Publisher Comment “That’s awesome. Thanks for covering the game.”
2D fighters have always been somewhat of an ignored genre for me, it’s not that I disliked them, or thought they were boring, it’s that when I was continually having my ass handed to me by some Indian bloke with stretchy arms I turned into this raging beast, foaming at the mouth. I feared what I became when I got angry, like a nerdy, pre-pubescent Hulk, smashing controllers instead of tanks. Years later though when I reached the gaming enlightenment and gained an almost saintly amount of patience I now realised how much could be offered from this most rage instilling of genres.
My first experience of Mortal Kombat was on the PS3 a few weeks before it came out on Vita, I was enamoured by the steep learning curve, intense brutally and how many lines of code must have been written to get the breasts jiggling just right. My friends and I played this game for many pleasurable hours so you can imagine my joy when I found that it was coming to my beloved (Yet slightly ignored due to lack of good titles) PS Vita. When it finally arrived I rammed it into the slot, made a cup of tea and begun a handheld gaming marathon the likes had not been seen since the days of Monster Hunter on the PSP.
Before I started the story mode I had a few little fights just to check out that all the combos were still the same and which characters had been ported over, I was pleased to see all of their smiling faces (I assume they are smiling the majority wear masks) including the DLC only ones. Being that I had fallen in love with the Physic Samurai Kenshi and the fact you can kill people without ever moving by sending out projections, I was glad I would be able to continue my lazy man’s approach to Mortal Kombat without having to buy him on the store again.
After a few brutal fatalities I decided I was ready to boot up the story mode, something I hadn’t yet tried on the Playstation. My past experiences with fighting game story modes have been either a loose attempt to give reasons for characters to fight eachother, usually revolving around honour or him killing your sensei, finishing with a tough Boss fight at the end. My favourite however is the classic of the words “fight!” coming up on the screen which is as good a reason I need to tear out a man’s spine. To my surprise the Mortal Kombat story was actually an impressive tale, with multiple story arcs, character development and ass handing by Shao Khan. Without giving too much away the story revolves around the Mortal Kombat Tournament set up by the elder gods to give our world (Earth realm) a chance at defending the planet from Shao Khan without having an all out war which we would defiantly lose because it seems the majority of humans haven’t caught up with the whole magic thing. There’s betrayal, time travel, gods and a little love interest, all enough to make me forget that I had made a cup of tea, an impressive feat.
The Vita version of Mortal Kombat adds some interesting little mini-games to take advantage of the Vitas touch screens and accelerometers along with livening up the challenge tower. My favourite was the slicing minigame where you must slice though body parts which fly up on screen to earn points, think fruit ninja with more brains and spleens than pomegranates and aubergines. This provide a delectably gory break when you don’t feel like playing a full match along with another way to earn Kredits which allow you to unlock content in the krypt, so far the only unlocks I’ve seen have been concept art which while very impressive isn’t the same as getting more costumes for your character or some other bonus content.
Mortal Kombat players seem to fall into 3 separate categories, firstly there are the new players, (Noobus Lordus) Who know no actual combos and rely on just button mashing the basic attacks and jumping a lot. Secondly there are the experienced players (Spammus Dickus) who spam the most unbalanced combo moves over and over again till their opponent is either defeated or rage quits. Lastly there is the revered good player (Nerdius Maximus) who know all the moves, when to use them, and most importantly how to make their opponents cry. Fighting someone out of your skill level will either be laughingly easy or manically laughingly impossible as they spam your ass into oblivion. Attempts have been made to stop juggling (where you keep your opponent in the air by repeatedly hitting them, leaving them unable to do anything) with a combo-breaker move which uses a large amount of your special bar which could otherwise be used to do a huge amount of damage to them in a gruesome X-Ray move or to add power to your special attacks. This levels the playing field slightly between the new players and the veterans but just as any skill (combo spam) based game should be it really comes down to the players own skill (memory).
The fighting is smooth, with no framerate issues or slows down despite the eye-catching particle effects and superb graphics. The character models are all impressive with the exception of Liu Kang who looks like a 70 year old man with a chest made of lego, one assumes the rest of the polygon count went into making the female character’s breasts as spherical as the human eye is able to perceive. I feel however that some maps do not do the Vita justice, while others will have fully developed 3D models flailing around on the end of spears, others will use a 2D sprite in the attempt to create a faux 3D image. I understand the polygon count limitations placed on maps but it seems there are maps with far more going on in terms of spouts of lava or monsters fighting in the distance than others which use the 2D sprites.
My reasoning for giving the game a five out of five falls mainly down to how much I hated 2D fighting games before it, it has opened up an entirely new genre of games for me that I can’t wait to try out and for that I am hugely thankful because I was getting pretty bored of first person war shooters.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.