Mortal Kombat PS Vita Review

by Joshua Williams

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Release Date: May 1, 2012

Not long after Mortal Kombat made its triumphant return it was announced that it would be ported over to the PS Vita. Not only were they successful at bringing all console content (including DLC) but they also added Vita specific content and features. With so much crammed into a little Vita card we have to wonder what was sacrificed to accomplish such a feat. This is a long overdue review of Mortal Kombat for the Playstation Vita.


Easily the most enjoyable story mode of any fighting game yet, Mortal Kombat takes a group of Kombatants led by Raiden into the past to right the future. For Mortal Kombat fans it’s a treat to relive pivotal moments in the history of the franchise as well as seeing it all with updated visuals. It’s not a story that takes itself too seriously and some of the voice work is over the top but it’ll be hard to go back to any other story format before this latest iteration.

Kombat and Kontrols

Every move, X-ray attack and fatality has successfully made the transition but what is new is the way in which you are able to perform these attacks. X-ray attacks and fatalities can now be performed by way of the touchscreen, for everything else, the Vita controls are more then competent. Pulling off fast-paced combos, new and classic special moves provide a bone crushing shot of adrenaline whenever and wherever you have your Vita handy.

What you might find a little annoying is that the “input” for some classic moves have been changed. Sure it only requires a minor adjustment but to some it can be as if they changed the way Ryu and Ken throw fireballs. Why would you change what we’ve become accustomed to? The “Test Your Slice” and “Test Your Balance” modes also use the Vita’s touchscreen and motion sensors respectively.

Audio and Visual

All the trademark voice work, music and SFX are in place and they sound just fine on the Vita. With all the changes we’ve seen with the Mortal Kombat series, it’s hard to imagine them not being consistent with the trademark audio in place.

At last, with all that they’ve accomplished there had to be something that was sacrificed. The visuals have taken a significant downgrade in the transition. Considering the accomplishment (60 fps) it’s probably a small price to pay but while holding the beautiful OLED screen close to your face, you can’t help but notice.


New to the Vita is a brand new challenge tower and the previously mentioned “Test Your Slice” and “Test Your Balance” modes. “Test Your Slice” is a Mortal Kombat twist on the popular Fruit Ninja game. Rather than fruit, body parts are sliced and bombs are avoided. “Test Your Balance” has the player using the Vita’s motion detectors to balance above a pit while once-again, body parts are used, this time to interrupt your balance. Both of these appear in the new tower and while they only serve as diversions, they are still cool additions to the overall package.

The new challenge tower includes scenarios with Freddy Kreuger, Rain, Kenshi and Skarlet. Already popular from the console, this new tower adds a robust amount of additional challenges. With the Koins earned you can buy Kontent from the Krypt like Kostumes and Kusic (yes, that was a stretch).


Mortal Kombat is a highly enjoyable experience. While not visually stunning, the Vita version is the definitive version in that it has everything from the console and more. Online play is available over Wifi but at the time of this review there weren’t too many available online kombatants. When you do find a match, you’ll be happy to know that the game performs well.

If for some reason this title has eluded you, its bargain price, quality and loads of content should be enough to convince you now.


+ Everything from PS3 and more
+ New Challenge Tower
+ Decent use of Vita hardware


– Downgraded visuals
– Some special moves have changed

Final Score: 8.5/10

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