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Mortal Kombat for PS Vita: Ed Boon Talks Touchscreen Fatalities, New Challenge Tower

Sid Shuman's Avatar + Posted by Sid Shuman on Jan 19, 2012 // Senior Manager, Social Media

Mortal Kombat for PS Vita

The good news: Mortal Kombat is coming to PS Vita! The bad news: Details are so scarce that we haven’t seen so much as a single screenshot! Luckily, Netherrealm Studios Creative Director Ed Boon emerged from the shadows to share first details with PlayStation.Blog readers, including the existence of a PS Vita-exclusive second Challenge Tower and hints at how the game will take advantage of PS Vita’s unique hardware capabilities. Read up on our full Q&A below and check back soon for more details on this spring’s eagerly anticipated portable pugilist.

PlayStation.Blog: What’s the scope of Mortal Kombat for PS Vita? Does it include all the content from the PS3 game?
Ed Boon, Creative Director, Netherrealm Studios: It’s actually everything from the PS3 game: the entire Story mode and all the downloadable characters and content, plus additional modes and features that are tailored for PS Vita. We really wanted to take advantage of Vita’s hardware.

PSB: How have the graphics transitioned to PS Vita? Did you have to make any major graphical sacrifices from the PS3 version?
EB:It’s interesting. We did have to reduce some of the polygon counts from the backgrounds and characters, but that screen is so bright, and it’s got such high pixel density….when I saw Scorpion and Sub-Zero fighting on the Living Forest for the first time, I was amazed. It really maintains the identity of the game. I can’t wait for people to hold it in their hands and see it for themselves — it’s a surprisingly similar experience.

PSB: Will the PS Vita version keep the PS3 version’s smooth 60 fps framerate?
EB: Yeah. We wouldn’t accept any compromises there; we needed the game to run at the same framerate as the PS3 version. A number of our internal people proposed running it at 30 frames per second — “we could do this and this and that” — but we knew it would feel different. We didn’t want it to feel sluggish or unresponsive.

PSB: What makes a good mobile fighting game? Obviously, playing habits are different in a mobile environment.
EB: The fundamental necessity is quick access to gameplay, whether it’s online or locally. The mobile gaming experience is shorter bites of time. We identified the Challenge Tower as a perfect fit for mobile sessions, so we expanded it greatly for PS Vita. There are actually two Challenge Towers in the PS Vita version, and the new one has 150 challenges that are exclusive to PS Vita. A number of those challenges use PS Vita’s hardware features: the touch screen, the accelerometer…

PSB: …rear touchscreen?
EB: The rear touchscreen functionality was something that we experimented with, but we ultimately opted not to pursue. We really went to town on the front touchscreen interaction, though, both in the challenges and normal gameplay. A lot of work went into it.

Mortal Kombat: KenshiMortal Kombat: Rain

PSB: So how does a touchscreen come into play in Mortal Kombat?
EB: In terms of gameplay, we’ve always wanted MK to be as accessible as possible. For example, you can touch your X-ray meter to execute an X-ray attack. For fatalities, you can “slash” the screen with the appropriate inputs — say, away, away, up — to execute the fatality. It makes some of the more difficult fatalities easier and it’s fun to slash at your screen to fire off a fatality. I was surprised by how engaging it is.

PSB: Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 has a dedicated touchscreen-only mode for more casual players. Are you planning anything along those lines?
EB: We goofed around with ideas like that. It was an interesting novelty at first, but literally everybody who tried it said “oh, that’s cute” and then went right back to the normal control scheme. There’s a lot of precision with the “slicing” mechanic, though, so it works well for fatalities.

PSB: Can you shed any light into how the accelerometer or sixaxis motion controls work in the new PS Vita-centric Challenge Tower?
EB: I’ve been asked not to completely reveal all of the details yet…But in the new Challenge Tower, there are challenges that are unique to PS Vita’s capabilities. Over the years we’ve had Test Your Might, Test Your Luck, Test Your Sight…well, we’ve added two completely new ones for PS Vita. We’ll be revealing those soon, and they will take advantage of the accelerometer and other features.

Those extra 150 Challenge Tower missions are tons of fun. Imagine tilting your PS Vita and affecting gravity in the game, things like that…

PSB: Mortal Kombat is a highly competitive fighter. What’s your approach to multiplayer on PS Vita?
EB: We tried to put all the main things that people would want to do for hooking up with other players online; you can fight one-on-one whether you’re in local Wifi or online [infrastructure] Wifi. There aren’t any eight-player online fighting modes, though, and we aren’t supporting four players in one match. Our focus was getting the core fighting gameplay and Wifi battles as solid as possible.

PSB: Will Mortal Kombat feature any PS3-to-PS Vita connectivity or cross play functionality?
EB: No. We’ve been working with PS Vita for quite a while. We had a lot of conversations about what we could do with it; I thought it would be cool to have an extra bonus for players who bought both the PS3 and PS Vita versions. We talked about unlocking a new character, or having some sort of new mode that enabled you to control the game from your PS Vita…but unfortunately, it’s coming up on a year since the PS3 version came out and we never found a way to marry the two versions together.

