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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nintendo Switch Ends Region Locking; President Trump Begins It

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Going from region-locked games to region-locked people.

One topic not covered in KoopaTV's 1,000+ article history — and just because I don't care about it — is the subject of region-locking. Did you watch the Nintendo Switch Presentation from three weeks ago? They had a line about region-locking no longer being a Nintendo policy starting with the Nintendo Switch, which apparently pleased some people out there.

Nintendo has been region-locking their consoles for a while now, basically meaning that Americans can't play Japanese games imported from Japan on their American systems. Why anyone would want to do this to begin with is beyond me, because I'm not into playing games in foreign languages. I guess the only people who could possibly benefit from the removal of region-locking are Europeans? I dunno, you can tell me what benefits this actually has for the Nintendo Switch.

While Nintendo is liberalising the export of games, the United States of America's new president, President Donald John Trump, is restricting the export of terrorists. More specifically, he signed Executive Order 13769, or Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. This puts a temporary (few month) ban on nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen entering the United States — until the Trump administration can figure out how to best set-up their vetting processes.

So far, so good. After all, who wants people from Iran coming in? They're monsters who ban Pokémon GO and want to nuke America. Well, the problem is that the Executive Order seems to not have been written properly, and there is a lot of confusion about it.

Monday, January 30, 2017

KoopaTV is now on the GAB Social Network!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They're either gonna love us, or ignore us. Or maybe despise us. I dunno.

KoopaTV is extending its reach across the world wide web's social media platforms. This time, we've joined up with GAB, a social media service dedicated to free speech. In fact, their “mission is to put people and free speech first.”

That makes KoopaTV quite in-line with GAB's values, so we signed up. It's an invite-only thing, but GAB approved of our application in about a week. They actually said when we signed up that it'd take a week for them to process our request, so they kept their promise. Good! That automatically makes them better than some of those OTHER social media services.

Behold! KoopaTV's GAB account is here at https://gab.ai/KoopaTV !

KoopaTV GAB GAB.ai social network free speech profile page
Screenshot of our GAB account taken this morning. We've had it for a few weeks but wanted to populate it first before advertising it.
If that article about Hideo Kojima looks interesting to you, read it here.

You can classify your post as Politics, Technology, Entertainment, and other things. Most of what we have is Entertainment, because it's literally a game controller icon. You get 300 characters per post, and after putting the url in it's about 240 — it's unlike Twitter which has a set amount of characters taken for every url (about 23). When making a new post, you can't upload an image file, but you can search Giphy to attach a .gif, which is something I haven't done because KoopaTV articles very rarely use .gifs. It'll take the first image it can find, which is the author avatar. So it's just a bunch of my face. 

Well, that's never bad.


If you want a GAB invite, KoopaTV can get you hooked up. Meanwhile, you can hook KoopaTV up with...yourself... and join KoopaTV as a social media manager! Ludwig sure doesn't want to be running all of these accounts by himself, and he sure isn't using them effectively. Have a big impact on KoopaTV's traffic with your knowledge and competence in social media.


KoopaTV has updated the Knowing When We Update article for the first time in a year and a half, so check that out for a comprehensive list of knowing when KoopaTV has a new article!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Hideo Kojima's Toxic Mono-Entertainment Philosophies

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Kojima puts the Hideo in hideous.

When legendary game designer Hideo Kojima isn't awkwardly embracing Geoff Keighley, he's in Tokyo working for himself at Kojima Productions, currently trying to develop Death Stranding, a game we know nothing about other than that it's disturbing and inappropriate, reflecting Kojima's creepy fantasies.

Kojima recently took the time to speak with BBC's Newsbeat gaming reporter Steffan Powell, who asked Hideo Kojima some questions. While Mr. Kojima refused to give any more details about Death Stranding (not that I was wondering, personally), he did provide information on the current status of his philosophy regarding the entire umbrella of the entertainment industry:

“Things such as games and music and novels and movies and all of these things will kind of mesh together into one type of entertainment. [...] The time you have to choose what media or entertainment you experience is dwindling. [...] More and more people are looking at types of media that combine elements together. [...] If we just make a game people are less likely to choose that as something to do. They would rather engage in something that combines different forms of entertainment together. That's where we need to focus our efforts, on this convergence.”
To be fair to Hideo Kojima, he's not saying he WANTS that kind of thing. That's just where he sees the entertainment industry going, and he's going to try to have a first-mover advantage into it.

