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Monday, October 26, 2020

$310 in (total) Prizes for Mario Tennis Aces North American Open November 2020

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Achieving victory through tennis.

Today Nintendo and Battlefy announced the next and third edition of their Mario Tennis Aces tournament series: the Mario Tennis Aces North American Open November 2020, taking place on November 14. Register here.

Mario Tennis Aces North American Open November 2020 online tournament
I'm getting real sick of these Mario-infested logos.

The rules are the same as the September 2020 (the second one) and July 2020 (the first one): Competitors are put into a big single-elimination one-set-is-best-of-three-games, with each game being first-to-seven-points. Legal stages being all four Marina Stadiums, chosen at random. All characters allowed, with standard gameplay (with the metre mechanic) on.

What makes this tournament interesting, besides the inherent appeal of Mario Tennis Aces, is the prize structure:

Friday, October 23, 2020

2020 Presidential Debates: Trump vs. Biden, Night 2

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - If only this had happened weeks ago!

A quick review: Election Day in the United States is about 10 to 11 days away. The candidates are Republican and incumbent President Donald John Trump, Democrat (and former Vice President and Senator) Joe Biden, and Libertarian Jo Jorgensen. KoopaTV endorses President Donald John Trump, but it hardly matters because tens of millions of Americans have already voted, prior to our endorsement, due to a nationwide rapid expansion of mail-in/absentee voting. Likewise, that means last night's presidential debate can't change the minds of large swathes of the electorate, since they've already voted. That's a shame, because the first presidential debate—which still happened after “early voting” began—was a disaster and a waste of time. Then there was the vice-presidential debate, which Mike Pence clearly won, although voters aren't considering the vice presidents in their decision-making process as much as they should. (By the way, the Libertarian Party was rudely not invited to any of these.)

Then the President got the Chinese Communist Party Virus, which took what would've been the second debate out of circulation until he could recover. That left last night as the second and final debate, and here it is with a full embed. Quite frankly, I'd recommend watching the whole thing, since it was the best one all year and arguably since 2016. It was entertaining, substantive, and both candidates exhibited basic standards of civilised behaviour thanks to microphone muting abilities from moderator Kristen Welker of NBC:

The debate was divided into six uneven sections, so for the rest of this article I'm going to give my thoughts on each of those sections, along with some selective fact-checking and biting commentary.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Three reasons why Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light coming to Nintendo Switch isn't great...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And dispelling the one reason why people do think it's great.

Today, Nintendo of America had big news. In fact, it was big AND had a lot of suspense. So much mystery... they put question marks in their announcement trailer:

They had to make it a mystery, because otherwise no one would watch it if they really knew what was going on. Nintendo is bringing the original Famicom title of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light to the Nintendo Switch... in English! With all of the mystery, you'd think it'd be Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, which Americans were just begging for a month ago because Japan got it as part of their Nintendo Switch Online subscription. By the way, that game is both a remake of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light AND a sequel.

A lot of very ignorant people think this is great news, but I'm going to explain why it's not with three reasons, plus addressing one reason why people think it's good news. Speaking as a Fire Emblem long-time fan.

Why Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light isn't a good game

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Kirby Fighters 2 – Free Demo Available Now!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Oh, the full game came out a month ago.

Since I never wrote an article acknowledging the existence of Kirby Fighters 2, I've felt sort of bad. But a whole month has gone by. Fortunately, Nintendo is giving me a second chance, because today they released a demo of it. Here's a quick announcement video:

The demo locks you into using only four playable characters (Sword Kirby, Bomb Kirby, Staff Kirby, and stand-out factored Bandana Waddle Dee) but isn't shy about exposing you to the more full roster if you get the full game for $20. You can play the first chapter of the story mode (which is four fights plus a boss fight), and... you can play local multiplayer or online multiplayer (with randoms or friends in 2 vs. 2s), but not versus CPUs of your choice. Training mode is also available, but only with those four characters. Please consult training mode to learn each character's controls prior to playing multiplayer.

Kirby Fighters 2 rewards list demo Wrestler locked rank
Additional fighters are locked behind higher Fighters Ranks (same with the real game)... but the demo keeps you at Fighters Rank 1.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Wagadu Chronicles: Afrofantasy MMO on Kickstarter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I came for the cow-petting, but there's a very ambitious project here that deserves our attention.

