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Monday, February 29, 2016

Fire Emblem Fates Ain't Censored, but Localised

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There's no conspiracy at play.

There are a lot of people out there singing the praises for Fire Emblem Fates. I'm not one of them, but it's the fastest-selling Fire Emblem game ever in the United States: Over 300,000 copies in its launch weekend. But that Forbes writer I just linked to then states that even though it's selling so much, there is “controversy” over its “draconian” “censorship” by Nintendo of America and its Treehouse localising division.

Ugh. I already wrote about this in November. Nintendo of America cannot, by definition, “censor” what Nintendo in Japan produces when bringing it over to America. They can only localise. There's a nice chart in that article, too.

But it looks like people need me to run through Fire Emblem Fates specifically. Fine. I'll do it, especially since someone actually e-mailed me to talk about this over a month ago. (I didn't, because I thought an article about localisation would have the best information only after Fire Emblem Fates was actually released.) 

Before I start, I want to point out that the main force causing ruckus over this is #gamergate. Remember them? They're about ethics in videogame journalism, or so they say. I have absolutely no idea what ethics in videogame journalism has to do with Nintendo's localisation decisions. Someone please explain this to me.

Anyway, let's get started.. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

KoopaTV Live Reacts to 20th Anniversary Pokémon Direct

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring a NEW ANNOUNCEMENT.

Here we are with the first game-related live reaction log of 2016! It's a Nintendo Direct! ...Sort of not really.


Pokémon Direct title screen Nintendo Game Boy Ditto Tsunekazu Ishihara
It's President Ishihara of The Pokémon Company. With a Ditto?

Looks like The Pokémon Company is using Nintendo's outreach channels to talk about something important. We better listen and react to it. I'm Nintendork 13 13, and Vortexica joins too as the other dude. Due to... the timing, we don't exactly react at the same time. It's an interesting dynamic, for sure.

The Pokémon Direct is embedded below. (Just click more!) You can watch along with our reactions, but we kinda do it twice so I dunno.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

KoopaTV Judges the February 25 CNN Republican Presidential Debate!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's the debate before Super Tuesday.

Which states are voting in the primaries on March 1, 2016? Those are Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia for both Republicans and Democrats, plus Alaska for the Republicans. If you're a Democrat or leaning that way, please vote for Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton should not get the vote of anyone who likes videogames, which should be everyone reading this site

If you're a Republican, then... I'm not really sure what you should do. Donald Trump has won three of the previous four states and is still leading. Maybe this debate will help make your decision. My own guy, who was also KoopaTV's endorsement, isn't even running for president anymore. So I'm an undecided voter, and KoopaTV as a whole's only remaining endorsement is still for Bernie Sanders. That's pretty sad. So let's grade tonight's debate performance among Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Ben Carson.


CNN Republican GOP Debate February 25 final talking times Carson Cruz Kasich Rubio Trump
Final talking times, courtesy of NPR.
 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Japanese Players vs. Western Players: Better?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Or, why Westerners have such an interesting view of what the Japanese are like.

So, I'm an extreme mono-lingual individualist Westerner, and here I am going to drop some knowledge about the relationship of Western gamers vs. Japanese gamers in multiplayer environments. You're right to think I don't know what I'm talking about, and if KoopaTV ever filled its Japanese Marketing Manager position that has been open for over two years now, I'd ask the person in that role about this question. This paragraph has been your disclaimer.

At least I can speak for myself.

There is a lot of animosity between the Japanese and Westerners in multiplayer gaming. Westerners consider the Japanese to be SO MUCH better at games. The Super Smash Bros. Melee documentary (The Smash Brothers) was literally set up to portray the King of Smash Ken Hoang as dominating the whole United States (and Western hemisphere by extension), and then he went to Japan to really prove himself. Japan is portrayed as the final frontier/final boss, like it's another planet or the moon. People see Japan as some sort of utopia of super-skilled gaming robots.



Ken at around 21:54 in The Smash Brothers: Episode 4:

“When they play Smash, they play Smash. They play all day, all night, all day, all night. The weakest Japanese player was definitely like, as strong as our strongest player in America.”

There's no reason why Americans can't do the same thing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Make Great Leitmotifs

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You can reuse them. It sounds nice. It's less work. Whatever you do, just don't forget about music.