That said, he probably has that futuristic vision because it confirms what he's believed for years, not because he has any hidden insights or market research that the rest of the world doesn't have. So let's talk about it.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Nostalgia and Video Games: What's Enticing About the Retro World

By BRANDON WILLIAMS - The beauty of nostalgia is knowing a game is still great 20+ years later.

IIf you’re a gamer, then you’re probably familiar with the feeling of nostalgia. Nostalgia is that strong sensation you get when you dust off your old copy of Pokémon Stadium, blow on the cartridge, and recreate your childhood team that helped you beat Gym Leader Castle, and it’s immensely satisfying for most gamers.

Nostalgia is frequently brought up in discussions of classic video games, but it doesn’t have to be delegated to a spot in history. By building upon video games of yesteryear, new productions can capture that classic feeling while still updating the content for the modern age.

Once upon a time, video games were produced with less-than-stellar graphics and considerable technical limitations. And they took the world by storm. While video games have made mountains of “improvements” from the days of Super Mario World, contemporary games could stand to benefit from some reintegration of classic trends.

Don’t believe me? Just think back to the iconic features that made retro games so addictive.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Get ARMS to EVO 2017!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...It'd be funny.

I sound like RawkHawk2010 right now, but it would be funny. ...Lemme back up a bit.

This year's Evolution Championship Series 2017, or EVO 2017, is taking place this July 14–16 in Las Vegas. It's the world's premier fighting game tournament. I've talked about it before. Multiple times. As the one dude on the staff who actually follows two eSports: Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. For the Wii U. They're both gonna be at EVO 2017! Yay.

We're gonna talk about that bottom-right box, ‘cause it's not a game called VOTE.

However, this year, EVO is holding a charity drive contest (all proceeds to Make-a-Wish International): Nine games are nominated to be the COMMUNITY CHOICE game that people will then sign up for and play competitively. The game that raises the most money gets the slot, and the deadline is February 8th.

These games all have established communities and fanbases... and then there's ARMS

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Nin Godzilla?!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This could be a new IP... via self-fulfilling prophecy.

In the deep depths of the Technology news of the Wall Street Journal in the business section for today (page B4, Tuesday, January 24, 2017) was a short story about Nintendo! What'd they do now? It was written by a seemingly strange man, the Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki, who is their technology reporter in Tokyo. It was headlined,
“Possible New Character Is Teased by Nintendo”
Wall Street Journal newspaper Takashi Mochizuki Nintendo Nin Godzilla technology business news
(It's an easier read than the above “Ford Invests to Promote Online Auto Loans”.)

What is it? This thing... the Nin Godzilla. Otherwise known as ニンゴジラ. (ニン is the “Nin” in Nintendo's Japanese name, and ゴジラ is “Godzilla” in Japanese.)

Nintendo Japanese Store Nin Godzilla error message server overloaded
Source: An error message at store.nintendo.co.jp
Note that ニンゴジラ doesn't appear, so that's a fanon name.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo's Japanese site's online store is allowing customers to pre-order “semicustomized versions of the Switch console”, and the dinosaur appears as “an error message saying the site is overloaded and can't take orders.” Well, at least that means there is demand for the Nintendo Switch! (Or Nintendo has healthcare.gov-esque server problems.)

So... is it a new IP or something? 

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — Wii U, or Switch?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Will you SWITCH your pre-order to a SWITCH?

Contrary to the sub-title, I don't have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild pre-ordered. The last The Legend of Zelda game I ever pre-ordered was The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which has a very similar development history with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Multiple delays for multiple systems. At least the best version of that was the GameCube version, which is the one I pre-ordered. But what's the best version of Breath of the Wild?

On a feature level, the Wii U and Switch versions of Breath of the Wild are the same. On a technical level, the Nintendo Switch version is superior, according to a differences list that Nintendo provided to GameSpot. These technical differences include a higher resolution and crisper sounds on the Switch. The controllers are also obviously different, and I have no idea how the Switch's Joy-Cons compare to the Wii U GamePad since I haven't held the former. (Maybe I should ask Bowser Jr.?)

