Wednesday, 14 March 2012

New Challenges Await in Mortal Kombat on Vita

As we've written on in the past, last year's great Mortal Kombat reboot will be hitting the Vita later this spring with tons of new features in tow. At a meeting last week during GDC, we were given another look at the upcoming Vita port, gauging what the game would offer fans of the series that the original console release could not.

Mortal Kombat on Vita will offer a separate tier of bonus challenge missions that feature not only many that rely on the Vita's touchscreen and accelerometer capabilities as well as some that just weren't featured on the console version for timing or logistical issues. Mortal Kombat will also feature the full challenge tower from the original release, as well as the story mode from the console game and all of the DLC characters and costumes. The bonus challenge tower will include new modes like Test Your Slice and Test Your Might, as well as some featuring the previously DLC-only characters (Skarlet, Kenshi, Rain, Freddy Krueger) that couldn't have been implemented in the original release. You'll also get new Crypt unlocks, which include cool new elements like concept art for the new characters.

Mortal Kombat Vita Trailer

Test Your Slice was a Fruit Ninja mode set in the Mortal Kombat universe. Instead of slicing your way through various fruits, you're cutting up airborne skulls and body parts with quick finger swipes. You'll have power-ups that will beef up your attacks, help build combos, or even throw a wrench in your works. You'll occasionally see Sub-Zero heads pop up, and tapping them will freeze the body parts on screen for easy slashing. The game will also throw obstacles at you, like bombs that, when swiped, will reset your combo and mess up your score. When you see them you're supposed to shake your Vita around to set them off. The best power up by far though is a piece of toast (a nod to Dan Forden's well-known "Toasty" catchphrase from earlier games). Once you slash a piece of toast, a bonus round of sorts will begin, with tons of body parts flying through the air requiring some wild slashing for huge bonuses. 

The other mode we tried our hand at was Test Your Balance. Test Your Balance works with the system's accelerometer, requiring you to tilt your Vita to keep your on-screen character balanced and not fatally falling into a pit below. You'll try to keep him centered on a balance gauge, but as you progress through the challenges, you'll have to contend with body parts being thrown at you, and even deal with a shorter bar to balance on. 

Wiping off blood and pulling off combos at the same time is pretty tough to do.

Aside from the two new modes, the challenge mode included some interesting new fights that required use of both standard combat and the touchscreen. You'll have to contend with blood splattering and covering the screen (you'll have to wipe it off), missiles that need to be tapped to stop them from knocking your character down, and other obstacles that require smart use of the touchscreen and face buttons. 

In our session, we were also given a crack at Ad Hoc play, which ran extremely well. There was very little lag or slowdown in our session, and matches didn't dip below 60 frames per second during combat. While it remains to be seen if the game will be able to keep the smooth clip during infrastructure play online, the whole experience was very fast and satisfying. 

Mortal Kombat continues to impress as a great port of last year's game with enough additions to keep it fresh for Vita owners. Look for it this April. 


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