Mortal Kombat 1 is available now in early access and out on September 19 for everyone else, including on Nintendo Switch. Unfortunately for those who have already purchased the Switch version, it’s now clear that NetherRealm’s fighter looks very, very different on Nintendo’s hardware than it does on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, or PC.
This, of course, is expected on some level. The Switch is not nearly as powerful as a modern gaming PC or current generation consoles. However, fans can’t get over just how different the same game looks running on two very different types of machines. Despite the major reduction in visual quality, the Switch version costs $70, just as it does on other platforms. Even more confusing, Mortal Kombat 1 on Switch also looks to be a downgrade from the Switch version of Mortal Kombat 11, which released in 2019.
As Johniibo on Tiktok explains, “It looks like I’m playing Clayfighter or like a game on PlayStation 1. It is just horrible.” Johniibo also shared footage of numerous visual glitches and a sluggish cutscene frame rate.
Others on places like X (formerly Twitter) have shared side-by-side comparisons of the Switch version to its Xbox and PS5 counterparts, with one user calling the fact that the Switch version retails for $70 “disrespectful.”
It’s a far cry from the response in 2019 when Mortal Kombat 11 released on the Switch. As the analysts at Digital Foundry stated at the time, Mortal Kombat 11 on the Switch, despite its paired back visuals, was a “surprisingly strong performer” from a technical standpoint. Much of what fans have pointed out as being ugly about Mortal Kombat 1 on Switch is the game’s lack of facial expressions or animations, something that doesn’t seem to have been an issue with Mortal Kombat 11. A detailed technical breakdown by YouTuber ElAnalistaDeBits describes the Switch version of Mortal Kombat 1 as having “cutbacks” across the board when it comes to game’s visuals, as well as an unstable frame rate and long load times between fights.
Above anything else, it seems fans are mostly disappointed that Mortal Kombat 1 is one of the most expensive games on the Switch in light of all its technical shortcomings. As the Fighting-Games Daily X account succinctly puts it, “After MK11, Nintendo Switch not being able to handle Mortal Kombat 1 was fully expected, but something about the game costing the same as other platforms ($70) doesn’t feel right.”
For what it’s worth, those who have purchased Mortal Kombat 1 on Switch have said the actual gameplay is fine. “The sad part is, it doesn’t actually feel terrible to play,” Johniibo said in a follow-up video. “It just really hurts my eyes.”
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