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild March 3 2017 release date Nintendo Switch versus Wii U
Unless you're in my situation, figuring out which to get isn't hard.
 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Donald Trump: Inauguration Day

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - “This moment is your moment. It belongs to you.”

Today is the day that has gotten the most politics-related discussion from ordinary, normally non-political people, since Election Day 2016.

Donald J. Trump, who earned KoopaTV's endorsement for president some months ago, is finally inaugurated as the President of the United States. Today. January 20, 2017. It's quite historic. We no longer have to refer to him as president-elect!

Following how we referred to (former) President Barack Hussein Obama throughout KoopaTV's existence, we will now refer to Mr. Trump as...

President Donald John Trump.

NeoGAF phospor112 President Barack Hussein Obama KoopaTV
KoopaTV is truly fair & balanced, NeoGAF! Unlike you!
Source: That one NeoGAF thread that got Ludwig's account banned.
 
As is typical for inauguration days, President Donald John Trump gave an inauguration speech, embedded immediately below. It was beautiful.



If you would rather read his speech than listen to it, there's a transcript available on Donald Trump's Facebook page, here.

Vortexica did the honours of giving a solo live-reaction of Donald Trump's inauguration speech (and some time before and after), if you wanted to see that play-by-play: 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Super Mario Odyssey Nintendo Switch Presentation Trailer

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm just saying that Super Mario Odyssey shouldn't be a surprise to you, the KoopaTV reader.

During the super-important presentation that Nintendo gave to us a week ago about the upcoming Nintendo Switch, it became apparent that the console will have two phases for 2017: Launch, featuring The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and the holiday season, featuring Super Mario Odyssey. I have some comments regarding the former, but those are gonna be for next week.

Let's formally get my thoughts down on Super Mario Odyssey. The second time we saw it was the First Look at the Nintendo Switch, back in October when we finally got to stop calling it the Nintendo NX. There was a brief moment where a 3D Mario platformer was shown, and it matches precisely with Super Mario Odyssey. The third time we saw it was the presentation last week, featuring this trailer:


 

Let's talk about that trailer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

KoopaTV's Non-Live Reactions to the Fire Emblem Direct!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Well, I missed it live. Rawk saw it already.

At 5 PM Eastern, Nintendo had a 19-minute Fire Emblem Direct that covered 4 games. Here's the embed of it, but I give my reactions (first-time viewing it, an hour and a half after 5 PM Eastern, though) for the whole thing, so read along with those.

After, Rawk (RawkHawk2010) and I (Nintendork 13 13) discuss it. My Fire Emblem Heroes (that's the name of the mobile game) votes are open to be manipulated by reader suggestions, by the way, as long as they're from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and/or Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
 


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Nintendo Switch: Paid Online Subscription; No Miiverse

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Less services, higher cost.

Among the immediate criticisms to come out of last week's massive and important Nintendo presentation on the new Nintendo Switch coming out this March, is that online services will now be on a subscription-basis. In other words, this brings Nintendo in line with the other console manufacturers.

However, it's a new phenomenon for Nintendo users, and many don't know how to handle it. Myself included.

What does this subscription get you? Nintendo has a handy chart:

Nintendo Switch online service subscriber non-subscriber features chart
Source: Nintendo's online service page for the Nintendo Switch.
 

Assuming this chart represents everything the as-of-now-unspecified-in-amount-or-frequency subscription fees go to, there are some serious issues with it. That assumption may be flawed, since Nintendo's website says, “Check back for more details on the service and its features after the Nintendo Switch system launches.” Still, I'm going to commentate on what I got, on each row on their chart.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Bowser puts the Dad in King Dad: Parental Controls!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - King Dad is doing a great job raising his kids. I'd know.

In the absolutely important and news-making presentation that Nintendo had on January 12–13 about the Nintendo Switch (that we have covered, LIVE!, here), Nintendo also let slip a cute little video... featuring my dad, King Bowser Koopa! ...And that pest, Bowser Jr., who is technically my brother. But... I don't like to think in those terms.

