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Friday, January 29, 2016

The State of the Videogame Industry if Hillary Clinton Had Her Way

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Warning: It's a dystopian future. Don't let it become a reality.

I'm sure that Hillary Rodham Clinton would love to be the next president of the United States of America, and in her dreams she would want a position much stronger than the president. One-woman ruler of the country. And if you're so foolish enough to allow that to happen, then you will be rewarding extremist anti-videogame, anti-creativity, and anti-freedom behaviour on her part. If videogame company executives or any self-professed gamers vote for her, then they either have short memories or they're not “real” gamers. This is a litmus test for your gaming credibility.

Hillary Clinton notoriously CREATED the Family Entertainment Protection Act while she was a United States Senator from New York at the end of 2005 as a response to the (inaccessible in-game) Rockstar Hot Coffee mod discovered in the code of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. What this means is that she wanted (and likely still does) the government's hands in the regulation of the videogame industry for the purposes of “protecting children.” I briefly mentioned Hillary Clinton and the Family Entertainment Protection Act in a great article a year ago, but this was a super-important moment in our industry's history — so it deserves more than just a cameo/tangent in another article.

There were five parts to this act (which didn't get out of committee — so there wasn't a vote on it) that I'll briefly summarise. Then I'll tell you what it would've done if it passed as-is:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

KoopaTV Judges The Pre-Iowa Fox News Republican Presidential Debate!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Welcome back, Jim Gilmore. PLUS, KoopaTV's ENDORSEMENT for the Republican race.

Welcome back, folks. You know the drill by now, I think. This debate is ran by Fox News Channel and Google so there's a slight technical bent. Better than Fox continually partnering with that garbage social media company that begins with “F” and ends in “acebook”.

KoopaTV is going to judge Fox's debates. Two of 'em. We'll start with the four candidates in the lower debate and then the seven candidates later. Awards ceremony that all eleven will be part of, and then OUR ENDORSEMENT.

The Iowa caucus is on Monday, and we hope the folks we've endorsed end up winning. It's important for the state of America. And, uh, the videogame industry. Of course.

By the way, the debate was actually approaching intelligence since Donald Trump wasn't there.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

If Mario Really WAS From Brooklyn...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...He'd sound like this, and he'd talk about this, too.

It has been persistent misinformation that our nemesis, the PLUMBER (and his brother), were somehow born in Brooklyn, New York. That's absurd. Nintendo literally made a videogame all about how this is wrong. It was called Yoshi's Island and it's one of the best games ever made. But a lot of people missed the implications of the story and just focused on lauding how amazing the gameplay is.

Some propose that Mario and Luigi were born in the Mushroom Kingdom (right so far) but somehow relocated and lived their child and young adult years in Brooklyn (no, this is stupid).

Well, if that were true, you'd think he'd talk anything like another guy raised in Brooklyn, New York you hear all the time in the news. His name is Bernie Sanders, an idol of Brooklyn accent afficionados. I propose that if Mario did live in Brooklyn for a substantial part of his life, and grew up in that environment and learned their values, he would talk like this (original Bernie Sanders parody video embedded below):

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ted Cruz's Candy Crush Craziness Disqualifies Candidacy

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - He's a Canadian copycat, too.

Freshman Texas senator and second-place Republican presidential contender (if the polls are to be believed) Ted Cruz has a big problem in his life.

He's addicted to his iPhone, and he's addicted to Candy Crush Saga. It drives his wife nuts, as it should. Listen to this 2014 interview:



The interviewer in that above video says, “You are a videogamer.” And Ted Cruz responds, “Indeed.”

The interviewer follow-ups, testing Ted Cruz's honesty: “What videogames do you like?”

Ted Cruz replies, 

Monday, January 25, 2016

We're Gonna Build a Wall: It's Gonna Be GREAT

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Don't forget about YUGE.

