Hello everyone, and welcome to this week's Nintendo recap. It's been a busy week, from Nintendo Switch games walking away as Game Awards 2022 winners in several categories to brand new game announcements at the show. In other news, we learned that Call of Duty would be coming to Nintendo in the future if the FTC doesn't stop the Activision merger, and there was also some dramatic controversy surrounding the canceled Super Smash Tour that was supposed to happen this week. There's plenty to discuss, so let's dive in.
Nintendo winners at The Game Awards 2022
The Game Awards 2022, hosted by Geoff Keighley, took place on Thursday in Los Angeles. Several Nintendo Switch games were nominated for various categories, including Xenoblade Chronicles 3, which was one of the choices for Game of the Year. Unsurprisingly, Monolith Soft's JRPG lost to Elden Ring, one of the most favored nominees next to God of War Ragnarök. Still, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a fantastic game that deserved the nomination. However, it wasn't a total bust for Nintendo, as a few Switch games walked away from the show with awards in other categories.
Nintendo winners at The Game Awards 2022
Five games on Switch walked away from The Game Awards as winners. Here are all of the ones that won.
Best Action Game
- Bayonetta 3 – PlatinumGames / Nintendo - Winner
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II – Infinity Ward / Activision
- Neon White – Angel Matrix / Annapurna Interactive
- Sifu – Sloclap
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge – Tribute Games / Dotemu
Bayonetta 3 was up against some tough competition in the Best Action Game category, so seeing the Umbra Witch walk away with this award when up against Call of Duty, Neon White, Sifu, and the latest TMNT fighting game is genuinely a feat. However, it's also not surprising given that Bayonetta's latest adventure is action-packed with robust combat and epic boss fights. Congratulations to the PlatinumGames team!
Best Family Game
- Kirby and the Forgotten Land – HAL Laboratory / Nintendo - Winner
- Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga – Traveller's Tales / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope – Ubisoft
- Nintendo Switch Sports – Nintendo
- Splatoon 3 – Nintendo
It's a joke that the Best Family Game category was made specifically for Nintendo, but last year the Japanese gaming company lost this category to It Takes Two, which also took home Game of the Year in 2021. However, this year Kirby and the Forgotten Land deserved this win as it's a kid-friendly game with fun co-op gameplay for up to two players to enjoy together. Plus, Kirby can float temporarily if he makes a mistake instead of plummeting to his death, making this a forgiving platformer that young children and newcomers can appreciate.
Best Sim/Strategy Game
- Dune: Spice Wars – Shiro Games / Funcom
- Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope – Ubisoft - Winner
- Total War: Warhammer III – Creative Assembly / Sega
- Two Point Campus – Two Point Studios / Sega
- Victoria 3 – Paradox Development Studio / Paradox Interactive
Of all of the categories Switch games won this year, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope taking Best Sim/Strategy Game was one I wasn't sure would come about, but it is well deserved. This tactical adventure provides satisfying combat that rewards players for taking advantage of enemy weaknesses. Not to mention, the interactions between the silly characters make it a fun experience. Ubisoft did a fantastic job and should feel proud of this win.
Best Multiplayer Game
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Infinity Ward / Activision
- MultiVersus – Player First Games / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Overwatch 2 – Blizzard Entertainment
- Splatoon 3 – Nintendo - Winner
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge – Tribute Games / Dotemu
Seeing Splatoon 3 win the Best Multiplayer Game award is astounding, given that it was competing against the extremely popular Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, MultiVersus, Overwatch 2, and TMNT: Shredder's Revenge. Of course, the Splatoon series has always stood out against other multiplayers since it focuses more on painting the arena than taking out opponents. Nevertheless, the third installment has been a great addition to the series, so seeing it get the recognition it deserves is excellent.
