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REVIEW: ‘Mortal Kombat 1’ on the Switch is Held Back by Subpar Graphics

Mortal Kombat 1, one of the year’s most highly anticipated games, released this week, and sadly the Switch version’s graphics are quite a letdown. It would be absurd to expect a similar quality to the Xbox and PlayStation counterparts, of course, but I’m afraid the downgrade is too much in this instance to recommend the purchase, especially with its $70 price tag. 

Mortal Kombat 1 touts itself as a reimagining of the franchise’s timeline, yet it’s hardly a back to basics approach on the PS5 and current Xboxes. While starting a new chapter of story, the gameplay is a continued evolution of the Mortal Kombat style that’s been adding depth and nuances for decades at this point. If the complicated fighting style overwhelms you, then it actually makes it a little easier to recommend the Switch version, as most of that stuff isn’t in there. But you can High Punch the shit out of your opponent. The blood looks really good, too! 

Old favorites Sub-Zero and Rayden both made the MK1 roster!

Mortal Kombat 1 on the Switch is decent, let’s be clear. It’s got some of the game’s most iconic characters, as well as some truly vivid locations. A lot has been made, unfairly in my opinion, about the game’s clearly inferior graphics on the Nintendo hardware. And while that is true, a lot of people are choosing to focus on the negatives and not the positives, like that fun minigame where you see how many wooden boards you can karate chop your way through. Gamers, critics, and fanbases are all just very cynical, I’m afraid. Mortal Kombat 1 on the Nintendo Switch was probably never going to be given a very fair shake. It’s got some redeeming qualities!

Ultimately, however, the disappointing graphics do make this a hard game to recommend. You can tell MK1 on the Switch was made with effort and love, but it’s just underwhelming on a technical level. There’s no ray tracing or anything like that. They do have this cool thing where you can knock your enemy down to the bottom of a pit with just an uppercut, but that hardly makes up for the outdated graphical style on display here. 

Maybe one day there will be a Mortal Kombat 2 that could be a huge step forward for the series. Until that day, this unimpressive version of Mortal Kombat will have to do. Oh, unless you have any other console! 

The game’s death sequences remain as vivid and grisly as ever
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