There was a Kickstarter game project that opened a month ago (and has 9 to 10 days remaining... but is already fully funded): The Wagadu Chronicles, designed for PC and Mac. It's an ambitious game from founded-in-2019 German indie company Twin Drums, which describes itself as “borne out of the desire to place diversity, and especially blackness and queerness, at the center.” Those aren't words typically embraced on KoopaTV, and I personally tend to balk at the notion that diversity based on characteristics like race or sexuality inherently buffs group/company output.

The Wagadu Chronicles isn't just a normal Player vs. Environment (PvE) massively multiplayer online game—it's also a tabletop roleplaying game (or called pen and paper). (Compatible with Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition.) They say it's “built exclusively for roleplayers” and the first “online game 100% tailored to role-players, from lore to mechanics” in the Dungeons and Dragons sense, not a Western RPG or Japanese RPG videogame sense, even if they're inspired by Dungeons and Dragons. I don't know if that's true, but if it is, that's quite a feat.

Instead of different Tolkien-style races, there are different human lineages based on different African areas (Africa is a very, very diverse and large continent) that are documented in a massive lore book, and Twin Drums states there will be even more lore updates to come. The tabletop experience is “interlinked” and “feeds into and supports the video game” according to the developer. That actually, and ironically, runs into some identity issues.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Splatfest Repeat: Trick or Treat? Now During Halloween!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Candy, man. Plus, a rant on the trickery of Daylight Saving Time.

I am fairly well-known for despising Halloween. Do a search on KoopaTV about that and take your pick of anti-Halloween article. But you know what I do like? Candy. So between tricking and treating on Halloween, I prefer the treats. Why go around collecting candy from other people when you can just buy your own (of your own choice) and enjoy it, without the hassle of having to handle awful candy others give? That's the subject of the Splatfest rerun that will occur during Halloween this year:

Splatoon 2 Splatfest Trick vs. Treat Splatoween Halloween rerun 2020 Pearl Marina
The dialogue (and free gear via Switch News in Inkopolis Square, which does nothing if you already have it) is a replica of 2018's.

I already wrote extensively about Trick vs. Treat back when this Splatfest happened in 2018. My views have not changed—I still support Team Treat. Team Treat won back then, by the way. While Trick had greater popularity (56.85% of Splatoon 2 players were on Team Trick), Team Treat won the two wins-based categories, though Splatfest Battle Normal was very close (Team Treat scraped by with a 50.11%–49.89% victory in that category). Call it a sugar high or whatever you want, those who treat themselves do better than those who trick.

Friday, October 16, 2020

How Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit works, and the SPYWARE threat!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You should be scared of the world of Mario Kart racing into yours. I'm included, too...!

Remember that weird Mario Kart mixed reality experience from the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct? It was the most interesting part about it since it's new, and it's available now. So... what exactly is it? And take it from me—I, Prince Ludwig Von Koopa, am part of it, so I know everything that's going on. Listen to my explanation, and then how it's... dangerous to you.

The actual Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit box (MSRP 100 USD or 130 CAD) includes, depending on the set, a Mario figure in a red physical kart or a Luigi figure in a green physical kart, along with two arrow signboards and four cardboard gates that you'll need to assemble, as well as a Nintendo USB charging cable for the kart. There are also instructions to download the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit software from the Nintendo eShop, which is free. (There is otherwise no online component to the experience.) The placement of the gates allow you to customise the course around your physical room's structure (best on hard-wood floors, but rugs and carpets will work unless they're heavily textured...just expect a slower kart), which may also serve as natural obstacles. I wrote “physical room”, because it's not meant to be played outdoors (sunlight may interrupt the kart's camera), and your kart needs to be within 15 feet or less of the Switch. You must have a Nintendo Switch (a Lite suffices as well) to control the physical kart. If you want multiple players, you must have multiple karts and multiple Nintendo Switch systems, since there is no split-screen multiplayer. There is also no screenshot capture/video capture.

You actually set up a course by placing the four gates throughout your area, and Lakitu has you maneuver (in whichever custom way you see fit) the path connecting them. The race will work by passing all of the gates in order (they are labelled—and when I write “all”, I mean you must use all four) and then return through the first gate to complete a lap. The two arrow signboards are optional, but will appear in the game. You can print six of your own for a total of eight.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

KoopaTV's 2020 USA Presidential Endorsement

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This was more tough than I thought it would be.

