NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat reboot took the gaming world by storm in 2011.  By taking the series back to its roots, while updating the graphics and including a mountain of in game “kontent” on the disc day one, the latest entry in the legendary franchise was a hit with both new and old fans alike.

One such fan was yours truly.  I dumped countless hours into Mortal Kombat on my PS3 last year, but I may be at it all over again in 2012 thanks to what NetherRealm has done with MK for the Playstation Vita.

This is no simple portable port, oh hell no.  Mortal Kombat Vita was rebuilt from the gound up for Sony’s new handheld, and it shows.  Not only that, but the game includes every single piece of DLC already available for the console release, as well as  hours of hours of even more kontent designed specifically for the PSV.  However, don’t take my word for it, check out the first gameplay trailer for Mortal Kombat Vita:

As Johnny Cage would say, “Oh yeah!”

Now, you might have seen some pretty interesting things in that trailer.  Let me break down what’s new for you:

  • Yes, you can now use touch screen controls to execute x-rays (Way better than pressing the shoulder buttons)
  • Yes, you can now swipe your fatality combos instead of pressing buttons (This is rather satisfying and somehow easier to remember)
  • Yes, the challenge tower has 150 new challenges that include but are not limited to:
    • Test your Balance – Try to stay balanced while having body parts thrown at you by tilting the Vita from side to side. (Hooray for accelerometers)
    • Test your Slice – It’s pretty much Fruit Ninja except with dismembered heads in place of fruit and you have to shake the vita to make bombs explode. (HalfBrick might sue)
  • Yes, there is a new challenge that forces you to wipe blood off the screen while you fight. (It gets messy)
  • Yes, there is a new challenge that has you tap rockets to keep a body in the air. (It gets fun)
  • Yes, as I said, you do get all the DLC that has already been released for the console versions (Yes, really)

But is there any catch to all this awesomeness?  Yes.

The one catch, if you could call it that, is that there will be no 3G multiplayer, only ad hoc and WiFi.  The reason for this is that an unstable 3G connection could cause lag and make for unfair fights.  So, in order to play someone else in MK Vita, you’ll have to be in range of another Vita.  Luckily the game runs at a solid 60fps during ad hoc matches, so fight to your heart’s kontent knowing your opponent can’t possibly blame lag.

Meanwhile, after messing around with the new challenges and modes and getting an overall feel for what was new, I wanted to know if the core MK9 experience was still there and if it felt right.  So, I challenged NetherRealm to some straight 1 on 1 ad hoc gameplay.  My Johnny Cage vs. their Sonya.  They won the first match 2-0.  ”Best of 3!” I yelled.  Next match I pulled out a 2-1 victory.  ”Get some!!” Final round? They won 2-1.  ”Bloody hell!!”  Final score? NetherRealm 5 – RipTen 3.  However, I was honored to lose to the game’s developers (and quite proud of myself for winning at all) but better yet, I was already sold.

The game worked flawlessly and even with the smaller buttons moves were easy to execute in conjunction with the new touch screen features.  There was also no discernable lag, so as I said above, I couldn’t blame my losses on anything other than my lack of skill.   They even added insult to injury by swiping me into a “babality”.  Son of a bitch.

All in all, if there’s one game that makes use of every feature of the Vita, it’s definitely Mortal Kombat.  And if there’s one game that the developers made sure was packed with more content than ever before for a re-release, it’s Mortal Kombat Vita.

It’s why I love NetherRealm as a developer, and why Mortal Kombat might be what makes me buy a Playstation Vita.