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Friday, August 7, 2020

Enjoy This Cute Wooloo Drawing by Momo


My photos of my new, sweet, adorable Wooloo plushie have made the rounds in the Pokémon community. I feel quite honoured to report that they have inspired other people to also create art of Wooloo. This sketch comes from an artist named Momo. She specifically asked me to publish her work on KoopaTV. Obviously I welcome that, so take a good look at the woolly adorable Sheep Pokémon:

Wooloo drawing sketch hand drawn Momo happy round wool friend sheep Pokémon
Wooloo, by Momo.

Fun fact: Wooloo's name in French is Moumouton, which is pronounced “Moo moo ton”. Not only is this a great name because anything with “moo” is likely adorable, but Momo's own name is almost similar to it. There's some fate there.

There is also fate in that you will love Wooloo. KoopaTV staffer Kamek described this Wooloo as “unnaturally handsome”. As for Momo, she doesn't have any contact information she'd like to share, or other works she'd like to advertise. But Momo will be watching this KoopaTV comments section, so... this is the place for letting her know what you think of her Wooloo art. Maybe you have requests for more artwork?

Thursday, August 6, 2020

June 30, 2020 Nintendo Quarterly Financial Update


Today, Nintendo released their financial results for the first quarter of their fiscal year (April 2020 to end of June 2020). While previous years may have an ugly name like “three months into the fiscal year ending March 2021”, for the first time ever, Nintendo is acting like a normal company and just calling it FY21 Q1. (Fiscal Year 2021 Quarter 1.) And the results were excellent. In fact, Nintendo's stock is the highest it's been in over a decade.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is now the second-most selling Nintendo Switch game of all time, at 22.40 million copies sold. (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is at 26.74 million, while Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is at 19.99 million. Since these numbers are from June 30, I think by August 6, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is over 20 million.) Over 50% of all of the software sales during those three months were sold digitally, which is a record high. As for the physical console itself, 61.44 million Switch systems have been sold, total, which is 5.68 million units sold in the quarter. Still a lot of physical console movement. Over half of that was the traditional Switch, as opposed to the Lite.

Big Switch games for the second half of the calendar year include the just-released Paper Mario: The Origami King, the just-announced Pikmin 3 Deluxe for October 30 (I guess that should get a dedicated article later?), and the second half of the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield DLC, The Crown Tundra. ...That...seems pretty weak, but there may still be surprises to come. (No promises. ...Where's No More Heroes 3 hanging out?)

Nintendo Switch million sellers June 2020 Ring Fit Adventure Xenoblade Chronicles Clubhouse Games
Let's talk about those last three games on the ever-growing chart that I really should cull by now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Small Battlefield Update (8.1.0) Implications for the Smash Bros. Scene

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Thanks for not abandoning us! Plus, a My Music investigation.

Last night, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate got updated from 8.0.0 to 8.1.0. 8.1.0's patch notes include:

        •The Small Battlefield stage has been added. You can also set Small Battlefield as a Preferred Rule in Online battles.
        •You can now select any stage-specific music for the Battlefield, Small Battlefield, Big Battlefield, and Final Destination stages.
        •The online user experience has been adjusted.
        •The way matching is determined when using Preferred Rules has been adjusted.
        •Following a look at the current number of players eligible for Elite Smash, the threshold for entry has been recalculated to allow more players. Additionally, the way initial values for Global Smash Power are calculated has also been adjusted.
        •Further investigations and adjustments to Online mode are expected.
        •Several issues have been fixed to improve gameplay experience.

What does this mean, and why does it matter? Let me start with the last bit under Online. Nintendo wants to go deep into what makes the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online experience currently not the best it could be (and I previously thought the CCP Virus would prevent this investigation), and they expect to make fixes. These hopefully include input delay/lag issues.

They apparently improved matchmaking with Quickplay/Elite Smash, and made it easier to get into Elite Smash. This is of little importance, since people shouldn't be playing Quickplay/Elite Smash to begin with. It's a toxic environment, and Elite Smash is a ban list, not a reward.

Speaking of ban lists, let's talk about Small Battlefield.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Blue Koopa Troopas and Paratroopas in Mario Tennis Aces...and a brief history

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Let's talk about blue shells. I should know...

For only the third time in Mario Tennis Aces history (August 2019, February 2020, and now August 2020), you can get alternate colours on Koopa Troopa (Blue Koopa Troopa and Red Koopa Troopa) and Koopa Paratroopa (Blue Koopa Paratroopa and Green Koopa Paratroopa). This isn't article-worthy information by itself, but, you know, I have a renewed general interest in Mario Tennis Aces.

Mario Tennis Aces August Participation Bonus Koopa Troopa Paratroopa blue shell red green
If you play and win, say, three matches, you'll get those 1000 Participation Points.
If you lose some, you'll still get them pretty quickly. Just not that quick.

The whole blue shell discussion is pretty interesting, especially given what's on my back right now. And just to get it out of the way, I was born with a green shell, and I still IDENTIFY as having a green shell, since the whole blue shell bit is all about trying to put a wedge between myself and the green-shelled royal pedigree of the Royal Koopa Family, as demonstrated by the green colour of King Bowser Koopa's shell. Let's talk about other instances we've seen Blue Koopa Troopa and Blue Koopa Paratroopa!

