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‘Mortal Kombat’ Vita Review

IGN.com

It may be called Mortal Kombat, but it keeps coming back with the regularity of an immortal serial killer in a slasher flick. After an April 2011 reboot, February saw the game come out again as the Komplete Edition, along with all the downloadable costumes and characters plus the 1995 movie.

Now the game comes to the Vita, with all the DLC, sans the movie but with some new challenge modes that take advantage of the handheld’s touchscreen and motion controls.

Test Your Slice floods the screen with loose body parts, daring you to slice them apart by clawing at your screen. Think Fruit Ninja, only with skulls and appendages instead of apples and bananas.

Less amusing is Test Your Balance, which forces you to tilt your device to keep your fighter from plunging to his death in a pit. The mode feels as gimmicky and cheap as the nonsensical Welcome Park app minigames that come loaded in the Vita.

The real attraction, as it always has been and always will be with Mortal Kombat games, is training to nail down the pinpoint precision it takes to nail down your move set. The goal is to use your skills to humiliate a human opponent who has more of a life than you do, then rub it in by punching in a grotesque finishing move that forces his innards to take a trip outside, leaves him burnt to a crisp, relieves him of a bone or 20 or turns him into an adorable baby.

Handheld games can be hit or miss with online features, but Mortal Kombat seems to have the full selection of online modes available. If you forgot to pay your internet bill and you actually know some other person who owns a Vita, there’s also ad hoc play.

Mortal Kombat is one of the best fighters of the current generation, and definitely one of the best games available on the Vita, but despite the bonuses, the console version is still king. Even on Sony’s sexy handheld, the controls aren’t as crisp, the visuals aren’t as vivid and the sound doesn’t boom as what you’ll find on a manly HDTV setup.

Still, if you want to make everyone on the train or in the waiting room jealous that you’re bloodying Johnny Cage’s face while they’re stuck with Sudoku, this mini-me Mortal Kombat is the way to go.

RATING: 8.5/10

Mortal Kombat ($39.99), available on the Vita, was developed by NetherRealm Studios andpublished by Warner Bros. Interactive, which provided a download code for our review. We played the game for five hours.

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