Mortal Kombat Vita Impressions -
I’ve had the pleasure of playing the new Mortal Kombat game on my Vita, and it sure is a breath of fresh air. I’ve always loved fighting games, but only in the privacy of my own room. I wasn’t fortunate enough to have been into fighting games during their popularity surge of the Nineties as I was kind of busy being a little kid.
I grew to love Street Fighter II on my SNES, and watched my brother play Mortal Kombat. He was always the better player, and as little brothers the world over can attest to: it’s not fun getting constantly trampled by your older brother in fighting games.
So I played them on my own in secret. I’m decent at them, but not decent enough to compete online. They’re a fascination, but I’m not one to count frames of animation or cancel out of hyper combos. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why I end up disappointed in so many fighters. Aside from the arcade mode, there is usually very little single-player content to speak of. This is, I feel, Mortal Kombat’s greatest triumph.
The story mode is lengthy, fully animated, and voice acted. It gives me the fleshed out stories and character motivations that I’ve always wanted from the genre. Now, granted, it’s still Mortal Kombat. That means that the story is a silly gore-filled soap opera about sorcerers, super-ninjas and lightning gods literally ripping each other’s throats out. The story is very unapologetic about what it is, and makes no concessions in that regard. This is MK at its goriest, and finest.
The actual combat within the game runs at a solid 60 FPS, and has a very nice flow. The models themselves are a little jaggy, but the framerate makes up for it by never dipping and never slowing down. The cutscenes themselves also have been compressed to the point that it’s visible, but it isn’t bad enough to ruin anything.
I was never a big MK player, but the slower, more calculating flow of battle leads to satisfying battles. Some matches can be several seconds of whiffing and dancing around one another until the first punch finally lands, and leads with ease into a blood-spurting combo.
Luckily, the Vita version includes all the DLC, so the forty dollar price tag feels a little more reasonable for a game that is a year old. It also includes a few touch-based mini games that are part of the new challenge tower, and while they’re really just cell phone games done with MK characters, they work well and are a fun addition to the overall package.
The re-telling of the first three games that takes place in the story has lead me to actually become attached to some of the characters, and as someone not familiar with the lore, I find myself genuinely interested and engaged with the storyline. Again, it’s about as deep as a daytime soap opera, but it’s still a fun romp through Outworld.