It wasn't totally invisible — it has two million views right now on YouTube. But that pales in comparison with the over seven million views that Super Mario Odyssey's trailer has. (Don't worry, folks: We'll have an article just for that. Soon.)

Enough talk: We're obligated to embed and talk about the most Koopa-related thing that came out of last week. Here's the video explaining Parental Controls on the Nintendo Switch:

Friday, January 13, 2017

KoopaTV's Non-Live Reactions to Parts of Nintendo Treehouse Live: Nintendo Switch Edition

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This isn't quite the same as how as usually handle Reaction Logs...

It turns out no one at KoopaTV was interested, or had the time, to devote a whole day to today's Nintendo Treehouse Live event, following yesterday's very important and relatively compact Nintendo Switch Presentation.

We didn't sit through over five hours of Nintendo Treehouse Live when it occurred live at 9:30 AM Eastern, and we're not going to watch it all now after-the-fact. We don't have the time or the desire. But if YOU want to, knock yourself out with the whole thing:



Since this IS a reaction log article, uh, then here's stuff from our [Koopa Keep] AIM chat... spread out over the whole day.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Live Reactions to THE Nintendo Switch Presentation!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Now with the actual live reaction included! Plus, vindication of an earlier article.

It's time to finally learn about the Nintendo Switch in-depth. We've waited a long time for this. It's time to separate the reliable sources you can trust (KoopaTV) and the FAKE NEWS sources that you cannot trust. You must learn not to trust them. Believe me. Read what happened and you'll know.

I'm Nintendork 13 13, Rawk is himself, and Vortexica is breezinabout.

Here is the whole presentation that you can watch for yourself, alongside our reactions:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

We Received a DMCA Takedown Notice From “Nate Bihldorff”

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's really a “fakedown” notice. How we know it's fake, and how to protect yourself.

Once upon a time, it was a Sunday night. I was responding to your delightful KoopaTV comments, when I saw my e-mail account had a new e-mail. Hm, I wonder what it could be...

And then I was like, “WHAT?! NO!” when I saw the subject line: Takedown Notice Pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. That's something that no webmaster wants to see.

Well, who the hell sent this? Apparently, it came from Nate Bihldorff representing Nintendo. Here's the full message:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

KoopaTV Live Reacts to President Obama's Farewell Address

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Goodbye, President Barack Hussein Obama. ...Shoo.

We have something very important to tell you, KoopaTV readers! ...But it'll have to wait, because President Barack Hussein Obama has taken over the airwaves of every TV station once more. No, it's not another State of the Union... it's his Farewell Address! That means, it will be the last time KoopaTV will have a reaction log dedicated to President Barack Hussein Obama. No more after this! ...Or so we're told by the Constitution of the United States. (But as the speaker points out, it is a mere piece of parchment that he is free to ignore.)

Your KoopaTV staffers live reacting to this once-in-a-lifetime event are Ludwig, as Nintendork 13 13, and Vortexica, as that breezinabout dude.

Monday, January 9, 2017

KoopaTV 2016 GOTY Awards!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And other categories.

Some people out there believe that 2016 was nothing but a disaster. KoopaTV, your source of boundless optimism (...lol), would like to disagree with you (if you think that way). And, so, we're going to prove there's lots of good in 2016: Not only from the gaming industry, but also KoopaTV itself... with our AWARDS!

It's not a totally disorganised process, of course. We published our list of Nominations right here. (And this article is structurally the same as the nominations article.)

We will now begin with our videogame-related awards for 2016, which will include the Game of THAT Year 2016... and then move to KoopaTV's own set of awards for our site. It's all very prestigious and official, I promise you. And voted on by the staff members that bothered to participate.

Friday, January 6, 2017

KoopaTV's 2016 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, 2016 to December 31, 2016.)

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

But yeah, this isn't just about gaming, but also ourselves. 'cause we're art to be recognised and applauded, too.
KoopaTV Game of THAT Year GOTY Nominations and other categories
This article is such a rehash of the 2015 one that I just drew over the 5 to make it a 6!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

As Nintendo Switch Approaches, Wii U Virtual Console Selection Expands

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's less of a drip feed and more of a digital content pump. Featuring Pokémon Snap as of today.