I know that the timing of this should've come sooner, since a lot of you Americans are already voting thanks to early voting and mail-in ballots, phenomenons driven by both laziness and the Chinese Communist Party Virus plaguing the United States. (And I'll get into the CCP Virus more later in the article, since it's on a lot of voters’ minds.) Still, there just hasn't been good timing until now, since the presidential debate that was supposed to be tonight got cancelled, which leaves a great publishing opportunity for an endorsement article.

I'm sure you all are eagerly waiting to hear whom Koopa Kingdom wishes would become the President of the United States. The National Security and Counterintelligence Center has already said that Russia seeks the defeat of former Vice President Joe Biden, but Iran and China wish for the demise of current President Donald John Trump. They also said other foreign nations (like Koopa Kingdom) have opinions, too. It's time to just tell you outright instead of leaving you guessing. For transparency, Koopa Kingdom endorsed candidate Donald Trump in 2016, and declared that we would've shut down our site had Hillary Clinton become president.

KoopaTV 2020 presidential endorsement Koopa Kingdom United States Donald Trump Joe Biden Jo Jorgensen
Presidential candidates, left to right:
Joe Biden (Democrat Party), Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Party), Donald Trump (Republican Party).

It should be abundantly clear that Koopa Kingdom wants Joe Biden, the Democrat, to lose. He is a policy-weak, doddering warmonger. His vice presidential nominee, Kamala Harris, is pretty much pure evil and has a horrible record of misdeeds. They are on the wrong side of nearly every issue, if they're willing to even state what their set of issues are.

It is far more interesting to see which of the other two major candidates we would rather actively support: President Donald John Trump of the Republican Party, or Dr. Jo Jorgensen of the Libertarian Party?

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Version 9.0.0: Minecraft and Koopaling Buffs

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I got tricked into updating my copy.

If it wasn't obvious from my live reaction to Masahiro Sakurai presenting Steve and Alex from Minecraft as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters, I've been really dreading their presence in Nintendo's flagship fighting franchise. Last night, an update was distributed to all Internet-connected Super Smash Bros. Ultimate owners, and if you want to continue accessing online play (including the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open October 2020 happening on the 24th or 31st), you'll have to get the update. Besides making the game worse by adding out-of-place Minecraft content, there are several adjustments to the fighters, as well as an adjustment to “the controls during combat in battle arenas while spectators are present” which would prompt me to update my Battle Arena etiquette guide if there was any discernible thing that changed. (You still have to leave your spot to do things like check the settings or change your character, so I don't have to rewrite it or anything...)

Click here for the fighter adjustments (but with actual numbers), and watch this for a side-by-side comparison brought to you by the Beefy Smash Doods:

There should be an obvious thing you notice looking through the changes... I'm a recipient of them! (And Little Mac isn't, per usual.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Amazon Prime Day 2020: Out of Season, Okay Deals?


Usually, online retailer Amazon has their annual Prime Day sale in the middle of July. This year, it was delayed by three months to be today (October 13) and tomorrow (October 14), presumably due to the Chinese Communist Party Virus damaging people's purchasing power and making selling anything (especially in cardboard boxes) difficult. I guess this means that according to Amazon, the pandemic is all under control. I appreciate the optimism. Maybe Americans can think about that three weeks from now.

In a rare display, Nintendo has several first-party (Nintendo-published) games on sale. They really want you to know that, on Amazon and other retailers trying to have parity with Amazon, Nintendo Switch games Mario Tennis Aces, Yoshi's Crafted World, Splatoon 2, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, or Super Mario Party are all on sale for $20 less than usual.

Nintendo also has “featured deals” with Amazon with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (33% off), Fire Emblem: Three Houses (17% off), Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! (26% off), and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! (17% off). If you think those last two having different discounts despite being the same game is odd, during Prime Day 2019 last year, Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! was 50% off while Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! was 25% off. In other words, these deals kinda suck. (One must wonder why Eevee is off by much less this year but Pikachu is around the same discount.)

Meanwhile, Ring Fit Adventure is in stock and at its normal price of $80!

But if you want MY number one recommendation, it's to purchase Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, which is normally $30. However, and right now for six days, you can get it on the Xbox One (including the Xbox Series X/S, though not without any special optimisation... not that it needs or wants it) for 50% off at $15. It's full price on every other platform... at least as of publishing. It does tend to go on sale pretty often, though. It might change price within days!

Something big is also happening tonight in terms of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (which is NOT on sale), but Ludwig won't cover that tonight. Wait some other day. Like tomorrow.