Something we want to let you in on: If you invest in great music in the first iteration of your franchise series, you can use it again in your next game. And in the game after that. You should probably remix it in some way, but it absolves you of a lot of the creative work. If you bang it out of the park your first time and don't reuse it, people will beg and may actually complain if you don't reuse the music. In terms of workload, your fans will whine if you don't do the lazy option.

It also makes for music that's practically guaranteed to please since it's already been pre-approved. It's much less risky. If you do your soundtrack right, you can reuse it forever. Too bad a lot of developers put music as an afterthought.

Our main example is the Kirby franchise, but it's a thing in every franchise, really. Consistent jingles or themes across games. But let's talk about Kirby.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Donald Trump Demands Apple Boycott — For the Wrong Reason

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's the correct position, but the wrong way to get there.

There is a huge debate in the public sphere right now that is sort of related to videogames — The FBI/United States government wants Apple to remove the encrypting privacy protections on iPhones and other devices. They wish to break the encryption so they can look at the work phone of ISIS-affiliated Syed Farook, the guy who committed an act of terrorism on over a dozen people in San Bernadino, California. The phone is an iPhone, which sounds like a horrible device for a work phone.

Apparently, if you fail the password enough times when trying to access an iPhone, it deletes all the data on the phone. That's what the FBI is concerned about. However, Apple doesn't actually know the password either... and they don't want to find out or develop a backdoor to find out.

Here's CEO Tim Cook's letter to the public on the matter:
Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.

The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”
 
You should read the whole letter. It makes a lot of sense and spells out Apple's position. For all of the negative crap I give Apple on and off this website, they're on the right side here.
“Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.”
How can I not side with that? Unfortunately, I don't represent the totality of public opinion. Enter Donald Trump.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Additions to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring amiibo and better textures! Yay?

One of the first things we learned about how The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD would be different than its 2006 release was that it would feature less Tears of Light to collect in certain areas. That means that, at first news, the HD remaster would actually have less content than before. I didn't have any problem with how many Tears of Light there were to collect! Just because some were hard to find doesn't mean there's necessarily a quantity issue.

I could've published an article just on that a month ago berating the development of the HD remaster. It's developed by the Australian Tantalus Media and not Grezzo, the company that's done the 3DS remakes for the two The Legend of Zelda series Nintendo 64 games. Tantalus has been behind such games like SpongeBob SquarePants: The Yellow Avenger, Pony Friends, Funky Barn, Men in Black II: Alien Escape, and Pony Friends 2. There's nothing wrong with shovelware contract work in theory. After all, someone's gotta develop it, and if it pays well and you can feed your family, then what's the issue?

Agent J Men in Black II Alien Escape Nintendo GameCube Will Smith
The hell? Is THAT supposed to be Agent J? What did they do to you?
Taken from Tantalus's own website, Men in Black II: Alien Escape on the Nintendo GameCube.

It pays well for Tantalus, but do these games play well for customers? According to game reviewers... no.

That'd be an easy story: Nintendo trusts remaster of beloved game in beloved franchise to bottom-tier developer, with Reggie Fils-Aime stating that Tantalus “has a great record with ports.” Said developer proceeds to gut the actual game by cutting content.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Super Smash Bros. 4 DOWNLOADABLE CHARACTERS Opinion Tiers

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Let's rate all the downloadable characters added after the game's release!

Folks enjoyed what I had to say for all of the Super Smash Bros. 4 newcomers back when the game came out. Since then, SEVEN additional characters joined the cast. They're the folks here:

Super Smash Bros. 4 Wii U 3DS downloadable fighters DLC roster
Bayonetta, Corrin, Cloud, Ryu, Roy, Lucas, and Mewtwo. That's from newest to oldest. This article will go the other way.
 
I'll be employing the same criteria for the ratings and they'll work the same way as last time. Even better, since I saved the Excel sheet for the first iteration of this article, I'll share the NEW standings at the end!


Relevant KoopaTV article(s):
Thoughts on the character before reveal:
Thoughts on the trailer:
Thoughts on the character based on trailer:
Thoughts on the character after the game came out:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Nintendo Account Registration! Miitomo too.

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Opened February 17!

It's finally here: The long-awaited Nintendo Account. You can check out the page at accounts.nintendo.com. You'll get this if you aren't logged in:

Nintendo Account log-in sign-in register account.nintendo.com
Sign in with your NNID. The rest of those options are for people who don't have a Wii U or 3DS.
...Good to see that Google+ is considered centrally relevant, though.