Most Anticipated Game
- Final Fantasy XVI – Square Enix
- Hogwarts Legacy – Avalanche Software / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Resident Evil 4 – Capcom
- Starfield – Bethesda Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Nintendo - Winner
Of course, it feels like the entire world eagerly awaits The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (commonly referred to as Breath of the Wild 2), coming to Switch on May 12, 2023. As such, it was no surprise to see that Nintendo's action RPG won the award for Most Anticipated Game in 2022. Given that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the Game of Year winner in 2017 and introduced so many mechanics and elements that have become the standard in modern gaming, it's no wonder everyone is looking forward to the sequel. Hopefully, time flies fast, and we'll play in no time.
Nintendo Switch announcements at The Game Awards 2022
Nintendo had eight reveals at The Game Awards this year, including a new look at The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Here's everything new that was shown.
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
Bayonetta has been known as one of Nintendo Switch's best adult games series for a while now, with a lead character who is as suggestive as she is violent. So, it was a bit of a surprise to see that PlatinumGames is toning things down with a brand new game about the witch in her adolescence. This game has an ESRB rating of T for Teen rather than M for Mature, as all previous Bayonetta games have been rated before it.
I'm not sure who this game is intended for, but it doesn't seem like it's aiming at the usual Bayonetta crowd. Instead, the art style is reminiscent of a children's storybook and follows Bayonetta and her demon-possessed stuffed toy as they search for her mother. As more information comes out, we'll have to see precisely what this game entails.
Given the overwhelmingly positive response to Supergiant Games' roguelike, Hades, it's a welcome sight to see that a sequel is in the works. Instead of playing as Zagreus and attempting to escape from under the thumb of the God of the Underworld, the sequel has players taking on the role of his sister, Melinoë, the immortal Princess of the Underworld.
Her goal is to take out the Titan of Time in this replayable roguelike. We expect great things from this sequel, given how the original Hades made replaying the same levels interesting each time. We can't wait for it to come out sometime in 2023.
From the developer of the critically and user-acclaimed platformer Celeste comes a new adventure starring the horned-protagonist, Nevoa, as they travel around the remains of a fantasy world. Celeste offered challenging gameplay but rewarded players with an emotional and impactful story. We hope to see the same from Earthblade when it releases in 2024.
Hellboy Web of Wyrd
A brand new Hellboy game is in the works and will come to Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. The red demon will be voiced by Lance Reddick, known for his work in John Wick and Destiny. Not much is known about the story yet, and no release date has been announced. However, it looks like this game could be exciting and features a cell-shading art style that puts me in mind of The Wolf Among Us. At any rate, it's the perfect look for these hellish comic book characters.
Fire Emblem Engage - Expansion Pass
Fire Emblem Engage is set to release on February 20, 2023, but now thanks to a reveal during The Game Awards, we know that an Expansion Pass is also incoming with at least four waves of content. The first wave will include Three Houses characters Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude, along with Tiki, in-game support items, and accessories.
Considering how popular Three Houses was, it's good to see these characters brought back in a game about calling on past heroes. The three following waves will launch sometime in 2023, but we don't know what they entail.
New trailer for The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Keegan-Michael Key, who plays Toad in the upcoming Super Mario Bros. Movie, came to The Game Awards stage to introduce a new trailer for the film. The trailer finally gives us a glimpse at Chris Pratt's Mario accent, which still fails to impress. However, the rest of the preview looked charming and was packed with Easter eggs and references to classic Mario games. I'm not entirely sure how to feel about this movie, but I'm more intrigued to watch it than I thought I would be.
Among Us - Hide and Seek Mode
Innersloth's popular murder party game akin to Werewolf or Mafia got a brand new mode to help switch up gameplay: Hide and Seek. This new mode was released on Friday and had the killer run around searching for the crewmates while all the other players try to hide. In addition to this new gameplay, cosmetics and pets have also been added. Best of all, you can now pet your pets. There are a lot of fun new elements for an already fantastic game.
Microsoft announces 10-year Call of Duty deal with Nintendo
On Tuesday, Microsoft made a surprising announcement that it "has entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King." What this means is that Microsoft will commit to allowing people to access Call of Duty on Nintendo gaming systems for a minimum of 10 years at some point after the acquisition has been finalized. Unfortunately, there is currently no date for when Call of Duty will arrive on a Nintendo console. Due to some developments, it's not even a guarantee that the merger will go through at this point.
