Publisher: Warner Bros
Platform: PS Vita
The fighting genre hasn't really excelled in the portable market. Sure, there have been some valiant efforts to translate the fast-twitch, combo-pounding gameplay onto previous generations, but fighting has never, you know, made it when it comes to gaming on the go.
With Sony's Vita console though, the fighting genre has every chance to not only succeed but excel with those gamers that prefer their brawling feasts of the takeout variety.
Last year's MK reboot from the Warner Bros and the guru's at Netherealm managed to take the game back to its roots both thematically and spiritually and deliver the best Mortal Kombat game in years, if not the best period. With a deep story mode, the inspired Challenge Tower and a wealth of content to unlock and explore, next-gen Mortal Kombat set the bar high for any subsequent entries in the franchise to follow.
Yet not only does the Vita port of the PlayStation 3 version live up to its home console brother, it actually manages, by the merest droplet of blood, to actually surpass it. The basic modes are all still here and complete despite the downsizing, that means the intensively cheesy story mode, the epic challenge tower and the excellent tag modes have all made the jump across.
The Vita release contains the PS3 exclusive character of Kratos and also adds in the additional DLC fighters Skarlet, Kenshi, Rain and Freddy Kruger who are unlocked from the very start and feature in the Vita exclusive challenge tower. Alongside this sits more unlockable outfits, fatalities and artwork than you can poke a severed limb at.
The Mortal Kombat franchise was designed for Vita. Not overly taxing or complex in terms of juggles, combos and counters like a Street Fighter, MK has always been about fluid, dynamic special moves and overwhelming power; an arcade experience that has traditionally never been possible on a portable.
But the Vita itself is responsible for some of the best aspects of this version of the classic series. The D-pad is crisp, responsive and perfect for pulling off the multitude of special moves and fatalities that are key to success in Mortal Kombat. It's no mean feat either, the Vita is perhaps the first portable console to nail the D-pad when it comes to fighting games and that aspect alone bodes exceptionally well for the future.
Combine this with several Vita only additions in the form of a bonus challenge tower (including Vita specific controls and touch screen inclusion), touch screen fatalities and several touch mini-games and the already value-packed Mortal Kombat package becomes the first truly must-buy fighting game for the Vita generation.
While the game does falter on occasion, with the graphics noticeably dropping off with certain stages or character models, Mortal Kombat on Vita is simply a portable fighting fans' wet dream. Perfect for killing time on long flights or just simply picking up and playing after work, Mortal Kombat on Vita is bloody fantastic.