We've heard similar promises from Nintendo presidential candidate Ledge Trump
“I would build a great ledge, and nobody builds ledges better than Ledge Trump, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, trump-able ledge on our stages' edges. And I will have Microsoft pay for that ledge. Mark my words.”
While Ledge Trump lost his bid for president of Nintendo to some guy named Tatsumi Kimishima and was never seen again, Republican front-runner Donald Trump is still very much on a path to victory. While we don't really like Trump's bullying or his debate performances, you have to admire his bombastic nature and his penchant for hyperbole. We admire it, anyway. Probably 'cause we do it ourselves.

Donald Trump wall Mexico Mexican border Super Smash Bros. For Wii U stage builder
Trump built that wall FOR FREE! Look! No one can get to Trump Land on the other side!

I've been reading Donald Trump's book from 30 years ago, The Art of the Deal. I might review it in its own article sometime in the future. But essentially, Trump makes the case that all his life he's been building things under-budget and ahead of schedule and with great quality as a real-estate developer. This somehow contradicts the notion of “pick two” with the three dimensions of project management: Time, Money, and Quality. Trump has all three. How can this be?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Activision's Deals Buy MLG; ESPN Goes eSPORTS

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Huge stuff going on in eSports in America... if you're into that.

It's clear that the money folks don't think eSports is going away, if you were hoping for that. After Bobby Kotick's huge deal with Actision buying out King for almost 6 billion dollars, Activision continues its acquisitions by acquiring Major League Gaming (MLG) for a much smaller $46 million. Kotick basically wants to make an ESPN-esque kind of thing under his suit. 

To be exact, he said, “I want to build the ESPN of video games.” Keep that quote in mind.

It should mesh well with Activision franchises such as Call of Duty, Hearthstone, and StarCraft. That said, Activision will still allow non-Activision franchises on Major League Gaming, of course, and MLG's staff will still work on it. They primarily wanted to buy out MLG's premium streaming capabilities.

mlg.tv Call of Duty Black Ops III Activision Major League Gaming MLG buy out
mlg.tv as of publishing. Yup, TOTALLY doesn't have an Activision bias.
By the way, you bet that mlg.tv competes with KoopaTV for entities with TV at the end of their name.

Activision would in fact like to bring MLG's content to actual televisions, hence the comparison to ESPN. Well, it just so happens that ESPN had a response.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Let Sakurai Work On What He Wants

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm warning you.

Turns out that instead of Masahiro Sakurai getting a day off, he now has another project to work on. 

(That hyperlinked article I just linked was amazing and I forgot I wrote it, which is awkward because I was originally going to use this article to state that article's points. Can't really top the way I did it there, though, and it's so applicable to the new information in this article.)

According to Famitsu magazine and Gematsu's translation, Masahiro Sakurai said for 2016,
I want to enjoy every day like it’s Sunday. However, that doesn’t mean the next job hasn’t been decided.”
While the constant use of negatives (“doesn't mean [it] hasn't been ...”? Why not “However, the next job is decided.”?) is a turn-off and an unnecessary obfuscation on Sakurai's part (that kinda thing is why he's not a reliable source but Famitsu is so we should be fine), what he's trying to say is that he can't just do nothing and relax. He has a new project now that he's done producing Super Smash Bros. 4 post-release content and any future balance patches will either not exist or can be done without him.

What's the next job? Obviously not something related to Super Smash Bros., and it might not even be on a Nintendo system. We have no idea what it is and I won't try to speculate on it, just that some non-Sakurai power is willing it to existence. There is just one thing about it that I hope happens.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon Making Me a Better Person?!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...How dare it!

I am the naughty prince of Koopas and proud of it. Most people out there would make the value judgment that I'm a “bad person” who enjoys the misery of others. I wouldn't make a spirited argument against that.

However, ever since Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon came out, things have been... changing. Just a bit. I hope it's only just a bit!

