Mortal Kombat Vita preview

By Andrew Yoon, Mar 16, 2012 12:30pm PDT

When I first saw Mortal Kombat's Vita-exclusive touch-screen mini-games, I scoffed. "The touch-screen features seem entirely tacked-on," I said.

Well, having gotten my hands on the Vita version of Mortal Kombat, I have to admit I was wrong. While the gameplay of these experiences is nowhere as deep as the core game, they have enough campy Mortal Kombat personality that it's hard not to laugh while playing.

The Vita version of Mortal Kombat includes all the content featured in the "Komplete Edition" on consoles. Even without considering the new features added for Vita, the core experience is as deep and as satisfying as the original game--if not more so, thanks to the additional characters. (The PS Vita version also includes the Sony-exclusive character, Kratos.)

The original console game featured 100 challenges in a "Challenge Tower" mode. The Vita version adds another set of 100 new challenges, in addition to the ones featured in the original. This is where many of the Vita's "gimmicks" come into play. Tapping the screen to launch missiles, juggling Scorpion in the air is absurd, and the hilarious animations and sound effects only add to the overall experience. Having to tilt the system and balance your character while skulls and bones get thrown at you is stupidly charming.

Even the mini-games that don't demand any Vita-specific features can be cute. For example, there's a new challenge that serves as a "sequel" of sorts to one of the micro-stories featured in the original game. In the original Challenge Tower, Mileena want to give Scorpion a teddy bear. In the Vita-exclusive Challenge Tower, the story continues from Scorpion's perspective. Victory leads to a truly satisfying conclusion.

While the Vita version of Mortal Kombat doesn't have the same visual fidelity as its console counterparts, it still looks great on the handheld's OLED screen. Best of all, it runs at a steady 60 frames per second. With all the additional content it's packing, Mortal Kombat has a strong chance of being Vita's definitive fighter when it comes out later this spring.

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