I’ve got good news, and I’ve got good news. First, the good news: Based on my recent hands-on play sessions, Mortal Kombat on PS Vita plays identically to its PS3 counterpart. That means fluid 60 frames-per-second fighting, lush presentation, and every bit of content from the console version. That includes the critically acclaimed Story mode, a full character roster, the Krypt, the works. It’s all here, baby.
I also tried out a series of local (non-internet) Wifi multiplayer matches, and I’m happy to report that the game felt smooth and responsive with no perceptible lag. If you’re skeptical, watch the video above to see local multiplayer — and my hairy, hairy paws — in action. One thing to note is that the PS Vita version supports up to two players in Wifi multiplayer, not four as in the PS3 version.
Now for the good news: The PS Vita version adds an ambitious array of extra content, starting with every piece of DLC ever released on PS3. That means you’ll be able to play as Freddy Krueger, Kenshi, Rain, and Skarlet from day one, and select MK1 and MK2 retro-styled costumes to drape over your male and female ninja characters. The Vita version sweetens the pot with 15 more exclusive costumes, including MK3-styled garb for the ninjas. Not a bad start, but it gets better.
If you read PlayStation.Blog’s exclusive interview with Ed Boon, you’ll know that Netherrealm Studios has prepared an all-new Challenge Tower II mode that’s exclusive to PS Vita. I went hands-on with four of the 150 total new challenges, more than half of which take advantage of PS Vita’s touchscreen and sixaxis motion sensors in novel (and challenging!) ways:
One challenge tasked me with juggling a character using ground-based missile launchers, which I activated by tapping the touchscreen. It felt a bit like hacky sack combined with the old Atari game Missile Command, and it’s a lot of fun. In another challenge, Raiden’s head inflated every time my opponent landed a blow. To win the match, I had to conquer my attacker while deflating Raiden’s head via the touchscreen. If Raiden’s head grew too big, or I tapped it too much, it popped. Fail!
The tougher challenges will strain your multitasking abilities. In Bloody Mess, I had to frantically wipe blood off the screen to avoid being blinded…not easy when you’re fending off the blade-slinging mutant Baraka. In another challenge, I had to detonate lethal homing missiles using the touchscreen while dueling the cybernetic assassin Sektor. Some of the new challenges will focus on the four new characters — Freddy, Kenshi, Rain, and Skarlet — who didn’t factor into the PS3 game’s Challenge Tower due to their release as DLC.
The final game will also include two new bonus modes in the spirit of the Test Your Might minigames. In Test Your Balance, you’re challenged with balancing on a beam and using PS Vita’s sixaxis motion sensor to adjust your balance…while you’re being pelted with body parts. Fail, and you’ll plummet to a gory death (which I won’t spoil here). There will be a second Vita-exclusive minigame as well, but Netherrealms Studios is keeping this under wraps for the
And yes, there will be new Trophies. What questions do you have about Mortal Kombat for PS Vita? Fire away in the comments and I’ll do my best to serve up answers.