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Monday, October 22, 2018

Cheating Ōkami's Blockhead Grande With Nintendo Switch Video Capture

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Pity difficulty plus video capture equals possible to win!

I am thoroughly enjoying my time playing Ōkami HD on my Nintendo Switch. You know, enough to spell Ōkami correctly, as opposed to the incorrect “Okami” that people probably search for. (So if I didn't spell it wrong, then no one would be able to find this article.)

I am getting to the end of the game (at least, I think it's the end) with the Kamui area. (Not to be confused with anything from Fire Emblem.) There is a reoccurring clan of overconfident talking barrier wall characters named Blockhead. They appear in dungeons to prevent Amaterasu (the protagonist) from passing from either side. Amaterasu needs to tackle Blockhead's front side. Once that happens, flashes will appear — in a randomly-generated order — on Blockhead's body indicating where Amaterasu needs to draw dots using the Celestial Brush. Blockhead doesn't even know he has this weakness, and then it's too late and the wall crumbles.

The very last Blockhead is Blockhead Grande. Grande is an optional foe — he is literally in a secret hole in the Kamui ground that Amaterasu needs to dig up with a secret hole-digging skill. He guards some rare treasure, but unlike the Blockhead before him with three or four dots, Blockhead Grande has eight. That's more than I can comprehend. To counteract this a little bit, Ōkami HD has pity difficulty for non-combat puzzle sequences like this. (For all I know, it has the same for combat, but I've never gotten anywhere close to a game over.) The game makes timed sequences slower, for example.

But it's still really hard, or impossible. So using the Nintendo Switch's unique Video Capture and Screenshot abilities, here's my step-by-step guide for what I did:


Friday, October 19, 2018

Round 1 Picks: GameFAQs Character Battle X!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It begins.

Round 1 of the GameFAQs Character Battle X has begun! Read all about the contest at this page, which will also serve as an index for all coverage of the contest from KoopaTV.

The contest actually started a day earlier than I thought it did (8 PM Eastern on Thursday as opposed to Friday) so my bad. The first four matches in Division 1 are already done as of publishing (the second four are going on now!). For your information, Round 1 has four matches per day, so we'll see Round 2 in about two weeks from now.

Vote here at the top of the page: https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/

I will be telling you exactly who I'm voting for and why for every match in the contest, and Round 1 has the most matches. Take a look at which characters I like... and which I really do not:

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Elevators are Funny, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Stream

By RAWKHAWK2010 - A happy article?!

Over the past year I guess you could say Rawk's article energy has been somewhat downcast. It's true! Almost everything I've written in 2018 has been about something bad. One particular dark moment was symbolized by the Sea of Thieves article in which I told Sea of Thieves "see ya" and formally renounced my (modern) Rare Ltd. fan status. I don't even want to talk about it really, but I must, for it contains significant past experience with the topic matter at hand: streams. See, Rare was banking on annoying cult-of-personality streamers to market the game. That was their goal. The streamers would do what Rare hadn't managed to do in ten or so years and make a Rare game seem exciting to the public at large. It turned out that hinging the game's success on easily-excitable streamers didn't work since even they got bored, but even if it had worked, it wouldn't work for me because I don't get the same camaraderie buzz as everyone else does from this culture. Watching someone do a Fake News screech as they get eaten by a shark, and then comment-screeching alongside a thousand other comment-screechers in response...it's all just too fraudulent. It's counterfeit energy! And too impersonal to boot.

Let's rewind a bit. Kamek's long-ago streaming of Yooka-Laylee -- in which he fortunately had an audience of 2 or 3 at most -- was when I decided his soft-spoken radio voice was made for commentary. Seriously, his voice could reawaken the Beanstar. Anyway, the experience was good (if it wasn't, then his "beautiful chair" for E3 2017 wouldn't have been his streaming center), but its nature as something relatively fleeting meant it didn't play hugely into my view on "streams" or what they might ever mean to KoopaTV. There's also simply the fact that this is Yooka-Laylee we're talking about, developed by a company I was in an abusive relationship with for years where my backing was repaid with all kinds of stupid decisions. (Hence why I was insulting them in the article I just linked.)

