Hands-On: Mortal Kombat for PS Vita

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Hands-On: Mortal Kombat for PS Vita
Hands-On: Mortal Kombat for PS Vita

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:

Mortal Kombat for PS Vita: Missile Mayhem

  • 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!
  • Mortal Kombat for PS Vita: Bloody Mess

  • 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.
  • Mortal Kombat for PS Vita: Fatality

    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
    time being.

    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.

    Comments are closed.


    20 Author Replies

    • Release date/release window?

    • When I get a PS Vita, I will get this!

    • I love the new blue PS Blog look! Does the game make use of rear touch at all? and is there any Near functionality?

      • No Rear touch — they experimented with it, but they felt that the way fighting game players hold the unit that it might interfere. Also, no Near support, they wanted to focus on traditional Wifi multiplayer.

    • They need to add cross play with these or the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection with these because a new challenge tower and 15 costumes for 40 to 50 $ is a pretty hight DLC price

    • can someone push fast froward to the 22nd so i can get my vita !

    • How does the PS Vita version compare to the PS3 version in terms of graphics? I would think that the stunning OLED screen adds more to it that we cant see from the video.

      • Yep, the video definitely compresses the visuals. In short, the game looks great — very, very close to the PS3 version. The character models have a few less polygons and the textures aren’t quite as high, but overall, it looks fantastic on the OLED screen. As a big fan of the PS3 version, I was very pleased.

    • Looks awesome, can’t wait to buy!

    • any ps vita countdown here on the blog? will there be a youtube app on the vita? google +? anyways i have my first edition bundle paid off already , im thinking about a 32 gb memory card and 3 – 4 games from psn

    • Freaking awesome, good to see it in action instead of just talking about it.

    • If you keep coming with more good games, I might buy a PS Vita…

    • Will the previous “Test your ____” challenges make use of the touchscreen?

      • The old ones are still there and work the same; Test Your Balance uses the motion sensor, and there’s a mysterious new one that also uses the PS Vita features…somehow

    • Hey Sid,

      Does this support online multiplayer via PSN?


    • AHHHH!!!!!

      (Day 1 Buy)

    • Does the PS Vita use the Ad-Hoc party app on PS3? If so, will MK be compatible with that?

      • I’m not 100% sure, but there shouldn’t be a need — it support infrastructure (online) Wifi play and also supports local Wifi play. The only other reason you’d want the Ad-Hoc Party is if you didn’t have a Wifi router, right?

    • Will there be a demo of MK for the PS Vita any time soon (after launch)?


      Is that a new stage fatality in the last screenshot!? Or just one of the challenges?

      If this game has new stage fatalities, every MK fan on the planet is gonna re-buy it for sure.

      When can we expect this to hit the Vita Hill Clubs and what’s the release window for the full game?

      P.S. 15 New Costumes!!! (*dies)

      P.S.S. Once again, Netherrealm shows Capcom how to “do it” right.

      • You know, that caught my attention as well. Short answer: I DON’T KNOW! The game is still due out “Spring 2012” and expect full details on the Vita Hill social clubs soon as well.

    • Never mind you already answered the release window question up above lol.

      Try to answer the other ones though!

    • Sid, how is the Vita going to replace the L2 and R2 buttons? How do you block in the Vita version?

      • Ah, good question! It works well. R is Block; L is Throw. Tagging (L1 on PS3, I believe) is via the right analog stick and the “switch stance” button (L2 on PS3) isn’t in, I don’t think…not that it did anything.


      btw i finally got my hands on one yesterday at Gamestop…..and OMG did i fall in love!!! I WANT MINE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thanks for answering Sid!

      Yeah that stance button sure was useless.

      My GameStop has a Vita everyone can see, but no one can touch :(

    • All this game needs to sell like hot cakes is one thing…


    • @Logan22 same here…except that i asked the guy if i can use it…and he said yea…so he took the cover off and let me play it :D:D

    • This too will be mine!!

      Side note: loving the blue color on the blog, much easier on the eyes!

    • @23

      Damn not my guy lol, but probably because others were eye-balling it as well.

    • Yeah this blue color scheme must be to coincide with all the new Vita marketing. I like it, this month should be filled with all kinds of Vita posts :)

    • Playstations New logo coloring they switched it up some.

    • That’s not what Game Stop told me yesterday they said MK will be release the day PS Vita comes out and it will coast $40.00 so who lying My ? is, is MK going to be downloadable in the Vita store

    • so you say new trophies. Will they be all new or the same as the PS3 version and just stackable?

    • I’ve changed my on the PS VITA I’ll get one soon or later. Mortal Kombat for the PS Vita is superb.

    • I’ve changed my mind on the PS VITA I’ll get one soon or later. Mortal Kombat for the PS Vita is superb.

    • it took me 5 years to be able to afford a psp and it was used. now that the vitas out looks like another 15 till i can afford it. ugh, stupid college education

    • Ive seen a few gameplay video’s and IMO the character model’s don’t look good at all. I know the game comes out in spring so I hope they work on the character models and give them abit more detail, some characters look awful like Johnny Cage while the the video above Kratos looks good

      • Web compression can do unkind things to game video; based on my experiences, the game looked surprisingly close to PS3. The models do use a few less polygons and I’m willing to bet somewhat lower texture resolution, but in motion, the game sings. Hopefully you’ll be able to see it for yourself soon, it will be a special guest game at an upcoming Vita Hill social club! Vita-Hill.com

    • I KNEW Ed Boon was going to release MK on the Vita. It was a no-brainer. Hell, I even loved Deception on the PSP!

