We may have been teased for almost a year, but earlier this week WB Interactive and NetherRealm Studios finally unveiled Mortal Kombat for the PlayStation Vita. While it was nice to get an official confirmation that MK was bound for Sony’s new portable gaming device, the lack of game details and any kind of media somewhat made the announcement a null point. We all know the basics of MK and what to expect from the series but not having answers to questions such as how NetherRealm was going to take advantage of the Vita did take away from the initial luster of the reveal.
Tuesday may not have been a good day for MK fans but today certainly is since we have our first details on Mortal Kombat for the Vita. Game screens and videos may still be locked away in a crypt residing in Outworld, but details such as how NetherRealm will be using the touchscreen of the Vita amongst other features have thankfully been addressed.
Speaking in an interview on the PlayStation Blog, Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon has revealed that gamers will be able to use the touchscreen of the Vita to not only activate the bone crunching X-ray moves but also perform the always entertaining Fatalities. “For fatalities, you can “slash” the screen with the appropriate inputs — say, away, away, up — to execute the fatality,” said Boon the PS Blog. Gamers will of course be able to execute Fatalities the old fashioned way as the touch mechanic will merely be a secondary option. I’ll admit that the Fatality touchscreen mechanic may sound a bit hokey, but it may prove to be fun in a frantic way reminiscent to Fruit Ninja, which I hear is all the rage amonst the kids today.
The rear touch of the PlayStation Vita won’t be used for Mortal Kombat but oddly enough the SixAxis and accelerometer tech will be. While the core of Mortal Kombat for the Vita will have content from the console release (all the characters, story mode, and DLC will be included), the team at NetherRealm has created a new Challenge Tower mode and two new Test Your mini-games which will utilize elements of the Vita such as the accelerometer. Boon remained coy as to what the new mini-games and modes would be but he did say that we may find ourselves in a situation where we need to alter the gravity of situation. I doubt we’ll find ourselves engaging in topsy-turvy fights in MK akin to Inception, but the aspect of controlling gravity does sound intriguing.
In capturing the core essence of Mortal Kombat it doesn’t seem like NetherRealm has made many concessions in porting the game to the PlayStation Vita. Aside from slightly changing the geometry of certain levels we can pretty much expect the same MK experience – complete with the game running at sixty frames per second. When it was announced Mortal Kombat was coming to the Vita there was some worry that the game would be gimped at a sluggish thirty frames per second but thankfully we don’t need to worry about the game screeching to a halt while doing a teleport piledriver.
Sadly there won’t be any cross-platform play in Mortal Kombat between PS3 and PS Vita gamers. Ed Boon did admit that the team at NetherRealm looked at including such a feature or at the very least including a bonus to gamers who own both versions of the game but they sadly could never get anything going.
Part of me is a bit disappointed that we aren’t getting an entirely new MK experience with the Vita iteration of the game. I can understand that cranking out a new story mode within a year may have been pushing the boundaries of reality, but taking the series in a different direction via a spin-off may have been a welcomed addition to simply expand the Mortal Kombat brand once again. However, as a die-hard MK fan and a soon to be Vita owner I am excited to check the game out this Spring and hopefully demolish fools online with my tag team of Noob Saibot and Smoke.