As I noted before, Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon brings back player-to-player rescue missions. It works like this:
  1. Player A fainted in a dungeon. They send out a rescue request in the form of a QR code/password and post a screenshot of that somewhere, be it Miiverse or GameFAQs or ludwig(at)koopatv(dot)org
  2. Player B finds that QR code/password and goes to Pelipper Island in their Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon copy. They talk to the leftward Pelipper and select Pick up mail and input the password/scan the QR code. (Please, please, please share the QR codes it's so much faster than an 80-character password.)
  3. If Player B has been to that dungeon before and has previously reached the particular floor Player A fainted on, they can go save 'em. Player B then goes through that dungeon up to where Player A fainted and rescues them.
  4. Player B goes back to the leftward Pelipper and selects Send mail and chooses Reviver Mail corresponding to Player A. They give Player A the QR code/password. They may choose to attach an item (which they won't get back) to the Reviver Mail, such as an Escape Orb or a Reviver Seed.
  5. Player A enters the QR code/password and can play where they left off. 
  6. After Player A finishes the dungeon and returns to the main menu, they can go to Pelipper Island to the leftward Pelipper and select Send Mail (Thank-You Mail). Player A may choose to attach an item.
  7. Player A gives Player B the QR code/password for the Thank-You Mail. Player B returns to the usual place and gets thanked.

It's a lot simpler than it sounds.

Pelipper Pelipper's Island Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon Lillipup
Just remember that THIS is the important Pelipper.
By the way, like the Lillipup? That's Robert E. Lillipup, who has his own adventure you can play here.
He's the best character of 2015!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Microsoft's Minecraft: Education Edition

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Turning MinecraftEdu into an in-house learning project. Plus, subscription models.

Looks like the Minecraft juggernaut isn't slowing down. After expanding to alternate reality and the Wii U, Microsoft decided to outright buy out licensed educational spin-off MinecraftEdu, learn lessons about how to have others learn, bring it in-house, and make it into a subscription-based model named Minecraft: Education Edition.

Minecraft MinecraftEdu Education Edition join the conversation Mojang Microsoft
Screencap from their YouTube channel's trailer video.
KoopaTV in no way endorses you to join their conversation. Besides, there ain't actually a conversation to join there.
There IS one in this article, though! Click the article and scroll down to the comments section!
 
Here's an excerpt of Microsoft's statement on the matter:
We’ve already seen [Minecraft] transform classrooms and curriculum. Since 2011, MinecraftEDU from TeacherGaming LLC from Finland – a version of Minecraft built especially for the classroom – has reached thousands of classrooms in more than 40 countries around the world, all reporting wild success. We don’t want to stop there. We believe this is just the beginning.

Today, we’re excited to announce Microsoft is acquiring MinecraftEdu and investing in a new and expanded version of Minecraft for the classroom called Minecraft: Education Edition. This new title – available as a free trial this summer – will build on the learnings from MinecraftEdu while offering an expanded set of features. And in support of MinecraftEdu customers, they can continue to use MinecraftEdu and we will offer the first year of Minecraft: Education Edition for free.”
If you're wondering, TeacherGaming LLC will continue with non-MinecraftEdu education-using-games projects. If you want to know some further details about the differences between MinecraftEdu and Minecraft: Education Edition, that url outlines some of 'em. One of these is the availability of modifications (MinecraftEdu allows these but Minecraft: Education Edition won't) and the fact that MinecraftEdu is a one-time perpetually-lasting license (that will continue even after Minecraft: Education Edition's implementation) while Minecraft: Education Edition is a subscription-based model. Another is that Minecraft: Education Edition will have a Student Portfolio, and requires you to log-in from the school's local-area network. (MinecraftEdu can have kids bringing it home if they use it for school learning purposes.)

There's a trend at play with Microsoft here, and it has to do with their revenue model.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Compatibility Testing and PC Gaming Pain

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Testing is hard enough. Testing for gaming computers is a nightmare.

Once upon a time, or about three weeks ago, KoopaTV released Capture the Confederate Flag on the PC to the world. It won KoopaTV's Best PC Game of 2015 award shortly after. Unfortunately, the game was met with protest. Not over its subject matter, but over its...system requirements? Detractors began calling it “Capture the Confederate Lag”, because nowhere on the game page does it give system requirements.