PSB: Finally, the game’s official name is Mortal Kombat, right? I know there were rumors of “Mortal Kombat Vitality…”
EB: Yes, it’s Mortal Kombat. “Vitality” was something that somebody mocked up at some point, and it kind of stuck [laughs]. But yes, it’s just called Mortal Kombat.

//Add Your Own

20 Comments   1 Reply

1

+ Omegian-Ultima on January 19th, 2012 at 7:16 am said:

Lobe the idea of more content, will be looking out for this title.


2

+ Cyris on January 19th, 2012 at 7:18 am said:

Oh man, they were able to keep the 60fps? That’s amazing. Game is going to look great on that screen.


3

+ iTofuMan on January 19th, 2012 at 7:27 am said:

That is pretty cool. i really hope that they at least try to add one more character as it would be cool to have some exclusive character only on the Vita, i really want to know what some of the bonus feature would be for this game!


4

+ snakeeyes211 on January 19th, 2012 at 7:32 am said:

The game looks awesome but Will the first edition ps vita’s little deviants be a full retail game or a downloadable?


5

+ ReptileHand on January 19th, 2012 at 7:36 am said:

You know I wanted a good PS Vita game to help me determine my purchase, something that could give me endless re playability… not just a single player campaign or anything. I guess this would be it. I’m I’ll wait for a price drop on the Vita though. Seeing as everything gets dropped nowadays. But consider it a DEFINITE purchase from me somewhere down the line. This is something that I really really want. And Mortal Kombat too! I’m glad the DLC characters are free with this version, saves me $15 =)


6

+ Major_Hoare on January 19th, 2012 at 8:07 am said:

This one might be worth a look.


7

+ gerneric123 on January 19th, 2012 at 9:11 am said:

MK isn’t going to save Vita. It’s already dead.


8

+ SPOOKULA209 on January 19th, 2012 at 4:21 pm said:

More and more excited from the Vita. No matter what anyone says so far it looks like they did learn their lesson from the mistakes of the PSP and other mobile/handheld devices. I’ll get the Vita close to launch


9

+ tonydamiani on January 19th, 2012 at 8:10 pm said:

Very Nice :)


10

+ Avalanche on January 19th, 2012 at 10:39 pm said:

is there gonna be Online Play? and im not talking Ad-Hoc, im talking actual ONLINE INFRASTRUCTURE.


    Sid Shuman's Avatar

     

    + Sid Shuman on January 20th, 2012 at 12:42 am said:

    Yep, that’s what it sounded like to me. One-on-one and online multilplayer via Wifi.


11

+ micturator on January 19th, 2012 at 11:09 pm said:

Definite buy. Any news on a follow up to MK 9 with air combos, environmental attacks such as kicking sand or throwing torches, and perhaps a whole new cast of kharakters with mercy endings. I think it should be called MK II.


12

+ Kchow23 on January 19th, 2012 at 11:32 pm said:

Not a fan of ports although the Challenge Tower sounds interesting, but I might just wait for a brand new one for PS Vita.


13

+ Kchow23 on January 19th, 2012 at 11:33 pm said:

Will there be a demo of it and hopefully pricing comes out soon (if ports are cheaper then I’ll consider buying)?


14

+ KGH on January 19th, 2012 at 11:35 pm said:

I still think that adding Freddy Cruger to the game was a just plain dumb idea…. That being said, I still cant wait to play this MK.


15

+ submission44 on January 20th, 2012 at 10:33 am said:

OMG! do you hear that…That’s the sound of 100,000 or more preordering the Vita…….Nintendo people….GEEEEEEEEEEETTTTT OOOOOOOOOOVVVEEEEEERRRRRRRRR HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE


16

+ drazilice on January 20th, 2012 at 11:32 am said:

take a closer look at this quote:

“There aren’t any eight-player online fighting modes, though, and we aren’t supporting four players in one match. Our focus was getting the core fighting gameplay and Wifi battles as solid as possible. ”

basically no koth or tag matches. just plain 1 on 1 for online. fail


17

+ lanceurdehache on January 20th, 2012 at 4:24 pm said:

No online cross play (wich would make the community bigger for the PS3 user and especially the PSVita user) is really disapointing since this seems to be a port of the PS3 game with only one new feature, i think im not going to buy this version, 40 to 50 $ for a new challenge tower is a pretty hight price point but if you changed your mind on cross play and/or give us the MK Arcade Kollection with this game i would gladly change my mind


18

+ nocacainbeats on January 21st, 2012 at 8:56 am said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlitaU9W1-0
The MK on ps vita via Ps3 even though its through CFW 3.55 it still looks and works great. Hopefully when the patch comes out it will allow play via ps3 even online. That will bring ppl closer to Sony. I dont think this will effect ps3 game sales, it may even help. And if you don’t have a ps3 then you can get the physical/download for the PSV.


19

+ pval1998 on January 21st, 2012 at 4:46 pm said:

is the content free or if you bought it on ps3 are you going to buy it again


20

+ dragon_frost on February 5th, 2012 at 12:13 pm said:

@ Sid Shuman…I really hope more new character dlc packs come because i wanted these characters in the game really badly below….

1.Drahmin

2.Havik

3.Reiko

5.Nitara

6.Kai

7.Kobra

8.Dairou

9.Hotaru

10.Hsu Hao

P.S..Please if you can forward this request to ed boon & the mk team?

Thank You!


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