A couple of days after Microsoft's announcement, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it is suing to block Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard. This isn't surprising given that Sony has been very vocal about urging regulators in the U.S., U.K., and E.U. to block the merger because this acquisition would constitute a monopoly or anti-competitive situation. Sony's argument has a lot of weak points, but it could cause enough of a problem for the merger.
Microsoft has entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to @Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King. Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people – however they choose to play. @ATVI_ABDecember 7, 2022
More regarding this story is bound to unfold in the coming months and will affect gamers everywhere regardless of what consoles or platforms they prefer to play on. So we'll have to see how this situation progresses as time goes on.
Super Smash Tour 2022 cancelation and controversy
Super Smash Bros. eSports players from around the world were shocked this week when the Super Smash Tour Championship 2022 was canceled, even though it was supposed to run from Dec 9 - 11. The winnings for this competitive event were in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, which brought the serious Smash community together. So why was it canceled? That seems to be somewhat unclear at this point depending on who you ask, but it seems to have stemmed from licensing issues.
Things reportedly went down strangely following some communications between Dr. Alan (Panda Global's CEO), Nintendo, and Panda Global. In an official statement released by The Panda Cup team, it seems that many people in the organization weren't aware that the event was going to be canceled and sighted "an interaction between Dr. Alan and Beyond the Summit" as the reason for the sudden scrapping of the event.
pic.twitter.com/KmCiKddaqhDecember 2, 2022
Many eSports players were understandably upset by this decision and made their discontent known online. In response, The Panda Cup team came out with another statement explaining that Dr. Alan "is no longer CEO, effective immediately" and that Panda employees would work to manage things until things get sorted.
Dr. Alan released a lengthy statement explaining his side of things. In it, he states that Nintendo learned about the Smash World Tour before it was announced and told Panda Global not to make it public until the Japanese gaming company had approved things. Dr. Alan alleges that despite this, tournament organizer Justin Wykowski and VGBC "knew this and launched anyway."
The former Panda Global CEO states that he's experienced "extreme harassment, death threats, and fleeing [his] own home due to doxing." He says this has also lead him to experience "panic attacks for the first time in [his] life." He states that he plans on selling his shares of Panda Global and no longer wants to engage with the Smash community.
It's hard to say how this will impact the Super Smash Tour in the future or if it will even be able to come back at some future point. With how disgruntled many participants and fans are, it could be hard to recover. More information regarding this situation will likely come to light and give more insight into how things will move forward.
Best Switch games to play this weekend
In addition to The Game Awards announcements we had a few exciting games release for Nintendo Switch this week. Here are the best Switch games that you don't want to miss out on this week.
Dragon Quest Treasures
Play as siblings, Eric and Mia as they travel the world in search of treasure. Along the way, they can befriend and recruit monsters to fight on their side. These characters were previously seen in Dragon Quest XI S, so it will be fun to see where their adventures take them in this spin-off.
Hello Neighbor 2
This stealth horror game sequel once more has players working to avoid their creepy neighbor while also learning of his dark secrets. The intelligent AI allows this neighbor to learn and grow so you won't be able to use the same tactics to get away from him twice.
Buy from: Nintendo
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
Though they've been out for a few weeks now, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet continue to be some of the most popular and most-played Switch games right now. They definitely have performance issues, however, as I said in my Scarlet and Violet review, the open-world gameplay and excellent plot mixed with the catching mechanics we're familiar with do make this a very fun adventure.
So much Switch news
There was a lot of exciting news this week relating to Nintendo Switch. It was good to see so many Switch games walk away as winners at The Game Awards this year, even if Xenoblade Chronicles 3 didn't win Game of the Year. Some of the best Switch games of all time came out this year, and we're on the edge of our seats waiting for more Tears of the Kingdom news to come out soon.
Until next time.
- Rebecca Spear
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Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.