As a result, people with really bad computers (such as off-the-shelf laptops) didn't have the best experience they could have with the game. This made people believe that the game was bad, and people across the Internet began to question if KoopaTV's Game of THAT Year decision-making process was... rigged.

Most assuredly not! But people have their doubts, and it stems from their compatibility issues.

This is a problem for anyone that develops games for the PC!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Life Lessons From the Rand Direct January 2016

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The media, liberty, access to information...

Yesterday night there was a pretty bad national “debate” among seven men who pretty much agree with one another, with almost all of them being outright losers and horrible people. Giving them valuable time on KoopaTV was a programming error on my part, and I take responsibility for it. Just about the only things worse was the last Democrat Party's 2016 debate we covered, and the three VGX/The Game Awards that have occurred under KoopaTV's existence, although at least the latter is videogame-related? Still really bad though.

Rather than make it up by having some in-depth videogame analysis, we'll actually give you coverage on the event that was ALSO happening during this primetime “debate”. No, it's not American Idol, it's Rand Paul's Twitter-based Town Hall thing where he spent over 40 minutes answering people's questions on some video streaming thing called Periscope. Because whatever that is, that's what the young millennials use and it shows you're hip. ...I'm obviously not hip.
Part 1: https://www.periscope.tv/DrRandPaul/1vAGRPOOWNjxl | Part 2: https://www.periscope.tv/DrRandPaul/1gqxvwNNjPQKB | Part 3: https://www.periscope.tv/DrRandPaul/1vOGwwrXgZMGB
According to a minute of research, Periscope videos disappear after 24 hours, so these links might not even work. Hm. ...Okay in the process of writing this article they all disappeared. Woops. Watch this instead from RandPaulTV, which doesn't have every minute of footage but most of it:



The story here is that after the media didn't let Senator Paul on the stage with the seven losers (some of those seven shouldn't have been there at all by any reasonable standard), Rand Paul decided to bypass the broadcasting media and take his message directly to the people. 

In effect, he took the tactic from Satoru Iwata's Nintendo Directs and instead had a Rand Direct. ...Which admittingly sounds more like a programming command than a streamed event, but whatever. Let's just get to the part where I tell you what to get out of it.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

KoopaTV's Judgment of January 2016 Republican Debates at Fox Business Network

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's not really a debate...

Two so-called debates tonight on Fox Business Network! One at 6 PM and one at 9 PM, but this'll be published when they're both done so whatever. They're streamed here.

Simultaneously for the debate at 9 PM, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is streaming a town hall thing because Fox Business refused to let him into the main debate stage. So Rand was all, “I'll bring my message right to the people!”

As much as I would like to just watch only that, KoopaTV is Fair & Balanced. So I'm putting my own political preference aside to bring you the sure-to-be-boring two debates among a set of ten candidates that agree with each other on almost every issue, and not focusing on the candidate that, while I feel is the best one and actually is different, is only one guy.

'cause chances are you're more interested in one of those ten Republicans than the one Rand Paul. Also, ignore the fact that no longer covering the Democrat Party debates probably makes us no longer Fair & Balanced, if you ever thought we were to begin with. Hey, according to KoopaTV Feedback Form Part I, on average we score pretty well for that! I'll take that as a good sign. 

Also, his live stream is hosted on Facebook which is a disastrous decision that I'm not happy for. What message does it send when your underground, kinda rebellious screw-the-media event is on a website that censors the existence of kinda rebellious screw-the-media organisations?

Rand Paul middle finger flip the bird to media debate demotion
Literally “screw the media.”

Although, even though it's officially hosted by Facebook, Rand himself will be live at Twitter's headquarters and taking questions via Twitter. He wants to take his message, “directly to the people.” He's basically doing a Nintendo Direct. Which is really cool, but KoopaTV already said we'd cover the Republican debates... So let's... kinda do that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I'd Rather Live in the Past Than the Future

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I know the question is “visit”, but...

