- The Nintendo Switch version of Mortal Kombat 1 has faced significant criticism from fans and experts alike.
- While the developers' effort to port the game to the Switch is commendable, the game's issues have left fans disappointed.
- Future updates may improve the performance of the game, but currently, it's seen as a missed opportunity.
The Nintendo Switch port of Mortal Kombat 1 is stealing the headlines right now, but for all the wrong reasons.
The expectation was that this game, following its early access release, would provide an optimal gaming experience on the portable console. However, the reality has been a far cry from this anticipation.
The first major point of contention among fans and experts is the graphical fidelity of the game on the Switch. Given the hardware's limitations compared to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S, it was anticipated that there would be a visual downgrade. However, the extent of this downgrade remains shocking, to say the least. The character models in MK1, especially the eyes which appear to pop out of their sockets in a non-gory manner, have become a focal point of ridicule, even reaching meme status.
So it's pretty much an issue with the eyes. They seem to be static and mostly unlit. So even in a dark scene, they're blazing bright and staring straight ahead. It looks hilarious but seems fixable and I'm confused that it shipped this way.
— John Linneman (@dark1x) September 18, 2023
As described by John Linneman from Digital Foundry, these eyes "seem to be static and mostly unlit", making scenes appear odd and in some cases, comical.
While the previous game was available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC as well as the Switch, the decision to favor the new generation consoles and PC for Mortal Kombat 1 made the existence of the Nintendo Switch version perplexing for many.
It's not just the visual downgrade that's the only issue plaguing the game. Players have reported poor performance and inconsistent frame rates that hinder the gaming experience. While the target was to maintain a 60 frames-per-second rate during fights, the game lags behind this goal, often lingering between the high 40s and mid 50s. This results in a gameplay experience that can be described as choppy at best. Additionally, there are reports of elongated loading times, taking up to a minute to fire up matches, which breaks the immersive gaming experience.
Even with these glaring issues, what has incensed fans further is the pricing of Mortal Kombat 1. Despite being inferior to its counterparts on other consoles, the game is priced at a steep $69.99 on the Nintendo eShop. This price point is equivalent to that of the PS5 and Xbox Series X and S versions, which is a hard pill to swallow for many Switch owners.
Keep in mind that Nintendo has so far limited its $70 games to its absolute best titles, specifically The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - a frontrunner for the GOTY award later this year alongside Baldur's Gate 3.
To make matters worse, the Switch version won't immediately support the full version of Invasions mode. This means Switch players aren't only receiving an inferior visual and performance experience but a limited gameplay experience compared to other platforms as well.
Despite these concerns, the internet doesn't seem like it's too hard on the developers, Shiver Entertainment and Saber Interactive. Managing to cram all of Mortal Kombat 1 onto the Switch and getting it to run, considering the console's technological limitations, deserves praise. But, we can't deny that this raises the question of whether some titles, despite the technical marvel of porting them, should be brought to the Switch at all.
It's now a wait-and-watch scenario for Mortal Kombat 1 fans.
With the potential of updates and patches in the future, there's hope that the game's experience on the Switch might improve.
Unfortunately, for those who eagerly waited for Mortal Kombat 1 to release on the Switch, the sentiment is summed up as one of missed potential and opportunities.
But, hey, at least Mortal Kombat 1 is running well on every other platform.