Now skip all the way to last week and KoopaTV is treated to a stream of Yooka-Laylee's similarly-Kickstarted rival, A Hat in Time (specifically the "Seal the Deal" DLC for it that came out a month ago), this time by Wendy. (That's right, Wendy! The real-life non-imaginary Wendy that Ludwig didn't fabricate to fill a staff position!) A game I knew little about but had always kinda wanted, I found watching A Hat in Time to be a breath of fresh air on its own merits. More importantly though, Wendy was a magnet for trouble in it, and Wendy made things happen (or rather, things happened to Wendy) that I was adamant about insisting didn't get lost.

Here's Wendy falling through an elevator.

Watch Welp, I fell through the elevator. :( from Capt_Murasa on www.twitch.tv

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Individualising Our Koopa NPCs For Great Victory

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I know all about NPCs. Believe me. You'll want to hear me out.

I look around social media, and see that dissing Non-Playable Characters (NPCs) has become a fashionable thing to do. Before you do that again, maybe you should listen to my perspective. I'm Ludwig Von Koopa, a Prince of Koopa Kingdom. I rule over thousands and thousands of Koopas — some civilians, many Troopas. You might consider them to be “just” NPCs. I consider them to be patriots.

These social media mavens are making claims that NPCs do not have an inner monologue and can not think. They claim NPCs just say the same lines of dialogue over and over and can not handle anything different.

Well, those characterisations may describe a lot of NPCs out there, like Bethesda NPCs in Skyrim who, across the world, talk about the same story about how their knee was crippled by an arrow. But I am trying to make a lot of progress within Koopa Kingdom. We have the best nationals, and I see every NPC as an opportunity for greatness.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Three Reasons Why Junichi Masuda Is Pokémon's Miyamoto

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And that headline is supposed to be a bad thing, by the way.

Absolutely nothing good is happening in the realm of Pokémon: Let's Go. The game (in two versions: Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee!) was repulsive at first impression, and it's somehow getting worse as we learn more and more about it. I get the same puking kind of feeling that I did whenever I begrudgingly wrote about Pokémon GO for this site. I don't want to revisit that.

Now that Pokémon: Let's Go is releasing in exactly one month, GAME FREAK honcho and series director Junichi Masuda is having a lot of interviews where he can't contain his own excitement. This is one with Eurogamer, and a shorter one with The Verge. I'll be referring to these interviews throughout this article.

My basic thesis is that Masuda is turning into the Pokémon version of Shigeru Miyamoto for Nintendo — a well-respected guy within the company who has been around since basically the start and has a lot of power and creative control... and is using that power for the detriment of the series he is working on because his vision is so out-of-touch.

Here's three examples from those interviews. They are all intertwined if you think about it, so the headline saying there are three reasons is sort of disingenuous, but I didn't say they are completely distinct with no overlap. Anyway, I make good points, so read on:

Monday, October 15, 2018

Trick or Treat Splatfest — Splatoon and Halloween

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - My decision may surprise you. Or it might not. How well you do know me?

I do not like Halloween. I have written why I do not like Halloween in an article three years ago. That disliking for Halloween will colour my comments in today's article about Halloween, which is over two weeks away from Halloween.

Anyway, there is another Splatfest in Splatoon 2 this weekend! Yes, not even a month has passed since the previous Splatfest, and we already have another one. That's okay. I want another chance to understand the new Splatfest scoring system as of Version 4 — I was going to write an article about it after the September Splatfest, but it turns out I didn't understand it enough to write something coherent.

The theme? You've been discussing it for years... you just didn't know it. But enough talk. You must finally pick one by this FRIDAY October 19 at 6 PM:


Splatoon 2 Halloween Splatfest Team Trick vs. Treat Pearl Marina 2018 Nintendo Switch
“It's time to decide. Are you Team Trick or Team Treat?”

Trick or Treat? ...Really. That's the Splatfest theme. Well, if it's going to be a question asked millions of times every year, and it's an either-or situation, then sure, I guess Inkopolis needs a Splatfest to legally decide what's better.

Friday, October 12, 2018

KoopaTV's GameFAQs Character Battle X Index

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - X... index... Hm... Anyway, this will help organise our coverage.