After questions of morality and proof that Splatoon's best players are naughty, our next Splatfest in North America is this weekend! The question? If you could time-travel, would you wanna go back in time to the past, or forwards to the future?

Splatfest News Splatoon visit the past future
Callie is on Team Past, and Marie is on Team Future.

I think the answers and the reasons for why we'd think that way are clear. We like bathing in nostalgia, and we hate “springing forward” into the future with Daylight Savings Time. Daylight Savings Time is a complete disaster, and that's just going into the future by one hour. Imagine the complete cataclysm if we went ahead by hundreds or thousands of years! That's millions of hours! It's Daylight Savings Time on a scale we've never experienced before. We have no idea what the hell will happen in that time.

However, a lot of videogames give us an idea of what'll happen in the future. By comparison, we know exactly what will happen in the past because, y'know, it's happened already. Enough time has passed in the course of existence that, if we can pick and choose which parts of the past we'd like to visit, we can undergo a huge variety of experiences and be seen as royalty for our prophetic knowledge of the future.

Just be warned: We can only go back in one direction, since you can only be on one team. At least if you go to the past but not too far, you'll eventually get to the present era if you miss it. If you go to the future, you can't come back to the present... only deeper into the future. Let's start! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

KoopaTV Live Reactions: SOTU 2016

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring a depressed House Speaker Paul Ryan, PLUS Nikki Haley's response.

As you know if you live in America, any TV channel in the United States that covers news or commentary has its programming usurped by President Barack Hussein Obama's final State of the Union!

State of the Union 2016 Barack Obama finished speech
Well, it happened. That's all, folks?
 

Nah, I reacted to it. Kamek was kinda there too in some capacity. A long time before I was. I was actually playing our Game of THAT Year 2015 winner Splatoon to make the time pass, but that's not reflected in the log. Read on.

Monday, January 11, 2016

KoopaTV 2015 GOTY Awards!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - With other categories as well. A lot of other categories.

We got the whole Internet eagerly awaiting our ceremonial awards for 2015. What was the best game of 2015? What was the funniest KoopaTV article? Who is our favourite guest contributor?

You can and should check out and remind yourself about the nominations here.

Without further ado, let's start the ceremony. Oooh, let's put the page-break in a really enticing place. You definitely gotta click to see the rest of this article now.

Videogame-related Awards for 2015

Friday, January 8, 2016

KoopaTV's 2015 GOTY Nominations!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And other categories.

These were decided and talked about in our [Koopa Keep] AOL Instant Messenger Blast. Behold!

The déjà vu from years past is intentional. (To be eligible, those running have to start their existence in America from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015.)

And just so you remember, that stands for "Game of THAT Year". That's the KoopaTV touch.

There is no “Worst KoopaTV Comment” of 2015 because, uh, y'all were actually good this year. I think the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program got most people to want to comment non-anonymously, which resulted in people not commenting total trash because they would be putting their name to it. OR after being around for so long, everyone who hates us has us blocked already. We may be one of the most blocked websites on the Internet, then!

But yeah, this isn't just about gaming, but also ourselves. 'cause we're art to be recognised and applauded, too.

KoopaTV GOTY Game of THAT Year 2015 and other categories nominations
KoopaTV.org's Game of THAT Year 2015!
Nominations! And other categories!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

CAPTURE THE CONFEDERATE FLAG: The Advertisement Video!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The advertisement video for Capture the Confederate Flag.

Not convinced to play Capture the Confederate Flag yet? Or biding your time? Perhaps you've already played it. Whatever your situation, we are pleased to announce the official Capture the Confederate Flag advertisement video! It'd be a trailer, except it's coming out after the game's release. Trailers are only before. I think.


Here's the script:

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Is There a Meaning Behind Paper Jam?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - On first glance, it doesn't have a positive meaning.