No one is logged in at the start, because your Nintendo Network ID and your Nintendo Account aren't exactly equivalent. When you do sign in with Nintendo Network ID, you'll be brought to the Create a Nintendo Account with fields already populated for you, depending on what you registered into your Nintendo Network ID. There's nickname, e-mail address, date of birth (which you cannot change once it's auto-populated, so if it's wrong you need to call Nintendo or create a new account without associating it with your Nintendo Network ID), country (also cannot be changed), gender (it's binary plus you saying you'd prefer not to answer), and timezone.

PLUS a brand-new End User License Agreement! First thing that's there: “You must be at least 13 years old to use the Nintendo Account Service.”

You hear that, kids? Go away.

Anyway, it's not really brand-new. It's sort of a clone of the Nintendo Network Services Agreement, including the clause that you own User-Generated Content but you're non-exclusively licensing it to Nintendo. It's relatively short and actually has the word END at the bottom. It links to the My Nintendo Rewards Program Terms of Service, but...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Try Cleaning Your Closet

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And then stop putting stuff in there.

I cannot count how many times I've read how people clean their closet, look under their bed or couch mattress, explore their attic/basement, or put their hands in their other pants pocket to find something they didn't even know they still had — or they didn't know they ever possessed it at all. These range from hentai VHS tapes (plus Pokémon 2000) to a rare $2 bill. One League of Legends player found a Nintendo Game Boy and 5–6 games after cleaning his closet for the first time in ten years. He mentions the games were stolen — it's grammatically unclear whether the League of Legends player was the thief or the victim, though you can perform value judgments as to which is more likely.

It's a lot better to be on top of your inventory. It's also weird that people claim to have never had these things to begin with and they just magically come into your possession. Is it the Minish at work, the tooth fairy, or some other nearly-invisible force just putting things in places we don't look?

Monday, February 15, 2016

A Pokémon-Sponsored Splatfest: Pokémon RED vs. BLUE

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Obviously, Pokémon Blue is better.

I never wanted Splatoon's Splatfests to come to this. Ever since Autobots vs. Decepticons, we knew sponsored Splatfests were possible. (Well, ever since Japan's Red Fox vs. Green Tanuki Splatfests, which were their second Splatfest, but no one knows what the hell those are, much less that they're noodles brands.) I just never thought Nintendo would be so self-serving as to advertise themselves.

Even more unheard of, is that it'd be The Pokémon Company behind it — and they're isolationists!

Splatoon Splatfest News Pokémon Red version Blue introduction North America
Pokémon presents...
A Splatfest that will finally settle an old score!

That's right. Pokémon presents. As in, about to show something. You're not getting any presents from these people. Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow coming out on the Virtual Console isn't a present. You gotta pay for it this February 27th. Or later if it's not a day one purchase for you.

Anyway, this Splatfest tasks North America and Europe (and Oceania) to choose between Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue. For Japan, it's between Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green, so they have a different graphic.

The goal of this article is to convince you to give Marie another try: Support Team Pokémon Blue version!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Yahoo! eSports! No More Gym Class!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - If you so choose.

So remember when I said ESPN now has an eSports section? Yahoo! is getting one too, soon. With dedicated staff. Now, it is as if you DON'T have an eSports section on your website, it's a competitive disadvantage.

KoopaTV will not be having an eSports section anytime soon. An article every so often is more than enough.

Yahoo! yahoo.com products and services features list February 2016
I guess there will now be an E section. Or maybe it'll be a lowercase e.
By the way, their Games section is much like ours, except they have garbage instead of greatness.

In other news, apparently I'm supposed to be spelling it as “esports”, according to Super Smash Bros. Melee player MacD. He didn't respond to my question, and if you notice, every source cited in this article spells it as eSports.

If you have any insights as to what's correct, let me know. We'll update everything on the site.

But you know what else is being updated? (Or downgraded, depending on your viewpoint?)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Consider Enrolling in the Big Brain Academy!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Tuition-free, so it satisfies Bernie Sanders. There's a mandatory student activities fee of $6.99, though.

Today's Wii U Virtual Console releases include the Nintendo DS Touch Generations title Big Brain Academy. Not everyone is enthusiastic about it.

Big Brain Academy Miiverse community New Discussions lack of enthusiasm
...In fact, only one guy is. (No, it wasn't free in Europe.)

