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Thursday, June 1, 2023

KoopaTV's May 2023 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's the second-to-last one of these newsletters.

Let us dive into headlines and I'll spare you the introductory paragraph.

KoopaTV's End of Content Notice

I hope you haven't missed this notice published on KoopaTV's 10-year anniversary. Unlike most of the other years where we just pat ourselves on the shell, this anniversary article provided valuable information: KoopaTV will stop publishing new content after July 3, 2023 (which will be the June 2023 review newsletter linked at the bottom of this very article once it exists). For reasoning on why, read that article and then come back here.

Top Five Recommended Experiences of May 2023

This was a very tough thing to just pick only FIVE of the MANY amazing KoopaTV articles published in May 2023. Here is my chronologically ordered attempt:
  1. True, the Advance Wars Trilogy's Story isn't Serious — FAKE NEWS Kotaku evaluated Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp based on something it wasn't trying to be. In fairness to them (and because it's an issue KoopaTV cares about), we evaluated their evaluation.
  2. KoopaTV's Failed Attempt at Building THE MIGHTY BOWSER — Ludwig and Witch Princess attempted to build the LEGO set The Mighty Bowser in front of the Koopa King himself. As our review reveals, it didn't work out as planned.
  3. The Surprising Similarities Between Sticker Star and Breath of the WildThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was built on the foundation that Paper Mario: Sticker Star created. This article goes into great depth about it.
  4. The Mighty Bowser VERSUS The Bootleg Bowser — This meme-filled article compares the costly but high-quality The Mighty Bowser LEGO set with the cheaper but bootlegged Bowser brick sets you can buy online.
  5. Ash Ketchum Failed His Torterra as a Pokémon Trainer — For KoopaTV's final World Turtle Day article, we discuss that twerp Ash Ketchum and how he was a terrible Pokémon Trainer for his Torkoal, Grotle, and Torterra.

Everything on KoopaTV is worth reading! Even if it's not in this top five (or prior newsletters’ top fives), you ought to still check it out!

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Splatoon 3 v. 4.0.0 & the Sizzle Season 2023

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I think it's overall underwhelming, but we'll see what Challenges are like.

Three months ago, Splatoon 3 entered version 3.0.0 and the Fresh Season 2023. It's now time for a new version and a new season:

Anarchy Splatcast New Sizzle Season 2023 May 31 to August 31
Between now and the end of August, there's a new season!

Up-front, the best update are the three songs from Yoko and the Gold Bazookas: Ska-Blam!, Three-Horn Circus, and Rockagilly Blues.

I think my favourite is Rockagilly Blues, but it's hard to say. I really like the genre! Anyway, the highlights in the 4.0.0 patch notes is that there is a new catalog, a new stage (Barnacle & Dime—which is awful and suffers from the problems that most of the new Splatoon 3 maps do about linearity and lack of flanking), a returning stage (Humpback Pump Track, which I've always liked), new weapons (including alternate versions and two totally new weapons, the S-Blast '92 and the Painbrush; the Painbrush is a pain to fight against), a new Salmon Run stage (Jammin' Salmon Junction), and new Tableturf Battle cards to go along with the new weapons.

I've tried to use the Tenta Sorella Brella which I'm thinking should be an upgrade from the normal Tenta Brella (Ink Mine over Squid Beakon and Trizooka over Ink Vac), but I haven't won a single match with it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Pokémon HOME 3.0.0—Connectivity with Scarlet and Violet is Here, BUT...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...The company seems rather quiet about it. Is Mudsdale blocking them?

After straining the definition of early 2023 and spring 2023, The Pokémon Company International announced on May 18 that connectivity between Pokémon HOME and Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet would finally be a thing on May 23. ...And then a day later, they reversed that to be sometime in the future. That's not just a social media goof-up, either: a whole article also reflected that. That same article at least acknowledged connectivity with Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, Pokémon Shining Pearl, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which TPCi had earlier wiped all mentions of from the Pokémon HOME website approximately around November 2022.

However, as of publishing, the connectivity is here (May 30, 2023), with many trainers all over connecting Pokémon HOME with the Paldean games, including Pokémon from the Hisui or Sinnoh-based games. Not every Pokémon is allowed to be transferred into Paldea at this moment, however. Consult a website like for the list.

But...there is something very strange about this situation, given how this article opened.

Monday, May 29, 2023

If Toadsworth IS Dead, Good Riddance to the Anti-Koopa Bigot

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This is my idea of a Memorial Day article?

When was the last time you thought about Toadsworth? Toadsworth is (or was) Princess Peach's attendant, a very old chap who was first seen flying with Princess Peach (and that awful red-hatted plumber) to Isle Delfino.

Some people out there believe that Toadsworth is “probably dead.” According to Toadsworth, his lifespan decreases every time Princess Peach is kidnapped, so it's quite possible that he actually is dead by now. But I can't confirm that, since I haven't seen his corpse. He really hasn't shown up in any new event in a very long time, though. Not since the Pi'illo Island incident almost a decade ago. I don't miss him. In fact, he probably hates me, though I haven't met him personally. I think he has something against Koopas in general.