Monday, August 3, 2020

KoopaTV's July 2020 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Awful month, so we're making big site changes.

It is a popular sentiment that 2020 is a cursed year. Well, I think that July 2020 has been the most cursed month of all. Up until the end of July 2020, I've tried to avoid having KoopaTV be a mirror of that suck. Good, humourous, wholesome KoopaTV content.

...Well, there were some subversions there, sure. But that's part of the experience and keeps it interesting.

That said, I have some sitewide changes I'd like to announce. Before I start, I should announce that Google redesigned the Blogger content management system back-end that KoopaTV runs on. Like most user interface changes in the modern era, it's for the worse. I don't like it. That said, it's not as bad as some other site changes on other popular platforms. (Like DeviantArt Eclipse, the Twitter redesign of 2019, the beta Facebook redesign of 2020...)

Some of those updates are going to influence KoopaTV's changes. Here:

Site Layout and Comments Changes

I don't want to do this, but I think it's worth experimenting on to see what happens.

KoopaTV prides itself on trying to have as low a bar for you to express comments as possible. However, this has the side-effect of opening KoopaTV up to receiving spammy crap like this:

Blogger blogspot comment spam cash for scrap cars
This all happened in very quick succession on the very important KoopaTV article about the Cars vs. Planes Splatfest.

We're therefore going to turn on comment moderation (requiring staff approval for a comment to appear on articles older than 60 days) and CAPTCHAs. I could also force people to have a Google Account in order to comment on KoopaTV (as opposed to being anonymous), but the spammers pretty clearly have Google Accounts, so that wouldn't do anything.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Ring Fit Adventure Quick Play mode to get your Core Into Shape... Sorta says my Chiropractor?!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...Well, the Ring Fit Adventure part is all me.

Along with emotional pain (not to mention events in the Super Smash Bros. community), the month of July has also been one of a lot of physical pain. Specifically in my lower back (back bone), neck, and shoulders. Having a shell complicates a lot of things. Therefore, I started seeing a chiropractor for the first time in my life.

Basically, since I've been so sedentary, my brain kind of stopped sending any activity to my spinal cord, and my body has just been deteriorating, and that causes pain. I'm also a natural stiff, and my muscles aren't relaxed.

Along with doing “adjustments” or “spinal manipulations” (making really loud cracking sounds as my joints are moved in dramatic ways, though it's not painful) via regular visits, the chiropractic doctor says I should regularly be doing exercises in my “core” so my brain remembers it exists again, and then I'll be able to help myself. He suggested consulting YouTube for examples. But I noted I have something better: Ring Fit Adventure!

Paper Mario The Origami King Picnic Road Green Toad flagpole works the core
Going up and down a flagpole is what passes as viral core exercise content right now in the Mushroom Kingdom.
I don't think that's the best approach! (Especially since that evil Mario apparently suggested it.)

By the way, the only reason that I've been so sedentary is because I STOPPED playing Ring Fit Adventure by the end of April 2020 to save the Extra Fitness post-game content for 2021 (the year when the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will actually be heldI'm participating as a member of Team Koopa), and you people should've told me in the comments section that was a bad idea. Instead, that article got zero comments and no feedback, so I've basically undone all of the benefits of months of playing Ring Fit Adventure to get in shape, and ended up worse than when I started.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Rest in Peace, Herman Cain

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Aw, shucky ducky...

I don't know how to really start this off, so let's who-what-where-when-why it.

Former Republican presidential candidate (2011–2012), businessman, and media personality Herman Cain, 74 (born December 13, 1945), died today (July 30, 2020) from the Chinese Communist Party Virus (COVID-19) in an Atlanta hospital, after being hospitalised and diagnosed at the beginning of July 2020. This was less than two weeks after attending President Donald John Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It's not officially confirmed that rally is where he got the coronavirus, but it did represent a big opportunity to get it.

KoopaTV cares because this website would not exist if it were not for Herman Cain. On a personal level, Herman Cain has been the single most influential figure in my life over the past nine (nine nine) years, serving as a pro-social, pro-human father figure that lifted my life from a direction that would probably end up being in a much darker (or... non-existent by now) place. I don't say that lightly. I'm not one to attach much, if any value, to celebrities or to others in general. Herman Cain was different.

To anyone who knew and witnessed Herman Cain, they'd find him to be an extremely smart but jovial man. Some people underestimated him because of his warm demeanor and propensity for jokes, but he was sharp and in command of the facts. That influenced KoopaTV's truth & levity approach to our content, alongside the fact that KoopaTV is a direct parody of CainTV, Herman Cain's whacky political commentary site established after he dropped out of the race. I still follow and read it to this day, though I don't know what'll happen after its namesake has passed. (Hence archived web links in the second paragraph.)