People point to other countries' Virtual Console services. Yes, Europe just got Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team on the Wii U Virtual Console this week. Amazing games — the first ones in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series — and if you live in Europe, own a Wii U, and have never played either before, you really need to pick one of them up.

However, Big Brain Academy is still pretty good, and a lot better than some of what the DS Virtual Console has gotten before. I know. I own it on the DS. It's really fun. The title music even got remixed for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and brought back for Super Smash Bros. For Wii U.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

IS Defense: Machine Gunning ISIS Invaders to Europe

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It might come to a PC near you.

While KoopaTV would've loved to have made a videogame based on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, we chose to focus our 2015 efforts on another endeavour. Fortunately for the gaming world, Hatred developer Destructive Creations is filling the void with IS Defense. It's on Steam Greenlight right now, as of Tuesday! The basis is that it's 2020, and the Islamic State went way past just Iraq and Syria and established a caliphate on the whole of Northern Africa and the Middle East.

Now they're gunning for Europe. And hopefully you'll outgun these Jihadists, because you're playing as a NATO machine gunner whose task is to kill as many as these radical Islamic terrorists as you can before you die. NATO exists to support you, though in a somewhat limited capacity of airstrikes and other things. The game also includes ranking up and skill-trees, with dynamic difficulty. Here's the trailer:



It's not really my type of game in terms of gameplay, but I'd like for it to pass the Greenlight process. I do believe it's sort of generic (though apparently fans of the turret-shooting genre say there's not enough games in it) but is getting attention thanks to its focus on the Islamic State (you can bet that's the only reason I'm writing about it)

There's some interesting assumed mythos involved here, coinciding with breaking news from today!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Eiji Aonuma Versus Developer Ideologies

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - But I LIKE using games for propaganda!

KoopaTV sometimes pretends that The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma doesn't exist. If you search him up, we basically never mention him. His only real reference was with regards to his video message that The Legend of Zelda on Wii U would be delayed. He's probably the most low-key guy at Nintendo in proportion to his influence and position.

In an interview with Aonuma and the British gaming magazine GamesMaster, Aonuma stated,
“I haven’t and won’t be trying to put any message or meaning into the [Zelda] games. [...] Occasionally I receive messages from fans telling me how playing Zelda games has changed their lives. While of course this makes me incredibly happy to hear, I feel a great sense of responsibility as well, so part of me feels that developers putting their own ideologies in games is kind of scary.”
Of course, developers put their own ideologies into games all the time. It's become the norm at this point. Whether it be the ideology that abortion clinics should be plentiful and easy-to-access, the ideology that gun ownership among females should go up, or the ideology that Ron Paul is awesome, there is literally an entire sub-industry within gaming (“serious games”) that tries to persuade people of whatever message the developer/developer's client is pushing.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Were We Right About the Miiverse Summer Redesign?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I wrote what the ramifications would be. Did those play out over time?

On July 29th, 2015, I published Ramifications of Miiverse Redesign Summer 2015. It was a great, detailed article outlining each of the changes that happened with Nintendo's summer 2015 Miiverse redesign that dramatically affected Miiverse, and presented my thoughts about how each of those changes would change Miiverse usage and activity. It was published the day the redesign took into effect.

It's been over half a year since the redesign, although the banner proclaiming that the redesign occurred remained at the top of several Miiverse pages for months after the redesign. (It's finally gone.) It's time to see if I was right, and if there were any other smaller updates since the major redesign. (Spoilers: There were. Several. They fixed things.)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Cybersecurity Concerns: Paranoia or Serious Threat?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I want to just withdraw in my shell and stay there.

Recently, I was almost a victim of a malicious malware attack attempt because of my position as the owner of KoopaTV. Or maybe I actually am a victim of it and I lead my self into a false sense of security.

This kind of thing is extremely common on the Internet. The Internet is crawling with bad stuff that can do real harm to your computer and your life. Viruses, malware, spyware, phishing, worms, bots, injection attacks, a long list of funky sounding names. You think Zika virus is bad? You kind of have to be in a crappy area and doing some funky things to get it. You can be browsing an innocent website and suddenly bad things will just happen automatically without your input or knowledge.

Websites can suffer this even without the owners knowing, so for all I know, KoopaTV is getting lower views than usual because people are being redirected to some weird bad site because of a security exploit. Hope not.