Take a look at the following chemistry table excerpt taken from Mario Superstar Baseball. If you're unaware, Mario Superstar Baseball has a chemistry rating of 0 to 100 for each character for every other character. There is some gameplay application; you need 90 or more chemistry to have "good chemistry" (for faster fielding throws if you throw to a buddy, and stronger charged hits when your buddies are standing at the bases) and 15 or lower for "bad chemistry" (if you throw to an enemy, the ball may be mis-thrown; there is no batting consequence). That means chemistry values between 16 and 89 are superfluous, but they exist anyway. chemistry also matters in team formation when determining the number of Team Stars your team begins with, but that only matters in relation to your captain character and how the team members relate to your specific captain; so it's still superfluous for everything else.

The embedded Copy of Chemistry tab excludes Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Wario, Waluigi, Monty Mole, Birdo, Pianta, Noki, and Dixie Kong, since they aren't very relevant to Mushroom Kingdom-Koopa Kingdom relations. (Though if you're interested, Toadsworth's chemistry with them are 63, 62, 24, 23, 51, 69, 72, 73, and 61, respectively.) If you want the full table, go here.

Friday, May 26, 2023

The Super Mario Advance Releases are the Superior Versions of Those Games

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Same applies for the Donkey Kong Country Game Boy Advance games, though those aren't in the news.

This week, Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscribers (and associated Family Group free-riders) now have access to Super Mario Advance, Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2, and Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3. This is on top of Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 being available since Game Boy Advance titles have been available since three months ago.

Fundamentally, this is the third time you can play Super Mario Bros. 2 across Nintendo Switch Online emulators. The first is on NES as Super Mario Bros. 2, the second is on SNES as part of Super Mario All-Stars, and now here is the third as Super Mario Advance on the GBA. Super Mario Advance is undoubtedly the best version of it, and it is also the greatest-changed of all four Super Mario Advance titles.

All of the Super Mario Advance games have improved sound effects and voice effects, and there is better spritework put into them. (But not that much better—my sprites are still bad, for example) Super Mario Advance now has five Ace Coins scattered in all twenty of its levels, meaning there are one-hundred collectible Ace Coins. This greatly benefits the timer-less exploration experience that differentiates Super Mario Bros. 2 from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, and brings Super Mario Bros. 2 closer to the masterpiece exploration sidescroller experience of Yoshi's Island (or Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3). It also disincentivises skipping parts of some levels with Luigi's massive Jump stat by bringing alternate reasons to play besides level completion—collection.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Can't Shake Off FOAMSTARS's Splatoon Vibe, BUT...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Is it really still “fresh”?

There was a very memorable game from yesterday's PlayStation Showcase 2023 that is worth talking about in further detail, and it's not Spider-Man 2. It is FOAMSTARS by SQUARE ENIX, described as “the fresh new 4v4 online party shooter” releasing for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 at an undetermined date. You will use...
“foam to build terrain, creating slippery surfaces to surf around the arena at high speed, help defend from enemy attacks, or create vantage points to take out opponents. And most importantly, to foam up the opposition! Join the foam-blasting frenzy!

Initially, I thought it was just Splatoon-esque in aesthetic right when it was just in the cutscene part with the diving and shooting and having a cute female-lead main character, but then it very quickly became Splatoon-esque in everything else, too. Like sound effects, weapons and how you navigate. I mean, you could also describe Splatoon as a “fresh new 4v4 online party shooter”, and that's pretty much how Nintendo themselves described the first Splatoon on the Wii U. (Nevermind that Sony's also-announced “Project Q” that streams from your PlayStation 5 to a handheld device is also similar to a Wii U.) I will say that FOAMSTARS looks like a much more inspired Splatoon knock-off that already appears to have more effort into it than Sepia Go! was.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

PlayStation Showcase 2023 | KoopaTV Live Reaction

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They either lied to regulators or they suck. Let's see which.

It isn't quite June yet, but I suppose it is close enough for big mid-year videogame announcement streams. First up, it is Sony Interactive Entertainmentnot with a mere State of Play, but with a grandiose SHOWCASE for the whole year.

The only KoopaTV staff member present during this live reaction log is myself, but I'm all you need. Let's start:

[3:59 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa:

[3:59 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Apparently, this is going to be OVER AN HOUR long, so I might not know what I'm getting myself into.

[4:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: According to Sony's testimony to regulators, they don't have any games worth playing and they are dependent on Call of Duty to make sales. Let's see if that's actually true.

[4:01 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: STAY TUNED

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Ash Ketchum Failed His Torterra as a Pokémon Trainer

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - He definitely wasn't Pokémon Master material. (And still isn't.)

After waiting for most of World Turtle Day 2023 for The Pokémon Company International to do something for the special day, it really does seem like they went and celebrated World Turtle Day a whole month early in honour of Terapagos and its little buddy. Whatever, KoopaTV will still stick to what the calendar says, since World Turtle Day is very special, in honour of turtles, tortoises, and Koopas everywhere.