A new grand gaming contest is coming very soon: GameFAQs Character Battle X, the 10th character battle contest in GameFAQs.com history! (Note the URL isn't actually GameFAQs.com anymore) You may remember previous GameFAQs tournaments covered on KoopaTV (their first rounds are hyperlinked at the bottom of this article), including Character Battle IX. We'll also cover this contest, since it's a very interesting exercise in the worth of characters in games, and a repudiation of anti-character philosophies. It's educational, in any case.

Character Battle X features 136 videogame characters trying to be crowned as the best, as voted by GameFAQs users. (Registered users’ votes count for double, while unregistered users count for normal.) 128 characters are distributed throughout the 8 divisions, while 8 Legends — Mario, Link, Samus, Cloud, Crono, Mega Man, Snake, and Sonic — await them after the division finals. (Sephiroth is usually in that group to make the Noble Nine, but he got demoted)

This article will provide links right below this paragraph to all of KoopaTV's coverage of Character Battle X, which begins October 19, with several matches a day. So please check back then for Round 1's article. Future rounds will get their own articles. As for this article, I'll also be providing what the 128-character bracket is here, for reference.

KoopaTV's GameFAQs Character Battle X Coverage


  1. Ludwig's Round 1 Picks

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Nintendo Finally Explains To People How To Get Torna

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And then proceeds to mis-explain to people which kingdom Torna even is.

Normally, RawkHawk2010 is the guy who is supposed to write about Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on this site. (Please ignore the fact that he hasn't done so for even one whole article.) He's the only staff member who cares about the game — he actually obsesses over it. The first thing he asked Witch Princess when she joined was if she cared about the Xenoblade series. She said yes, but I'm pretty sure she only said that to get along with her new coworker instead of being genuine.

Unfortunately, Rawk either still has a very weird sleep schedule (due to Xenoblade Chronicles 2), or Hurricane Michael pwned him where Hurricane Irma could not. In either case, it's up to me to cover what Rawk has identified as a problem for the past month (or more) — Nintendo had not properly explained to people how to acquire Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country. Rawk had once said,
I think it's the most confusing Nintendo-published release of all time and it deserved a demonstration video way more than Nintendo Switch Online did. Most people are still going to think retail Torna is just a code.”
(Nintendo's mini-site dedicated to Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country seems to explain it pretty well, if you ask me, but let's pretend that Rawk has a point here.)

I wonder if this pair of Nintendo-made content satisfies his concern:

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Special Save File Versions of NES Games in Nintendo Switch Online!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Another Nintendo Switch Online surprise benefit?

Just last week, I wrote about an unexpected and surprise gift from Nintendo's subscription service, Nintendo Switch Online — a 7-day free trial that lasted longer than 7 days.

Today, Nintendo offers another surprise: The Legend of Zelda SP, or The Legend of Zelda - Living the life of luxury! Alternatively, it's just The Legend of Zelda with a special hacked save file, and isn't another game at all so it shouldn't get italics or be treated as a new or different release. It's not differentiated at all on Nintendo's page for Nintendo Switch Online's NES games on their website. The Nintendo press release makes no big deal of it, but mentions that “[s]pecial save data for other NES titles will become available in the future, offering fun new entry points into fan-favorite games.”

The Legend of Zelda SP Special Nintendo Switch Online NES games ribbon tag
It's the same game, but with a SPECIAL ribbon on it.

To be exact, the special save data provides for Link to start the game with the White Sword (second strongest sword), the Magical Shield (the best shield), the Power Bracelet (not a big deal like in other The Legend of Zelda games), and the Blue Ring (pretty big deal, raising Link's defence substantially), and a full rupee count. That essentially makes it an easy mode, which isn't a comment meant to be demeaning in any way.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Are People Angrier At Spin-Offs Now Than Before?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Or is this a case-by-case basis?

Now (or, you know, months ago) is a good time to clear the backlog of KoopaTV article requests. ShinyGirafarig asked (back in... June) about...
“Why have gamers gone from accepting Mario spin offs like Mario Kart, the Wario series, Donkey Kong Country, Yoshi and Luigi's Mansion or Pokemon spin offs like Pokemon Snap and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon to being angry at spin offs like Hey! Pikmin and Metroid Prime: Federation Force?” 

(Let's not... consider Donkey Kong Country to be a Mario spin-off, okay?)

Is that actually true? If it's true, why is that the case? 

Hm, where to start with that claim...?

Well, to start, I think the premise is false, and I'll provide counter-examples.