Kan you handle more?
This is yet another time when a preview is a test of a writer's word inflation. What can be said about Mortal Kombat for the PlayStation Vita that hasn't already been said in the review for the console versions? And if there are any changes for this handheld port, are they going to change anyone's mind about Mortal Kombat? Most of you have probably decided whether this is worth your time before I've even typed a full sentence (perhaps even shorter than that), but for the rest of you on the edge, this preview will likely provide a lot of helpful information.
With the exception of a several features, the Vita version of Mortal Kombat is a full port of the original at 60 frames per second. All of the characters, including the DLC characters, as well as bonus retro costumes for the majority of the characters (not just the "ninja" characters) are available and unlocked at the very start of the game. While there's no option for three- or four-player tag team matches, the standard two-player tag team modes remain, as well as online ranked matches.
Just as you would expect from a port for the Wii console, Mortal Kombat takes advantage of the VIta's particular control schemes. For starters, fatalities can be performed by simply swiping the screen in the appropriate directions for the command without having to press any of the face buttons. You can also touch the screen to activate the various moves associated for the energy bar; for instance, the devastating X-ray move can be performed by tapping the 'X' on the bar. Veterans might find all of this blasphemous, so Netherealm Studios have made not to remove any of the original controls.
These new Vita-based controls culminate in an additional Challenge Tower, which is also available from the beginning without having to complete the original Challenge Tower. It will, however, continue after the first challenge tower by allowing players to fight as Shao Kahn. Apart from learning the new touchscreen fatalities, it will feature various mini-games like Missile Mayhem, where you must juggle an opponent by shooting Sektor's missiles with the touchscreen, and Test Your Balance, where you must tilt the Vita to make sure you don't fall into the pit below while you're pelted with body parts. There's also one sinister challenge where the screen gets bloodied whenever you are hit, forcing you to swipe the blood away. It's certainly a nuisance, but you'll learn your lesson quickly: Don't get hit.
Mortal Kombat for PlayStation Vita will get over here within the console's launch window, hopefully by March.