Turtles, despite their natural protection on their backs, are also common targets for harm. Mario has a big role to play in that. But for World Turtle Day 2023, I'm going to write about a different world like I said I would a month ago: The Pokémon world, and specifically Ash Ketchum's Torterra (once a Turtwig). His Torterra, as a Grotle and Torterra, were notoriously mishandled by the twerp, and I have a lot of issues with it.

If you observe Ash's usual battle style, he really likes trying to overpower his opponents with speed, momentum, and the occasional clever novel use of the environment or his Pokémon's sometimes overlooked traits. His Turtwig was notable for being able to run around, especially inspired by Gardenia's even faster Turtwig. But when his Turtwig evolved into Grotle in Aiding the Enemy, Grotle could no longer run around, and Ash was completely ignorant as to why. Ash failed to adapt his battling style to fit the reality of his newly evolved Pokémon and its different physical characteristics.

Brock Aiding the Enemy Pokémon anime Turtle evolves into Grotle body ten times heavier
The average weight of a Turtwig is 22.5 pounds.
The average weight of a Grotle is 213.8 pounds, or 9.5 times heavier.
(Technically, Grotle has five base speed faster than Turtwig.
It's also notable that Turtwig's 31 base speed makes it the slowest starter Pokémon; that 31 is also the lowest base stat out of any starter Pokémon for any stat.)

Monday, May 22, 2023

IQ Bell Curve, Ukraine, Russia, and World Peace

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Why Miss USA and Donald Trump know better than FAKE NEWS CNN and the military-industrial complex.

On May 10, 2023, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump went on FAKE NEWS CNN for a wide-ranging town hall with favourable voters in New Hampshire, moderated by combative CNN employee Kaitlan Collins. There is a lot of chatter about things like the former President being indicted and arrested. But in terms of the substantive discussion I care about (especially as a foreign national), there is this five to six minute discussion about Ukraine, Russia, and the war between them and how Donald Trump would like for there to be a peace deal, which seems to really bother CNN's nasty, stupid, and rude Kaitlan Collins. (The embed below starts at the relevant point and stops when it stops being relevant.)

Whether or not Donald Trump is correct about being able to make peace in 24 hours isn't that important. What is important is his approach—similar to his theoretical approach between Israel and the Palestinian territory when he was a candidate in 2015 (see below). (His actual peace plan as president abandoned his own principles, which is likely because he had the wrong people working on it who didn't share his own values.) It's been a foolish and widely held stance in America's two main parties and its mainstream media that, since the United States of America is a global superpower, it can just dictate what it wants to the rest of the world, and the rest of the world will just obey and accept it and enjoy being dictated to. Rather than America making demands that are clearly one-sided, America would work best as a neutral power between the conflicting nations. Otherwise, why would both sides agree to sit down and negotiate?

For some years, many years ago, more members of the Democrat Party believed in being the peace party, while the Republican Party was more into military adventurism. Those roles have somewhat swapped, especially when Russia is involved in the conversation, because the Democrats have become completely deluded when it comes to the nation of Russia and its authoritarian ruler, Vladimir Putin. They're further deluded into believing their own debunked conspiracy theory that Donald Trump is a “Russian agent.” Ironically, that perception makes Donald Trump more qualified than any other American presidential candidate to be a neutral negotiator that would get Russia to the negotiating table. But while he wants to negotiate for peace, Democrats seem to believe risking a nuclear war with the end goal of regime change in Russia is their goal. They want Ukraine to “win” and Russia to “lose” and be severely punished for its aggressive posture. They want to look like a tough guy, punching the bully in the nose. That is a different goal than peace. Observe:

Friday, May 19, 2023

Single-Player Mode and Online Support: The Super Smash Bros. Brawl Game Concept

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I commentate about Masahiro Sakurai's look-back on Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

If Masahiro Sakurai declined Satoru Iwata bullying him into directing a Super Smash Bros. title for the Wii, Nintendo would have just ported Super Smash Bros. Melee and give it online play. Hm, perhaps that would've been a better outcome. In any case, since Masahiro Sakurai felt compelled to agree to Iwata's request, he made a new game, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and so, we now get to learn the game concepts behind Super Smash Bros. Brawl per Sakurai's YouTube channel:

Twice in the video, Sakurai says he has stories to explain for another time (the job offer and the team composition, as well as how Super Smash Bros. might've been discontinued), so this shouldn't be the last we hear about Super Smash Bros. Brawl's development from Sakurai. Still, he described two of three things people mostly associate with Super Smash Bros. Brawl: It's the game with the most extensive single-player mode (Adventure Mode: Subspace Emissary) as well as the first Super Smash Bros. title with online multiplayer. The last thing people associate with the game is its very floaty and slow gameplay, which Sakurai also touches on. Let's talk about those things in the order the video does.