Humourously, this has been happening to one of the worst Nintendo forums in the world, NSider2, for years now. From what I can tell, it's STILL happening, probably because its head admin is a guy who only cares about himself and has no regard for other people. And I might've just screwed myself by checking.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bayonetta Helping Her Sales

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Makes sense to me.

Yesterday, you could begin playing as Bayonetta and Corrin in Super Smash Bros. 4. We all know that Corrin literally exists to promote Fire Emblem: Fates, coming out this February 19 in North America in multiple versions like a Pokémon game. While Bayonetta is in because people voted for her (pushed mostly by Europe), don't think for a moment that Nintendo ain't taking advantage of her existence for advertisement!

'cause, you know what also is coming out February 19? Bayonetta 2! Re-released.

Bayonetta 2 single disc Wii U Amazon February 19
All by itself.
 
Remember that before, in North America, Bayonetta 2 was only released as a bundle with Bayonetta the first. Presumably because the first Bayonetta was never released on a Nintendo system, and they didn't want people to be left out since Bayonetta 2 is a sequel.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Give a Warm Welcome to Bayonetta! (Oh, there's some Corrin kid too)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Well, Bayonetta deserves a HAWT welcome. Which she is able to give herself by virtue of her very presence.

In the middle of December, Masahiro Sakurai told us who the last DLC characters would be. We have Smash Ballot winner (though, it was through more dubious means than Hillary Clinton getting more votes than Bernie Sanders in the Iowa Caucus) Bayonetta from the critically-acclaimed Bayonetta, and some advertisement Fire Emblem crap named Corrin. Sakurai mentioned that they're targeting February 2016 for both Bayonetta and Corrin.

Well, it's now February 2016, and it so happens that Sakurai met his target at the BEGINNING of the month, rather than the end of it. This is much more timely than saying Super Smash Bros. For 3DS would come out in the summer and having it come out in October and pretending he didn't miss his own deadline or anything. He must be really eager to work on whatever it is he actually wants to work on.

Bayonetta and Corrin should be available for purchase from the Nintendo eShop for both Super Smash Bros. For 3DS and Super Smash Bros. For Wii U as of when you read this, on a worldwide basis.

Bayonetta Ludwig Von Koopa Super Smash Bros. For Wii U Umbra Clock Tower crouch
Bayonetta is so welcoming!
 
I'll let you know my full thoughts on Bayonetta and Corrin's inclusions in a later article, along with the other DLC characters. Because a request told me to, and I rather like that request. I just need time. In the meantime, let me give a quick thought or two.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Some February 2, 2016 Nintendo Financials

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - We don't have anything else to talk about the day before Super Smash Bros. 4 DLC.

The big news, of course, were the results of the Iowa Caucus. But I think I promised as late as yesterday night that KoopaTV would cool on the obviously politically-oriented articles, so what is there to talk about in the videogame world?

Oh, looks like Nintendo released some financial statements about what happened between April and December 2015 today. Here are the CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS. Plus, SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. I love supplements. ...Though I'm using a different meaning of the word in a context that only I and a few other dozen people get, and none of those other people read KoopaTV.


The first thing I try to pay special attention to when Nintendo reveals the best-selling Wii U software is to check if they have Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on the list. You need to be a million-seller to get on the list! And... is it there? ...Nope.

Wii U top selling titles Mario Party 10 Wind Waker Zelda worldwide units
Where is the justice in a world where Mario Party 10 makes the list but Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze doesn't?

That list is almost like the list of Republican candidates by vote-count in the Iowa Caucus... Erm... sorry. No more politics tangents for the rest of the article until the footer. I promise.

Monday, February 1, 2016

KoopaTV's January 2016 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - That 2016 looks pretty shiny, doesn't it?

KoopaTV said good-bye to 2015, and we didn't even bother to do New Years Resolutions in the transition to 2016. No time for that! We're forging our paths forward!

Yeah, not really sure what to add, so let's get to some lists. First up: Top five recommended articles from January 2016 to read! In chronological order.


  1. I'd Rather Live in the Past Than the Future
  2. Life Lessons From the Rand Direct January 2016
  3. Let Sakurai Work On What He Wants
  4. Ted Cruz's Candy Crush Craziness Disqualifies Candidacy
  5. The State of the Videogame Industry if Hillary Clinton Had Her Way
Every article is worth reading though. January had lots of fun, quirky, informative articles.

Now, let's look at the standings for the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program!