC, GG, SNES, SCD),
- Mortal Kombat 3 (GEN, PS, PC, ARC, GB, SNES, SMS, GG),
- Mortal Kombat II (SAT, GEN, PC, SMS, PS, AMI, ARC, GB, GG, SNES, 32X),
- Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (SAT, GEN, ARC, SNES, X360, IP)