      As a HUGE MK fanatic, what struck me the most about this game was the authenticity. The game was so faithful to all the distinguishing fighting styles and moves of all the characters, it was just awesome. They even had Jax’s awkward looking high kick. The levels were absolutely gorgeous as well and the animated backgrounds really was the icing on the cake. I just hope the online isn’t as laggy as its console counterparts, although I find that unlikely.

      Way too excited for this one!

      • Yeah, I’m not expecting miracles in online play — fighters will always be the most sensitive to latency — but the rock-solid local Wifi is a most excellent development. I was able to find good matches on PS3 about 50% of the time, so I’m hoping for similar here.

    • I love the MK games but the wiping off the blood is just too much….its a waste of the capabilities of the PSV.

      great looking game

    • We just need the PS3 Twisted Metal game on the vita and were glad

    • Can I import my PS3 save at all?

      Like I really like the game and played it to death on my playstation 3, but if I get the Vita version, I don’t want to do the non vita challenge tower all over again, and beat the story all over again, etc to unlock everything that I already locked on PS3.

      I would like it to have the same things I unlocked so I can just go from one version to the other.

    • I doubt it.

      There wasn’t a way to integrate the Vita version with the PS3 version. Also, since the challenge tower is different, at least you get new challenges. Just play online, you get koins and unlock stuff.

      Plus, 16 extra costumes sounds sweet. (Hoping for Robo-Smoke, MK3 Sonya, give Jax a bone, MK2 Skarlett, and UMK3 Rain at least!!)

      Initially I didn’t’ care about playing as Kahn in the Tower, but hey, it changes it up a little. Anyway, practicing on the go sounds sweet!!

    • Day one for me, looks awesome!!!!

      BTW , there’s still no provider for the 3G vita in Canada. Is Sony planning to release the 3G model in Canada at all? I had mine on preorder and its been cancelled at ebgames??!!?? I guess we don’t have a choice to go with wifi only. Too bad

    • I would only bother with things like the Krypt and Story mode if they actually added additional materials that weren’t in the PS3 version, which I doubt.

      This may be the first Vita game worthy of a strategy guide though.

    • Ya know, I’ve got to say, as impressive as the Vita is, this isn’t going to be all that impressive or sell all that many units. I just speaking logically here. Look, majority of consumers aren’t dumb. We know better. Many of us (including myself) work retail. That gives us a lot of power and a lot of influence over potential consumers. Even more so than the media or the Press do. We can make or break something.

      Sony, although it showcases what the Vita is capable of, this isn’t a very smart strategy. I LOVE THE PS3! I stand by it and I sell it. When consumers request an Xbox 360, I ask: “Have you even heard of the PS3?” They leave with a PS3 by the time I’m done with them. But, this isn’t going to sell your consumers, or me as a retail businessman. This is a sales trap out to catch anything that will bite. You’re selling the same game twice.

    • Consumers, that’s what this is. Sony promised a quick port process of a week to maximize profits of software to lure developers to their hardware. Sony should have considered the consumer and talked about a DIGITAL COPY sort of business model for those who own both consoles. Guys, we’re never going to be treated fairly unless we get smart and think out our demands. Otherwise, you’re just being taken for a ride. This is coming from a HUGE PS3 fan. The Vita cannot become the PS3. It needs to remain unique with unique games. Not a port machine like the 3DS.

    • man i am so pumped up for vita after ps3 launch.this the guy who bought ps3 for 800 dollar on craigslist when it was sold out.i can’t wait for feb 15 to come any sooner.every vita game looks so cool with the oled screen and multiple touch screen.

    • The “Wipe The Blood Away” mechanic is absurd and will definitely prove to be an annoyance if it can’t be disabled, otherwise this looks like a phenomenal game. The graphics are beautiful, the frame rate is smooth, the roster and stages appear to have carried over from the console versions, and the gore and fatalities are in tact. This is looking like a day one purchase for me. As I said in the first sentence, though, the “Wipe The Blood Away” mechanic is exactly how what I don’t want to see when it comes to making use of the Vita’s Touch Screen(s). If it’s beneficial to gameplay, by all means implement it. If it’s nothing more than a gimmick, though, please don’t throw it off on us!

    • Update:
      I am a fool and apparently can’t read. The “Wipe The Blood Away” gameplay is part of one of the game’s challenges. In that case, I’m all for it because that will help spice things up. If it was always part of the core gameplay, it would be a problem. As a challenge-specific condition, though, that’s really cool!

    • Keep the awesome PSVita posts coming!! But I’ll let u guys know, I dont need anymore reasons to get me a PSVita!! I’m getting 2!! Woot! :P

    • I hope there will be an option to switch ”wipe the blood off the screen” function off because it seems really disturbing (and boring to do on the long run).

    • @Dessron It appears that (thankfully) that function just exists in one of the challenges, not the core fighting system.

    • Some people here surprises me, it’s very obvious that the wiping off blood feature will be used in some sort of challenge, maybe in the tower. What makes you think that it will be a standard feature in the main game?

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