Mortal Kombat (PS Vita) Preview

When Mortal Kombat made its glorified return to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 last year, millions flocked to get their old-school fighting on, while mastering new fatalities that would turn them into brutal masters of Outworld.  Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean the fight is over yet.  True, we probably won’t see a sequel for a little while, but a new version of the hit game is coming to PS Vita in a matter of months – and it’s sure to be bloody good fun on the go.

Put together by legendary Mortal Kombat producer Ed Boon and his team at Netherrealm Studios, Mortal Kombat will include every bit of jaw-dropping carnage that made the original game such a hit last year.  You choose from one of dozens of warriors, each with their own back story and reason for fighting in the Mortal Kombat tournament, and then set out to take on opponents using devastating moves.  Once you dwindle their energy down to nothing, you have the option to finish them off with a fatality – one that’ll send their guts flying across the screen, their head flying off their shoulders, or another unlikely, over-the-top scenario.  Certainly not for the squeamish, but fans love it.

All the beat-em-up action of the original game will be intact on the PS Vita, and you can expect the visuals and audio to stay the same as well, complete with the fresh new engine that Netherrealm has put together here.  Backgrounds look stunning, whether you’re fighting above the moonlit skies in The Pit or deep within Shao Khan’s mystical caverns.  There’s plenty to see and do here, and we especially like the X-Ray attacks, where you zoom in close on an opponent and dish out major damage, which is then shown through skeletal breakaways in X-ray vision.

PS Vita Mortal Kombat

Along with the visuals and audio (gotta love Shao Khan’s announcements and the return of Mr. “Toasty!”), Mortal Kombat will also include a number of exclusive extras.  Kratos, an exclusive to the PS3 version of the game, will be playable here, along with all the downloadable characters, including Skarlett, Rain, and Freddy Krueger, of all people.  The additional costumes and content will also be thrown in, so you don’t need to download it again.  (Think of it as a Komplete Cut, kind of like the one the Xbox 360 and PS3 will get later this spring.)

But what’s exclusive to the Vita version?  Well, Boon recently laid out the plans, and while nothing has been explained in full detail yet, we can expect some cool new content for the Vita version.  The Challenge Tower makes a return, but this time around, you have two towers to choose from, laden with over 150 exclusive challenges to the Vita version.  These include multiple opponents, new obstacles and more.  What’s more, while the back touch sensors won’t be used, players will be able to utilize the front touch screen for certain parts of the game – such as fatalities.  Ever draw a line and cut someone’s head off?  You may just get the opportunity here.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Mortal Kombat without the traditional 2D gameplay, and this game will certainly have it, complete with tag team options, where you can call upon a friend and save your partner from certain death.  And, like the other versions, you can log in to the PlayStation Network and take on all comers – a perfect thing to do when you’re waiting to fight someone in the arcade.

Mortal Kombat wowed us when it hit consoles last year, and it’s likely to do so again when the PS Vita version arrives in a few months time.  Though it’ll miss the launch window – and have to contend with Capcom’s one-two punch of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Street Fighter x Tekken – it’s sure to leave an impact all its own.  Be sure to check back for the full review.

And remember — "Toasty!"