Herman Cain back in 2011–2012 enamoured me with his personality and genuinely good policy instincts (the 9-9-9 plan and FAIRTax advocacy that I continue to this day)—I actually printed out his 9-9-9 tax plan details and had a kitchen table discussion with my family about it. First time I ever did that for something on politics... or any subject, actually. Herman Cain actually got me pro-actively following American politics.

But it's not just his politics and personality that was appealing. It was also Herman Cain's backstory.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Pokkén Tournament DX Full Version/Sale Available for Limited Time

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Alright...

You always could, and still can, download a limited demo of Pokkén Tournament DX for the Nintendo Switch. It features a tutorial and the ability to play 15 battles—with a computer player and/or a local friend. Once you pass that, your demo is useless. The demo only has the ability to play as (normal) Pikachu, Empoleon, and Charizard, with the only support sets being Snivy+Lapras, and Reshiram+Cresselia. (Lady Cresselia is fantastic, of course.) You could see me having this tutorial early on in my Switch-owning career.

But now Nintendo is making available, for less than seven days, the full version of Pokkén Tournament DX, where everything is selectable for as many battles as you want. This even includes things like a full title screen animation, minor character customisation, and story mode. You just need to be a Nintendo Switch Online member.

It also features an advertisement for buying the DLC before you can actually start playing anything.

Pokkén Tournament DX Battle Pack waves Aegislash Blastoise Rayquaza Mimikyu Mew Celebi
Nia, for your information, is the in-game tutorial lady. She has really nice hair.
But her constant repetitive commentary is irritating.
I wouldn't give her any Levity points in the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program.
Why does Blastoise have such long limbs?

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Super Smash Bros. 4's Free Four All in Ultimate

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Or, an excuse to look back at Super Smash Bros. 4.

Last weekend, when I wasn't competing in a massive tournament for a game more adrenaline-pumping than the subject of tonight's article, there was the lackadaisical Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Event Tournament called Free Four All, where the stages and fighters were based on those originating in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, collectively known as Super Smash Bros. 4. (By the way, this confirms what I've figured all along, that the seemingly uncreative title Super Smash Bros. for “console name” is supposed to read as Super Smash Bros. 4 “console name”.)

It was so lackadaisical that I actually won it. Here's proof:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Free Four All event tourney tournament winner Ludwig Von Koopa
Just a reminder: I was added to the Super Smash Bros. series with Super Smash Bros. 4, though Sakurai was very rude about it.
...Well, I was a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

One other bit about the tournament name: Super Smash Bros. For Wii U and Super Smash Bros. For 3DS definitely weren't “free” for anyone. Buying two games is more expensive than buying one, which is especially a problem because Super Smash Bros. For 3DS preceded the better version by a couple of months, and should've never been made since it hampered how good Super Smash Bros. For Wii U could have been, as evidenced by resource constraints and design decisions that had to occur across both versions, like the removal of the Ice Climbers.

Back in 2015, I actually considered Super Smash Bros. For Wii U to be my favourite game ever made. This is going to seem really inconsistent, but the existence of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has not only topped my best game rankings, but Super Smash Bros. For Wii U isn't sitting at #2 instead. It's somewhere... else, further down on the list. It's like Ultimate's existence retroactively makes a bunch of flaws in Super Smash Bros. 4 readily apparent, and I can't just keep it at the top anymore.

Monday, July 27, 2020

I Played in the Mario Tennis Aces North American Open July 2020. Here's What Happened

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Plus, if you want to continue being in the Mario Tennis Aces scene...

A large portion of my Saturday afternoon was spent playing Mario Tennis Aces, as were some of the days preceding. Why? As I wrote about last week, there was the BIGGEST EVER Mario Tennis Aces tournament to play, the Mario Tennis Aces North American Open July 2020! It was administered by eSports tournament platform Battlefy and officially sponsored (and funded) by Nintendo of America.

How big is big? 1,328 players registered for it (and 774 of them actually checked in, for a 58% participation rate). That dwarves the 100-on-the-best-day-sized tournaments that the Mario Tennis Aces community has managed to put on by themselves. More on that community later on in this article. 

Just to be a bully (and KoopaTV staffer and ARMS fan Heavy Lobster specifically told me, “Stop trying to shit on ARMS.”), compare that to the largest ARMS tournament ever held, also from a Battlefy-Nintendo collaboration: 880 players registered and 620 showed up. It's an impressive 70% participation rate, but a much smaller tournament. Also consider that ARMS was being distributed for FREE during the tournament, while Mario Tennis Aces was full price with no special promotions going on.

The ultimate winner of the tournament was Angie, also known as the best Mario Tennis Aces player in North America, who had a winning streak that went on for over a year. I should note that is a big difference between the Mario Tennis Aces community and, say, the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate community: The Mario Tennis Aces community, as niche and small as it is, was very open and welcoming of this tournament. It actually had a lot in common with their actual rulesets, so the top players did almost all go and participate. But when Nintendo sponsors Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments, the vast majority of the competitive community doesn't bother to show up. 

Anyway, the whole top 8 got 2500 My Nintendo Gold Points. Was I in the top 8? ...Well, of course not. But I had a pretty interesting journey through the tournament that wildly exceeded my expectations, and it probably will exceed your expectations as well: