Nintendo recap: More Pokémon leaks and what Microsoft’s acquisition means for Switch

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Source: iMore

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s Nintendo recap. We are less than a week away from the release of Pokémon Legends: Arceus. As unfortunately has become common, the full game has already leaked, including all Hisian variants and final evolutions for beginners. Additionally, we received huge news in the gaming world when Microsoft announced the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, so we’ll discuss what this means for Nintendo Switch owners. Finally, Banjo-Kazooie finally came to Switch and Konami made a pretty penny selling NFTs. There’s a lot to discuss, so let’s get to it.

Castlevania NFTs Sell For A Total Of $160,000

Konami Castlevania Holy Water vs. Dracula NftSource: OpenSea

Whether you like it or not, NFTs are going to be something you’ll be hearing a lot about this year. Aside from being relatively shiny and new as companies move into the metaverse fad, they allow companies to make money without ever actually making anything or even doing much. For example, last weekend Konami auctioned several NFTs as part of Castlevania’s 35th anniversary and was able to raise a total of $160,000 from the combined sales. You can view NFTs on OpenSea.

The most valuable of these turned out to be the Castlevania – Holy Water VS Dracula NFT, which is currently on sale again for $215,779.56 last time I checked. Since NFTs could potentially make money easily and are easy to craft, we’ll continue to see them selling to various developers as the year progresses. Nintendo is unlikely to get into the fad, but developers making games for the Switch will likely give it a try.

10 Kingdom Hearts games are coming to Switch in February

Kingdom Hearts HerculesSource: iMore

This week we finally got the release date for the entire Kingdom Hearts series coming to Nintendo Switch cloud streaming. They release on February 10, but demos are available now on the eShop. The 10 games are in three separate collections: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5, 2.8 and 3 + Re Mind. As any Kingdom Hearts fan can tell you, the story is rather convoluted and, honestly, convoluted at times. Luckily, you don’t need to play all of the Kingdom Hearts games to understand the overall story, but you’ll be lost if you stick to games 1, 2, and 3. You’ll want to play in this order: Kingdom Hearts 1 , Kingdom Hearts 2, Birth by Sleep, Dream Drop Distance and finally, Kingdom Hearts 3.

Unfortunately, many gamers who have already tested the demo are unimpressed with the streaming quality and want native ports for gaming. This could have easily been done with the older entries, but Kingdom Hearts 3 would have required more work to tone down those graphics and make it work properly on Switch.

So why aren’t they available locally on Switch? It probably has to do with the size of the files for each collection. Considering that the Nintendo Switch only has 32GB of internal storage and the Switch OLED only has a little more at 64GB, Nintendo is making a concerted effort to keep its games at a smaller size. So, the easiest way to get Kingdom Hearts on Switch without spending a ton of money was via cloud streaming. Still, it sounds like a pretty cheap move for die-hard Kingdom Hearts fans.

Banjo-Kazooie is finally coming to Switch and Majora’s Mask is coming

Banjo Kazooie Mumbo JumboSource: Rare Game Studios / Xbox

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack brought an N64 emulator to the handheld gaming system and included several notable games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 64. We were told last month that Banjo-Kazooie would be coming to the service in January and this Thursday, it finally came out. I have revisited these classic platformer levels and highly recommend anyone who has never played this game to give it a try now. We also learned that The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask will be coming to the service in February, although no specific date has been given yet.

Of course, the news that Banjo-Kazooie, now owned by Microsoft, was coming to Switch was overshadowed by a much bigger announcement from the same company.

What Microsoft Acquiring Activision Blizzard Means for Nintendo

Xbox Phil Spencer 20th AnniversarySource: Microsoft

This year has already started off wild with some of the biggest news we’re likely to get all year. Microsoft is acquiring Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, a figure most of us can’t even imagine. This means that several major franchises will now be owned by Microsoft, such as Call of Duty, Diablo, World of Warcraft and many more. Of course, this is all happening amid the Activision Blizzard lawsuit that began in July 2021 when employees came forward saying there was a “fratboy culture” with multiple accounts of sexual harassment and pay disparity among its female employees.

Bobby Kotick will step down once the deal is finalized.

As part of the deal, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will step down once everything is finalized. This is such a significant acquisition that the deal is not expected to close until July 2023.

While there aren’t a ton of Activision Blizzard games on Nintendo Switch, there are a number of notable ones, including Overwatch, Spyro, and Crash Bandicoot. Now the question is whether the relationship between Nintendo and these games will change.

As Bloomberg reported, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer went to great lengths to make it clear that these games will continue to find their way to various platforms and that Microsoft will “continue to support these communities in the future.” So while it’s possible there may be fewer or no ports of games previously owned by Activision Blizzard on Nintendo consoles, the reverse is also possible. It will take years for these changes to take effect, so there is nothing to worry about in the short term.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus spotted in the wild with leaks

Pokemon Legends Arceus StartersSource: The Pokémon Company

Several people online have reported seeing copies of Pokémon Legends: Arceus on store shelves ahead of the game’s official release. Thus, some players have already started playing this new adventure and leaked information online. (That seems to be the trend with Pokemon games lately.) These leaks include all Hisuian Pokemon and what they look like, as well as the latest Hisuian evolutions from all three entries.

I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll refrain from posting anything here. Just be prepared and be very careful if you don’t want to mess anything up. Some of the other things that have been uploaded are images, mechanics, characters, videos, and even endgame game files. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is set to release next Friday, January 28, so you only have a few more days to wait.

That’s all for the moment

There’s sure to be plenty to talk about next week, given the release of Pokémon Legends: Arceus. I’m looking forward to that day and I’ll talk about it next week. Until then, I will continue to relive my childhood with Banjo-Kazooie.

Hope you all have a great weekend and can play some really awesome games on Nintendo Switch.

Until next time.

- Rebecca Lance

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