Pretty much all of KoopaTV's staff seems to agree that Nintendo's only great announcement from E3 2015 was the 3DS game, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam from AlphaDream. It's the newest game in the Mario & Luigi series, but it features Paper Mario (from his own series). So it's like a crossover of the two on-going Mario-themed RPGs, though it's tough to still consider Paper Mario to be an RPG series considering its last two releases, especially with Nintendo outright not considering Paper Mario: Sticker Star a roleplaying game.

Anyway, a lot of people have convinced themselves that this is a new game in the Paper Mario series, which is wrong. It's not really a crossover, either, since Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi don't get the same or equal attention in the title: In fact, Paper Mario doesn't really even get the sub-title, because... um... "Paper Jam" doesn't exactly scream "Paper Mario"... It screams "Crap I kept the paperclip in that group of papers when I fed it into the scanner."

That colour scheme for "Paper Jam" directly correlates to Paper Mario: Sticker Star but none of the other box arts in that sub-series.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

“Go Read a Book” is a Flawed Response

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There is this false presumption among people that books are inherently superior. They're not.

Maybe I'm overreacting, but it seems like the standard response among people who think they're too smart for a discussion is to just tell the people they're discussing/arguing with to “go read a book” and that's their finishing statement. Done. You can't come back from that. It's over. Read that there book. Are people saying this because it's a meme (well...) or because they really think books are all that?

Maybe I am just biased because I'm offended on three levels: One, as a writer on a digital-exclusive platform, I don't get to have my writings printed into a book. Two, as a writer about VIDEOGAMES who takes the position that videogames are the best medium. And three, people sorta tell me to “go read a book” occasionally. Like I'm an unread nitwit. Psh.

go read a book liberal conservative are not insults
The logic here is that reading a book makes you more civilised. That doesn't make any sense.

So yeah, I'm going to tear apart this idiotic catchphrase and you're welcome to link to this article anytime you see someone say “go read a book” or if they, in fact, say that to you. It even has headers and anchor HTML so you can link to a specific part.

...And don't you dare say “go read a book” to anyone.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Satoru Iwata Brought You Pokémon Red & Blue

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Unless “you” refers to a Japanese reader. And hey, if you're in Japan, let me know.

Everyone seems fascinated by localisation tales, with an anonymous commenter and I having a nice discussion about people freaking out about Nintendo of America's localisation arm. People seem to take for granted the games that do manage to come over out of Japan, and maybe people don't realise that not every game made in America makes its way to Japan, either.

Let's explore the “take for granted” part a little more. Even though the Internet for whatever reason thinks the likes of Undertale is a better videogame than Pokémon Red/Blue, the latter still made up a ton of Americans' childhoods. And according to an interview between The Pokémon Company president and CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara and Japanese gaming site 4Gamer (translated by Siliconera), it almost didn't get outside of Japan! (The original article seems to be about Satoru Iwata and his genius programming legacy, and talks with a variety of other industry figures.)

How did it get localised and exported? Thanks to the work of... Satoru Iwata, president of HAL Laboratory at the time. While around the time of Satoru Iwata's tragic passing people recalled that his programming wizardry greatly assisted in Pokémon Gold/Silver containing the Kanto region, no one knew the story about Iwata's work with the first games in the Pokémon series. Until now. According to the interview translation, Ishihara said,

Friday, January 1, 2016

KoopaTV's December 2015 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Let's make sure we thoroughly talked about all that's left of 2015 before we move on.

Welcome to KoopaTV's newsletter, the last one to talk about 2015. I'm not going to cover the whole year here, just December 2015. What's the point of talking about the whole year? That's bound to just be an average, and regression to the mean will say it was a "meh" average year. Whatever. Smaller time periods are gonna be more interesting than that.

I will say, however, that 2015 was the first year for KoopaTV where we published an article every single weekday of the year. 

And you betcha that December 2015 was interesting. So we're gonna get headings again, yippee. I think we'll go in sort of an order of “things that happened” and progress to “what's happening now and what's coming up”. That sound good? Then get past the page break, read more, and here we go! Because we got things to address that you really want to know about covering every aspect of the site, with tons of features.