Pretty much since the release of Paper Mario: Color Splash, Nintendo has had nothing new to offer Wii U owners. I mean, their Wii U release schedule between that and the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild slated for... sometime this year, is literally empty.

HOWEVER! Just because they've had nothing NEW to offer doesn't mean they don't have OLD stuff! And that's not even talking about the NES: NES Classic Edition. (Well, that wasn't really “offered” in that no one could find where to buy one.) ...And I shouldn't talk about that, since this is just about the Wii U.

The Virtual Console exists, in part, to make up for droughts in new software titles. What happens when you have an indefinite drought until they decide to stop supporting the Wii U altogether? All of the Virtual Console titles people have been wanting for years (besides EarthBound, 'cause that already came out) are finally coming out, rapid-fire! (Leaving little time to actually play them.) Look at this list:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Post-Brexit Optimistic Growth Ahead For UK Game Industry

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Observe the differences in enthusiasm pre-Brexit and post-Brexit.

The Independent Game Developers Association, better known as TIGA, has released some highlights from their Business Opinion Survey 2017. Since we haven't talked about their 2016 survey, or any other survey from TIGA on KoopaTV before (they're like the United Kingdom version of the United States's Electronic Software Association, better known as the ESA), I'd like to briefly compare the headlines for the 2016 survey (released January 2016) and the 2017 survey (released January 2017 — aka now).

I would hyperlink the press releases, but TIGA's Terms & Conditions on their website say I may not hyperlink to any page on their site besides their homepage at www.tiga.org. Other than having a great top-level domain, these guys (which KoopaTV has no association with) are a bunch of clowns when it comes to sharing information.

ANYWAY, just put these headlines with quotes around them into your favourite search engine if you want to see the press releases from TIGA:

UK Video Games Industry Set to Grow in 2016 
UK Video Games Industry Set to Grow Strongly in 2017 

Do you... see the difference between those two, besides the year at the end? The 2017 one is going to grow STRONGLY. The 2016 one is just growing with no further elaboration. Why? Because the 2017 results are actually good.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Is Voice-Acting Overvalued?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...Probably, yeah.

In an era where the talent cartel known as the SAG-AFTRA union is still making demands of gaming companies to this very day, one must ask: Is professional voice-acting worth it, given how expensive it is? How about voice-acting in general? What role does it play in the gaming industry?

I'd like to explore these interesting questions by way of using KoopaTV's own games as an example. I've identified the following categories of games, in terms of how they use voice-acting:
  • No voice-acting at all
  • Voice-acting for action scenes
  • Voice-acting for cutscenes
  • Synthesised voice-acting
  • Everything is voice-acted 

I mean, I guess there's some possible overlap (what if you voice-act in fights AND cutscenes but that's it? HUH, LUDWIG? HUH?), and there's also the rise of what I call “partial voice-acting”, but we'll get into that and more in the article! I believe through exploring each of these, we'll figure out, together, what voice-acting is good for and perhaps then companies can really know if dealing with SAG-AFTRA and its ilk is worth it. Let's go!

Monday, January 2, 2017

KoopaTV's December 2016 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Let's say good-bye to 2016 before we embrace 2017.

It appears to be the popular consensus out there that 2016 was one of the worst years on record. I'm not fully on-board with that notion. Lots of cool stuff happened, but we'll get to that later.

THIS is technically supposed to just review what happened in one of those twelve months of 2016 — though it also happens to be the last one, December.

So, let's start by covering my top-five recommended articles published in December:

Top Five Recommended Articles of December 2016

The following is in chronological order:
  1. Hour of Code 2016, and Justin Trudeau's Bad Breakout
  2. Ludwig's Fort Cobalt Review! (Paper Mario: Color Splash)
  3. The Game Industry's Diversity Problem: A MYTH!
  4. Nintendo Laying Down The LAW On Fan Games!
  5. Gamers and Significant Others
Of course, all articles on the site are worth reading. We're a quality outfit.

But for December, it wasn't just things worth reading. We also published something worth PLAYING!